On Sunday afternoon I sat in my deer stand and watched a young deer lay up in a bedding area right beside me. I watched as she groomed and rested, occasionally she seemed to doze off but for the most part she was alert to any sounds or movement around her. As Jim and I have often wondered aloud to one another about what deer do all day, I considered this a true blessing to behold.
After an hours nap time, she left her bedding area and began grazing on the acorns all around my stand. I took several pictures of her with my phone and texted them to Jim and Will.
Once she finished feeding on the acorns, she casually strolled off down the road stopping for a bite here and there along the way. I called Jim and asked him to meet me at the end of the road with my warmer clothes and a bite to eat since it was nearly time for the evening hunt and I had not planned on being on my stand for that long when I left.
Moments later, as I took the first step onto the ladder of my stand, the tower of the stand pulled loose from the platform in my hands. As my foot hit that first step, I could see the rear rise and begin to fall toward me. In that split second I knew I would have to jump to the ground or the tower would pull me down with it. I pushed off with my right leg and jumped approximately 7 feet to the leaf strewn ground below.
After jumping, all I remember is seeing the tower falling above me. I knew that it would miss my head so I balled up on my right side and prepared for it to crash across my left.
Next thing I knew I looked up and saw my gun lying across the platform and the tower behind me. I immediately reached for the phone in my pocket and called Jim.
As I told him what happened and asked him to come get me, I sat up and took inventory of what was hurting. I decided to try and stand up, but then I thought about all those football players and how they are told to lay there until the trainers arrive. So I lay back down and waited. The funny thing about waiting is you begin to listen to your body as you concentrate on breathing. My right leg seemed to have caught the brunt of the fall. Thankfully what I feared to be a broken leg was just a major shin splint from landing hard on my foot. Both knees were tweaked and my right ankle hurt.
When Jim and Will arrived to help me up from the forest floor, I realized just how close the tower was behind me. We still can't explain how it happened aside from God setting His angels guard over me -- but the corner of the tower's roof hit about a foot behind my legs and then rolled the whole thing end over end away from me.
My sweet husband took me back to camp,put my ankle on ice, compressed my shin in a wrap, fixed me a strong drink (we didn't even have a Tylenol around) and put me to bed.
As I got up the next day I was surprised to find my right leg doing well while my left knee was worse and my right shoulder and ribs were aching. I went back to bed!
A few hours later I got up and decided I had better at least get dressed before the boys returned from hunting. The more I moved the better I felt. After a quick trip to Walmart for food and ibuprofen, I decided to try to hunt that evening.
I won't lie, getting up in that stand was a little scary...and I was moving slow from the sore ankle and knees. But I just knew that I had to get back on the horse (so to speak) or I might never get the nerve to climb a stand again.
That night I took my first deer of the season.
So for Day 18, I am thankful for God's gentle care -- of me and of that little doe I was privileged to watch all afternoon.
And for Day 19, I am thankful for the courage to overcome minor injuries and return to a family tradition that I love.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad