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Jack frost crunches underneath my boots
as I step out on the trail today
avoiding some tangled tripping roots.
Stars are dim, I'm on my way.

A light breeze comes from the north west
so I turn toward the hill top stand.
Cold beats burn within my chest.
Feet carry me through the predawn land.

Over the years this hill turned steeper.
Just ask old legs they'll tell you so.
I know it's not that the other reaper
has turned my stride to short and slow.

The sky turns slowly black to gray
just as I approach my morning post.
I ascend to begin the day.
I hope to see a deer at most.

The last star silently winks out
as I sit and settle myself in.
Dawn is quiet all about.
Until the birdsongs all begin.

Black pines shift from black to green
and great ground becomes forest duff
while detail which dark left unseen
are myriad when lit up enough.

To the west the half moon goes down
just as the sun winks toward the west
here a few miles out of town
in a mixed forest I like best.

A horned owl glides to day's retreat
leaving barking gray squirrels in his wake
then the sound of large wings beat
as turkeys drop near a cane break.

All around the world greets the sun rise.
Blue jays squawk and wild geese call.
Crows fuss at some hawk I surmise.
A nearby old limb decides to fall.

After awakening's symphony
the world turn quiet and chill retreats.
A contented sigh exits from me
as my old heart silently beats.

Then from the corner of my eye
a large gray form drifts through dense trees
beneath this clear December sky.
A buck steps then decides to freeze.

His nose goes up to sniff the air;
ears swivel to catch any sound.
He looks my way then off elsewhere
then eats a mushroom from the ground.

A step, his head's behind a tree
so he doesn't see my rifle rise.
Another step, his eyes are free.
An old, old deer I realize.

My crosshairs settle on his heart
as his head drops for another bite.
Through my scope I watch him stop and start.
Until the old stag walks from sight.

I could well have shot him today
but my freezer is full of winter meat.
I've known for years it's like they say.
The hunt, not the kill, is the real treat.

So I sit a bit more yet
soaking in this relished winter day.
Then as frost becomes dewy and wet
I descend and slowly walk away.

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


First, let me say that as per usual, you took me
with you on this hunt. [For which I am grateful
as I cannot hunt anymore].

Secondly, your skill in writing about these things
has not diminished a bit. I am still impressed
with your imagery. I just need to point out a couple of
tiny things.

1]. Fourth stanza: Your last line does not rhyme.

2]. Stanza eight : Third line - double [the]

3]. Jays do blow your cover - but I think you meant [blue]

4]. 12th Stanza : [then] off elsewhere...

Thanks for the hunt and the companionship. ~ Gee.

It seems that the days and hours that people
are available for chatroom are staggered and
not a good match for most everyone. How about
if everyone just shows up at the door, whenever
they have a few free minutes?

I am glad to have been able to take you along. And i appreciate your eagle eye on the typos and such. I realize that I'm nearing the end of my days afield too. Maybe in a few years I can read some of my stuff and smile remembering how I used to take things for granted

author comment

I have tried turkey hunting but was never any good at it so you are safe lol. Pleased you enjoyed this trip

author comment

I have not been able to get out there for two seasons now, due to family health issues.

Thanks for this very well written piece! I was in the stand with you there.

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I have never missed a season regardless of major surgeries, financial ups and downs and the dwindling number of companions who went with me. Should you ever get to S.C. during the autumn you are invited to hunt on a few acres I frequent now. Plenty of deer lol

author comment

All my gear is in storage... got two treestands, 6 bins of gear, the right stuff for gaining advantage. I wish it weren't so. Prior to the family heqlth emergency, i havn’t missed a season for many years. Venison is a staple we have become used to.

my wife’s condition has me stay close these days...

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she gets better and Not just so you can go hunting

author comment
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