A Pretty Good Day

For this post, I turn the pen over to Greg.

When I heard the loons, I knew it was going to be a good day. November tenth. Loons during deer season. I wasn't in my stand yet, though I was pretty certain that Paul was in his, as he had left five minutes before me. (Robert got a buck on opening morning, so he must figure that he can sleep in.) But I was working my way through the woods as quietly as possible, and I heard loons. Two of them.

Once seated, a pileated woodpecker flew just overhead and landed in a nearby birch. And laughed and laughed. At me? I'm not even sure he knew I was sharing the woods with him, but these clowns are good company. As long as you're in the mood for the company of a raucous clown. The clown left and it was quiet for a while.

The loons called a few more times before a flock of black-capped chickadees flitted in and I was where they wanted to be. So they flitted about me and my stand. One landed on my leg and another on my right shoulder. Whenever he turned, his tail would brush my ear. I felt honored that they should consider me their tree stump. And then they, too, were gone.
A shot rang out from right about where Paul should be. I waited and listened for any successive shots, but none came. One shot--meat, two shots--maybe meat, three shots--probably no meat. Of course, sometimes that one shot is a clean miss and there is no chance for a second one. But then, Paul has never used more than one shot to bring down a deer. These thoughts were passing through my head as I took a long, scenic, roundabout route to his stand. In part because it was such a beautiful morning, but also in hopes that he would have the thing dressed out by the time I got there. I found Paul standing at the edge of the treeline with a big grin on his face. "I need your tag, " he said.
"Did you gut him out?", I asked.
I pulled out my k nife, thinking, "I'm sure I've shown him this before." And also thinking, " Maybe I'm being taken." But then, it wasn't even 8:30 in the morning and already it had been a pretty good day.