What surprised me the most that morning was this: At one point, hauling that deer cart over downed logs and brambles, I realized I was singing. Sweat-soaked for the second time in three hours, ripped up with briers, late to work and a half mile to go, I was busting it out like a karaoke hero. Part of that joy was a sense of accomplishment, and the happy thoughts of a freezer load of organic, free-range meat. But the larger part was a sense of belonging. I'd met that buck on his own terms, on his own trail, in his own backyard, as far from the taint of humanity as I could muster on my lease. For the moment, I was every bit as wild and free as a buck in the big woods, and I belted it out till the barn appeared through the trees.