Personal Narrative: My Groundhog Day

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Gone Pray'n

It's par for the course for me. I spend late winter through the hot Texas summer anticipating the next deer hunting season. Very shortly after it, I put away my rifle and bow and my thoughts turn to off-season chores - activities such as building and repairing blinds and cutting shooting lanes. You know, things most people would dread and I curiously consider fun.

When the season finally rolls back around, I find myself once again like a kid at Christmas. This is my Groundhog Day. I've been simply eaten up with deer hunting since the first time my dad took me around the age of 8. Why do I like it so much? There are many reasons - the adrenaline rush, tasty venison, bonding with friends and family to name a few. Yes, I've always enjoyed harvesting deer, especially bucks. Back in my early days of hunting, shooting a racked buck of any kind was a huge deal. Heck, seeing a racked buck was a magical occurrence. In later years, having taken down many whitetails, a transformation occurred. I became fascinated and enamored with the whole experience of hunting sometimes as much or more that an actual kill. Well, maybe not the first few minutes after my 4:30 a.m. alarm goes off. But I digress...

Each morning hunt, after finally settling into my blind or tree stand, I find myself sitting in
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My thoughts often return to reflections on life. God's creation is everywhere. If the beautiful sunrise and landscape aren't awesome enough, the actual behavior of the animals themselves put the experience over the top. If the timing is right, I'm sometimes blessed by witnessing obsessed bucks chasing their female counterparts as part of their timeless and amorous fall breeding ritual. My awe and acknowledgment of God's grand handiwork has been reinforced. Of course the prospect of a mature shooter buck remains part of the equation. I cannot