Deer Hunting With Dad
Coming Of Age
“We’ll get our deer today”, Dad said. Even though I had no proof that this monumental feat, at least in my 12 year old eyes would happen, but I knew it to be true. Just the mere fact that the ol’ man said it, made it so.
Dad had picked me up in his yellow F-100 Ford pickup just after the dismissal bell had rung at the George Robertson School in Belfast where I attended seventh grade. And we were heading out to Monroe, Dad’s favorite hunting grounds. A short drive from school, Monroe was where he was born and raised and he knew the territory well. So we were heading up to the Robinson farm that had three lovely fields on top of a hill, surrounded by stonewalls and apple trees. And he had dragged out many a deer down from the hill.
I was new to this, the actual hunt. But not new to the results. I’d seen deer come home, lying in the bed of the F-100. Belly splayed open and tongue drooping out of the mouth, with it's white fur tinged with pink. I’d run my hands over the thick, coarse coat and over each point of the rack
(mostly Dad wanted a buck but if hunting season ran short...)
and look for the bullet hole, made by the .308, that brought down this magnificent beast. Shortly It would be hanging by its hind legs from the rafters of our small barn. On display for a short time, waiting for the trip to the Bi-Rite Market and Bryon the butcher.
And now, finally, it was my turn to actually join him in the hunt. And participate in the long awaited rite of passage that adolescent boys of that day dreamed of. I was on my way, bumping up the long gravel driveway to the farm with Dad, in the cab of that beat up pickup, enveloped in a cloud of Prince Albert pipe tobacco smoke.
It was heaven..