Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Sneak (05/12/16)
- TITLE: In Pursuit
By Cindy Duncan
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The alarm woke me before daybreak, and I’m not a fan of that. My daughter, Paige, who normally shares my distaste for early rising, sat up in bed and smiled. “It’s time,” she said, as she began pulling on her first layer of clothing. It was a dark green color, but the following layers were camouflage, accented with hot pink. “Isn’t this jacket cute?” she asked, as I tried to imagine my husband modeling his hunting apparel in the same manner.
I began suiting up for the day as well, in my bulky insulated coveralls bought for me on the only other occasion I had agreed to go hunting. They were camouflage, but with none of the cute pink accents.
“You used the scent-free body wash, right Mom? Oh, and no hair spray,” she reminded me, as she braided her long brown hair. “Deer can smell that stuff a mile away.”
“How about deodorant? Because if I don’t use that, they’ll smell me a mile away.”
“I guess you can use the deodorant then, but don’t overdo it, okay? And next time, bring unscented.”
Climbing into the truck, I thought of the McDonald’s restaurant we would pass on our way to the hunting property. Knowing Paige almost requires a biscuit every morning at home, I just assumed we would get one today. I was wrong. “Mom, we can’t go to McDonald’s. The scent molecules are everywhere. They’ll cling to us, and we can’t get rid of them.”
“Not even the drive-thru?” I innocently asked.
“No. The molecules will come in the window, and my whole truck will smell like a McDonald’s biscuit. Here, have some crackers.” She tossed me a pack of those orange colored peanut butter crackers, and breakfast was served.
When we pulled up to the hunting field, I was given instructions on how to shut the truck door. “When you get out, don’t slam the door. Gently close it, and then push it quietly. We don’t want the deer to hear us.”
After I successfully passed the door-shutting lesson, we began the long trek to the stand we were hunting in. I grabbed my flashlight from my pocket, and Paige shook her head. “No lights, Mom. Just follow me.”
As we crossed the recently cut cornfield in the dark, the dried up stalks crunched under our feet. Occasionally, Paige had to stop and wait for me to catch up, for her eagerness and her stamina far outweighed mine.
The climb up the tree was challenging in my coveralls and boots, but I made it. “He usually comes out of the woods on that trail behind us,” Paige whispered as we sat in a tree stand fifteen feet above the ground.
“Who?” I asked, not liking the way that sounded.
“Big Boy. I’ve been tracking his pattern for months. They planted corn in the field this year instead of cotton, and that’s good. He likes corn.”
We sat in silence as the sky was transformed from black to orange to blue before our eyes. A doe walked out across the field from us, and two small bucks made an appearance as well. But Big Boy stayed hidden from us, which was good for him.
On the ride back to the motel, Paige analyzed the hunt. “The wind wasn’t quite right to be hunting in that stand today. I think he smelled us. But that’s okay; he’s not in rut quite yet. He’ll mess up when he starts thinking about the does more than the danger. We might even set up the doe decoy for the evening hunt. That might lure him out.”
“You don’t just go out there and wait for them to come by, do you?” I asked. “There’s more planning and calculating involved in this than I thought. You know who you remind me of?”
“A champion bow hunter?”
“Umm, thanks Mom.”
“I’m not saying you’re evil, or that hunting is wrong, and I know your favorite verse is Genesis 27:3, but your cunningness and persistence is what reminds me of Satan. I could see him plotting and planning against us, like you’re doing with Big Boy. He knows our every weakness, and he’s even been known to sneak in a “decoy” to deceive us with. Yep, I’d say the comparison is pretty accurate.
“So you’re saying Big Boy better be sober and vigilant?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying.”
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