Entry Twenty-six: Sitting in the Stand

[A story in many parts: Part Nine]

I was picked up around 8:00 p.m. and, after gathering everyone else, we made it back to the lodge at 9:00. Part of the "end of hunt" tradition is for everyone to wait outside the lodge and greet the other hunters as they roll back into camp, hoping someone had some luck. If you had already killed something, you wanted to see if anyone bagged anything bigger. If you didn't kill anything, you wanted to enjoy a vicarious kill. "How'd ya' do?" was the consensus greeting. Lee was the only person who shot a deer on day one. Of course he sat in his stand all day, never coming in for lunch. I believe I heard that is referred to as "hunting hard." His persistence paid off, although he was so stiff he had trouble walking. I had a lot to learn.

We ate a late dinner and the cook lady came and went like vapor. It was either a vapor or the smoke from her cigarette. The biggest news of the evening was that everyone got a shower. I had noticed that the bathing facilities had remained relatively quiet and I didn't know if I was being treated to another hunting trip "tradition." I was a tad bit concerned about the ramifications of that one, but my fears disappeared with the first sound of the showerhead being engaged. Everyone else was clean and asleep in their beds by 11:00 p.m. I sat up, watching a few shows on The Sundance Film Channel and the Independent Film Channel. I would have asked someone to sit up with me but I'm not sure anyone else on the trip was interested in watching a short, symbolically charged Indian film about a boy and his duck. With subtitles.

All words and images ©2005/J. Colle

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