Lots of them.
After clambering up a makeshift ladder, I load my gun by flashlight, bring a warm cup of Joe to my lips, exhale, and observe the sky as the stars succumb to a rising sun.
Ahhh yes. Life is greatly simplified here.
Here the forest floor knows only fallen leaves and branches. It protects itself with a silence that, if interrupted by a scurrying chipmunk or a meandering grouse, will alert the rest of the forest to its presence.
It’s a wonderful, simple design.
And so I explore my mind for answers to important questions.
Why does my nose run when it’s cold?
Can deer smell coffee breath?
How can going to the bathroom be so difficult?
Why is that squirrel giving that other squirrel a piggy back ride?
Realizing such deep philosophical questions require a more practiced mind, I turn to other ways of passing time.
Like reading about dragons and unicorns.
After countless hours and hundreds of pages of fantasy/adventure books, I’m convinced there are probably more unicorns than deer roaming the woods.
I also become paranoid an irresistible blonde haired wood nymph is biding her time before seducing me.
I begin preparing excuses.
“Look, Ms. Tree Nymph…What? Okay. Ms. Camiliah of the Tree People, you’re pretty and all, but this just can’t work long term.”
“Why you ask? Well because I’m just a mere mortal, and frankly, I’ll die way before you will.”
“I understand,” I say. ”Orange is an excellent color on me, but the disappointment comes when it’s off of me. I’ve seen those male wood nymphs walking around and believe me, BELIEVE ME, you’ll be much happier at the end of the day with one of those guys. And I’m allergic to moss. And I’m married.”
She finally agrees, yes, a moss allergy certainly takes the fun out of the whole situation, and she leaves (get it? she leaves?).
As I watch her go I can’t help but wonder,
Why don’t mortal women wear maple leaves and birch bark lingerie?
Oh well. Who needs philosophy?
But I digress…
Point is, I love deer hunting. Not necessarily for the “hunting” or “deer” part, but because the whole situation clears my mind. There’s peace here.
No worries. I can be myself. And I like that.