I spent Thursday (Day 4) in the woods waiting for a deer (in particular a buck) to come past. Never happened. I did see two deer when I decided to take a brief walk about between 9:30 and 11 AM. They went zooming past heading up the hill at about 150-200 yards. I couldn't hear them despite the ground being covered by a frozen, icy crust of snow. If I hadn't been looking in the right direction, I wouldn't have known they were there. Those two deer, and two or three gray squirrels were all the mammals I saw.
The weather cooperated with temperatures in the mid 20s all day. The sky was mostly cloudy but not threatening and the air was fairly still. The little breeze that would occur from time to time rattled the beech leaves still on the younger trees. I watched plenty of birds foraging about and/or flying over head. Chickadees, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers searched crevasses in all the trees around me. The blue jays would occasionally sound off, but I never saw one. Their calls have been alarms of something moving through the woods so I pay close attention. The ravens soared and danced overhead and their occasional caws, clicks and clacks could have been derisive.
I heard no shots anywhere all day long. The hunting camp next door is empty. They left on Wednesday morning. The neighbors don't seem to be out--or had to go back to work. I felt totally alone.
Early in the day I did hear the whoop-whoop-whoop of the windmills, but they feathered the vanes and the blades stopped spinning around noon. The loud thrum of the compressors/generators from the fracking pad just a little over a mile away was a constant--until 3:00 PM when it suddenly stopped and I nearly fell over. I fought to stay awake over the next hour as the silence descended.
Having seen nothing and heard nothing, I knew it was time to head back to the Aerie as the sun set behind the ridge to the west. There was enough light for me to see it glowing on the hills to the north-northwest and to see into the field to the north of the Aerie...where there were three or four deer in the snow-free field.
Friday I opted to stay in. There's little that's more frustrating than sitting, in silence, alone, waiting...and waiting...for a deer to show up and it doesn't. In the Adirondacks, I've 10,000 acres I can wander when I get bored. In PA I've only got 20 acres--unless I want to cross over onto other private property. The lands in PA aren't posted and I've got permission to chase a wounded deer, but I really do not want to strain any relationships before they are formed.
There were a couple of chores to do around the house with/for Terry. And she had made a killer bread pudding that I didn't want to leave alone with her.
After lunch (chicken fried steak and fires) and warm bread pudding, I went out on the deck to refill the bird feeders and seven doe came running across the street, between the Aerie and the hunting camp and headed straight back to the woods to the west. *sigh*
I couldn't shoot them today anyway. Besides, the forecast was for rain/sleet starting sometime after noon. (It finally arrived around 2 PM.)
The rain is supposed to get heavier during the night and through Saturday morning. It doesn't seem that anyone will be coming back to the camp next door.
Saturday is the last day in which I must shoot only bucks.Monday, does--of which I've seen many more--are legal game.