We were at my dad’s at the beginning of October for family pictures. Trust me when I say the farm is one of the most spectacular places to be in the fall. The leaves in the maple bush are full of golds, reds and oranges. It is absolutely breathtaking to take that final corner and see the view before you.
As we were finishing up with five very hungry, irritated children, another truck pulled in the driveway. Given that we were all there, we asked dad who it was and he reminded us that bow hunting season starts October 1.
Now, here’s the thing. Dad has never been a crack shot. He has other methods of removing vermin from the barn and house so hunting has never been an interest of his. However the fact of the matter is that for the sake of the crops and the health of the various animal populations, hunting is necessary. This is my belief and while I don’t particularly care for hunting, I see the logic and value in it. I realize that not everyone holds the same opinion. All the hunters permitted on the property respect the boundaries set out by my somewhat eccentric father.
One rule being “Do not complain about the loud children playing outside. This space is theirs more than yours”. We had a few hunters who tested that particular boundary. They didn’t come back the next year.
And they never kill for the sake of killing. All meat is butchered and used to feed their families. Often, as a thank you, the hunters would stop by and drop off a few pounds of whatever for our family as well.
Deer meat, in particular, is quite similar to beef. Leaner, but similar.
Deer hunting season is basically a holiday in and around our county. For two weeks (I think….it might be three), every person (though predominately male) who wishes to hunt and has the proper licenses puts on a ridiculous amount of bright orange, gathers up their buddies and heads for the hunting spot of choice. Every few evenings, my dad would take us for a tour of the various farms and garages where the hunting parties would meet to see what they had managed to get that day.
I saw a lot of meat hanging. Say it with me now: Ew.
Now here’s where it gets weird. And no, it wasn’t weird before this.
For two (or three) weeks every October, we were sent to the end of the laneway, as per usual to wait for the school bus. However rather than our typical ensemble, we wore bright colours. Very. Bright. Colours. to be sure that we didn’t get confused with deer.
I’m going to pause here to let that sink in.
….soft elevator music playing…
Do you know how many similarities children have with deer? Other than the fact that both move, I’ve got nothing.
And I still cant look at the colour orange without thinking it’s October.