Adventure, mishaps, the love of a woman and Providence had bestowed upon him…
The .270 barked and the small buck moved unsteadily. Something foreign had just punched into its side. The deer attempted another step and fell forward; it would expire in 30 seconds. The shot had overwhelmed his system and the brain would shut everything down momentarily. It drifted into unconsciousness and passed away painlessly.
The hunter remained in his tree stand and watched the saga unfold. At times like this he was awash with emotions; part sadness, part respect for the animal, part jubilation; the human psyche a complex machine.
When he was sure the animal was dead, he unloaded the gun, unstrapped his safety harness, and began the decent from his tree stand. Upon reaching solid ground the rifle was reloaded and held at the ready. He walked the 80 yards to his prize. He took a moment to recognize the animal and its sacrifice. It was nowhere near a trophy, but its meat would soon be in his freezer and a natural cycle would continue.
He was its steward
The deer had spent most of its existence in or near this patch of woods; living off, hemlock browse, raspberry leaves, acorns, and a host of other natural bounties. Tax records showed the hunter owned this land, but he didn’t feel that way. He was its steward and hoped he could leave it better than he found it. Some would say he should be thankful to the Bank for loaning him the money but there was more to it than that. A life of full adventure, mishaps, the love of a woman and Providence had bestowed upon him the resources to purchase this property.
Those that didn’t understand hunting thought it came down to simply pulling a trigger and killing something. It was unfortunate that some hunters fostered this stereotype, but he wasn’t one of them. Not him, as he had a great respect for Mother Nature and understood the circle of life. At some point this deer would have died, as everything does.
The hunter’s prize would be processed, shared with friends, family and even a food bank or two. The deer would provide sustenance to many. The economy was in shambles and many needed help at this time. The hunter understood his good fortune and his responsibility to help others. Nature had seen to it that handfuls of vegetation had been morphed into protein that would nourish people through these times of uncertainty.