By Andy Anderson
It’s 5 a.m., on this cold December morning. I’m sneaking through the house quietly, careful not to wake the house. I gather my hunting gear, fill the thermos with coffee and head out the back door, climb into my truck and head out down the road to the deer stand. Because I hunt on my own land, I pack light, just the basics: rifle and ammunition, coffee, a snack and binoculars.
It’s about 30 degrees and not a breath of wind. I park about a half mile away and walk into the stand.
As I’m approaching the hunting area, I can hear movement in the woods to my left, about 15 yards away. I think to myself, must be a opossum or armadillo. I try to keep walking, but my mind will not stop wondering what it is that seems to be following me. I can’t stop thinking about what’s out there making all that noise. It has to know I’m here, and it’s not scared of me.
So, I take out my mini flashlight and shine it into the woods. I can still hear it, but I can’t see it. The forest area is dense, over grown with underbrush, and briars. The ground is littered with all the leaves from the trees. It’s getting louder and closer. I hold my ground shining the light intensely in the area of the sound. Then it stops, no sound. All I can hear and feel is my heart beating hard and the exhale of the air from my lungs. Then, a little rustle in the leaves, a crack of a twig, and there I see it, an armadillo.
As a smile begins to raise and a sense of relief comes over me, a loud crash is heard.
The sound of large limbs breaking and the distinct indication of something very large running through the woods away from me breaks the silence about the woods. I’m startled. My body becomes warm all over, my eyes focused, hearing intensifies. I drop my gear bag, shine the light in the direction of the sounds. The armadillo flees for its life as well. It runs right at me, hits me in the left leg, bounds straight up nearly doing a back flip and hits the ground running. Almost as quickly as it started, it was over.
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