Charles W. Lemke
They say there is a time for everything under the sun, a time for sorrow and for joy, for mourning and for dancing and the end of the day of deer hunting is the time to relax, enjoy yourself, laugh a little, and reminisce about past hunts and the partners no longer with you.
A group of musicians called ”Bananas At Large” can help with all of this. The members are all ”four season” outdoorsmen and they enjoy hunting and fishing together as much as they enjoy making music. Their work is original, they write all the music and lyrics for their albums of ”Hunting Tunes”.
Most of their work is humorous, great for stag parties, and for entertainment after a hard day’s hunt but they have a serious side too, and it comes out very clearly in a number called “Say Goodbye”. Inspiration for the piece was the death of the father of one of the groups members.
Every party of hunters has lost a member at some time and the party goes on, but it is never quite the same. One of the party takes the lost members place in the natural hierarchy of the group, and sooner or later another comes in to fill all the stands, but the old guy is missed.
Some things don’t change, like the excitement of opening day. It is preceded by months of anticipation and preparations, sighting in and oiling up the guns, practice gun handling and dry firing, packing clothes, dressing leather boots with waterproofing, studying geological survey maps for your area, and then all of a sudden like magic, it is here, now, the moment you have been anticipating for the last couple of months.
You walk into your stand in the cold dark with moonlight fading, and a pack of coyotes opens up with their yapping howls and barking. Then you think about the first times he took you deer hunting. He explained how to cover an area from your stand, ”Don’t move anything but your head, or your eyeballs if possible, and don’t concentrate on anything in your field of view, watch for movement, look for changes in the area you are covering, and keep scanning the whole area. As sure as you get stuck looking at one thing they will slip past you. You can almost hear him saying it again as you take your stand”.
Later in the day when everyone starts moving he showed you how a deer will double back and lie down, usually on the high side of the trail if there is a choice, and wait to see who is following him. Then there was the time years later, when you hit a big buck pretty hard but not enough to stop him and the old man let it get past him. You were pretty irritated about it because the guys in another party next to your hunting grounds got him, and you let the old man know about it. Then you remember he can’t sit still as long as he used to, and you remember that you had let deer get by you before you had the maturity and the experience to know how important it is to stand still. You recall some of these things when you begin to feel that the walk to get to your blind is a little longer than a couple of years ago.
In the later years it took him a couple of steps to loosen up. He moved with only about a half step on his right leg, and he got winded walking to his blind, but he could still handle his gun, and managed to fill his tag. Then came the time when he couldn’t take the cold all day and he had to go back to camp to warm up with some hot coffee and a little Irish whiskey.
While you were learning you were dependent on him. Then when you had absorbed as much as he could give and gained some personal experience, you were independent but still subordinate in the natural hierarchy of the party. Then you got the call, the one you knew had to come but you didn’t want to believe it. ”Dad passed away last night”.
He taught you all he knew about finding your way in the woods, shooting, hunting and tracking. He is gone but you can still hear him counseling you to ”keep your gun barrel up”, or ”don’t move anything but your eyeballs” or, ”don’t let it get you, we can have a good hunt without filling all the tags”.
He is still in the breeze that caresses the spruce and the pine and in the friendly glow from the campfire, but sometime we all have to “Say Goodbye”
”Say Goodbye” is song #5 on DA Bananas At Large’s CD DA Turd Album.
For information regarding Mr. Lemke’s writing’s
or any of DA Bananas At Large audio or video products you can contact us at.
Bananas At Large Creators Of Da Turdy Point Buck
P.O Box 36
Amherst Junction, WI. 54407
www.bananasatlarge.com/ or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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