It was opening day and unseasonably cool for October in Georgia. My brother and I were sitting in the blind in the back of our land. It’s the same blind that we have hunted out of since time immemorial. I wasn’t too sure we’d see anything that morning. There was nothing nothing on camera and we were late getting the food plots planted. The clock was just striking nine and my mind was already on the Georgia game later.
I gave my brother the “we ain’t gonna see jack” look, as we heard rifle shots off in the distance. Our enthusiasm dwindling with every shot we heard. Law of averages, right? Every crack of a rifle in the distance was one less deer that was going to walk out for us. Just as I was about to suggest calling it a morning, my brother grabbed my arm.
I looked up and his eyes were as wide and glassy as a globe on one of those old gas pumps. I knew then, he heard something. I listened hard and, it wasn’t long until I heard him. It was a nice six point buck making his way around a briar patch, easing up on us past the rear of the blind.
My brother slowly stood up, careful not to make a sound as the deer now stood 30 feet away from us. My brother carefully eased the barrel of our dad’s Remington 742 Woodmaster 30-06 very slowly. Using his thumb as an improvised sound dampener against the metal tubing that made up the raggedy ole blind.
“Breathe easy…he cant see us. Take your time,” I barely whispered to my brother.
He squeezed the trigger on that ole lead slinger and sent it.
The deer jumped and ran about 20 yards around the blind and out front. I already had my rifle lined up in case he missed. He went down and was out for the count. It was a perfect shot. Right in the boiler room behind the front shoulder, right through the heart. It was a good day. It was a good kill.
My hunting story isn’t at all unique among Southerners. The tragic truth of the matter is, as urban expansion creeps up on us slow and steady, out-of-state developers are buying up our lands left and right. What are they building? Well, they’re building godless strip malls, trailer parks and other dwellings for our replacements. As we lose our traditions, we are losing our land – farmland, timber or just an old hunting lease.
The younger generation wants nothing to do with their family’s land. As the old ones die, old land parcels are subdivided down to the half acre and chocked full of carpetbaggers who “went to school here and fell in love with the climate!”
True Southerners are tied to the land upon which our blood was spilled time and time again. Our ancestors didn’t fight savages, the British and the Yankees to see you sell this paradise and move to Portland or New York. Fight tooth and nail to hold on to what is ours before its ripped away forever.
In the words of Lynyrd Skynyrd, “I can see the concrete slowly creepin’, Lord take me and mine before that comes.”
Oh, I'm a good old Rebel, now that's just what I am; For this "Fair Land of Freedom" I do not give a damn! I'm glad I fit against it, I only wish we'd won, And I don't want no pardon for anything I done.