I’ve been anxiously awaiting this weekend for several weeks — not because my brothers are coming to the farm in pursuit of a better-than-mediocre buck on this first weekend of the slug hunting season, but because they usually bring the kiddos with them.
Oh sure, it’s nice to see the family get together down on the farm, but it’s even more fun to spend time with the nieces and nephews. They grow up so fast.
Just a few weeks ago, my eight-year-old Godson (Nephew Reece) received his very first real-life, no-more-shooting-foam-Nerf-dart guns as a birthday gift from his folks. It was a BB gun, but still, it’s a gun that can hurt someone slightly more than a foam dart to the forehead. (That really does hurt, but for some reason those nephews think it’s good for some giggles.)
Honestly, I think Reece is far too young for a gun, but hey, I’m not the parent. I’m just the Auntie with visions of Ralphie, the don’t-shoot-your-eye-out kid from “The Christmas Story” fame.
Reece won’t be hunting deer this weekend, but his older brother, Blake, will partake in his second year in the hunt for a buck. Another nephew, Zach, is hunting for season three, if memory serves. His first year out, he nabbed a mule deer — I do remember that. And then there’s Nephew Matt, who I am pretty sure has had success in every year he’s hunted, and Nephew Andrew, who may or may not be out on the prowl for venison this year.
So, as the older boys (two of my brothers included) hit the remaining corn fields, the tall grass pastures, waterways and groves of trees, I will be at the farm house, watching movies with the younger kids, playing board games and enduring the smells of chili simmering in the Crock-Pot — a deer hunting season tradition.
And, every once in a while, we’ll look out the window for any sight of running deer or slow-moving pick-up trucks, wondering if the guys “bagged a buck” and waiting for their return.
Ah, the deer hunt — a family tradition carried on from one generation to the next. Let’s just hope it’s a safe season for them, and for all of the other hunters donning the blaze orange this November!