I’ve never been a hunter, my family didn’t get into it until later in life, so I didn’t grow up with it so much. Fish and frog legs, but not so much deer and turkey.

I never like seeing all the dead deer photos, the glassy dead eyes just get to me.

This was opening weekend for rifles in Missouri. I didn’t go, but I was awake to my foot being tickled 40 minutes before morning twilight. I was standing watching a deer’s insides removed a couple hours later.

Ten hours after that, I was standing by the next deer.

I patted her … Still warm and soft … Laying in the truck bed. I said Thank you for feeding me this winter. Which I meant. Yeah, it helped me cope, but still. Circle of life and all, and thanks for feeding me.

Up the hill we went. I had a hatchet and a knife and teachers.

and vinyl gloves. Uh yeah. Those are necessary.

I tried to close her eye (which reminded me of closing Dads eyes after he died … Which I am still not okay with) but the damn deer eye wouldn’t stay closed. Sigh.

Daddy issues and dead deer? Sure. Why not.

There in the scant snow falling, by the head lights of the truck, I gutted my first deer.

Hours later I had trouble sleeping. I am still not sure why.