Friday, 27 November 2015

Going Hunting

I'm excited. Things are moving quickly this morning. I am heading out hunting in a few minutes, heading out in my truck with my gear and guns, heading up into rural Alberta, along the rolling foothills of the Rockies, where the forests begin and the plains end. There I hope to find a willing white-tail deer who will present himself as a sacrifice to my need to once again feel like I can fend for myself, take care of myself in the bush, feed my family with the gain from my efforts.

The plan is for me to head up to my buddy Thor's place in Caroline. He will be my legs and heavy lifting for the day; he knows what he is getting into. From his place, we will head off into a local ranch where the landowner has given us permission to hunt. This is no flatland exploration; I'll definitely need the 4X4 in my truck today. We'll wander about the countryside on whatever roads there are; we'll make a few if needed. We'll see what we can find; we'll shoot it if we can.

This will probably be the last time in my life I get to do this, the last time I can go hunting. This year's hunting season ends on Monday. Next year is too far away for me to see, but my suspicions are that I will not be in good shape for any sort of expedition like this, if I am here at all. This makes today all the more special, all the more meaningful.

There are a lot of "last time" events with ALS. Most of them have crept up on me, taking me not by surprise so much as unawares. I knew it was happening. I just didn't know that this was it. I had a suspicion, yet I would keep trying, keep going until I had completely exhausted the possibilities. Today is a clear and certain break. The laws around hunting are very clear. Unless I get out somehow on Monday, this will be it, the very last time.

Oddly enough I don't feel bad about this. In fact I am excited, excited about getting out into the woods and fields, excited about getting my guns and gear ready, excited about the drive up there. There is no sadness in this, at least not yet. For today, I am going hunting. That is enough excitement to keep me going. It's gonna be a fun day.

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