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The Thrill Of The Hunt

The Thrill Of The Hunt

Beep – beep – beep – beep – beep – beep…That’s the sound of H’s alarm clock waking me from the sleep of the dead. Five o’clock am flashed digitally from the screen. I fumbled for the right button to disengage the alarm, pushing every one but the right one. There seemed to be twenty, or maybe only six. Finally, along the front edge, I found the off button and the sweet sound of silence filled the room.

Normal people use their cell phones for alarms instead of the old-school alarm clock H leaves turned facing away from him at night because of the bright digital glare emitting from its face. He has upgraded from the relic he used in his college days to an upgraded version. The vintage clock is packed away, still in working order, in its original box – yes – because I saw one just like it on tv and I’m hoping it may be worth something. One day I may be glad he saves so much stuff.

I lay there silently, with my eyes closed, trying to go back to sleep. I could hear him in the kitchen doing whatever deer hunters do to at five am to prepare to go hunting. At five-seventeen he came into the room and whispered to me he was leaving.

“You don’t need to whisper. I’m awake. Next time you get up before your alarm, please turn it off. ” You notice I said please.

Then he preceded to inform me of where he would be hunting on the Eglin reservation – down to every bend in the road and whether or not the road was a clay road or sand road, and how many gates you had to go through to get there. Patiently, I listened, knowing there was no way in hell I’d be able to find him if I had to.

When he finished, I asked, “Will you be at the same place you were yesterday?” His answer was yes. “Then Andrew knows where you’ll be.” Just go. Maybe I can salvage a few winks.

Andrew was sound asleep in his bed. He was the smart one. I’ve often wondered what person in his right mind would trek out to the woods before daybreak to sit in cold temperatures in a tree.

It’s now one minute after six and I’m wide awake. Not going to bed until one-thirty makes that a short night. I may be a little grumpy today, so I might as well get a blog post from this fiasco.

H doesn’t hunt as much as he used to. More often than not, on the mornings he has planned to hunt, when I awake I find him sound asleep next to me or in the kitchen reading the newspaper. His excuse is that it’s too windy, rainy, or too cold. Fine with me. Just don’t leave your alarm set is all I ask.

I’m a worrier so when he’s out hunting alone I have no peace-of-mind. What if he falls out of his deer stand and has no signal on his phone to call? What if his old hunting truck doesn’t start, leaving him stranded in the woods? What if someone accidentally shoots him instead of a deer? It happens all the time according to the news.

And even this…what if he actually gets a deer? I lose interest in cooking or eating venison after a week. We just bought a new fridge, but there is not nearly enough freezer space in it to house a deer – even a small one. We’d have to buy a freezer. We got rid of ours when we moved into this small house because there was no room for one. To my knowledge, the house hasn’t grown.

I probably shouldn’t worry about where we would store too many packs of venison. H hasn’t seriously hunted since Andrew left for college and lost interest. I think he just enjoys the solitude of the hunt.

You see where Andrew is now. Home from school for the holidays and he’s sound asleep as normal people should be.

I guess I’ll get moving and maybe shove a few thing aside in the freezer, making it look like I’m excited to have fresh meat, while hoping it doesn’t happen.



About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

One response »

  1. You can always send your surplus venison to me, Elle! Or better still, send H over here to shoot the wild boar in our garden.



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