First Hunt and Shadow Lake

My brother-in-law is taking me hunting this Thanksgiving down south, just outside of Atlanta on some private grounds (whitetail not turkey). I’ve never hunted before but I’m looking forward to it. I don’t expect to do any shooting, just watching. Once when I was about 10 or 12, I was out with my brothers and sisters getting lost in the wilderness around Shadow Lake (just outside Cleveland in rural Ohio), and I got a bit lost. I was on this long grassy road surrounded by a cathedral of trees.

Occasionally, the light broke through sending rays down on the path ahead. As I searched for my brother Blake, maybe 100 yards in front of me, a few deer emerged from the shadows to nibble on the path. I froze, can’t say how long I stood there watching. Finally, I heard my brother approaching from behind and I turned to him to shush him, when I turned back, the deer were gone… My siblings and I spent many years wandering the more than 100 miles of Cuyahoga’s connected Metropark system, 20k acres of land, from the lakefront to the Rocky River gorge. We used to climb the rocky shale bluffs and wade through the streams and rivers. In the urban areas–we played tennis in the National Junior Tennis League, and we would go to the zoo several times a year. Though Shadow Lake wasn’t part of the Metropark system, both parks enabled five boisterous, adventurous kids to go wild when necessary and grow up with grass between our toes.

I expect that the Thanksgiving hunt will be a long slow process. Lots of stretches of sitting still and waiting. But its fall and the colors should be spectacular. The time spent with my brother-in-law will be good enough for me. I really love venison though, so fingers crossed.

Recently came across this great post reminding hunters how to get home safe…

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