Thursday, December 14, 2017

Had a busy day today.

First I had to shovel the driveway after our 2-3 inch snowfall. (The rule is less than an inch and it can fend for itself. Two to four inches get hand shoveled. Five to seven inches get the snow thrower treatment. Eight or more and I bring Mr. Kubota-san into the act.)

Actually had to do the drive in two stages as Terry and I had to take Shadow to the vet's around 10 AM. She's been acting strange for about two weeks: lethargic, not cleaning herself, diarrhea, and a few other things out of the ordinary. The doc checked her out, took some blood samples, and then held her overnight to check urine, stool and other things.

Once the driveway was done, I hooked up the utility trailer and we headed off to retrieve the Pro-hauler from the Yamaha dealer. Turns out it needed to have the carburetor rebuilt (damn 10% ethanol!) and a new battery. I'll have to make sure to use it more frequently so as to keep that gas burned and battery charged!

Back home, I got the ATV off the trailer, unhitched the trailer from the Tundra and then hitched the ATV to the trailer and moved the trailer off the driveway and into the yard. Then the ATV was garaged to be used later this weekend...maybe.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Hunting Season, Part 2-----Success!

As mentioned, I slept in on Wednesday with the intent of doing some work around the yard with the slash left by the crew cleaning the powerline right-of-way. I was going to use the ATV BUT those plans changed when the darn thing wouldn't start. All I got was a click, click, click--like a buzz from a bunch of angry bees--from the solenoid. The starter didn't even try to turn over. I went to call the Glider City Powersports in Elmira, NY that I've used for repairs on the Yamaha ProHauler before BUT they are closed on Wednesdays. I plugged the battery charger up to the ATV just in case it was just a low charge, BUT the charger gave me an error message saying there was a short in one of the cells and it couldn't be charged.

So, I spent a couple of hours using the chainsaw close to the house and cleaned up one pile of debris and produced a small stack of firewood. Then I got the tractor out to haul the utility trailer out from under the deck so I could load the ATV for delivery to the repair shop--when I could eventually call them. Then I had to reinflate one of the tractor's tires--one that has a history of a slow leak. AND run down to the store to get a new connector for the trailer's wiring which was frayed right near the connector.


Thursday I managed to contact Glider City and hauled the ATV over for them to do their thing. They will contact me when it's ready. This was the first opportunity to use the new Tundra to trailer anything. Like its predecessor, it did just fine. The trailer tracked perfectly and I had no difficulties.


Friday I slept in once again and went to work on a second slash pile near the house. And once again, I managed to clean that heap up and harvest a small amount of firewood.


Saturday--being the first day I could shoot does as well as bucks--I got up early and went out to the woods. I was just hoping to see something with fur as Monday and Tuesday were less than productive. I was at my stand by 6:30 and waited for daylight. Unlike Monday and Tuesday, there was no breeze so the dried leaves on the beech trees weren't rattling all that much. That allowed me to use my ears as well as my eyes.

Shortly after 7 AM I heard something to my right and spotted a deer stepping out from some hemlocks. A buck! BUT I could only see fork horns and to be legal a buck must have at least three on one side. So I watched as it walked down the hill. (And, no matter how hard I tried, I still couldn't make out a third tine on either side!) A the base of the hill, the buck spooked and jumped once or twice back then trotted across the cove to the spruce trees. Then I saw a second deer--sex unknown--follow. All I can figure is that the cooler air sinking down the hillside carried my scent(?) down to the small buck and that's what spooked him. Hey! At least I got to see some deer!

About an hour later, I heard a snap of a twig behind me on the powerline. A turned around and saw two doe, with tails up, bounding across the powerline into the woods on the far side--where they stopped and looked back at me. I raised my rifle and saw through the scope that I had a clear shot, albeit nearly head on, between two trees just a foot or two apart. Flick off the safety. Breath. Squeeze. And the fun part is over. She dropped where she stood. The second doe jumped twice and stopped. And I quickly calculated how much work I really want to do this morning--and let her go.

I collected my gear and walked toward the downed doe. The tail flicked once and I chambered another round--just in case. By the time I got to her, she was dead. The shot had entered and exited the base of her neck damaging the spine and taking out the arteries. As I started filling out the tag, the second doe stuck came back into view and stood for a few seconds--broadside--30 yards away. I still let her go.

Field dressed (messily) and then dragged her down the hill. Gravity is your friend! I hung the deer behind the house and then cleaned, sliced and packaged the heart and liver.