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**DONOTDELETE**
11-23-2000, 09:09
It's an overcast Sunday. Vickie and I are loading our camping equipment & provisions for a week of deer hunting in the National Forest of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Our camp is made and we've gathered enough firewood for the night from the deadfall in the woods. As dusk desends the sky begins to clear as the temperature falls. It will be way below freezing tonight.

We have brought along two bourbons. Vickie's new favorite - Buffalo Trace, and a new variation of an old standard - Wild Turkey's Russell's Reserve.
Vickie lights the fire and tends to supper as I pour the drinks and get the pipe ready. Night has fallen and darkness envelops out little campsite. The flames from our fire flicker and dance in the chill of the night air. The stars shine bright on this moonless night. Tonight time stands still. As from the dawn of mankind it is time for the hunter's ritual to begin.

A pipe of the finest Virginia flu cured gold tobacco is lighted and the smoke wafts heavenward. The smoke is of a binding nature between man and God. It is offered to the four points of the compass - to the four winds. It is offered to earth - the mother of us all. Lastly it is offered to the great spirit - to the very stars themselves. We pray for a good and bountiful hunt. That it may feed us and sustain us through the harshness of the winter months ahead.

Next the bourbons are consumed in the joy of life. The steaks are cooked over the open fire and eaten with emthusiasm along with potatos & snaps (that's green beans to you yanks) with bacon. Life is good.

Now the dancing begins. Kevin Costner was known as "Dancing with Wolves" in the film of the same name. Here in the Blue Ridge I am known by my ancient Seminole name - "Ya-Ya-Hey-Ho-Ha" - or "Dancing in Long Johns".

We retire to our tent. With the pre-dawn hours the hunt begins.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

**DONOTDELETE**
11-24-2000, 10:59
I was just about to doze off when I heard that familar trot. A buck had come into camp and snorted as he pawed the ground with his hoof. "Humans in *MY* kingdom?!" He snorted and this time stamped the ground taunting me. I opened the tent fly and poked out my head. "Eat Me! Eat Me!" he laughed. I shook my fist at him and said "Don't press your luck buck!" He knew hunting season didn't begin untill tommorrow morning. With a flip of his rack and a flick of his flag he cantored off into the night chorteling to himself in the smugly arrogant way of the supremely self-assured.

I awoke in the pre-dawn hour. Holy mother of Robert E. Lee but it was cold!
Looking up I saw that the interior of the tent glistened with ice crystals. My mustash and beard were covered in frost. I steped outside and the ground was covered with a heavy frost. Our dome tent was covered in frost and looked every bit like an igloo. I started a fire. Our five gallon water jug was frozen. I had put a two liter bottle of water inside the tent last night. I found that it was slushy. I poured the slush into the stainless steel coffee pot. Hot coffee would be awhile in arriving. I dressed for the hunt in eager anticipation.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

**DONOTDELETE**
11-24-2000, 13:17
While some hunters like to go in (to the woods) on a flashlight I prefer to walk in during a kind of dusk that exisists just before dawn. The flashlights alert the deer to vacate the area. There is also much stumbling and bumbling about. Far too much noise. I prefer to sneeky-pooh through the woods in as much as that is possible. The leaves are dry and crunchy. Underneath the leaves are acorns that pop when stepped upon. Watch out for those small tree limbs and twigs. In the quiet of the morning woods they crack like a 22 going off.

I am hunting in a very thick area of regrowth oaks and mountain laural. This area was timbered about twenty years or so ago. Deer love this kind cover. This is shotgun territory. The furthest you can see might be as much as fifty yards. Perfect for double ought buckshot. It is also very easy to miss a deer. You've got to be good.

There are some does hunkered down in a very thick area of small pines and mountain laural right behind me. Every once and a while I can hear them in there. I'm not worried about them. They'll stay there all day and then come out to feed at night. It's bucks only the first week. I'm looking for a buck that's heading up to hide.

Dawn breaks. My toes are sending a message to my brain. "Hey you! I'm cold down here!" The brain responds "Shut up you wimps! Can't you see we're hunting here?" The sun continues to rise but the temerature is stubborn and remains below freezing. It's the toes again. "Hello we're freezing down here! Do Something!" "Shut up!" snaps the brain in sharp retort. "A buck could show up at any moment and we've got to be ready!" The toes start screaming "use us or loose us!" They're right, of course, as the temps are low enough for frostbite. We walk quietly back to camp.

Vickie is there to greet us with a hot cup of coffee. She whips up a nice hot breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon. We'll try again this afternoon.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

**DONOTDELETE**
11-24-2000, 14:38
The sun sets behind the mountain and dusk ensues. The does come out to feed. No matter how intently you may watch you will never actually see them arrive. They move through the forest silently. Their noses to the ground. They are eating the deer's most favorite food - the white oak acorn. In the dwindling twilight they appear as if by magic. One second nothing. The next - there they are! These are the most mystical moments in a hunter's life.

The does continue to approach. The lead doe is ever mindful. Looking; sniffing every breeze for danger,her ears swivel about as if they are radar. Soon they are almost close enough to touch. It is at this moment that you know absolutly that whether by spear; bow & arrow, or firearm you can feed your family and ensure their survival. You are hunter.

The lead doe sounds the alarm. Whitetails bound in all directions save yours.They are gone just as quickly as they arrived.

It is in these fleeting mystical moments that I am exactly as God created me - an intergral part of nature - not seperate from. More than any Doxology; Communion, Baptisim, or scripture - this is how I know my God and how he knows me. I am hunter. Brave; pure, and proud.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

Ken Weber
12-14-2000, 09:25
I just saw your deer hunt - well? Did you come home with an animal, other than the Buffalo Trace?
Ken

**DONOTDELETE**
12-14-2000, 11:46
Knowing Linn, he probably did not come home with any remaining Buffalo Trace... and it was Vickie who came home with an animal (the same one she left with)

:-))

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

**DONOTDELETE**
12-14-2000, 14:59
Yes. It took me an entire week of stalking, but I did kill a nice six pointer. We also killed the Buffalo Trace & the Russell's Reserve.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.