Heartaches and Hunting!
As a young teenager totally intimidated by the opposite sex, being bashful and shy was the norm. The fear of making a fool of myself was always present in any interchange with a female and they were avoided accordingly. This period of my life was overcome but history may dictate whether this was a positive! After many decades my heart is finally able to relive this true story of my experiences with a member of the fairer sex possibly proving avoidance of the female would have been the better choice!
Then forty-one, married with two daughters and successful career with some control of life, if done as told. I was introduced to an older female landowner in the county where I also a landowner did most of my deer hunting. My intention was to lease a portion of her farm considered the best acreage for deer hunting in the entire state, in my opinion. This introduction was made by the farmer who farmed her tillable acreage and a friend of mine. The farmer forewarned of her devious nature and that she was as vicious as a rattlesnake and less predictable! Being an experienced negotiator and business minded professional and all-around nice guy; surely she would be swayed by my skills of charm and be manageable!
This old spinster landowner was diminutive in size and stature, but her intellect was the opposite as she held a PHD and had a career history of successful positions within her profession. She had the skills to be able to argue before the Supreme Court or play the part of a confused elder being bamboozled by a young whippersnapper if needed!
A lease was signed for the property at the site of her old homestead, many years not lived in but still maintained in good order. I questioned the tombstones next to the house. Was this a family Plot? No, this was the final resting place of her favorite cows’ dead of old age. One could not help but notice she still had a small herd still present. This small herd had the distinction of being the luckiest cattle on the planet, being able to live out their lives in this serene, bucolic environment and to be buried in the same! With signed lease in hand, I thought strange but gave to no matter to this peculiarity!
We established a relationship largely by telephone with one or two conversations weekly. She was a joy to converse with and my altruistic nature towards the elderly was satisfied through our contacts. Her property was inspected and analyzed for the best opportunities for success in the hunting of deer. My anticipation was that of a youngster on Christmas Eve towards the upcoming deer season!
The old, abandoned road leading to the property’s line was cleaned and the old downed trees removed. On a beautiful early fall day, I transported her in my truck down to the property and we walked the lane with the wind blowing the changing leaves and sun still warming the air. She walked and truly enjoyed the experience as she had been unable to see this portion of her father’s farm for over twenty years hence. Surely our relationship was being formed for the positive both personal and for deer seasons to come long term!
During our walk, almost surreal in nature, she relayed a story of her past while still in college in St Louis, Missouri. I felt warmed being able to listen to her remanence about the past. Her story began and I paraphrase, she had learned through a girlfriend that a young man she had been seeing was coming over this day to ask for her hand in marriage. She informed her classmate to inform this young suitor to halt his advance and in fact she did not want to ever see him again! Normally not at a loss for words, this story was shocking and was it a portal look into future tragedy for yours truly?
The season finally arrived and although access to her property was difficult – it was well worth the effort! This truly was “Whitetail Heaven” and even with my poor habits, a success opportunity on a truly giant whitetail would surely come!
Even now it is painful to tell this story and I shall ask you to wait until next months’ edition to read about the ending of this epic tale, a truly “Romeo and Juliet” event for this humble writer!