THE PASSION OF A BOW HUNTER

GREG COOK May 1 1973

THE PASSION OF A BOW HUNTER

GREG COOK May 1 1973

THE PASSION OF A BOW HUNTER

GREG COOK

Moral ambiguity at full draw

For nine days, last autumn, with Nova Scotian archers on their deer hunt in Chignecto Game Sanctuary, I carried a black scribbler of 120 pages. I used it twice: first for a note, “confession and fellowship,” and then for a mess tin cover to speed boiling water for tea one rainy noon in the woods. And now I’m tempted to tell about how I made a pilgrimage to a sanctuary to confess, to commune, and then to retreat, converted to a bow hunter; but to extend that elaborate metaphor requires more than a memo of three words and a warped notebook.

I gave up hunting five years ago. Up to that point I had killed at least one member of almost all legal game species in Nova Scotia, except the white-tailed deer. Until now I have been at a loss for an answer wheh asked why I put away my rifle or if I would hunt again. A year ago, when I gave up teaching (English literature at Acadia University) to write full tfme, I thought I might find the answer if I had to hunt to fulfill the family’s meat diet. But I found myself instead living nine days with men who hunt with bow and arrow. During that time I think I found the honest approach to the question: to kill or not to kill? I have now been offered free use of bow and arrows and instruction. I don’t know whether I can or not, but next fall I am willing to try to kill my first deer. Why? With an empty notebook I have to trust my memory.

Before she was three years old my mother’s father, a fisherman, was lost at sea; they never found his body. Before I was three years old my father was reported missing-in-action and then killed in Holland; his body never came back. So that’s how it was for Mother when the man lost after a day’s deer hunting was my second father. You tried to sit up with her and not ask many questions, except, “You tired?” And all you can offer her is, “I can wake you if he comes before morning.” She knits and you try to think what it’s like for him; the wind sounds cold; you put a stick of wood in the fireplace before it’s needed. We couldn’t know what it was /continued on page 78 like for the one lost until after, when he came out, but that’s all that really matters after.

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This memory took me back in my own experience 27 years. And during the bow hunt it appeared to me that the more primitive the weapon the more necessary it was for the hunter to rely on recall of not only his own experience but a subconscious memory that modem man so often avoids. For it seemed that the archer most likely to succeed is the one who can break through the usual pattern of his human existence until he is motivated by the almost forgotten instincts of his predatory nature. He must almost “remember” what it’s like to be an animal. Then he will be able to confront his victim at a range close enough to understand its submissive gestures. And then he may attempt a kill. In a week he has to think, smell and move like the deer. He has to suffer the loss of individual and species identity and, with the help of camouflage clothing and face paint, fade into the natural environment. He has to leave human arrogance behind in favor of this kind of humility. He has to suppress any aggression (toward members of the hunting party or those he left outside the sanctuary), any fear or hate. If he wants to be successful, he has to learn to love his victim; otherwise he is simply lucky. It may be an impossible lesson in the brevity of a week, but three times I believe I saw faces that held that look of sickness and elation that accompanies such understanding.

It is the kind of self-knowledge and moral awareness that may have shocked you once as a child. And if you grew up on a farm, it may have been the night your father was lost while hunting; or the next night when he slept through chores and at three years of age you helped your mother stand by with the cow in labor; and you saw your first calf dropped, but you did not like the afterbirth its mother ate.

For the child it is all spectacle and mystery. But the bow hunter practises arrow after arrow and rehearses his slow-motion ballet of stalking and statue-like stand because he knows what he wants. He wants to court his prey to within 40 yards or less, to draw the 45pound (or more) pressure of his bow with a fluid motion, until it stacks (just short of the point that neither he nor the bow can stand) and release his shot, instinctively for a vital spot and a clean cutting kill. He rehearses against his nightmare of a poor hit and a wounded deer that he cannot recover. If he is beginning to understand his predatory instinct and the stimuli that release it at this moment, he will have the rational control that ensures odds in favor of a clean harvest of another deer.

Only a few years ago in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, 1945 B.C. (before conservation was publicly advocated, before common poor were leveled with the middle class and forgot their legendary hero, Robin Hood, and before commissions like unemployment), even the back fields of our farm in Chebogue provided a kind of sanctuary. Back then, Dad farmed and carpentered. Both jobs produced — more accurately, demanded of him — spring through fall. At the first opportunity after the deer season opened he would go to the back fields and tag a carcass of meat for the family. The bag limit of two then entitled him to the annual hunting trip with the boys toward the end of the season, just about the time he was laid off work for the winter.

