by Mark Poe
The cold air of the pre-dawn November morning burned the throat as the hum of the outboard motor was lulling me back into any outdoorsman’s dreamland. The boat ride down Maddox Bay to the dropping-off spot of the deer hunters of the Poe family was cold but quick. The morning discussion covered where everyone would be hunting today and concluded with the choice of either quick-and-cold or slow-and-moderate for the 10-minute or so boat ride, depending on the vote. Quick and cold won out. We had all survived, as assured by roll call rounded as the boat slid to a stop on the sandbar. From here, we would begin our stalking of any legal whitetail to be found in the North Unit of the White River Refuge in southeast Arkansas. We had copied this exact scenario countless times in my 25 years of hunting with this family. No thought in heart or mind could foretell the future relevance of this over-played song of the deer hunter. Unbeknownst to any of us, today would change the lives and the future of the clan.