A Silver Lining

A Silver Lining

Kevin Mennett

October 15th, 2015


452   The opening morning of Pennsylvania’s 2015 archery season was a cold and rainy one. The rain clouds seemed to follow me around the entire day, even when the rain stopped. It was just “one of those days” for me. We’ve all had them, it seems that everything is a struggle and the whole world is out to get you. The day seemed to match my mood, but like they say: “every cloud has a silver lining”.

I woke early to the sound of the rain hitting the roof. I seriously considered rolling over and going back to sleep, but it was the first day and traditions are traditions. I was hunting with fellow Ridge Runner Ben Wright and his girlfriend. Ben had a few nice bucks on camera and wanted Aimee (his girlfriend) to have a chance at one of them. I hunted the stand several hundred yards away. Getting in to the stand seemed to require a monumental amount of effort. My safety harness was tangled and took several attempts to unravel it. My frustrations grew worse when I discovered my pull-up rope was a mass of knots. When I finally got secured in the stand the morning light had crept in on me. After several hours of being blown around, rained on, and seeing nothing, I received a text from Ben saying he was in the house drinking a cup of hot coffee. So, I decided to pack it in and head up to meet him and the coffee.

After some breakfast, Ben and I headed out to our new lease to hang a set for a future hunt. An hour or two later found us back in the same stands we sat in earlier. My stay in that stand was short lived though. After only being in the set up for 20 minutes, the support cables snapped. Fortunately for me the platform held long enough for me to get out of the tree stand safely. I was truly lucky that the platform didn’t collapse under me. Fortunately, Ben and I had hung the set at the lease and we all decided to head over there to try our luck. I couldn’t help but hear the song “Rain Rain, Go Away” playing over and over in my head.

Back at the lease, I was able to sneak up on a nice young 6 point that has some future potential. (Maybe the rain clouds are finally clearing out.) I made it to my stand and ran into a nice doe, unfortunately her reactions were quicker than mine. (Maybe those rain clouds didn’t go away after all.) I climbed up to my stand to discover my safety rope had disappeared; I must have dropped it somewhere on my hike in. When it rains it pours!

Three hours into my hunt, Ben sends me a text asking if I would mind going to help track a deer. A friend of his, Mr. Kurpiel, was hunting on Ben’s property with his young son and the boy shot a deer. It was not only his first deer with a bow, but his first buck. Of course I wanted to help! The shot wasn’t perfect and we didn’t have much of a trail to follow. Ben and I both felt we a had a good idea of where the buck headed but the lack of sign didn’t exactly inspire any of us. We’ve all been there, doubt starts to creep in and we lose some faith in a recovery. Ben and I both wanted to find this young man’s deer. Through it all Brice never let on that he was upset, in fact his demeanor was something to see. I was impressed with how he handled himself. He didn’t appear fazed when we called the search off for the night. Ben assured him the deer would be found in the morning. I left feeling the full weight of the storm cloud that had been following me around all day.

Every storm passes and so did this one. I was getting ready to head to Ben’s when I received a text saying they had found the deer. We stopped 30 yards too soon! The next message was an image of Brice and his buck. So I guess the old saying holds true, “every cloud has a silver lining”. Congratulations to Brice on a great deer and to your father for taking the time to introduce you to the outdoors.


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