It was that wonderful time of the year again. Thanksgiving passed by with a flash, snow started to fall, and camp was where the party stayed. The absolutely frigid temperature stood out this Monday, but hell, it wasn't dubbed "Snow-vember" for nothing.
The sun was still down, but the moon was nearing the horizon as well. 4:30 am was a little early for me to get up, but I could never miss out on the first day of rifle hunting season in the state. My father and I got in our hunting gear, orange vest, orange hat, camouflage clothing under that, and got into his truck to head out for the forest.
When we reached the thick forest, we grabbed our guns. This year he allowed me to carry my own gun. I've spent so many years with him hunting. Him helping me aim since I got my hunting permit from the safety course three years ago got a little strung out. The rifle was a beautiful, wooden and metal gun. The fast-focus eyepiece of the scope ranged 8-12 times zoom, which was always good.
The hike wasn't that long, but spanned about ten minutes. It was now around 4:50, and the sun was just hitting the horizon as we found the perfect trees to sit up against. It's really funny, the fact I was doing this. My mother always raised me never to kill another animal, unless we needed the food very badly. Hunting first day became a bit of a tradition, at this point, though.
The waiting was uncanny, or so it seemed to be. About forty minutes before we finally caught sight of something moving. The relaxing was never my favorite part of hunting, but I'm pretty sure it was my father's main reason to hunt in the first place. My father pointed out the movement, and we met eyes. I raised my rifle to my shoulder and used the scope to identify my target. I switched the safety off, and put my finger on the trigger.
After a small pull, the smell of gun powder filled the space in front of me, as the rifle forced me back with a kick. The loud echo of the gun shot throughout the forest, but I seemed to have hit the target. Of course, we then had to walk up to the body and drag it back to the truck.
We did some field dressing inside the woods before we carried it. Opened it's stomach, took out the organs, made sure not to hit the bladder, the basics. After the organs came out, we tied the back legs with rope and dragged the body all the way back through the ten-minute walk.
When we got to the truck, I was ecstatic. This was my second animal since I started, and the last one gave us good meat and produce for a week. The jerky, the steaks, the seared meat, we even mounted the skull on a plaque in the living room.
As we put the animal into the bed of the truck, my father reached over and took something off his shoulder that he took from the catch of the first day.
"Here bud, you did good today. Just a little something from the kill to remember it. Most people make lamps, or rugs or something like that." He said as he handed the object to me.
"Awesome! This is perfect!" I exclaimed with joy as I raised it to my eyes.
A new orange vest, this one with a smaller bullet hole in it.
Written by ShawnCognitionCP