Most of us like to believe that those days of hunting, mainly for the meat, are gone for everyone in Canada and that the role of the mighty hunter is pure affectation of some nimrods in 20th-century affluence. Certainly the archers I joined, although many were once meat hunters with rifle, could not justify, in terms of the number of deer bagged, the cost per pound for their equipment, their practice time, or their week-long trip to the provincial Department of Lands and Forests-managed sanctuary, 140 miles northwest of Halifax.

Before the hunt I met one of the two kinds of archers. He is not a dedicated hunter. Bruce Graves, 28, a production clerk for the Halifax Shipyards, is president of the four-year-old Nova Scotia Archers’ Association. The highlight of his living room was the glitter of metal cast trophies for target archery, and I believed his dream was to make the Olympics. When we talked of the difference between rifle and bow hunting, we helped one another describe how the high continued after the arrow was released, and how the discharge of the rifle was such a shock to the hunter that his flow of adrenalin was immediately slowed down. He talked of the thrill of illustrating masculine prowess with the bow, without the gunpowder. And I wondered how he treated women; of course, this meanness on my part was unfair. The ego inside my 135-pound weakling frame was damaged; I envied his well-developed arms and chest. Bruce is a competitive target archer.

But the other kind of archer, the hunter, had his trophies too and a language of frequent sexual overtones (not too far removed from the language of pig and cattle slaughter on the farm). Don Mattinson is a 30-year-old draftsman for a foundry company in Truro. On the wall of his mobile-home bedroom in Brookfield I found the dignity of his 190-pound trophy — a wild buck and his magnificent 14-point rack of antlers preserved by the taxidermist. Both Don and his friend, Barrie Marshall, 32, an electrical worker with a truck cab manufacturer, have been archers for four years as members of the Truro Archery Club. They were both members of the hunting party I accompanied. In Barrie’s North River living room he showed me an ashtray mounted in a doe’s hoof, and her foreleg between the base and shade of a lamp. He is making a coifee table with the other three legs and a wall hanging from the hide. These trophies look somewhat out of place on the television or in otherwise synthetic surroundings. But as much as I tried to stay unbiased, the image of the meat hunter turned trophy hunter seemed slightly repulsive to my annoyingly puritan mind. I wondered why these men had to use any weapon to capture these blatant manifestations of manhood. Memory proved me part hypocrite.

Age 10, out behind the bam one autumn Sunday afternoon, I went with my homemade bow and arrow: a three-foot alder with cotton string made a bow; a stem of goldenrod gone to seed with a three-inch nail, head hammered flat and sharp, made a swift and balanced arrow. Oh, yeah, I could knock a squirrel out of the hackmatack; it would stick in the shingles of the woodshed. Going berry picking or fishing it was a threeor fourminute walk to the back field where the fawn was grazing: that Sunday it took me about three quarters of an hour and it seemed like days. At first I ran through the barnyards in one of those low stoops that, if you’re young enough to hit your chin on your knee, might make you bite your tongue. Then I imagined Mother and Dad were watching from the kitchen window. They would be smiling as another of the ancient rituals, once designed to grant manhood or fertility perhaps, revealed itself in the disguise of a child’s backyard game. I stopped running and faded slowly out of their and the deer’s sight into the alder patch that ran along the gravel pit World War II had made of part of our farm in order to build an airport. It was back here we played out our version of 10-cent Saturday matinees and comic book cowboys and Indians; or in the spring you may have played doctor with one of the girls.

Once in the alders I sat still for a long while deciding if I would just wait it out and lie to them that I had gotten close enough to reach out and touch the deer. But I had never seen a live deer that close, except the fawn some cousins brought home once and nursed to health with a baby’s bottle. They had to give it up to people who couldn’t keep it in a fence IVi feet high and who showed it at the Yarmouth County Exhibition once where people tried to feed it ice cream or burn its nose with cigars. I wanted to get close enough to describe something that would make Dad say after — not outright but with his eyes and smile as he nodded — “Yeah, that’s how they look.”

