Last night with great excitement, Nathan prepared to go hunting in the field behind our house. Today is opening day for deer season, you see, and around here the deer are plentiful. And we reeeeeally need some meat.
So I lectured him real good, see, told him he better not be expecting breakfast if he came home empty-handed.
Jonah chattered about how "Daddy got a GUN! Daddy gonna SHOOT da deer! TomAHwo morning, Daddy gonna shoot da deer! No, IIII gonna shoot da deer!" And then he used Daddy's binoculars to demonstrate how he would look through them, see a deer, and "PSHOOOOO!" Through the binoculars... with his eyes, apparently.
I heard Nathan leave to go meet a neighbor and get to their spots around 5:00 this morning. I could hear the rain and wind outside and I thankfully snuggled deeper under my down comforter. The only interest hunting holds for me is the bringing home of meat. Trying to sit still in a field or woods on a damp, cold, early morning with nothing to read, hoping a deer will walk by? Not even remotely appealing. At all. When I was a kid, I thought "going hunting" would be expected of me, so I almost took a hunter's safety course, then I thought, I don't even WANT to go hunting! so I didn't bother. I really don't even like to shoot. It's just... boring. (Don't get me wrong, I DO think that everyone should at least learn to shoot and know how to use a gun.) But I'll gladly cheer-lead my hunter-husband into bringing home some meat (and then I'll try to be cheeful as we process it ourselves-- but that really is a crumby job. Worth it, though. I try to will myself into being hardy pioneer stock...).
Nathan has hunted this field for the last couple of years. He's never actually gotten anything... but others have shared their meat with us, for which I am very thankful. Last year I stood at the window and watched two deer going for a leisurely walk and I knew that Nathan and a couple others were out there... I waited... No shots... Turns out the hunters had gone in to a neighbor's house for coffee.
So this time, I said, "Okay, FOCUS! No coffee visit! No gun jamming! Just bring one home this time!" I even offered to whisper an inspirational pep-talk in his ear while he slept so that it would go into his subconscious like a subliminal message...
This morning I was just waking up when I heard a shot. Then another, then... three more. Come ON, you guys! I thought. I knew there were at least three hunters out there... surely someone was in the right place at the right time!
So I got up. Jonah and I had breakfast. I waited. I looked out the window. I saw some orange blobs moving around in the field! Oh! What are they doing? Trakcing? Gutting? Dragging one home? Coming back for the pickup so that they can bring home the five deer that they shot? The suspense was unbearable.
Finally Nathan came in, thoroughly soaked to the skin. He smiled.
He got a shot, though. Missed. He said there were five hunters and not one of them had any luck with the six deer that were out there.
There are so many hunters, see, that the deer around here have to develop invisible force fields...
He said he had to pause a little in his aim to make sure he was looking at a doe, and this was difficult with his poor eyesight in blowing rain and dim morning light. He didn't get a second shot because they ran in the direction of another hunter and it's really better to avoid human casualties.
I took pity on his cold, wet self and made him some breakfast. But I did give him a hard time about missing. He informed me that in order to sooth his wounded manly pride I was supposed to say, "It's okay, dear, you'll get one next time." So I did. I hope he felt better.
Sigh. Maybe next time.