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October seems to have been marked as the one time we might just get to slip away for a weekend. The hay is done; firewood is neatly stacked in the racks; the garden is tilled under for the winter. By the end of August, while finishing up the summer chores, I begin to daydream about where we will go, what we will do when we get there, and which weekend we can spare. As I was discussing this with Randy, I suggested that maybe we could go the last weekend in October. Oh. My. Mercy. I didn’t know a Country Boy could pitch such a hissy fit. He threw the gauntlet down so hard, the heated rages of the Earth’s core shot out of that crack and just about burned the entire house down.

You see, that last weekend in October just happens to be Opening Day. A day that is just a half a click under Sunday Go To Meetin’ in the lineup of sacred days. And I was quickly deemed sacrilegious just to think of going anywhere that weekend. It didn’t take me but a second of seeing that hissy fit to change to an earlier weekend, and solemnly vow to never make that mistake again.

So, for all you deer hunters out there, I thought I would offer up an occasional report of all the sightings I am having. There is something to say for having to leave for work long before the sun even thinks about waking up – I get to see everything y’all will be seeing in another couple of months.

1 Doe: 4:50 am. 3/10 of a mile down Fielder Road, as you are heading towards Temple Road. North side.

1 Doe: 8:30 am. Just before you get to the bridge on Millcreek Road, Social Springs Road side. Moving east to west.

1 Doe: 4:53 am. Coming from Danny’s potato patch, crossing the road and jumping the new fence at Mrs. Jack’s house. (Thelma – she was a good one!)

1:45 pm. Layfield Road. Two babies, running South to North, dropping their spots on the road as they ran.

And for George: 4:51 am. Armadillo sighting at the sand pit – east side of the road. He might just be foolish enough to be heading your way.

Unfortunately for Randy, the deer I have seen so far are closer to Johnny and Thelma – not quite, but almost in their front yard. But I know they are all excited to hear that there have been sightings, and are already plotting and planning the best days, times, and ways to add meat to their freezer. If you take a deep enough breath you can smell the gun oil on the breeze, and by listening closely, you can hear the faint metallic click of guns being broken down, cleaned and reassembled. Wait. Is Thelma having trouble with the bolt sticking on her shotgun? Ah, no, thank goodness. That was just someone’s gate shifting in the breeze.

As the days move forward, and as I have a sighting or two, I’ll update my report accordingly. And if the weather cools off enough, I may even take a stroll through the woods around here, and see if I can find that elusive calendar that the deer having hanging in their secret spot – the one where the days are marked off and the 31st of October is circled in bright Hunter Orange. And I promise – I won’t warn the ones I see, and reveal to them the location of all my neighbors’ deer stands. After all, I have to live with them for the rest of the year, and I prefer happy neighbor relations, not full out war on The Farm Wife.