I circled in the alder patch to get the wind in my face, so the fawn wouldn’t smell or hear me coming. I pulled off handfuls of the hay that was trying to turn the gravel pit into pasture again. I stuffed tufts of it in my collar and some alder branches in my belt for camouflage as I crawled through the open field. I recalled stories I had heard of my first father being pinned down in a field in Holland before he lost his cover and was shot. Several times I looked but could not locate the fawn. When I had last spotted it, it was heading, as I was now, toward a tar spill the asphalt crew had left behind. One summer afternoon some of us were playing in the pit and found a pheasant, both feet stuck fast in the sun-warmed tar. With a stick we tried to pry the bird’s body from its breaking legs; reaching it, it picked our fingers with short jabs of its beak; and between pity and anger we decided to stone it to death; but we were lousy marksmen and several stones increased its agony before it lay in its soft black grave.

About ready to give up, I saw the fawn lift her head and look back at me. For a moment it was like the feeling just before you announce to the victim of the cowboy game that you’ve shot him, the feeling just before you do something stupid with the girl in the alder patch that will let her know that she can expect to learn nothing from you; and I knew my dying alder, rotting string and dead goldenrod composed an inadequate weapon either to kill or express that feeling. The fawn and I faced each other statue-like for about 10 minutes before it moved into the woods and out of sight. Later, back at the house, the look on my face drew the nod and smile of understanding; and I didn’t have a trophy, or any proof of my right to manhood; but my plan had worked out. I got close and I felt love for a wild animal.

I cannot vouch that all the archers I saw hunting loved animals. Neither I nor those in whose tracks I stepped during the hunt had an opportunity for the loneliness of the experience just described; and those who hunted without a writer blundering along behind them had to tell their stories in camp later. It was these animated stories, like the hieroglyphics on the caveman’s wall, that provided daily trophies for most; and the freshness of a first telling sparked memories. But if you asked each hunter why he goes on this trip, the first answer of many would be “for this,” holding up his drink as if toasting or pointing to the last good story, joke, lesson of experience in the sport, or best meal yet prepared in camp. And that’s why this group is best called a “hunting party.” It’s the fellowship of knowing nods and smiles they need. Others might say it is an excuse to get away from the routine and people of their workaday world and into the solitary of wilderness.

Passes to the Sanctuary are issued for a 12-hour maximum ending at 6 p.m. So hunters make their camps in tents pitched in a nearby gravel pit, in truck and trailer campers, or in the nearest cabins or motel. Our party of seven had reserved two units of the Tarry Lake Motel just north of Parrsboro at an offseason rate per head that specified no linen or room service so that we would not be interrupted by domesticity or the chambermaid. Gordon Banks, a 54year-old fruit and vegetable farmer from Waterville in the Annapolis Valley, who grows the biggest damn onions I’ve ever seen, bought our supply of grub for the week and each of us would be cook for a day. The motel allowed us to use the office unit that was equipped with a refrigerator as our kitchen. The first five of our party to arrive included Gordon, who has hunted with the bow since the mid-Fifties; Neil Smith, 29, a store supervisor for Nova Scotia Light and Power in Yarmouth, 320 miles away, a novice bowman who joined the hunt for the first time; Barrie Marshall, Truro; Perry Munro, 28, a lab technician with the federal government’s Agricultural Research Station in Kentville, and myself. By the time we had unloaded our gear at 2 a.m. Saturday, we did not look like the usual tourist to Parrsboro area come to film the Fundy Trail, to see the highest tides in the world, to collect driftwood or rocks or fossils. And, except for me, last week and work-worries were far behind.

The first organized thing in camp is the bar. And after two hours of talk, and just enough drink to loosen the tongue, I noticed that the first step toward success and survival in a hunting party was being achieved. We were confessing. Perhaps it’s only because I want to see it that way, but I have noticed before that when men are together for the first night before a contest — no matter how often they have met before — their stories are intimate: about their women, or someone else’s; about health, mutual friends and problems they want to shed for awhile. On the fishing trip, for example, you’ll tell a fellow what you think of his woman, because the truth of the telling and the manner of his taking it is a gauge for each of you of the bond of trust you can expect tomorrow when you are in the other end of his canoe and approaching rapid water. I tell Perry, whom I have fished with, Neil, whom I haven’t seen for years, Barrie, whom I’ve met once before, and Gordon, whom I’ve just met, that we just confessed and explained, which is my confession. They advised no penance.

