That Time of Year Around Here

That Time of Year Around Here

If you live here – whether by birth or transplant – you are well aware of the significance of this week. It’s Deer Season. Yeah, I know better than to capitalize those two words in the predicate of a sentence, but around here it is a genuine holiday, so capitalize them I will. As a transplant to Ripley County from St. Louis during my adolescence, it meant nothing more than a vacation from school. It was perplexing why the board would schedule a break at such a strange time since November weather is not normally conducive to fun in the great outdoors – cold, damp, dreary. Camo wear prevailed and for some bizarre reason we had traffic!

Back to the area after college to settle in with a new husband and a new career in education, it still meant little more to me than a vacation from school. The perplexity was compounded by the focus of ALL the conversations in the teachers’ lounge about rut, scrapes and rubs. I don’t like being in the dark about stuff, so, yep, I asked. From context I could pretty much figure out scrape and rub, but rut had me baffled.

“What are you talking about when you say rut?”

The noisy banter ceased abruptly. In my recollection, it seemed all the heads swiveled toward me in slow motion unison, with identical peculiar looks of astonishment plastered on each one. Uh-oh. I give a friendly nod to one Mr. Wayne Rush – new to education as well, but definitely the prevailing expert on all things hunting – related in that break room. He probably cut his teeth on ammo and took his first baby steps up the rungs of a deer stand.

I asked. He answered. Rush does not mince words. The noisy banter resumed. I wanted to melt like that witch in the Wizard of Oz.

During my 8 years on a farm I learned to shoot a deer rifle, hit my targets, recognize those rubs and scrapes, climb a deer stand, and prepare fresh deer meat for table and freezer. I have camo in my closet to wear this time of year, along with stunning fluorescent orange accessories. I have game cams and feel the vibes as deer camps are readied. I have followed a seasoned hunter for miles and miles way before time and understand the reasons. I appreciate the perfect hunting weather – cold, damp, quiet. Sun okay but not necessary.

My deer stand became a reading retreat, and my popular deer cuisine required a crock pot and French influence. Couldn’t pull the trigger. Can take this gal out of the city, but, well, you know the rest. In celebration of this week, here is a Dorsimbra poem. Hope you got your deer early in the week and are enjoying camaraderie around the campfire till routines resume.

The season preferred is now upon us.
Shopping? No! Stalking with ammo and gun,
Wearing camo and orange and scent of musk,
The hunter keeps hunted on endless run.

Camps and fires
Splatter the woods
With fluorescent glows
And bragging rights.

Some households will eat venison for months.
Others will mourn freezers that are empty.
But all will dread when the time is at end.
The season preferred is now upon us.

About Teresa Pearson Lee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. You might still find me at the reservation desk when spring rolls around. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO near The Hill. Though a transplant to Southeast Missouri, still a city gal at the core with a deep love of the natural resources in these Ozark foothills. Currently I am a content coordinator for Poplar Bluff Living Magazine and a columnist/stringer for the local weekly The Prospect News. My rescue Siamese helps with most of the proofreading; he has a great ear. I relish the solitude easily had in the Mark Twain Forest but thoroughly enjoy lively outings for music, wine, conversation close to home or in my beloved hometown. Technology is my greatest challenge but so worth the shared connections. There may be a need for solitude but there is little loneliness. The material in this blog written by Teresa Lee is her property and cannot be used without express written consent to do so.
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