Hank, who has always been more sensible than I, doesn't suffer from such a problem.
At first I had delayed publishing that post because I'd been writing a lot and wanted to space out my posts a bit more. Then something happened: I stopped hunting.
I don't mean stopped stopped, like I'm going vegan or something. I just found myself too busy, too tired, or both. Suddenly that post seemed ridiculous.
It's just been a really difficult semester at school for some reason (well, a lot of reasons, actually), and I feel like I've been hanging on by my fingernails. When it came time to meet Hank in Minnesota a few weeks ago to hunt ruffed grouse, my head was so out of it that the only thing I didn't do last minute was buy a new gun case for the flight. (Great case, by the way - SKB.)
Last weekend was the duck opener here and I waited until the last possible minute to prepare for that too, so I was brushing cobwebs off my gear literally late Friday night.
The story of that hunt is my next column for Shotgun Life, but here's the telling detail I didn't put in that column: After hunting ducks all morning and quail all afternoon with my friends Charlie and Monique, we all went our separate ways. Charlie, as always, kept hunting and immediately started texting me about the birds he was seeing at the spot we hunted that morning.
I should turn around.
I could do it - I don't have to get up early tomorrow.
No. You need rest.
I still have plenty of daylight.
I slowed down a bit.
I could be back at that spot in 10 minutes and hunt with Charlie until sundown...
... but I'm so tired.
I kept going, feeling less of a hunter.
Do they make Viagra to revive your flagging lust for hunting? Because I obviously need it.
Of course, this weekend is going to be different, but only because I have no choice.
Deer hunting in my zone closes at the end of the day Sunday, and I can't live with myself not even trying to get a deer this year. Besides, I can see the bottom of our freezer, and it's freaking me out.
So I'm hitting my friends' property - the scene of my one and only deer kill - Friday afternoon, and again Saturday morning if I don't get lucky on the first try.
The place is filthy with legal bucks. The only question is will I see one, will it be in range, will I have a safe backdrop (yeah, it's the place with marble statues), and can I make the shot. OK, four questions.
Then Sunday is going to be the Big Duck Opener.
My favorite place in the world to hunt - the Delevan National Wildlife Refuge - has been closed for the first week of season because the rice harvest is late this year, and the farmers need as many ducks as possible to stay on Delevan and other Sacramento Valley refuges, rather than feast on their crops.
Saturday is the first hunt day at refuges in that area this year, and on Sunday, my friend Kevin has a reservation. It's opening weekend in the Promised Land. If I can't haul my butt out of bed at 2 a.m. for that, I might as well go vegan. Seriously.
What if I get a deer on Saturday? Hank doesn't get home from his Hunt, Gather, Cook Culinary Mayhem Tour until next week - I'm going to have to do all that processing by myself, and then get up stupid early on Sunday...
OMG, I'll be so zonked at work on Monday...
But, hey, it'll be Halloween. Who cares if there's one more zombie on campus?
I think I'm feeling better already.
© Holly A. Heyser 2011
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