The Essence of Life

The Essence of Life

Sunday, October 2, 2011

An Unfinished Morning



Yesterday night we had an open star spangled sky and the wind died out and that brought out the prospect of the first frosty morning of this fall.

Cold, windless morning make deer move, so I set the alarm clock for 5:30 AM in order to arrive at Kay Alderman’s property in Bangor, MI, before first light for the first time this year.

I’ve been hunting at Kay’s for several years, and the 38 acres always bring a new surprise to me, and I could go on telling about all the nice morning when I watched the sun come up and melt the frost from the leaves, and the woods come alive as the light grew brighter.

The first surprise this morning was to see corn planted in her fields, in place of last year’s soybeans. Corn is great for deer, makes them taste good, but this early in the season it hides deer and makes moving quietly around all but impossible. It also made my tree stand a less than ideal site.

So I brought along a folding share and set it under a pine tree in a small clearing on what I call the “great north woods”. It is just steps from an old apple tree and there is a nice deer run across the clearing. I had very little cover in front, but the old pine disguised my silhouette.

As the sun rose it began to melt the frost from the leaves and water started dripping over the woods, and that noise combined with birds chirping and flying created the atmosphere that makes fall mornings in Michigan unique.

At around 9:00 I noticed movement in the woods across the clearing. A nice four pointer was gliding noiselessly among the trees, and he took to the deer run and headed towards me. It happened so swiftly that I did not have time to draw my bow before the deer was less than fifteen feet from me and staring deep in my eyes. He was a most beautiful animal.

As I raised my bow the buck snorted, jumped in the air and back trailed through the woods, flashing his white tail and proclaiming his outrage from my presence in his woods.

Rather than feeling distressed, I felt privileged from sharing the first frosty morning with such a handsome buck. There will be many more cold mornings this year, as well as afternoons when I will be able to watch the woods go to sleep.

Maybe that buck and I will have an appointment in the “big north woods”.

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