So I got my hunting license this year, doe tags. The first in a long long long time, since I was in my early teens. Originally, I got my hunting license to help dad out with our newest little hunter, Kyle, but now it’s become a pastime we share. My sister, who always enjoyed hunting didn’t get her license, although wanted to and mom hasn’t hunted in years either. Maybe next season we can all go again.
As of this year, Kyle got a button buck Deer Hunter, Kyle’s First Deer and dad got three doe and a spike in New York. Yes, my dad ritually gets his license for New York, Green County, Westmoreland County, Wayne County and Allegheny County. Plus he always sends away for his bonus tags. He is a true hunter through and through. The deer meat he obtains in hunting season feeds the family all year long. And yes we do butcher our own deer meat.
If it wasn’t made evident yet, we are a family of hunters, which is not uncommon in the Piper family as well as mom’s side of the family, the Olczak’s. It’s pretty typical for an entire family to venture into the woods uniformly dressed in orange, get together before a day of hunting and/or meet up after the sun sets. I am no stranger to hunting, guns and deer meat. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, Kyle’s deer from mentor hunting had a really good taste to it. Deer meat is such a clean fresh meat, very lean and natural.
This past Monday, dad went to Indiana County to hunt while Kyle and I stayed around my parent’s house. The woods near their house is convenient, it’s in close proximity and I can always find a cousin or neighbor if I need assistance and on Monday there was no shortage of cousins or friends of the family. Indeed, the woods were quite polluted with orange bodies floating around the leafless trees and snow covered ground. It makes it a little awkward, you don’t want to be too close to your neighboring deer slayer, it’s not sportsmanlike and it could be dangerous.
In the morning I got up around 4:30 am or so, along with mom and dad. Good old Gigi, got breakfast ready and was there to assist and get us out the door. Dad ate his breakfast and left pretty early, even before Kyle rolled out of bed. I decided to leave Kyle get a few extra Z’s before our first day of buck hunting. The night before we laid out our cloths and were ready to follow dad’s routine of getting dressed and migrating towards the woods. Dad was so ready, he even stopped by his hunting destination the day before and dropped off the quad, so he was he was in position at sunrise. My little Kyle was not so ambitious. He slept till 6:00 am, which was pushing it since sunrise was around 7:00 am. What I didn’t anticipate was Kyle’s slow moving nature in the morning. I should have known better and got him up earlier, but I wanted Kyle to get his fill of sleep. By the time he moseyed out of bed, it was after 6:00 am and he still needed to eat, get dressed and we needed to walk to our location. Our final stopping-place wasn’t far, but Kyle isn’t exactly swift on his feet, especially carrying his bags and a rifle.
Finally, with a little bit of the typical Kyle complaining we were out the door! You know the standard, he didn’t want to layer up, he didn’t want his boots tied too tight (meaning practically falling off of his feet) all the standard grievances before leaving the house for a walk.
Our instructed hunting spot required us to hike down the hill, across the two fields into the woods. Again, not far, but boy was that a struggle. Sounds easy enough, except let’s not forget I had a slow moving complaining child following me. As we walked across the field to the spot where dad told us to plant ourselves, the sun was brightly shinning over the ridge. We were late! I hate being late for anything! Now my patience is slowly slipping away. Kyle was in his standard ten to twenty paces behind me, except he wasn’t quiet in the slightest bit. He kept yelling over at me, “Aunt Heather we can’t shoot here, there’s a house.” Really? Did he think I was going to have him shoot at my Uncle Walter’s house? What irritated me, was we weren’t even at our location! For all he knew we had another mile to go. Then I heard, “Aunt Heather! I’m stuck!” I turned around to find Kyle standing there with a small thorn stem on his pant leg. It might have caught his pants by an inch or two, nothing life threatening and it certainly was not a roadblock. He could have kept walking past it, which he did when I rolled my eyes and continued walking. As we marched our way across the second field I kept waving for Kyle to speed up. Ya right! That never happened. Then I heard the ultimate. “Aunt Heather I lost my shoe!” What? Are you kidding me? He walked out of his boot and just stood there like he was two years old expecting me to walk the entire way back to him, and put his foot back in the boot and tie it up! I turned around and yelled, “Then put it back on!” As Kyle went to say something else to me I lost it and yelled, “Kyle! Just shut up! There are deer around here and we are scaring them off!” He did as I rudely instructed. I’m not sure why he pushes me to that point, but he does. Then he’s usually back to a good kid again.
