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Hunting comes too early in day

The hunt was afoot very early this past Friday morning. Thehunters were up before first light, dressed in their traditionalhunting garb. They take this very competitive sport seriously andput much in planning and forethought before ever venturing out.

The quarry is elusive, with many other hunters rushing out inpreparedness to bag the target.

Actually, there were two hunts occurring in the wee hours thatday: Black Friday and deer.

I didn’t participate in either.

As a child, I spent many weekends with my grandparents at deercamp. They hunted with a club that was located between Vicksburgand Port Gibson. I absolutely loved – and still do – to be at deercamp. I enjoyed the food, the campfire, and the camaraderie. Myenjoyment ends there.

Don’t get me wrong; I love cold weather – when I’m inside a warmcamper, snuggling under a blanket and enjoying a cup of coffee. Ilove the food, the holidays, and the briskness of the air.

I have absolutely no interest in rolling out of my warm bedwhile it is still pitch dark outside, dressing in layers of clothesto the point that I feel like a Vienna sausage, and sitting in thewoods feeling my toes slowly turn to ice. And anyone who knows meis aware of the impossibility of me to remain silent, much lessstill, for more than 30 seconds.

That said, I’ve never killed a deer – and not from lack oftrying. But to have me in the woods is akin to bringing in a fullmarching band, a bag of jingle bells, and an air horn.

Around the age of 11, my grandparents finally gave up hope forme to ever be a decent deer hunter and allowed me to play the roleof cookie at the camp. I would sleep in, and wake up in time to fixbreakfast for the hunters who had given up (or decided that, yes,it was too cold).

I have a sister-in-law who is quite the hunter also. Her huntbegins in the early morning the day after Thanksgiving Day. She hasa roadmap, a list of items she is hunting, and a set plan. She isserious about this hunt, deadly serious.

She has tried, numerous times, to get me to join her on thehunt.

I feel the same way about early morning Black Friday as I dodeer hunting. It is too early, too cold, and way toocompetitive.

Besides, after gorging myself the day before, I am way toosleepy and sluggish to feel the least bit like engaging in anycompetitive activity so early in the morning. After hearing storiesof shoppers mobbing the front entrances of stores, tramplinginnocent security guards, and the basic full contact involved,there was no way I was going to get in the middle in that type ofhunt. I have too strong a self-preservation instinct to be willingto hop into the middle of it.

I have a huge respect for the hunters in both venues. I lovevenison. It is wonderful – but I also love a good, warm night’ssleep more. I must admit that the lure of a great bargain is verytempting. I definitely will have ventured into the Black Fridayfray at a more acceptable hour, say after coffee, a shower andsunrise.

Lifestyles Editor Rachel Brumfield can be reached at TheDAILY LEADER at 601-833-6961 ext 134, by e-mail atlifestyles@dailyleader.com or you can write to her at P.O. Box 551,Brookhaven MS 39602.