Doe Season

by David Michael Kaplan

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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 521


Andy is a nine-year-old girl from Pennsylvania. She is the focalized character in this third-person narrative—hers is the only internal perspective readers have access to. She is described by her father as somebody who animals feel drawn to. She sees deer before anybody else on the trip. She is described by another character as being "half a boy." Throughout the hunting trip, Andy is ridiculed for her age, ability, gender, and general disposition. She is sensitive and introspective, considering the world around her with thoughtfulness. On this hunting trip, she is the only one to find and shoot a deer. She feels terribly guilty afterward, and even has a dreamlike experience where she reaches into the deer’s wounded heart. She feels melancholy and changed by this trip: she has embarked with childhood innocence and leaves knowing the fragility of life.  

Andy's Father

Andy's father takes Andy hunting and encourages her to shoot a deer. He and Andy are close, and he defends Andy when other characters make fun of her for being small or for being a girl. He calls her terms of endearment like “punkin” and “honeybun,” though in the gendered context, it makes Andy seem childish and young like Charlie assumes. Though encouraging Andy and vouching for her, he still participates in some of the jokings made at her expense. 

Charlie Spoon

Charlie's real name is Spreun, but Andy's father calls him Charlie Spoon because he is "in a sense, shaped like a spoon, with a large head and a narrow waist and chest." He is brimming with machismo and prides himself (perhaps unjustly) on his hunting prowess. He complains that Andy has joined on the trip and makes her uncomfortable by teasing her relentlessly. 


Mac is Charlie's eleven-year-old son. He shares a tent with Andy on the hunting trip and makes fun of her: asking her if she's ever seen a "pecker," telling her that she can't hunt, and throwing a cowpat at her. He is a typical mean little boy who takes out his energy on the nearest target. He takes after his father, disrespecting Andy’s right to join on the hunting trip.

Andy's Mom

Andy's mom wakes up early to make breakfast for Andy and her father: French toast, eggs, and coffee. When Andy is in the woods, she thinks about her mom getting up again later in the day to clean the breakfast dishes. Andy recalls swimming in the ocean once with her mother when her mother’s swimsuit top came undone; Andy was embarrassed for her. 

The Doe

The doe is the deer that Andy shoots. The hunting party first sees her in a field and the men bicker about who will shoot her. Andy takes the shot at her father's insistence; the deer runs away, wounded. The hunting party looks for her for the rest of that day without luck. She comes to Andy in a dream/vision that night in which Andy touches her exposed and beating heart. The next morning, the hunting party finds her corpse, causing Andy to run away after witnessing the body.

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