[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.biggame.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/untamed.png[/author_image] [author_info]Larry Weishuhn is a widely known writer, speaker, raconteur and world hunter. He co-hosts “DSC’s Trailing the Hunter’s Moon” on Pursuit Channel, CarbonTV and the show’s YouTube Channel.[/author_info] [/author]
November rain, carried on a northerly breeze pelted a rhythmic beat against the old camp’s corrugated tin walls and roof, a symphony like no other. Normally that soul-soothing sound would have caused me to crawl deeper under my “featherbed” comforter and drift off to sleep. But not tonight. A quick glance at the alarm clock. One am…deep breath, sigh…at least four hours before the anticipated alarm would start “chiming”. I closed my eyes tightly, fleeting visions for whitetail bucks bounded past. Eyes open, I stared at the walls of our one-room camp. Deer racks faintly illuminated by the glow from our wood stove, momentarily held my attention. I badly wanted to get up, start breakfast and dress for opening morning, but dared not in fear of waking my parents and brother, who were sound asleep.
How could they sleep? Opening day of hunting season was finally about to arrive. For weeks…well, actually I had never ceased preparing for opening day since the whitetail season had closed nearly ten months earlier.
Excitement over-whelmed. No way could I sleep! I grabbed a flashlight and the November issue of “Outdoor Life”. Hopefully, the light would not escape “my tent” as I paged through for the forty-seventh time, a publication I could cite word for word from memory, yet, could not remember even the first sentence of the Shakespeare play I was supposed to memorize for English class. Re-occupied with hunting photos and tales, still time continued to drag on and on… Would it EVER be time to get up and go hunting?
Throughout my life, I have awaited and anticipated Opening Day of hunting season not unlike a five-year-old awaits Christmas. I have never lost that excitement. Over the years I have been blessed to have “met” opening days not only in Texas, but throughout the world. Opening days are truly special…even if the hunting season opened weeks earlier, and now finally it is time for me to hunt. To me, it is still “opening day”!
In prepping for the season’s opener this year, I made certain the several rifles wearing various and appropriate Trijicon scopes, from the Hurons to AccuPoints to the Ten Mile I recently mounted on a new .280 Remington, have been sighted in with appropriate Hornady ammo, specific to the different caliber/rounds and animals I will be hunting with this year. I have dutifully learned the capabilities of each of my firearms and my capabilities with them. Beyond shooting from the bench, I have spent time shooting from in-the-field positions from shooting sticks, using trees, limbs, rocks, backpacks and anything else I can find for a rock-solid rest from which to make an accurate, killing shot, with my first shot! And even though I have spent time in getting ready, I have also found myself dreaming, hoping how things will unfold when I finally watch the breaking day usher in hunting season.
What makes Opening Days so special? Perhaps there is something almost primordial about “the hunt”; planning strategies, preparing physically and mentally, and, anticipating success. Maybe that excitement returns to a time when hunting truly meant food and clothing, food for you, your family and friends, and all in your circle, ensuring the survival of family! In those times successful hunters were heroes, celebrated for providing food for family and friends. Without the hunters taking game, there was hunger; physical, and I strongly suspect spiritual as well.
Gather around the campfire and tell tales of daring do, of great stags bested and those which humbly bested us. Opening Day is upon us!
Regardless of what is going on in the world, there are always small things, of beauty and splendor, for us to enjoy, admire and appreciate!
Watch “DSC’s Trailing the Hunter’s Moon” TV show on our YouTube Channel, or on CarbonTV.
If you haven’t heard any of the “DSC’s Untamed Heritage” podcasts, visit blubrry.com/untamedheritage/ to listen to one of our dozens of podcast episodes.