Did I mean honeymoon? Well, maybe! Four years ago, we were all set to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary on December 9th at The Cloisters in Sea Island, Georgia where we first honeymooned that beautiful December day so long ago. We were to leave on Thursday for a relaxing long weekend. I had been thinking about the trip to the resort and early in the week, I blurted out to my husband that I would love to go deer hunting instead. His mouth dropped and he said, “Are you kidding…you want to give up a five-star resort with a non-refundable deposit to go deer hunting?” “YES!”, I said “I do.”
He was quick to start surfing the internet to see if we could find a last-minute hunting destination that could accommodate us. Sure enough, since it was not peak season, we were able to book into a world-class hunting spot in St. George, SC at Deerfield Plantation. My husband made sure it was ‘female friendly” and they assured us that they had a very nice cabin that would be available to us.
So, I traded a luxury suite for a cabin, sighting in my gun instead of spa treatments, food plots instead of flowers, hunting boots instead of heels, southern home cooking instead of five-star dining, sitting in a deer stand instead of sitting by the pool, getting up at 4 am instead of lounging until late, and wearing long johns instead of lingerie! You get the picture, but I could not be happier!
Our cabin was perfect: rustic, inviting, and cozy! We were very happy sipping wine by the fireplace and catching up on how the past 30 years had flown by in the blink of an eye! We raised 3 wonderful children and now could spend time together that was just “us” time. Best of all, we were spending time doing something we both love. We especially were grateful that we could find enjoyment in simple pleasures such as the beauty that nature offers us and prepare beautiful meals from the bounty we have harvested.
We sat together on every hunt (after all, it was our anniversary) and had the best time. No, we were not exactly quiet or still. We cuddled to stay warm, listened to the owls howling in the pitch black, and watched the sun wake up the woods with its first light. The brisk morning air was invigorating as we waited patiently to see a deer. Since December is not a peak rut, we didn’t have high expectations. We were thrilled to see lots of turkeys strolling along without a care in the world and laughed to ourselves thinking they surely knew it was not turkey season. The leaves were dropping in the light breeze and it sounded more like delicate raindrops in the quiet woods. We munched on Slim Jims and beef jerky, something I never do but it just seemed right.
On our third sit as the afternoon was drawing to a close, we watched two does walking through the woods on their way to a food plot and I knew this was my opportunity. I took the shot and was thrilled to take a doe for the freezer and table. On our last morning hunt that Sunday, when we couldn’t have expected anything more for our perfect weekend, a beautiful snow shower covered the ground and made the woods bright and beautiful. A button buck entertained us as he playfully jumped around like a child.
We said our goodbyes to the wonderful owners and staff at Deerfield after a hearty lunch of fried chicken and mashed potatoes, peas, and salad. But our goodbyes were more like see you soon. We have become more like family as we return each season. Besides deer hunting, we have had many successful turkey, hog, and quail hunts at Deerfield. Each time we return, it feels special just like that very first Huntingmoon we had four years earlier. And, each year, we return on our special wedding anniversary weekend. Oh, I need to mention too that the nice people at The Cloisters honored our reservation and extended it to the following summer. So, we had the best of both… how sweet is that!!!