Season’s Greetings

Josh Rouse

Amidst the preparations for finals and Christmas, today marks the beginning of a season that many hunters have spent months preparing for.

Today is the opening day of rifle season for deer and elk across the state of Kansas. While archery season has been open for just more than two months, and all of the other major hunting seasons (fall turkey, waterfowl and pheasant) are still in progress, the rifle season for deer is by far and large the most anticipated.

Perhaps the anxiety surrounding this particular season has something to do with the length of the season—at only 12 days, it is one of the shortest seasons on the hunting calendar—or perhaps it stems from frustrated bow hunters who haven’t been able to get a buck in close enough and desperately need a change in artillery. Whatever the reason, buck fever is at its peak during the dozen days of rifle season.

While many of my columns have traditionally been geared more toward beginning hunters, this one has a slightly different target audience: professors, girlfriends and bosses.

To the professors: I realize finals and yearlong projects are important. I also realize the rifle season will be gone in the blink of an eye. Please do all the hunters on campus a favor and stop making things do a week before finals. We get the point, school is important… so is hunting. Why do you think so many students support Success Week?

To the girlfriends: Hey baby. I know you said you wanted to see “New Moon” sometime, and I promise we will… but baby, it’ll still be at the theater 13 days from now. I promise. And I don’t understand what the hurry is to see it. It’s not like you haven’t already read the book. You know, back in the old days, people didn’t even have movies to go along with books… they had to use their imagination… baby?

To the bosses: Dear sir or ma’am, don’t be surprised when your employer suddenly catches a bad case of the pig flu or has a dead aunt in California they have to go bury. Just do the right thing and give him or her the time off. It’s only 12 days, and I’m sure the new guy in accounting would be willing to cover for them… unless he’s a hunter, too. Just be sure to ask for some deer jerky when they get back.