Monday, November 20, 2017

THE PARABLE OF THE PREMATURE RELEASE

    It's not the one you are thinking of. It's not the one about Louis CK luring female comics back into his room to try on new material...naked with a hardon. Nor is it the one about church elder Rob Kennedy. I'm paraphrasing : "So the wife and are are having a little matinee and I'm about to get down to business when i feel this "pop" in my boxers....." Wait, Kennedy wears boxers? "I look down and ....." I told you it's not about that. You'll have to ask him for the story. It's a doozy! No. In fact this is an actual hunting story. A tale of life and death, hope, heartache and failure.....yes surprise......failure.
     On September 26th I had my left eye sliced open in the shape of a pie. Then the Dr. peeled back the whatever and poked a hole into something or other in order for who knows what to work properly. I trust he knows what he's doing and put my sight in his hands. Almost two months into the process, my healing has been sufficient and a normalcy is returning, but not 100%. So when I was finally given the green light to bow hunt again I wanted to make sure everything was working properly. I shot a few practice arrows and I was on. During the rut I let a few smaller bucks pass and never had the bow string back. On the last day of the season that all changed.
   The thing with bow hunting that is so challenging is trying to remember all the little things you have to do in order to kill a deer with an arrow. And make no mistake this is not some gut strung, traditional long bow. I shoot a sighted compound bow...state of the art. But even with all these modern advantages the task is not an easy one. Over the years I've wounded, missed and killed plenty of deer. And you want to think that you learn from your mistakes. Next time I won't do that. Or next time I have to remember to do that. This is what brings me to the release.
    We had gotten into the stand about one thirty in the afternoon, my nephew Waders and myself. I set him in Milawyer's stand and I went further into the wood's to Savage's spot. I'd only hunted it one morning and had seen nothing. I had low expectations and would have been happy to see a few does. By 2:30 I was settlled back and absentmindedly scanning the woods, when I heard a rustle in the leaves. I looked up and saw a deer coming towards me about 50 yards out. It was a "slob," "a brute," "a hog....stud.......monster, slammer, BIGGEST BUCK I'D EVEN SEEN!" So I calmly turned to my left, lifted my bow from the hook, smoothly stood up, He kept coming and never saw me. At 20 yards he went behind a hemlock tree and I drew the bow string back....settling the top pin on his vitals. He stepped out from behind the tree and I remembered something I usually forget. I remembered to level the shot. There's a little bubble (just like a carpenter's level) on the bow sight, it makes for a more accurate shot. So with that massive buck not fifteen yards from me, seconds from a swift death, I looked at that bubble and with my good eye could not for the life of me see it.
   And here's the parable part of the tale. I had my finger just floating above the trigger of the release. I was so ready to kill that buck.......that beautiful, magnificent, creature. But in that split second before settling that pin and pulling the trigger I hesitated. And when I doubted my instincts and my sight failed me, I twisted the bow (ever so slightly) in order to find the bubble and before I knew what had happened the arrow had released........ it was gone. I would never be able to call it back. Instead of a satisfying "thump" I heard sickening the "swish." I had hit dirt. The buck spun  and was gone. I was sick. I'm a hunter. I had failed.....miserably.  So for the vegans and PETA kids in the bleachers this ones's for you. And this is the thing. That experience was rough for me. It brought up so much other stuff... fears....inadequacies.....and at the same time I did take the time to level the bow....even though I couldn't. I learned that at that distance that was overthinking.  And out of that, that buck lives. And now deer season has begun. The next time I pull the trigger may or may not be on that buck, but for now he's all that's in my head.  
   
   

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