Friday, December 02, 2011

PA Hunting: Day 5

With the weather supposed to be decent I opted to head out to the woods once more. When I went out at 6:30 it was still 30 degrees with a promise (by the usual suspects) of it reaching the low 40s. Any snow showers were supposed to be confined to the Southern Tier of New York State. So I chose to leave the heavy cold wear in the house and only put on some heavier socks and insulated boots.

I got to the stand at 6:45 and settled in as silently as possible to wait for a buck to show up.

I'm still waiting.

I sat and stared around me for several hours with only two gray squirrels and several ravens for company. Both squirrels came from the same direction and were heading for the same thing--my bird feeders.

One squirrel took the ground route. It's amazing that a single squirrel can one moment raise such a ruckus kicki up leaves as it moves across the forest floor and, the next moment, be totally silent as it hits the logs and rocks along its route.

The second squirrel took the aerial route. It saw me and decided its safest path would be overhead. I watched as it navigated from tree to tree and from thin, fragile-looking branch to even more fragile-looking landing twig. I marveled at the daring little devil as it would back up on a skinny little branch, turn, and then race to the end before leaping. Landing on a tiny little twig that shouldn't support its weight, it would race to the thicker portion of the branch and continue on its way. Finally getting sufficiently past me that it no longer worried about me, it descended to the ground and went on its way.

As for the ravens, they performed their usual aerial ballet. And accompanied it with plenty of chatter. I don't speak Corvus and these rude birds weren't speaking English in my company, but I imagine they were commenting on my hunting. I do believe I caught on word, however. It sounded like, "Nevermore!"

A little after noon, I saw another hunter emerge from the spruce woods on at the bottom of the cove. He turned and walked the logging road up the other side. I don't post my land and neither do two of my immediate neighbors so I wasn't too surprised to see a human. I was disappointed, however. I had been thinking of going up that way myself after I ate my lunch. Worse, the guy didn't kick up any deer.

When I did finish my sandwich, the flurries that were supposed to stay north of here, started to fall. It would spit snow for the rest of my stay. I already knew it wasn't going to get over 40 degrees. The sun never made it over the hill before the cloud cover intensified keeping the temps in the mid 30s. I was regretting not wearing the heavier pants and jacket as bouts of shivering were starting to plague me. By 3:30 they wouldn't stop. And the helicopter--the one that flew up the power line right of way next to me, circled overhead to check something out and then flew back down the way it had come--made up my mind. I headed in.

Tomorrow I'll be able to legally shoot a doe as well as any buck with three or more points on a side. Thus, I'm sure to see a bunch of spikes and fork horns. (If I wasn't so ethical, I'd already have a doe in the freezer. But I read the laws and when they say no does in the first week, well, what can you do?)


Rev. Paul said...

"But I read the laws and when they say no does in the first week, well, what can you do?"

Obey the laws, especially when publishing a written account. :)

joated said...

Could always try my hand at fiction. ;-)

JDP said...

Keep after em Joated, you never know when your luck is going to change for the better.


Brigid said...

Write it from the view of the doe. "There I was, hiding in the dark, consuming food that belonged to another, probably soon impregnated by another stranger, with another mouth for the state to feed. I am so glad I am protected as I plunder this property. . ."

joated said...

That sounds like a great start, Brigid!