I have wrote stories about just about everything. I was thinking about how back in the old days around the police station some of the fellows who were deer hunters would brag about the way they would bag the big bucks. They could make your mouth water when they told how good a roast or a steak was.
“Yes sir,” I said to myself, “when you get your days off, you will get you a deer and have some of that good eating.”
My in-laws lived at a place where you could sit in the kitchen and see the deer in the woods. I sat for several evenings watching where there seemed to be a deer trail in the woods. I walked down and picked me out a place where I would be hidden from them. I fixed me a good place where I would be comfortable and could see them before they saw me. I smiled as I walked back up the house. To myself I said, “Tomorrow night I will have a big steak with all the trimmings.”
That night I got everything ready for the big hunt. Sometime during the night it turned cold and began to spit cold rain with ice. I jumped up the next morning and loaded on the clothing and headed for the big hunt. By the time I arrived at my in-laws it was doing a good job snowing. It didn’t matter. I loaded my pockets with shells and, shouldering the gun, hit the woods. I found my hiding place and crawled in and curled up with all my clothes pulled as close to me as they would go. I waited, watching the trail.
I got warm and must have fallen asleep. I woke up with a start, for something was near me. I opened my eyes and saw him; he was beautiful with his stack of antlers. I stared at him and he looked back at me. I didn’t move as he backed up from me and stopped. Then I saw them coming down the trail toward me. They too were beautiful. I just sat and stared.
The does walked up within reaching distance and stopped. Their ears were sticking straight up. Their little tails were twitching. They looked me over as I looked them over. Then, as if to say goodbye, they turned and went down the trail out of sight.
The buck moved back in front of me. He stopped, watching me as if he was going to attack. I remember thinking, “He is going to attack me.” He then backed up and stopped staring at me. I looked for the does, but they were out of sight. He then shook his beautiful set of antlers, turned and trotted off down the trail. I stood up and —shouldering the rifle — headed for my in-laws’ house.
Half-frozen and after several cups of coffee, I got into my car and headed home. I never told any of the hunters in the department that I had gone hunting. I knew then, and I know now, that I could never kill anything that was as beautiful as those deer were. The buck with his antlers was a picture to see. You often see a card with a deer standing in the snow as it falls around him. What I saw was not a card but the real thing.
There was no deer steak on my table that night. My wife had picked up a sack of Krystals on her way from work that night. As I reached for another Krystal I told her about my deer hunting. We got a good laugh, for that was my first and last hunt. If you come to my house you will find food for all of God’s little critters. If it comes up to my house it will get fed.
Lonie Adcock of Rome is a retired Rome Police Department lieutenant. His latest book is “Fact or Fiction.”