A lot of people look forward to the end of deer season because it means that there will hopefully be venison in the freezer, another pile of good memories, and a few days where you don’t feel too guilty about sleeping in or enjoying the warmth of your living room on a frigid, wet day.
I look forward to the end of deer season because I know that’s when I will find that thing I needed during deer season.
This year, that thing happens to be a knife I bought in summer. This knife would have been just the ticket for field dressing and skinning a deer, since it was expertly designed for just that task. That’s why I bought it.
Ever since that day, I had been looking forward to giving this knife a try on the deer I hoped to harvest this year. I was hoping that would work so well that I might be able to retire my old hunting knife.
- Advertisement -
But, of course, when this year’s buck was down and in need of field dressing, and later skinning, that knife was nowhere to be found. That’s probably because I put it in a place where I would not forget it.
What I failed to remember is that I am 60. And when you are 60, there is no such place.
The good news is, I will almost certainly find that knife this weekend. You see, that’s when I plan to put away all my deer-hunting gear until next deer season. And, if more than 40 years of deer hunting has taught me anything, it is that this is the time when you stumble upon the thing you were looking for all deer season.
It will probably be in the pocket of a jacket I wore all season. Or it might be at the bottom of the storage bin I keep my deer hunting clothes in. It might also be on the desk I am now sitting at, less than an arm’s length away, buried under a stack of papers. But mark my words, by the time I finish putting all my deer hunting stuff away, that new knife will be on top of that pile – ready for me to lose it again next year.
As any outdoorsman or woman can confirm, there is a “that thing I needed” for every season. For me, during last trout season, it was that one box filled with my never-fail, favourite flies. During the turkey season, it was my turkey call chalk. During bass season it was my fly box full of bomber flies. And, as you would expect, the minute each of those seasons ended, I found each “thing that I needed.”
This year, I am still missing my favourite duck hunting face mask. And I can’t yet find my best upland hunting vest. But don’t worry, as soon as both seasons end, I’ll find each of them. They will probably be sitting in plain sight.
In other years, “that thing I needed” has been a compass, a handheld GPS unit (you’d think these things wouldn’t get lost) or a certain shotgun choke, a sweater, and gloves. Interestingly, I never lose anything that is camouflaged.
This is not a complaint, so much as a bit of friendly advice to all the new outdoorswomen and men out there. Don’t worry. You’re sure to find the find you needed most. Exactly when you need it least.