The Gardens - In the Beginning

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Dear Hunter

I used to be a hunter of dear.
I sucked at the art,
was often left with a broken heart...

...then I became a hunter of deer.  Not a killer...just a hunter.  Not with a camera...just a Winchester 6mm rifle, my sweet baby.  I suppose if I had been hunting with another lady, I would have bagged one sooner or later; but I spent that first freezing day hunting with a group of obnoxious goat ropers (western rednecks) with a few service station owner nice guys sprinkled into the mix.  I spent my time squeezed in between two hefties with obnoxious grooming habits, in their made for two regular sized people pickup truck, while hubby opted to ride with someone else, the little #$&!%#.

In the middle of a marriage to an all-about-himself-trust-no-one-else work of art, I was grasping at straws, trying to bond in some minuscule way with him before giving up the ship.  My evenings in the Elko hotel were spent beating the edges of the pinball machine to reeve up my score a tad, as I was playing against hubby and his friend, and both excelled at the art of pinball cheating playing.

Dawn, the second day out, proved promising; as it was just the service station guys, hubby (one of the service station guys), and me.  Not much money for wardrobes and such in those days, I had no hiking or hunting boots; so I wore what I did have...a pair of moccasin boots.  All the guys looked at me like I was a little green in the hunting department, or perhaps they felt a bit sorry for me.  I was oblivious to it all, cause I was out in the tree and snow covered mountains of crisp fresh air with eagles flying high above.  I was in paradise, and bagging a deer wasn't much on my mind.  I just wanted to cover territory in that heavenly place of raw bitter nature.

I have never hiked so far and for so long in my life.  A determination set into my head of no way was I going to be the puny piece of fluff that would have to be taken back to the vehicles and sit freezing my behind off while the man gang went back out and had a good time.  I huffed, I puffed, clinched my teeth as I ascended, dug my heels in as I descended, prayed for a miracle when engulfed in a brier and bramble patch in the v of the ridges, and eventually I was at the front of the group, their leader so to speak, ha-ha.  Jokes were tossed around about how they all needed to get some of those moccasin boots to keep up with me.

We returned to the vehicle at dusk with no deer, as these were western deer; you know...the kind that realizing man is the enemy, hide.  No way do you ever see one in the open for you to gaze at.  If you're lucky and have a keen eye, you might spot four legs under a tree in the brush...if you're lucky.  I was treated like one of the guys after that day, but I never ever went to Elko just wasn't my cup of tea, coffee, or beer.

Desiring no re-connection with the man gang in Elko or for that matter anywhere else on this earth or any other planet that might regrettably allow the assault of such hooah mentality, my next foray into God's country on a mission to kill a little bit of nature, was just a hop skip jump from my little slice of high rent, low expectations apartment style living.  The plan hubby concocted up was to regrettably be in the woods before daybreak, and wait for the grass munchers to just conveniently parade by daring us to shoot them...nah nah na na nah.  Yah, right.  Why would anyone want to bounce out of bed at 2 am, load up on coffee, and prepare to freeze their behind off with the prospect of, if successful, having to come up with thirty different methods of making that foul gamey carcass half palatable for the next six months on the dinner table?

Okay...hubby's planned a breakfast stop between loading up on coffee and freezing I really feel the urge to stuff my gut full of lardy bacon, greasy eggs, fake shredded hash browns, and tasteless white toast at 2:30 in the morning.  Hubby with extended gut and my little petite self ramble and roll 4-wheeling through the countryside to a small clearing in the middle of Freddy Kruger land.  A blanket of darkness smothers my vision, and whatever is really in front of me is only a crude guess.  Light is just beginning to reveal fog, fog, and more fog...woooooooooooeeeeee...I need to see if a metal clad face is lurking out there somewhere.  I need to not be on this embankment of rocks that hubby deposited me on and left to find his own embankment of rocks, hopefully the super sharp kind.  Love you, sweetie...but if you've already fallen out of love with me, just let me know; no need to figure out a way for me to be some wild things snack time.

I wait and wait and wait.  I have no idea where dummy is at.  I don't hear him anywhere.  I want to shout out, but no...deer scare easily.  So I wait and wait and wait.  I hear a dog, coyote, wolf howling...then two...then three...then the whole gang.  I'm trying to see through the fog with my x-ray vision, for the outline of that pack of howling coming my way...louder and louder and louder.  I'm beginning to seize up with a tad of fear.  I'm wondering if they will scatter if I shout out or if they will charge.  I'm beginning to calculate how many I can drop with my rifle before they overcome me and start munching.  I'm beginning to wonder where dipshit hubby is at, I don't hear him at all.  I loosen up my stiff joints a bit and breathe a slow low sigh of relief as the howling takes a turn and fades off into the distance.

