The nights have turned crisp and cool. The leaves are turning. And, my husband is growing a beard.
All clear signs that hunting season is upon us.
I must admit I don't understand that male ritual of sitting in one spot in the damp woods for hours just to shoot at something that no one else in the family will eat. But that does not stop Cliff from donning facial hair and camoflage to go out in search of Bambi each year.
For the past two years, my son has joined him in this rite of male passage. He has not been old enough to hunt with a rifle, but simply goes along to join his dad, grandfather, uncles and male cousins in the annual testosterone-fest at our cabin in Gaylord, MI.
Not that I really need to worry about my husband getting a deer. The last time I remember him actually shooting one was about 20 years ago. One year while he was hunting, I actually hit a deer with my car. A police officer had to shoot it and then asked me if I wanted to take it home. Cliff never even saw a deer that week. I bagged one with a Ford Tempo.
When I think about it, hardly anyone ever gets a deer during hunting season. This makes me wonder what actually goes on at that cabin.
Years ago I heard a song on the radio called "The Second Week of Deer Camp" where a bunch of guys sang about how they got together each year in the woods to smoke, drink and play cards. At the end of the song, someone finally got a deer. They hit one with their truck while on a beer run.
I seriously doubt the Moore boys spend most of their week three sheets to the wind. I think hunting season is more about the timeless tradition of males getting together to bond, share experiences and pass on their rituals to the next generation of hunters. And, occasionally, they go out into the woods.
Besides, I can hardly complain. Hunting season has led to a female ritual commonly known as "Outlet Shopping Season." This is one tradition in which I will be happy to partake.