It’s an hour before sunrise as I make my way through the darkness to my deer stand. Cresting a hill, I startle a furry animal who swiftly charges right at me, starling me in return, bumping into my boots before disappearing into the field. A fox? A muskrat? A woodchuck? I’ll never know, but it’s a clear wake-up call, a reminder that I’ve entered an environment in which all living creatures have a place on the food chain – including me.
I settle into my stand about 30 minutes before the official opening of the 2010 Minnesota firearms deer hunting season, an event that my husband and I have enjoyed together for over 20 years. This year, my husband had to work so I decided to go alone, having the entire 172-acre farm to myself.