Friday, August 14, 2009

More than U see.

Funny, today is payday and all I have on my mind is going to the cabin deer hunting. About 3 more months. I remember how in the beginning it was going hunting, setting in a blind and being so bored, and so cold. Back then it was ALL about the deer. Go back eat, sleep and get up at an ungodly hour to repeat it. All i wanted was to whack a deer and show it off proudly. Then as a few years had past I noticed something weird. I was just as, if not more, excited when someone else got a deer. I can't tell you how many times the report of a rifle would sound and I'd shut up the windows, shut off the heat and be pumped to go help "hold a leg" or just go BS with whom ever had been blessed with a deer. Suddenly I noticed I really didn't care as much to even get out into the woods. Oh hell ya, I live to hunt, but I found the only thing getting into a deer blind did was separate me from what, deep down, hunting has always been about, being with my family. Sure it's great to be in the blind, ears alert to a single snap of a branch, so keyed in you wish you could lick your nose to get the set of a deer. But deep down, after years of hunting you realize it's not the deer that pull you to the woods.

In the many years I have hunted I am shocked at how many times when I see a deer I grab the Canon and not the Browning. In the picture here you can see a deer, you can right? Behind that deer you can clearly see a deer blind. That deer blind has one story to tell, that of my Uncle Bill. He built that blind at his house in Alpena, my Dad brought it down in 6 pieces and we put it up. What a chore it was. That darn roof.....Uncle Bill had so many shingles on it weighted about 800lbs. OK maybe 200 but it was too heavy to carry. So we removed most of the shingles so we could move it. We spent a day putting it up. Making sure it was level (within a 1/4 inch), making sure it would have the windows pointed in the direction. Much more important than building a house. Way more. We build it in one day and we took pictures (I'll post them later). Then deer camp came around. What a year, all the normal guys, Uncle Bill, Dad, my brother Craig, my son William, and most important the camp cook and deer guild Aunt Kathy. We did things like we normally did, woke complained about getting up so early, someone had snored, yada, yada, yada. And off we all headed to our deer blinds. If it hadn't been for my son I would have not went out that morning.

The only report we got from a gun was Uncle Bill. I jumped and grabbed the radio, hoping to hear the update of a deer down. I never heard it him on the radio, and I regret that. I remember thinking I couldn't believe that Uncle Bill missed! My son and I spent the day looking for deer, he's still in the "hunting mode". Saw a few but nothing worth dragging out of the woods. But most of all we were together.

Dark came along and we headed the cabin. Only to find a deer hanging. And for this year a nice buck. Looked like one we had been watching on the deer cam! A trophy for sure. Uncle Bill was happy, and so were we. Maybe my son was a little disappointed to not have gotten one, but he didn't show it. He was happy for Uncle Bill, maybe he understood more than I thought.

Deer camp got closed up days later and we all headed back to normal life. But later in the year we received a call that Uncle Bill lost his fight with cancer. So now we have lost a great person and deer camp will never be the same. Maybe this year Uncle Bill will send us the biggest deer ever, we're talking Boone and Crockett deer. Sure I'll be proud to shoot one, if William doesn't beat me to the gun, We'll look up to the heavens and thank God (and Uncle Bill) for the deer. But it could never be the same as years past.

So when you look again at the picture you'll see a few things.
A deer blind, easy.
Then you'll see the deer.
But did you see the bird?
See, some things in life you have to look at more than once to see whats important. It's not the deer blind, it's not the deer, it's whats not there any more.

1 comment:

  1. Mike Heymann - Arlington, TXAugust 14, 2009 at 7:16 PM

    Great read Rich. Sorry for the loss in your family. This actually brought a tear to my eye as I read because my "bid daddy" (AKA my grandfather) left us 9 years ago and camp has never been quite the same. My wife and I just adopted a 10 year old boy from the foster care system and he is so excited to learn all about and go hunting and I can't wait to share my memories with him and build some more as I have been doing with my 14 year old daughter for some time. I too find that I reach for the camera quicker than a firearm and sure do enjoy time with my family away from the ordinary rut of daily life. Sure I enjoy hunting but I would never go out to camp without the company of another family member as I would simply be bored. Glad you shared this with me