Daylight is breaking and burning off that thick suffocating terrorizing cloak of foggy doom, and hubby approaches dismayed that no deer felt the urge to commit suicide that morning.  He never even heard the pack of howls...I'm wondering just how far he distanced himself from my location, beginning to realize I'm just a pawn in his game of hunting.  I'm not really liking where he's put me at in his priorities...rock bottom isn't a place I make my bed and lie.  Rock bottom...I'm bloody rock bottom...bloody bloody rock bottom.

Camping in the foothills among pines and spruces bordering an idyllic somewhat smallish tranquil lake, the quietness of it all was overpowering.  By camping, I mean laying the back seat of a GMC Jimmy down flat and tucking myself into a double sleeping bag with hubby of my rock bottom existence.  We listen to Mystery Theater on the radio before calling the evening quits and dozing off into never never land.  I don't remember a campfire, cooler of eats, behind a bush bathroom, all that roughing it stuff...I just remember the GMC Jimmy.  We 4-wheeled everywhere with it, no place was safe.

Up before daybreak came too soon, way too soon.  Hubby dumped dropped me off at the side of the dirt road surrounding that lake and my instructions were to hike through that pitch black void down to the water's edge, and wait for deer to start showing up to guzzle some refreshment near the dawnish hour.  Hubby would be on the other side, so we would have all bases covered...yah, right.  Rifle in hand, bundled up against the chill, I was hoping I wouldn't step into a hole or twist an ankle on a rock and do myself in.  I could see nothing with the new moon in the sky, except the faint outline of something, presumably the lake off in the distance.

Carefully and painfully slow I descended that hill of blackest nothing...but there was something out there...I could hear an occasional almost inaudible sighing on the breeze.  I stopped every few steps, quietly listened, and that hushed faint rustle of almost not being there was still eerily there, like the black all around me was breathing ever so slightly.  A ghostly premonition of heaviness was settling upon me that began to set the skin on my arms into goose bump mode.  After many hours, just kidding...after what seemed like many hours, I managed to make it to a boulder by the edge of that lake and settled in to wait for dawn and all those thirsty deer.

An owl gave a hoot off across the lake into the forest behind it, answered by another hoot from that forest to off across the lake.  HOOT hoot HOOT hoot HOOT hoot...they clearly had much to say and so little time before a burnt orange sun peaked over the treetops; and peak over the top of the trees it did a few minutes later and daylight was upon me.  No deer...NO DEER... NO NO NO DEER...egadzooks!zooks!zooks!...why am I not used to this by now?

I turn around to check out my sighing hill.  Damn!  It's all covered with sleepy eyed cows beginning to munch a few blades of grass.  COWS!  I walked through a friggin herd of cows last night!  I can't help but wonder what was going through their slightly dense noggins as they perked up an ear and silently listened, frozen in place with hushed breath, at that ever so softly descent of footsteps across their bedroom floor, and waited for the hushed faint rustle of almost not being there to fade away.

"Henry, did you get any sleep last night?"
"No Maude...some crazy woman
 made the mistake of listening to her #$&!%# hubby." 


  1. Ei yi yi. I think I'd have stayed home, stayed in bed, and complained all the while. You go girl! At least you can laugh now...?

  2. I think you have just described my own vision of hell. Actually if it had all been set in a cupboard it definitely would be.

    Cows are weird unless they are in McDonalds. FACT

  3. Sherry - I definitely can laugh now. While these hunting stories are just a small part of that relationship, they pretty well sum it up, and they're all the time I plan to spend talking about that mistake :)

    Glen - I think the only reason cows would be in McDonalds would be the promotion of filet-o-fish sandwich ;) Wouldn't it be neat if when we are feeling life sucks a bit too much, we are transported back in time to our own worse nightmare? An instant cure for bitching. Ok, maybe it wouldn't be so neat for some of us, lol.

  4. Wowee!What an ordeal. Glad you can look back and laugh...laughter gets us by. What we do for realtionships....

  5. That is why I don't go hunting.
    Why would he send you walking through a field of cows? Be thankful it was cows and not a bull. They can get mean when they want to.

  6. Glen's comment made me laugh! Geez, lady you put up with a lot. This may sound empty-headed of me, but I love cows.

  7. I must concur with Kristy, I love cows also. I went hunting just once, my experience did not last as long as yours, I was sent back to the tent, by myself.


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