Golden Timber – First Place, Senior Writing

In a small clearing in the timber there stood two lone
treestands, standing so sturdily and without fail to the test of
time. For years these stands were latched onto their tree where my
father sat in wait for his prized buck like I am today. I was
sitting on top of the one with the best view of the clearing
waiting patiently for my prey’s arrival. For two days the deer had
eluded me and I’m down to my last day of youth season. I’ve been
sitting on the stand about 20 feet up from the ground for the past
six hours with no sign of any activity. While I sat there staring
out at the still timber, it was as though I was looking at a moment
trapped in time by a photograph within a frame. My mind began to
wander and I imagined my trophy buck slowly stepping out of the
timber with his magnificent rack that he wore so proudly.

Time seemed to slow in the timber, unlike the world I live in
today where time flies. It gives you time to think about things
that usually won’t cross your mind and allows you to clear your
mind from troubling thoughts. As the day grew late, I felt like I
was counting the minutes to another unsuccessful season. Knowing
that time was not on my side, I began to become restless and began
to edgily wait for any kind of deer to cross paths with me. For the
past hour, my father had left to go around the timber behind me and
kick out the deer that has been hiding on top of the hill there.
But there has been no luck so far. It occurred to me that there may
be no deer within the timber this whole time. It’s easy to scare
them out if you’re not careful.

As I sat in dismay, the world around me began to darken. I
looked up to the sky and saw a gray haze rolling on by like an
endless stream of mist. There was a faint rustle of foliage behind
me, and in an instant of excitement I turned my shoulder only to
see that there was nothing there. The bitter cold wind was starting
to pick up causing the remainder of leaves hanging from the
branches to deceive me in thinking that a wild animal had disturbed
the underbrush. There were sudden gusts of freezing wind that went
straight through all my layers of clothing chilling me to the bone.
I began to shiver from the cold, but I was determined to take down
my prize.

On the neighboring tree in front of me I watched a group of tiny
sparrows playfully take part in a game of tag. The game went on for
a good half hour as though meant to entertain me while I waited. In
a short time the birds flew off in a distance until I could see
them no more; leaving me alone once again. Another blast of air
sent chills down my spine, and I began to lose feeling in my
fingers. I stuck my hands in my pocket to keep warm. One of my
pockets had an old fashion hand warmer containing a stick of flint
steadily burning away within a blood red case. The warmth from the
hand warmer seemed to defrost my hands like they were ice
cycles.

For the longest time I sat on the treestand waiting patiently
with no sign of any deer activity. I feared that all the deer were
bedded down somewhere because of the strong winds which were
threatening to blow me out of my treestand.

It was a gloomy day; everything around me seemed to be dark and
my chances of shooting a deer were decreasing. As if my prayers
were answered, the clouds dispersed allowing the sunlight to cast
down its warmth and light upon the land. Feeling the warmth surging
throughout my body I saw the dim trees begin to glow. The light
stretched far and wide, slowly climbing up the trees until
everything was coated in bright orange. It was like a golden
wonderland. Everything from trees down to the grass was covered in
a shade of gold. As more clouds went overhead the timber grew dark
and moments later was beaming with light once more. It was like a
light bulb flickering on the last of its watts. I watched this in a
sense of awe unaware of the gray doe sneaking by me. It was like
nature wished to distract me so I might miss my only opportunity to
shoot a deer. But the unfortunate deer went the wrong direction and
walked straight in front of me.

The sudden appearance of a deer almost startled me off my tree
stand. Slowly, I lifted my shotgun from lap and pressed the butt of
my gun against my right shoulder as I followed the deer with the
barrel of my gun. Having my sights set on the doe I was about to
pull the trigger when I remembered my mistake the last time. Feet
below me was a splintered branch that I accidentally shot instead
of the buck. The shot I took would have been fatal if that branch
wasn’t present. So I allowed the deer to proceed further on its
stroll and then I took my shots. The doe took three blows before it
went rigid and fell. It was my first real kill.

This was a day to remember; the day I became a hunter and the
day the timber turned gold.  

Categories: Youth Writing Contest

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