The way out here

A waiting game

By HUNTER HILL
Posted 12/8/21

Like thousands of other local hunters, I found myself watching the sunrise from a deerstand on opening day of rifle season. Like many of them, I spent the time surveying my surroundings, taking in …

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The way out here

A waiting game

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Like thousands of other local hunters, I found myself watching the sunrise from a deerstand on opening day of rifle season. Like many of them, I spent the time surveying my surroundings, taking in the quiet, and immersing myself in the peace that is disconnecting from the rest of the world for a spell. Almost.

As I sat waiting, anticipating the arrival of a buck, I had no choice but to intermittently check my cell phone. No, it wasn’t a compulsion, as you may be thinking. I was in fact waiting on something else entirely. I had to be sure that I had service while hunting this year, my ringer turned on and my attention always toward the news I might receive via my phone.

Yes, I was waiting; waiting on a buck, but also waiting for the call I might receive at any moment from my expecting wife.

As it turns out, I didn’t receive the call that morning that would have ended my time in the stand quite abruptly. It’s now been a few days since then and admittedly I am writing this column with haste just in case my yet-to-be-born son decides today is the day!

I can’t help but chuckle at my own name in situations like these. When I think of my name, “Hunter,” it makes me think of patience more than it does harvesting wild game.

To be sure, I’ve invested far more time waiting on my game than I have engaging it. And while my son is not my prey, it’s times like these that I’m thankful for having had the opportunities in hunting to develop my patience.

Much like my son, who has yet to arrive, (although he likely will have by the time this goes to print), I have yet to see a legal buck to harvest as well. Granted, I’ve not been able to spend much time in the woods since opening day, but sooner or later, an opportunity will present itself. After all, why not multitask? I might as well wait for a buck while I wait for the arrival of my son.

Lots of folks like to jest that you shouldn’t plan to be pregnant during deer season since it might cause you to lose out on precious hunting time. To be sure, my wife and I considered that; however, we both had more pertinent reasons to get pregnant when we did.

And for those who remain skeptical out of love for hunting, think about this. Every year after this, my son, who will likely grow up hunting, will be able to celebrate the outdoor passions of our family on his birthday. I know I look forward to celebrating hunting season with both my sons in the future. To add a degree of festivities to the mix is only icing on the cake.

Just like hunting season, birthdays are worth the wait.

And for you curmudgeons, groaning because you don’t like birthdays or because you’ve passed the age when they were actually anticipated, I suppose we will have to agree to disagree.

All of the best things are worth waiting for. My beautiful wife, I can’t remember a time before I knew her; my son, who strengthens both of our senses of patience; hunting season, which seems to wait all year to come, yet ends too soon; and many other blessings I can only begin to name. It’s all a waiting game. As I write and wait for my son, I also can’t wait until the next time I can go spend some time in the woods, hunting, trapping, and all the other things we enjoy out here.

The way out here, we live for the moments. Moments of joy like meeting my newborn child. Moments that define our lives, like when I married my wife. Moments of triumph and achievement, like pulling the trigger on a rack buck after hours and even days waiting for a chance to see him.

The way out here, patience is rewarded with the sweetest fruits of life. So as I close this week, I will leave you, my readers, with news to anticipate upon my next column, of a new member of the Hill family. For those details however, you will have to play the waiting game.

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