Successful hunt delays football, foodBy JEFF NORTH,
Picking back up where I left off last week, I again intended on sharing the highlights of our Kansas excursion in pursuit of legendary bucks. Climbing into a stand or blind wearing khakis and short sleeve shirts was quite atypical and a variance of the norm for chasing whitetails. Mercury pushing its way to the point of exploding thermometers made it feel more like African safari than mid-west hunting. Nevertheless, bucks were on their feet in their summer patterns and surprise was on our side.
As I prepared for my next paragraph, my phone resonated with the sound of incoming texts from some of my friends. One read, who do you use for a taxidermist? Of course a picture followed of a nice buck. Another text came in asking if “today”, being September 30, is opening day of bow season? Throughout my endeavors of compiling my thoughts to print, I kept being distracted. I was rushing to begin with to make sure I completed my article in time to make it to Sam’s cabin for a gathering for food and football. Then the coupe de gras of all text “dinged” with the words, “Me and Rock have a truckload of bucks and we’ll be late.” Once again, my Kansas story will have to wait.
Mississippi’s archery season opened this past Saturday and success stories came to me via text all weekend long. I suppose I should have brought my story to print earlier as I intended, for my success is now “old news.” The cool front brought a north wind to us. Though temperatures were still warm here, the atmosphere had a slight “crispness” from the lack of humidity. Compared to Kansas, it was downright chilly here. Seldom are we cooler than the mid-west during hunting season but at least this year we were.
Plans changed dramatically as the sun set and darkness took over the landscape. Ballgames and the grill would have to wait for the skinning shed was the popular place to be for the next several hours. Maybe it was all fitting to take us away from the screen and the gridiron. Maybe it was an act of mercy to have success in the woods for it sure wasn’t a successful day for a couple of Mississippi schools that traveled to Alabama to play football. Dang, once again I seem to be drifting from my subject at hand. I swear, this habit reminds me of Faulkner. Now before you crucify me from comparing my writings to Faulkner, I am not. I am comparing my drifting and bouncing from subject to subject to him as he then returns to his focus. Perhaps some of you may even possibly agree, as this is quite apparent in his “Intruder in the Dust” and “Go Down, Moses”, at least in my opinion. Of course this is for discussion at another time. For now though, back to the skinning shed.
Sam and I were looking forward to watching the games and partaking of great treats at his cabin. Ford felt bad and was hanging close to his farm. Chris and Rock had a simple agenda. This was to bring the first backstraps of the year to the freezer…..mission accomplished. It’s aggravating and downright selfish to delay appetizers and dinner by intruding on one’s plans to ask someone to help drag, take pictures, and help clean. And to top it off, after the endeavors of taking care of the bounty from the swamp is complete, the successful hunters have a late dinner and require us to listen to their tales of the day. Of course you know this is all in literary jest, for we wouldn’t have it any other way.
This was a wonderful opening weekend in the whitetail woods of the Magnolia State. Just think, this was just the first one too. We have until the end of January to enjoy and delay dinners. I can’t wait to take my stab at the woods here but for now I’m off to Kalispell, Mont., for a deep discussion on insects and what to do about them next year. Just for the record too, I will not be carrying weapon of stick and string on this trip. Nope, on this one only the computer and several power point presentations to share with other entomologists that will probably be just as ill as I will be from the texts that are sure to arrive from other successful compadres of the field. Congrats to my buddies and I just hope you repay the favor soon. I’ll be ready to get home and who knows, I may even drift from subject to subject once again.
Until next time enjoy our woods and waters and remember, let’s leave it better than we found it.