Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 64

P

Simple Ritual

ART OF WHAT we enjoy about deer season, what we anticipate,
is its rituals. Some rituals are communal. Opener-eve suppers
with family and friends are venerable tradition. Some rituals,
less elaborate, still have structure; such as a Sunday afternoon
sight-in session with long-time companions. Others are
simpler events, more intimate, sometimes shared but often
private. These quiet ceremonies are as much a part of the
fabric of a deer hunt as hoisting a buck to the pole.
Simple ritual surrounds my coffee jug, that familiar insulated vessel that slows
the dissipation of thermal energy from a heated liquid to the ambient air - quite
an asset to have at the ready when sleet hisses and stings.
I've gone through a lot of them. The early ones were built for work. It took
years to wear them out but even the dents and scrapes of double-duty never
sufficiently dulled their finish for hunting. Spray-painting those jugs with flat
earth-tones or masking them with camo-tape were rituals that affirmed the brief
yearly triumph of pleasure over toil.
Most modern bottles are less burly. They sport a factory camouflage hide but
are less durable than the revered standbys. Still, they stand ready for the same
ritualistic filling with boiling water on the night before a hunt, heat-priming the
lining to accept my coffee, robust and scalding, at wake-up.
The most pleasurable jug-related ritual is cracking that cap out there in the
woods, cold, cramped and in need of diversion, sniffing that hot, bitter elixir and
anticipating its boost. To sit there in the snow, sipping that rejuvenating brew
while scanning the woods is a small and private act, perhaps, but so delightful.
There is one "tactical" advantage to coffee-bottle ritual. Opening the jug and
pouring the quaff, of course, necessitates laying aside the rifle. More than once
I've seen deer while so engaged or savoring those sips. It's almost as if that momentary lapse in vigilance prompts a deer to appear. It's worth a try.
I miss sharing deer-hunt coffee breaks in the woods with my dad. We'd encounter one another somewhere along the ridges, settle in and I'd fish the coffee
bottle out of my pack. We'd pass the cup back and forth and recount the day's
events. Sometimes I encouraged him to carry a pack himself, so he'd have his
own coffee whenever he wanted.
He always acknowledged the notion had merit but reflected that he'd carried a
backpack quite enough through a mid-1940s boot camp and across Pacific islands,
so felt no desire to repeat the practice for recreation. You had to
respect a reason like that, then crack the cap and pass the hot joe.
64



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 1
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 43
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Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 58
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Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - Cover4
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