Hunting Season.

Every year in the fall, the quiet dead end dirt road that I called home transformed.  For one week, just as the temperatures would start to settle in to the cold, our cozy country living would turn into a battle field.  The woods would fill with blaze orange, and the enemy was the white tailed deer.

Deer season in the country is very different than one might think.  Primitive weapon season, think bows and muskets, usually ran for a while before the most popular season started, gun season.  Every year, our family would lock our dogs inside, lead the horses into the barn, and basically stay inside until the week was over.  Gun shots echoed through the hills at an alarming rate, and from folks who had never really spent any real time in the woods.

My father wasn’t a hunter.  As a child I would ask why he didn’t, and would get the simple response, “I did my hunting in ‘Nam.”  Hard to argue with that.  We did go for the occasional squirrel hunt, and a couple deer hunts as well, but for the most part we stayed indoors during the huge city folk migration to the woods known as gun season.  The only real time I would see my dad go into the woods during deer season was to tell people to get off of our property.  Most of the time people ignored property lines.

While my parents were building our home, we lived in a modular home across the dirt road that backed up to an intermittent stream.  The stream was the base of a steep wooded hillside that reached up to the highest point of our property, and from the small back porch you could see almost all of it.  One season, while relaxing inside, my father noticed a patch of orange walking across our property.

“Hey buddy!  Do you know that you are on private property?”  My dad hated people on our property, but always assumed that these city dwellers were just lost, not trespassing.

“FUCK YOU PAL!”

With that, my father walked inside off the back porch and went to his closet.  Returning to the porch with a fully automatic M16 with a 30 round clip, and fired off the entire clip into the lower part of the hillside.  You could hear the hunter running and crashing through the brush until his blaze orange was out of sight.

I would assume that his pants were a special shade of brown as well.

 

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