Fall colors are alive and well in Northwest Arkansas. I can look outside and see the majestic changes happening right before my very eyes. It’s such a short “season” in this part of the country, I feel like I have to savor every second of it. Soon we’ll all be freezing.
One of our first priorities in the fall is to fill the deer feeders and begin preparations for what has come to be known as deer camp. The next few weeks we’ll be sighting in our rifles and dusting off our orange vests and stocking caps.
I love deer season! It means we get to eat endless pots of chili, corn bread and sheet cake. It also means swapping lies about the big bucks we just couldn’t get a good shot at around a roaring bonfire. We are blessed with a large wooded area with a plentiful deer harvest for several of our town buddies. Everyone anticipates this is the year they’ll score “the big one.”
Here’s what I think. I think this is MY year. Ya know why? I finally got my Hunters Education Card. As many of you hunters know, this card is typically earned during the youth years (around the age of 10-12). Not the case for me. I have always loved getting up early and tagging along to the woods to scope out deer. I didn’t have my card and so I didn’t have my license or get to carry a gun into the woods.
I tried earning my card by watching the online videos offered to prepare for the Hunter’s Education test. We are talking about SEVEN HOURS of video online. I got through two of them. With four kids racing around, the phone ringing and a husband who felt I should be able to multi-task – it didn’t happen!
Last December, a friend of mine was kind enough to invite me to day-long course in Bentonville, Ark. All I had to do was sit through the class, take notes and at the end of the day pass a test. I was looking forward to it. I made arrangements for my family and I was ready to go.
I was one of the last students to arrive and entered into a classroom filled with preteen boys anxious to obtain their cards.
Oh brother! The teacher called everyone’s name and we had to write down our date of birth. He kindly acknowledged that I was the oldest student he’d ever had. I was determined not to be embarrassed but to press on just like all the other “kids.”
I endured seven hours of classroom instruction. We worked in groups to demonstrate appropriate fence crossing safety with a weapon as well as many other safety lessons. We ate pizza together, reviewed our notes and finally it was test time.
The importance of hunting and gun safety had been stressed and I had learned a few new things. By this point I was ready to get home. Being the life-long learner that I am, I finished my test first and passed with flying colors. A few weeks later my card arrived and I’ve been waiting for the season to start ever since.
All the best to my deer hunting neighbors for a good and safe hunt this year! I hope we all get the big buck this year, neighbor.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here