Narrator: Johnny Mack
Published by Stokes Creative LLC on 24 February 2017
Length: 19 mins
Genres: Fiction, History, Literary
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The predatory genes we cannot deny are never more exercised than in deer hunting. In each individual, they travel an age-related arc that begins in youthful passion and settles finally into old-age relaxation. The blood lust with all of its attendant furies and dictates can be an awesome thing when it consumes the deer hunter in the velvet of his life.
Crossing the wild water was crazy, I knew, but I had a desperate need to bag the buck.
©1961 Bill Stokes (P)2017 Stokes Creative LLC
This is a tale of young man’s first deer hunt. The author starts us off with a personal note of how deer hunting has been a part of his life even if he no longer directly participates.
Set in Wisconsin in 1947, a teen boy on the cusp of manhood is invited on his first deer hunt. On the first night of the hunt, there’s stories and manly cooking at the hunting cabin as Uncle Duffy and his friends deal out the cards. Our hero soaks it all up. He desperately wants to be considered one of them. He feels a driving need to prove himself on this week-long deer hunt and he fears he won’t measure up.
First, I was a bit surprised that he was allowed to wander the woods alone on his first hunt as we typically make sure to go by twos on any kind of hike that is over an hour long. It’s a little unclear if the area was well known to our young hunter or not. Anyway, he navigates his way back to the cabin day after day.
There’s a rising urgency as the hunt progresses. The men shares stories of hunts past. I liked how the story built up and up. I could really feel the young man’s need to prove himself worthy. When finally the moment comes, there’s a big snag in his triumph, followed by a triumph of another kind. I was surprised by how things ended but was also well satisfied with it. Years later when this kid is a seasoned hunter, he will look back on this incident with wry humor.
I received a free copy of this book.
Narration: Johnny Mack continues to do justice to this author’s short stories. He does a good job of sounding like a young man and also of sounding like an older Uncle Duffy.
This review first appeared on Dab of Darkness.