It is 5:30 am on opening morning of deer hunting season and my alarm explodes into a racket that would wake an army. I roll out of bed and rub the sleep from my eyes. I only slept six hours last night because my family and I were preparing for the hunt, getting the guns ready and laying out our orange clothes. As I begin to get dressed, the smell of fresh pancakes wakes me up. It is at this time I realize the season is upon us. Since January I have been waiting for this day to come. Today begins the annual nine day season that brings our family together each November.
After stumbling down upstairs I go to the computer and turn on Da Yoopers’ “Da Turdy Point Buck”, the song our family must listen to before we head out the door and into the woods. With the song blaring through the house, I walk into my brother’s room, turn the lights on, rip the covers from his bed, and narrowly escape a swift kick from his leg. After a breakfast of pancakes my brother and I jump into his truck and head for the hills. We own 120 acres three miles from the house, so we must drive to our destination. Any other morning there would be no vehicles on the road, but this particular morning we pass about ten other trucks all taking their passengers to their particular hunting spots.
Three inches of fresh snow fell last night, creating a blanket of freshness that reflects the last rays of moonlight. As we drive into our property we see fresh deer tracks and my heart starts pumping, I have been away from Minnesota for a few months and this morning is the first time I entered these woods since September. A few hundred yards into the woods we see three dear walking the road. They bound off into the darkness in flashes of brown silhouetted by snow. We park the truck and before we shut the engine off Jimmy tells me we will sit until 9:00, then I will walk to where he is sitting, and we will go home. We shut the engine off and do not speak again, for any human noise made will be...
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