We run a picture of a dead buck on our front page on Monday.

It’s our nod to the start of deer hunting season.

At home he’s cleaning the rifle that he hasn’t used since last November, and I’m pulling out the last couple pounds of venison from the doe he brought home then.

Hunting becomes a topic of casual conversation. Is your husband out today? She asks me, because hers is, hoping for a buck on this bright, sunny day but mine is waiting for Saturday.

Hunting stories gather, memories rise to the surface. Two years ago I covered a hunter’s breakfast early on the first day of the season and my high-heeled boots marked me as someone who did not belong.

It was hard to get anyone to speak to me. They were guarded with what they did say.

That year was bitter cold and the deer weren’t moving, he froze all day and came home empty.

Last year was crisp and bright and the doe he shot was fat from a gentle fall. We spent hours cutting silver skin from meat and the cuts we froze were unrecognizable chunks because we didn’t know what we were doing.

I haven’t made anything with it yet that turned out bad. He has a diagram for this year.

And now again you’ll see pictures of hunters with their game in our sports pages and antlers rising out of pick-up truck beds around town and if you live near the gamelands, you’ll hear the sharp reports of rifles echoing of the hills.

And you’ll know November has drawn to a close.


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