Hi neighbors. Many of you might have been spending time outdoors hunting the wonderful Missouri white tailed deer this week. I know many hunters who spend the first day of deer season sitting in a tree stand waiting for the perfect buck to come hopping along.
The first day of deer season this year was cold and rainy. It was Saturday, so I was up at dawn getting ready to do laundry. I had just heard the coffee pot hiss indicating the last drop of the fresh pot of coffee was finished brewing when I heard my door bell.
There was my friend Flossie. What a sight! She was dressed in a one-piece camouflaged jumpsuit covered from head to mid-thigh with a bright orange hooded poncho. She looked at me and grinned. "I knew you would be up and ready to go hunting!" she said enthusiastically.
I explained I had only intended to hunt for errant socks under the furniture, but she looked like she could use a cup of coffee before she headed to the woods.
"Well, OK, but just one. You have to get out early to catch the big bucks. I'm looking for 'Ole Joe. He had 10 points last year and I'm betting he'll have 12 or better this year."
She slipped off her poncho, her knee high mud boots and her fingerless gloves.
I poured her a cup of coffee and slid some freshly buttered toast her way. I mentioned that she looked ready to hunt and asked if she had anyone going with her.
"Oh no! I hunt alone," she said indignantly. Stirring some cream and sugar into her coffee, she took a bite of toast before continuing. "Most people don't hunt the way I do. I do what I call primitive hunting. That means no guns and no bows and arrows."
She reached down the side of her leg and pulled something from a pocket of her jumpsuit. She laid a huge bowie knife on the table. It was spotless, stainless steel from point to the bottom of the handle. A one piece knife all made of steel.
She tapped it before putting it back in her pocket. "That's my weapon of choice. Of course I also have a spear in the truck." She took another bite of toast and another swig of coffee. "Yep, you can't call it fair when you use a high powered rifle or a high tech bow to hunt a dumb beast. This primitive hunting flattens the field a great deal. Now if I kill a big buck with a spear or a knife I'll feel worthy to hang a trophy on my wall and have some bragging rights."
I praised her dedication and honorable sense of fair play.
I asked how many years she had been practicing her primitive hunting skills.
"Since I first started hunting of course! It didn't take long for me to get bored with using a gun and compound bow. I mastered both of them in one season. Nope, this is the only way to go hunting. The only fair way that is."
She pointed to her cup and I refilled it for her. I reminded her that it was pouring down rain and that it was a miserable day to be beating the brush for wild things.
"Rain just makes them huddle up," she quickly explained. "I'll probably find a whole herd of them all bunched up under some bushes. Easy pickens. I'll be back by noon with a field dressed deer ready to butcher. You'd better have some storage bags ready to help if you want some fresh venison steak for Thanksgiving this year."
With a wink, she finished her coffee, deftly put on her poncho, boots and gloves. I found out just where she was going hunting (after promising to tell no one her prized spot) wished her well and sent her on her way.
I pointed out that gun-totting hunters seeing a 70 something female out hunting with a bowie knife or spear might embarrass them so much they never hunted again.
"They should be ashamed hunting that way. But maybe tomorrow would be a better day." She took off her poncho, gloves and boots.
I asked her what she would do for Thanksgiving if she didn't get a buck.
She smiled slyly and said, "Well, I was hoping I could get some turkey from you in exchange of some venison."
"Just come on over Thanksgiving, Flossie. I'll have a store bought turkey and lots of coffee. It won't be the same without you here!"
Until the next time, friends, remember to be thankful for all of nature's bounty and for good friends and family to share with.