Meridian Star

January 24, 2014

Our favorite hunting pals

The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — By Otha Barham

Many times on the Meridian Star's outdoors page, we feature a story about a person. This week the story is about several persons, actually many persons. Many readers will find themselves referred to in this story. We sometimes pay tribute to featured individuals who deserve recognition or at least compliments. Here are some tributes

Thanks and accolades to you, the deer hunter, who took a youngster along on a hunt this season. You know who you are. You hunted the comfortable shoot house that day instead of going to the ladder stand far down in the muddy swamp where you knew the big buck had made fresh scrapes. There was more room in the little wooden shack on the green patch for the two of you. You didn't stay so long that boredom set in for the youth and it was okay with you when tired eyes needed to doze.

When the enthusiasm of youth resulted in a little too much noise, you calmly explained the need to be quiet instead of becoming upset and critical. You answered whispered questions about the woods and animals and hunting and many other things with patience and wisdom. The valued time together in the stand was spent whispering about gun safety and responsibility and game conservation in terms the future hunter could understand. And when you shot the deer, you took time to explain man's role as one of thousands of  predator species in a Creation of divine origin that has worked for millions of years.

And thanks to you, the one who stayed late at the deer camp and helped the older hunter skin a deer. And to you for listening patiently around the wood heater to that story you have heard dozens of times. You know the teller well. He is the guy who needs to tell it again and have people listen and laugh. It's boring as dishwater, yes, but he enjoys it so much and it didn't cost anything for you to laugh with him. You even felt better after hearing it yet another time.

Here's a special thanks to you, the hunter who put up the wood duck boxes down along the creek. We will enjoy seeing more of the most beautiful of ducks. And lets hear it for all of you who contributed game meat to the programs that feed the needy or who shared meat with neighbors and shut ins. And a salute to you for taking the old man hunting; the one who had wanted to go for years, but had no one to take him. We appreciate you too, the one who planted the extra grass fields and didn't hunt them, just so the deer and rabbits and turkeys would have plenty to eat until spring.

And we acknowledge your thoughtfulness for always bringing an extra sandwich for lunch so the forgetful among us could join in. And believe me, we all were grateful to you the day you spent two hours washing camp dishes and cleaning up the cooking area.

And you too should be recognized, the one who dressed all the ducks for the group. And thank you for setting an example for us all by following the game laws and camp rules to the letter. With bow and primitive weapon season for deer getting underway and the rabbit hunters getting into high gear, you will be our choice to go along with us. For we notice the things you do and we appreciate them. Thank you.