Saturday was a good scouting day. There was a fresh cover of snow on the ground which distinguished the frozen tracks of deer movement yesterday from the fresh of today. Sunday (when Don Mattinson joined our party) was a day of rest and final gear adjustments. It was also an opportunity for target practice behind the motel and visits from other hunting parties. One of our visitors was John Schumacher from Johnstown, Cape Breton. And his was the first face and story that reflected the nature of the bow hunt for me.

The day before we arrived John was hunting alone in a rain and wet snowfall when he saw six deer. With the weather to cover his sound, he ran a circle around their path of flight. He was drawing aim on a doe when he saw the 10-point buck coming straight at him. The four razor-sharp blades of his broadhead arrow found their small mark between the foreshoulders of the running deer and cut arteries at the top of the heart. In a few seconds it would be lifeless. But he was hunting alone and it would be an impossible day to track if it was not a vital hit. He lodged another arrow in the chest cavity, and the deer lay dead. This was his sixth kill in eight years. He held a record for the most deer known to be killed with a bow in Nova Scotia. Near his home John had always been able to bag his limit of deer with the rifle, until eight years ago. That day he killed a doe and a spikehorn albino. That day he hung up the rifle. It was too easy.

His story prompted others in the camp about the slaughter of an average of six deer a year before both the necessity and fun went out of poaching. As one story went, “I killed 12 when I was 12 years old, 13 the next year and I kept that up until I was 17; that year I made a mistake: I killed 19.” All the stories had a familiar pattern. As the ability to kill at greater range increased with high-powered, woodcutting rifles and telescopic sights, the weapon itself — not changes in deer populations, regulations or encroachment on the animals’ habitat — was spoiling the sport and the hunter. As the hunter depended less on his own skill to overcome the obstacles, he was screening himself from the consequences of his actions.

When I asked John why he hung up the rifle, the answer was not in his reply, “I had just had enough; I hung it up,” but in every face in our motel room. The archers’ faces held that empty feeling you get when the thing is over and there is no nick of moral responsibility on your conscience, just another notch on the rifle. The bow is a delicate instrument that will not stand notches; its killing power depends on your ability to get within range that belies the deer’s subtle methods of communication with its own kind, and your strength and control in drawing and releasing, because the next sound you hear will not be the loud report of the weapon, but the sound of flesh and bone cutting and the noise that comes from the throat of the animal.

I want to tell about two more faces that help describe this moment of the hit and its aftermath. But first an explanation is necessary.

“Sanctuary: a reservation where animals or birds are sheltered for breeding purposes and may not be hunted or otherwise molested” (Webster’s New World Dictionary) is a title outmoded, if not a misnomer at the outset. In 1938 a sheltered breeding ground of 85 square miles was provided at Chignecto. The hunter wanted to conserve his game; the non-hunting public wanted to preserve it. The economic rationalization of government created a dream of reforestation for 55,000 acres of continually cut and burned wilderness. When resource management had passed from public, through political, to the hands of the specialist — as it must — the biologist recognized that through neglect the “sanctuary” could become a mortuary. Another visitor we had was Keith Schofield, a woodsman from Hantsport. He can have all the liquor he wants, because he is shy; but we want him to play the guitar and do his bear call which can be heard in the woods up to two miles; tonight it wakes up two fellows three motel units away. Then he is down on the floor with his hands cupped around his mouth, face to face with two others teaching them the m-m-n-m-n-a-a-a-a-t blat the deer use. It sounds like a sheep on a low frequency. It stopped deer every time I heard Perry use it through the week, except the day he saw such a big buck that he constricted and it came out in the shrill sound of a lamb that had been pinched in a tender spot. The buck never looked back.

Surveys from 1948 to 1961 found, not surprisingly, that the deer sought an inadequate man-made haven. When the whitetail herded toward winter deer yards in, and adjacent to, the “sanctuary” — hurried by natural phenomenon as well as the seasonal hunt outside the reservation boundaries — it was headed for a browsing food supply already 80% depleted by the resident summer herd.

The jawbone of the white-tailed deer shows it belongs to a grazing family of mammals like those we domesticate and feed in winter — cattle and sheep. However, survival has demanded an evolutionary change. Before the snow threatens to cover its grassy food supply, the deer begins to browse on woody feed. A gradual transition converts the digestive bacteria in the animal’s stomach to successfully accept the often substandard diet of the harsh winter months. The process must reverse in the spring, of course, as the snow yields to the sun. This gradual rhythm develops a healthy herd. Over-browsing, subnormal sources of food, early winter, late spring, or an abrupt transition may mean slow death by starvation and complete breakdown of the sanctuary idea.

