Spent a few days up north in the last week. Seemed the entire countryside was gettin' ready for the invasion. Not sure which invasion. But, by God, should there be, the boys and girls - didn't seem to be any of the girls but I wasn't looking so much as hearing - up in the northland will be ready.
The duck hunt is on and has been for a while. 'Bout the time the sun shoulda been coming up - hard to tell when that was 'cause the cloud cover was thick - the tump, tump, tumps of the twenty gauges, almost like artillery back in the hills, could be heard from several directions. Shotguns don't much bother me but the sound of a thirty caliber bein' sighted in by the neighbor puts a squeeze on my bladder and makes me suck my head in every time. Sounds way too much like an ambush in Vietnam for my tastes. When you've hit the paddy floor or dike top enough times the sound of rifle fire will always catch your attention. And drop you forty years into the past.
Deer opener is in a couple of weeks. Not a good time to be in the woods in my opinion. Lived my time in the Army under the graces of favorable irony. Gettin' my ass shot off at home would be kinda funny. At least in a literary sense. So when the boys hit the deer stands, if I go up north I won't so much as saunter to the out house without day-glo orange from head to hip. Too many dudes with high powered firearms and hangover eyes for my tastes.
So, I headed over to a trout lake in the state forest. Overcast, cold water, they might be up in the water column where even I could catch a few. I've written of the peace to be found in the quiet of small, hidden lakes. Not so last Saturday. Dozens of ATV aficionados roamed the back trails. And, of course, duck hunters. Why not? It was a perfect day for the ducks to fly low. The hunters, fine. But the incessant roar of the ATVs eventually got me to bag it. Didn't have a strong enough mind to close out the matter I guess.
Come November 3, there'll be far more armed Minnesotans out to bag a deer than armed troops in Vietnam at the peak. By a long shot. Shoulda sent the deer hunters over there. Issued them permits for VC. They'd a cleaned up.