by Greg Milatz on Thursday,September 30,2010 'Twas the night before bow season all through the state, Not a creature was stirring only those still up late; The treestands were hung in the woodlots with care, In hopes that a shooter soon would be there. The hunters were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of opening day danced in their heads; I had on my boots and Williams Wilderness Lodge cap, My Hoyt Charger laid on my lap. When out in the swamp there arose such a clatter, I awoke from my doze to see what was the matter. I blinked and I blinked,tried to focus my eyes, My knees they were knocking and so were my thighs! When,what to my wondering eyes should appear, 40 yards a way,a 160 class deer! With a crick in his walk,not lively or quick, I silently drew and a spot I did pick, More rapid than eagles my breathing became, As he pawed and he grunted still closer he came; It wasn't Dasher or Dancer or Prancer or Vixen, Not Comet,not Cupid,not Donner nor Blitzen! Behind the large oak,now near a deadfall, My trance it was broken by a crow's distant caw. As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle,mount to the sky, A small spike-horn buck and several more deer, Parading behind the buck big as a steer. And then,in a twinkling,I heard to my right, Another 160,OH WHAT A SIGHT! My head it was spinning,my breathing was fast, I knew that this scene wasn't going to last. His cape it was dark,it seemed almost black, From years in the swamp,where sunlight did lack. His bases were massive,his main beams were too, His dressed weight I figured would easily go two. His eyes --how they twinkled! His throat patch a double! This case of buck fever had me in deep trouble I eased up my draw,they didn't flinch, The scene it was frozen,man 'nor beast moved an inch. I could hear acorns crunching from the bite of their teeth, And steam from their nostrils encircled their head like a wreath; He had a broad neck,for that it seemed early, These wild living creatures had turned me to jelly. Resigned to the fact that the deer'd won this round, I simply enjoyed the scene I had found. In the blink of his eye and a twist of his head, Away from my stand this deer gaggle did head. They pawed and they grunted the young bucks did trot, I wondered and said thanks for the show I had got. A lifetime of memories this hunt it did make, Despite my bow did not fire,or no game did I take. My breathing had calmed,my knee knocking did cease, I was glowing,was happy,my world was at peace. The hunt makes you do that,the hunt,not the kill, The day that it doesn't,I'll quit hunting,I will. What the heck is that clatter,that despicable beep? That's ruining my dream and ending my sleep? It's the alarm clock,so get out of bed, Let's make a reality what was just in my head! GOOD LUCK FELLOW HUNTER'S AND STAY SAFE!!!