When this tradition started, they were serious about getting deer. The year was a let down if they didn't get at least two nice-sized deer. I remember years when they were worried about exceeding the limit of two deer per man. Well, it's now been several years since they've gotten a deer.
In recent years, they'd get up at the crack of dawn, go hunting for a short bit, and spend the rest of the day sitting in a friend's kitchen solving the world's problems over some beer. The fellowship of the four of them turned into a bigger deal than the hunting itself. The hunting was a pretence to go sit in a tree in Herb and Arnie's yard, watch the sunrise, then sit in Herb's kitchen for the next several hours.
Well, it's now been a couple of years since Herb and Arnie were both living at home. My first day of college Arnie passed away. This past New Years' Eve, Herb passed away as well. Even though my dad and grandpa can still hunt on the land the used to be Herb and Arnie's, it was just too hard.
Dad and Grandpa went out and started the morning in a normal fashion, but it came to a quick end. Instead of continuing the hunt or returning home, they took a six pack of beer and went to the cemetery. This isn't the first time they've broken a few laws to have some beer with the boys.