Thundering Hill is a winter deer yard at the edge of the sanctuary which has a south-facing open blueberry field where passing motorists have counted herds of up to 100 deer making their transition to summer diet.

In the spring of 1961 a biological survey team discovered more than 80 deer carcasses. Half of these showed evidence of death caused by malnutrition. This sampling and the 10 years of forest ranger reports that preceded the biologists suggested that as many as 1,000 deer had been wasted on the sanctuary since 1951. So the rifle hunter was allowed a special season on the sanctuary as an arm of wildlife management. Harvest of game had become the equivalent of human birth control where the herd is in danger of self-destruction. Some 95 riflemen harvested 61 deer during the first controlled hunt in the fall of 1961. Age, weight, and other vital statistics gleaned from these 61 specimens revealed that, in comparison with other areas of the province, the herd at Chignecto was large, weak and old. In 1966 another special hunt was granted the riflemen. The results showed a slight increase in the health of the herd. In 18 days there was a kill of 115 deer. There would be fewer hooves beating on Thundering Hill, but there would be less starvation. The rifleman has not been invited back to the sanctuary. He enjoys his regular season outside its boundaries where the rate of kill is of the same level.

From 1969 to 1972 the Nova Scotia archers have been allowed to assist in the experimental game management. The Nova Scotia Archers Association requested, through the Nova Scotia Wildlife Federation, permission of the government to seek refuge from the rifle hunter. In his camouflage the bow hunter fears being mistaken for game by the riflemen. Regulations governing equipment and the ability of the archer were approved. The association tests each archer on knowledge and skill before he is qualified to hunt. In the first three years the bow hunters, numbering as high as 60, harvested only four deer per season. Last year 44 bowmen killed just one. This performance conforms to the ideals of recreational sport — high non-consumptive use of the resource — but it has not proven a valuable game management technique (with its low consumptive removal of animals).

The bowman, quite obviously, is not as proficient a killer as the person with the rifle. The nature of the weapon is usually debated in terms of its effect on the victim. During the hunt I became fascinated with the effect the weapon had on the user.

The bow hunters’ own stories of their conversion to the bow and stories about the 1961 and 1966 rifle hunts at Chignecto indicate that the weapon does produce a different breed of killer.

I recalled two incidents which led to my own refusal to hunt deer four years ago. Once, I had released the safety just before a man and his son — whom I heard walking in the broken step of a deer — emerged from the cover of thick woods in brown jackets. I did not like the taste in my mouth when I spoke to them and tried to pretend that I had not been waiting to shoot one of them for the past 10 minutes. The second incident occurred when hunting with my younger brother one day. Two men on a ridge above the swamp we were circling decided to take a couple of shots in his general direction. When he shouted, they laughed and fired two more. That’s the behavior we usually call animallike.

I watched for it in the archers. As we tried to get closer to the animals a transition to new behavior occurred. Barrie told us how he passed up two fawns the second day. He kept talking about their fuzzy noses and wiggled his own each time he told it. He didn’t get down on all fours, but when he extended his arms and stretched forward on his toes, we knew which way the urine was supposed to be flowing; and when he relaxed, relieved, we knew one of the fawns was a buck. Don described the fawn that lay down at the base of his tree stand for over an hour; he occupied himself by studying how long she chewed her cud before swallowing. He admitted the longer she stayed the bigger she seemed to get. He told us again what she was doing, holding out his watch, extending his chin and chewing: “Forty-five seconds, you little bitch.” And as sometimes used on a woman, it was a term of affection, because he didn’t want to shoot the fawn.

Harry Morse, 39, who could not get away from his tobacco farm at Somerset, in the Annapolis Valley, until Thursday, was the last member to join our party. Harry first hunted rabbits with an Indian type flat bow that he made himself when he was 15. On Friday he stepped off the sanctuary road into the woods and a perfect shot on a large buck. The quick hum of the bowstring started a doe so close to his right that he was splattered with water and moss when she jumped. Four other deer also started. The arrow struck its mark behind the buck’s foreshoulder, but the buck disappeared with his five companions. The arrow stayed in the dead piece of hardwood that had been invisible until he moved. But being accepted for a moment by six deer made Harry’s hunt.