As I neared our hunting spot, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was seeing hints of orange coming out from behind the trees. What? Another hunter was in our spot! Of course, it’s on a first come first serve basis. To be honest I didn’t know what to do. Dad specifically told us to sit there until at least 9:00 am. Well, we moved our location further down the hill. As we set up camp with the all the bag lady’s stuff (Kyle) we noticed it was a horrible location. We decided to stay since it took us so long just to get to this point, and we were doing no good if we kept moving around. So there we remained for a couple of hours.
As I leaned against a tree, I couldn’t help myself, I got the giggles, and bad! It didn’t take long for Kyle to join me and there we were, a couple of hunters in the woods laughing about his hat, which was on inside out and his hair was sticking out through the eye holes. Between the laughter, Kyle kept blowing his nose so loud, it was comical. Let’s not forget the orange. I’m not talking about the color we were wearing. Who would have thought a piece of fruit would be so much fun! Yes, we did capture some our actions in photos to prove we weren’t really hunting but screwing around. Needless to say no deer showed up on end of the woods. Couldn’t imagine why? (sarcasm)
After we gave it the good old college try, I decided to move us to the other end of the woods. Not to mention I wanted to make a pit stop at the house to use the restroom. Kyle decided his stomach was hurting him and he wanted to join me. Yes, we walked back to mom and dad’s and ran into our cousin Mikey on his way up the road who was on his way to get into position too. He was getting a little bit of a late start, but as Mikey stated, “Better late than never.” Too funny!
Mom took the day off work and was at the house canning deer meat from dad’s kill last week. It was a little bit longer break than I wanted, but mom reminded me that this is also suppose to be fun.
As we made our way up the hill towards the woods, we ran back into Mikey and stood there chit chatting with him for a little bit. While conversing, I let him know where we were going to be located. The woods were polluted with spots of orange. It was actually kind of hard to stay at a respectable distance away, but we managed to find our spot. Kyle and I planted ourselves down in the leaves on the ground and continued our silliness from earlier. This time I had a plan to be productive, I brought my book Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Hunger Games for Kyle, since he wanted to start reading those books. My plan was to read a chapter and have Kyle watch out for deer and then I would return the favor. Well, his eyes ran away with page after page of the book while I was the lookout. At one point, Kyle started to get cold and he snuggled up against me and then requested that I turn the pages of his book since his hands were cold. What? Are you kidding me? But what is more sad, I did as he instructed and turned the pages for him. Seeing Kyle get excited about reading and really getting into a book makes me so happy, I can’t deny him. Not to mention he was reading the perfect book for sitting in the woods! I was really excited for him.
Would you believe, that while we sat, a couple of seriously orange dressed hunters sat on a stump nearly 50 feet away. I was flabbergasted! That was not appropriate. I called mom asking her if we should move and she instructed us to stay put because they may be moving around, which they did. Maybe because me and Kyle didn’t deny ourselves of a few more chuckles and silliness. We certainly weren’t shy about keeping quiet at this point. Eventually they migrated elsewhere leaving us to our small part of the woods.
After a while, Kyle decided he was cold and wanted hot chocolate and he wanted to go home. He said, “Let’s go Aunt Heather, we can come back around 3:00 or so.” We picked up all of our gear, which means I picked up our gear, including both rifles and headed back to mom and dad’s. It was around lunch time so mom made us grilled cheese and tomato soup! Perfect cold day food. I ran a few errands for mom and helped her with the pressure cooker before resting my eyes. Yep I took a nap! It was awesome!
When I came to, I wanted to head back up to the woods for a couple of hours before sunset, but alas Kyle was not enthused at all. I get it, when you don’t see much action in the woods, it gets boring. It’s also probably more fun with dad, so I didn’t push him. And let’s face it I could have headed back up myself, but I got lazy. Dad mentioned he put us in a buck pull, guess I won’t be winning that one.
All in all it was a great day spent with Kyle! We did hear a few shots in the woods but no movement our way. Wonder why? (sarcasm) If dad was with us, the day would have unfolded differently, and we probably might have seen some action, but I still think it was still a great day!
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