By: Johnny Costellor

By: Johnny Costellor

To my antlered foes, you need to take warning,
We just jumped out of bed at 2:00 in the morning.
So what if the grounds frozen, or that it might be raining,
You won’t hear this boy complaining.

My gear is all packed and we head up the road,
finding our way to my favorite abode.
Now we’re hiking our way into my “wildlife park”,
tip-toeing softly in the pitch dark.

The exhilarating march of that walk in
is the perfect way for my day to begin.
The thought of inching closer to my “honey-hole”,
is lifting my spirit and soothing my soul.

My door’s always open into God’s land,
always welcoming me to my favorite stand.
I just follow the guidance of the “reflector tack”,
as I duck many limbs to clear my tall pack.

Into the bold mountains we go,
leaving behind all the troubles below.
Moving briskly to beat the rising sun
As I pray that I’m the only one.

While dreaming of what I might be seeing,
Hoping it won’t be another human being.
These are the thoughts that give me the will
to keep trudging further up the hill.

It never matters how rugged or steep,
like a tractor I can slowly creep.
No concern for whether the trek gets longer,
my legs just keep on getting stronger.

I think I’ll just climb into my favorite tree,
to see what may lurk right under me.
As my perch sways in the morning breeze,
I’ve settled in above the mosquitoes and bees.

Let the strong afternoon winds blow,
rocking my treestand to and fro.
No matter the elements I have the will,
for many hours to wait so still.
Maybe later I’ll just climb to the ground,
to go and see what else can be found.
To look in the mud for imprints of paws,
or the tracks of bulls with their deep dewclaws.

Searching high and low for rub and scrape
these are what decorate the vast landscape.

Across the canyon I hear racks rattle,
my adrenaline pumps as two bucks battle.
This is music to my ears when I’m in the hunt,
those sounds of them clashing as they dig and grunt.

The critters are singing is what I hear,
the chuckle of a bull or the bleat of a deer.
To my left the song of a nesting hen’s cluck,
to my right the beat of a vanishing buck.

Now I’ll head o’er yonder to my trusty blind,
that I brushed in last week and left behind.
I’ll check what surprises my trail-cam may hold,
these captures to me are like finding gold.

As I skirt the hillside on a well-used trail,
I jump a covey of conversing quail.
The trail is riddled with monster tracks,
will the big boys let me see their racks?

Heh, according to my fantasy watch,
it’s about time I get a glimpse of Sasquatch!
My eyes are wide open as I keep on tryin’
for even a peek of the elusive lion.

As I skirt a hidden lake, with the sounds of ducks,
music so much sweeter than cars and trucks.
Through the windfalls and tall grasses I wade,
while keeping myself in the darkness of shade.

I now see the crest, with each step I gain,
slowly but surely, while feeling no pain.
Now we stand on the glowing ridge top,
I’ve finally found the perfect stop.

While far away yonder busy people below,
I like where I am, at the base of the snow.
What’s only above us are hawks and sparrows,
them and us and our bows and arrows.

As I look above a red-tail soars,
in the meadow below a royal bull roars.
I glass his majesty while his harem is grazing,
our Mother Nature is so truly amazing.

Like the relentless drive of a buck in rut,
or the incredible beauty of a tom’s full strut.
We sit smiling, on top, just having a riot,
Me and my soul mate, perched perfectly quiet.

We rest for a bit, as I chew on some deer jerky,
the feeding elk now joined by the great wild turkey.
Gusts fill the air with leaves as pine needles are falling,
We are reaching to the heavens, now this is my calling.

To the meadow we’re now destined, we are making our way,
We’ve timed it just right, we’ll arrive late in the day.
Like cats we continue to make our sneak,
down to calm grasses from that high windy peak.

As we pass by thrown mud of a freshly used wallow,
I can smell the musk of a king and of what may soon follow.
To the horizon, the sun is rapidly falling,
Now its prime time, the time to start calling.

The only sounds are the squirrels busy working,
tricking me into thinking the herd is still lurking.
As the young conifers spice the mountain air,
I take a moment to share berries with the local black bear.

There isn’t a need to give more reason,
for this is truly our time of the season.
Nor do you need to ask me twice,
what I consider to be paradise.

So save yourself, don’t ask me why,
when that day comes for me to die,
when it’s time to go, to say good-bye,
I’ll expect to find this same place in the sky.
To finally make my point, for what it’s worth,
this is what I call our “Heaven on Earth”.