Letters To The Editor – August 2019
Lots Of Memories Made Deer Hunting In Last 40 Years
These are my memories of more than 40 years of Georgia deer hunting.
I remember the year that DNR opened Georgia’s deer season in middle Georgia. I was a much younger man then, and there was a lot of excitement about having a deer season. Those early days were a learning experience for both the hunters and the deer. All of my buddies felt as I did about the new deer season, and it was exciting times. I hunted that entire first year and saw nothing but one set of tracks.
Now at age 78, I am among a few who lived through those beginning times. I still try to hunt, but I no longer shimmy up skinny pine tress in the dark. I am more lightly to go to a ground blind and sit in a comfortable office chair that has been converted to a hunting chair. I think back on all of the hours I spent sitting in some tree stand, getting wet, freezing or hanging on for dear life in the high wind. There were times I would sit and think out problems in my life or just tune in to the woods.
I would never trade my years of deer hunting memories. All those years of deer hunting were more than just the hunt. I got to go places and see things I would never have seen otherwise. Things such as a beautiful sunrise and watching the woods come awake at first light. Looking down from a high place on the sights below, hearing a hawk’s call, a turkey moving down the ridge, parking the truck in the dark woods before dawn, the anticipation of watching a hot scrape, and all of the natural things that go with the hunt are wonderful memories.
I realized that all along going deer hunting was more than just the hunt. I learned to love the outdoors and experience all the wonders of just being a part of the whole thing. Things like hiking in the mountains, watching the moon come up at sunset, feeling the fresh, clean air on a frosty morning, listening to all of the gunfire on opening day and wondering who was seeing all of the deer are great memories.
I heard things like an old hoot owl starting up down in the swamp. Nailing the buck of a lifetime on Cohutta WMA was one of my biggest thrills. I remember buying a new deer rifle and finding all the right accessories to go with it; the smell of gun oil; and the satisfaction of getting all sighted in for deer season.
After all these years, I still love going to the sporting goods store and dreaming about all of the things I would love to have.
There are other memories this old deer hunter has, but they are too many to name. But one thing is for certain, and that is that I would not trade the chance to do things differently. Now that I am an old deer hunter, I can truthfully say that I would never have wanted to do anything differently otherwise. I realize how lucky I was to have been there when the deer season started in middle Georgia. I am proud to have been there when it started, and I am proud to have been a part of one heck of a ride all of these years.
If you are reading this about an old man’s experiences, perhaps you should get busy making your memories. There is nothing to compare with it.
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