Every year in November, hundreds of thousands of people flock to the woods in pursuit of that monster buck that they can mount on their walls and brag to their friends about. My family is no different. The Dillehay’s have a historic tradition of waking up before dawn, suiting up, and braving the elements for the opening day of muzzleloader season.
This year marked my 21st year of hunting (should have been the 22nd but I wasn’t able to go at all the year Hudson was born) and with excitement I left work an hour early on Friday to rush home and get the car loaded so we could head to Cookeville for the weekend. Once we arrived, dad, Lee and I all got out clothes laid out so we could easily get ready the next morning. Saturday morning, the alarm went off at 4:10 and after getting dressed the three of us headed out to Carthage.
There are very few things in life that compare to being in a tree overlooking a meadow and watching the sun coming out over the ridge in front of you. It is an amazing event to behold. It is one of those things that you never tire of seeing and a moment that makes you think, “someone knew what they were doing.” The entire experience is peaceful. Just you, the cold, and a gun playing the waiting game. Always looking, always watching for movement. This year I took my ipod and listened to A Storm of Swords (Book 3 – Game of Thrones).
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon and I’ve made three trips to the woods, listened to over 9 hours of audiobook and came back with what Hoyt calls the goose egg. Thinking back, I can’t think of a time where I went all weekend and didn’t shoot one. Luckily, only a few more days until I get to go back out and try again.