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Global Aging and other complaints
Oct 03, 2012 12:00 am
It was earlier this year, during the spring turkey season, when I first noticed it:
Dawn comes much earlier than it used to.
Also, they’re making alarm clocks a lot louder these days, especially the ones that go off at 3 a.m.
When I got to the farm I hunt on, the old lane that I’ve walked for years somehow was longer than it used to be. And rockier. And steeper.
The little creek that I splashed across was colder and deeper than I remembered.
When I got to the fence corner where I set up my blind, I discovered that the briers are sharper nowadays.
There’s a lot more skeeters.
And they all seem to find me more appetizing than when I was a kid.
Around mid-morning I managed to call in a turkey – they’re smarter and harder to fool than they once were – but I missed.
My old turkey gun doesn’t shoot as straight as it did when I bought it 30 years ago.
I eventually got a second chance and hit this one. The gobbler weighed about 95 pounds – estimated weight, as I toted it back to the truck.
Turkeys didn’t used to be so heavy.
The same odd occurrences continued when squirrel season rolled around. When my head hit the pillow it activated the alarm clock.
It was still dark as I fumbled into my hunting clothes. The waist of my camo pants had shrunk another size over the summer. Cheap fabric.
I finally got my boots on, grunting like a climber on Mt. Everest, and brewed a pot of coffee.
The coffee was too strong; they don’t print the instructions as large as they used to, and I used too many scoops.
I drove to the woods where I’ve squirrel hunted for years, only to discover that the woods had moved. Or maybe I took the wrong road.
I eventually found the mis-placed woodlot and headed out. I hadn’t gone a hundred yards before I saw a squirrel sitting on a limb eating an acorn. I shot and the squirrel just looked at me.
I shot again and the squirrel snickered and kept eating.
Must have been bad shells.
Also the scope was fuzzy.
And the rifle was wobbly.
Hunting equipment has really gone down-hill in recent years.
I continued to hunt – and shoot, and miss – for the next couple of hours. When I was a kid I could hit 9 of 10 shots. Squirrels were bigger back then.
Not only could I not hit the side of a barn (much less the side of a squirrel), the hickory ridge I clamored over had grown several degrees steeper. I never realized the Rockies extended into Giles County.
Finally I called it a day and trudged back to the truck, bone-tired, soaked in sweat and skeeter-bit.
My feet hurt, my back ached and I had cramps in both legs. Also, that pot of industrial-strength coffee upset my stomach.
I limped home for a much-needed nap, and as I nodded off I reflected on how things have changed over the years.
Must be all that Global Warming.