And everyone has his story of how he believes the deer are communicating with one another. The upright whitetail, exposing white thighs, is the danger sign which gave the deer its name. But when the tail is down it flicks for warning. If the doe wants to account for her straying fawns, she stamps a forehoof; and they come running to her.

After he has made the 12-string guitar talk, Keith and his brother Carlton demonstrate another call which sounds like deer gritting their teeth. And Gordon reminds us of what it’s like to be an adolescent with his explanations for the stupidity of the spikehorn who is capable of breeding his first doe, but is not quite sure what it’s all about; just about the time he tries it, some old buck tending that doe will give him an antler. So he walks around in a confused state. We have seen the ruts the buck makes by pawing the ground around the roots of a tree that offers him an overhanging bough on which he scratches his antlers at the same time. It’s in the rut he leaves his scent for the does. If you wait nearby, one of them will be along, or he will be back to see if he still has something going. By the end of the week when an attractive woman passes the motel or drops into the store where we are getting supplies, one of the archers will paw with his foot. It sounds like nonsense made by men without their women? Maybe. But when you sneak up behind another archer and blow the whistling snort the buck or doe uses to warn of danger, he turns slowly, noiselessly and studies the background until he makes you out through your camouflage. His arrows are still in his quiver; he has not taken aim at the direction of the noise; and you are not dead with his next move.

Perhaps the most important memory I had was prompted by Glen’s face. Glen, 26, a CN truck driver from Truro, was one of the fellows awakened by the bear call back at the motel. Almost half of the 30 pieces of shirttail on the wall were his. (Each time a miss was recorded the bow hunter sacrificed a piece of his shirttail.) Each day he had gotten closer. This day some roads in the sanctuary were closed after a heavy rain; Glen walked along several miles to the spot he wanted to hunt. Most of us were too tired to walk. We drove to a new spot for the day. That night some of us sat up with him, drank beer and talked until his drawn face lifted and he could sleep. At not more than 15 yards he had hit the largest buck he had ever seen. When he last saw it his arrow was lodged high in its back; but he had missed the spinal cord. He tracked it for four hours that day, before he lost it where it apparently crossed a brook.

His face looked like one I had seen almost 15 years earlier. It was the face of a rabbit hunter who had just shot a friend, in our party of five, in both legs. It was purely an accident; five hunters forgot to keep up their whistle signals to indicate their locations. We carried him half a mile through the woods and drove 17 miles to the doctor’s office. The fellow who had pulled the trigger held the first leg, then he said he wanted to get some fresh air. I saw his face as he left. I offered to hold the second leg. Now I knew what he felt. We were both imagining what it would have been like if the shot had hit the face instead of the legs. I asked someone else to help the doctor. I needed fresh air. Everything was under control now and the shock of killing one of your own kind came. It was only an imagined killing, a possibility, but one that we did not want to have to face.

Before Glen finally smiled that night and decided he would sleep and tomorrow walk the stream in case the deer had floundered in the water, he said, “You know what I’ll do tomorrow if I see my buck?” Someone said, “You’ll jump in.” “Yeah, I don’t care how cold it is; but you know the first thing I’ll do when I get up to him?” “Kiss him,” somebody else said. “I’ll kiss him.” Until that moment Glen’s face reminded me of my feelings 15 years ago when I heard the call for help as one friend fired a shot into another friend.

There was that, but then there was also the evening in the corner store where I first realized that, with our war paint and camouflage, we looked laughable, no matter how much we bought. The children there used to say “Here come the cowboys.” I suppose they hadn’t seen the bows in the vehicle. We reminded another woman of the area’s black-faced coal miners, some of them since employed as work crew in the sanctuary. But this night at the corner store a couple and their three-year-old boy, who came in while we were there, saw us for the first time; they kept their backs to the wall. I sensed no joking or byplay between the boy’s parents and the proprietors of the store. In my threedollar royal-deluxe Stetson fishing hat, painted face and beard, army surplus combat jacket, pants and boots, all camouflaged, I found myself backing against the wall while I waited for one of the other archers. The three-year-old was standing motionless like the deer, never taking his eyes off of us until we drove away. He seemed to remember something. My notebook is empty, but I haven’t forgotten him either. ■