We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
On Nov. 1 this year, we had our first hard frost in Northeast Ohio and I was sitting in one of the stands on our farm. As the sun became visible over the small ridge about 30 yards to my east, I was blinded by the sun and its golden reflection off the countless ice crystals lining the surrounding vegetation. A few minutes later, squinting against the sun, I heard a grunt from the east and saw a simultaneous explosion of moist breath, rendered huge and golden by the sun. It was breathtaking. The commotion turned out to be two large bucks...the wider walked down the trail away from my stand and the thornier (an 11 point) came my way, ripping up the vegetation in a display of primitive ferocity. I'll remember until the day I die. I arrowed him shortly thereafter and we enjoyed one of his rib roasts for Thanksgiving.
While on stand, I've probably seen every creature native to the area. I've had countless birds, including a screech owl, land on me while hunting, and played games with several raccoons unfortunate enough to spend the night in a tree I'd chosen to use.
Wasted time in a deer stand? Only for those for whom shooting a deer is the end-all and be-all.
A neighbor of mine went a dozen years deer hunting without bringing home a deer. His wife told him he ought to just admit he was nature watching instead. 'Well, yeah, and I didn't have to drag a carcass at the end of the day either', was his reply.
I've spent a lot of time doing this lately. I got started deer hunting because my son, who was 14 at the time could think of nothing else. The next year he quit playing sports because they interfered with hunting in general, and deer season in particular. It must be genetic because I did very little hunting growing up but my father in law who lives 3 hours away was an avid hunter and fisherman. I'm not very good at it because I was not blessed with the patience it requires, but I have seen countless birds I never would have seen, turkeys I didn't know were on our place and several deer that I passed on. My son is 17 now, got his first trophy buck this fall and sits on his own but I still go to make sure he is not out there by himself and he still finds me useful, a rarity for a boy his age. Every time I get bored I remind myself of the people who would be thrilled just to have a place to sit and watch nature unfold right underneath them.
A year or two back my buddy and I got out of the stands late morning and walked off to push a piece of land. We knew we were driving a moose as we worked our way out to hunt into the wind, we just hadn't seen it yet. We were walking along a swamp edge where the moose had disappeared. Sitting down on two logs for a break, out she comes not 60 yards from us. This cow walks right past us...I could have leaned forward and touched her with the barrel of my muzzle loader! We just weren't hunting moose is the problem. But it was something.
As for waiting on the Lord...yeah, it's a lot like getting out there. You know, a man's mind plans his steps, but the Lord directs his path. What you expect is one thin, but what you see...well, you just have to get out there.