A Laughing Matter    

-Jordan Seitz-

With a buzz and a ring,

My alarm emitted its sounds.

Another one of those 3:30am mornings,

Where I’d drive to my hunting grounds.

A shower, some food, some coffee,

Then I was out the door.

The clock said I was running late,

So the pedal got pushed to the floor.

90 minutes later I shifted into park,

Where for 3 days I’d leave the truck.

Threw the day’s gear together;

Grabbed my bow; shouldered my ruck.

Faint rays of light erased the stars,

As I hopped the creek, weaved through the trees.

Navigating over a boulder field,

Noticed there was no breeze.

Up Up I climbed,

Until I tripped on a rock,

And fell over a log,

Somehow my bow avoided a hard knock.

I regained my composure,

And I stopped to cock an ear:

Not a bird, squirrel, or elk,

The sounds I thought I’d hear.

So I decided to change things up,

And out of my pack I did pull,

My old bugle with fresh band;

Figured I’d try to excite a bull.

Calm smooth and easy,

My call whistled and flowed.

A nearby response sang down,

Maybe a certain bull I did know?

Further uphill I charged,

And a plan I did make.

Perhaps this would be the bull,

To finally make a mistake.

Another bugling exchange

And I knew his location.

Notching my tag today,

Was my only vocation.

Speedily but stealthily,

I moved in alert and quiet.

Then once I “crossed the line”

Thought maybe I’d start a riot.

Clear lane ahead to 40,

And to my right and left side.

Predator instincts took over,

I let them be my guide.

He bugled and he chuckled,

I sent it right back.

The attitude I presented,

Surely felt like a slap!

Carrying out my intrusion,

For the first time I felt,

That I surely was,

His nemesis an elk.

With a crash and a shatter,

I decided to show him who’s boss.

His territory was at stake,

For him it’d be a great loss.

I stomped and I kicked,

I smashed and I threw,

Causing such a dead branch raucous,

For me was something new.

In the midst of it all,

I ripped a crazy bugle,

From an elk who’d lost his mind,

I certainly wasn’t being frugal.

I finally stopped to catch my breath,

Wondered who’d make the next move.

He bellowed his irritation and frustration,

This was HIS place, he wanted to prove.

Suddenly he was pounding ground,

Angling to my left were flashes of yellow.

In moments I assumed,

Would appear the big fellow.

Rock at 17, Tree at 30,

And I had my various ranges.

Dropped to my knees, clipped a release,

And prayed he’d not make any sudden changes.

It felt like a toy

As I drew back my bow.

I had so much adrenaline,

Anticipating the moment he’d show!

Then there was silence;

Where he was I didn’t know.

But after much too long,

My anxiety really began to grow.

Still at full draw

I slowly leaned back,

Then froze and shut my eyes,

For there was ½ his face and rack!

30 yards away he stood,

Facing straight at me.

Why do they always do this,

And stop behind the last tree?

Maintaining my composure,

Upright I slowly returned.

Once again in shooting position,

But my muscles they did burn!

The seconds creeped by,

I felt like they were years.

The bull he pulled a houdini,

Was at the top of my fears.

My arms were quaking

When the bull showed his full face.

One step, Two steps,

And he quickened his pace.

Halfway through my shooting lane,

He was fully in the clear.

After a soft mew and smooth release,

I watched my arrow disappear.

He bolted and kicked up dirt,

At 15 paces he took a spin.

Standing broadside I saw the red blotch grow,

And I knew this time I’d win!

He took off in a sprint,

And then ricocheted off a tree.

Heard a crash; saw an antler then a leg,

He was going down...I couldn’t believe!

Then all was silent,

I sunk to the ground.

I laughed and I laughed,

As I looked around.

The sun wasn’t fully up,

And my bull was already dead,

Now there was plenty of work to do

To pack out the meat and head!