No, this is not some New Age drivel. This is all about mice and deer camp and the removal of the former from the latter. This is not an original idea either. I’ve been reading about this for years, and it finally dawned on me last year as I was leaving camp to try and make one. Supposedly it was going to be a perpetual mouse trap that would remain effective from the end of deer season to the beginning of turkey season.
Wheel of Death MK I was constructed in less than 15 minutes, AFTER I had already locked up and was heading for the truck last December. I told the tribe to hold on and I went back in the house and grabbed a bucket, a coat hanger and a board and used a deli tray in place of the can.
You can see how it works. The mouse comes up the board, finds the peanut butter, tries to get the peanut butter, steps out onto the can and falls into 6 inches of water with anti-freeze in it. The anti-freeze does two things. First, it keeps the water from freezing. Second, it acts as a wetting agent and soaks the mouse thoroughly so they drown faster. One thing I gained by using the can is that by carefully buttering the side of the can like a cake and moving the peanut butter around, I could achieve pretty good balance and keep the wheel spinning freely. The MK I version suffered a little on this. I think it lost effectiveness over the winter as the deli lid lost proper balance.
Last year, I came back to camp in March and found the bucket filled with. . . I’m going to venture a guess and say 6 mice. It was hard to say– they had decomposed rather badly. This year, going with the traditional design, I hope to have more.
What is baiting all about? The way baiting was defined by my state back when I was starting out was food left to attract game. Salt and minerals were not...
Shamanic Guide– A Newbies Plea for Help From jackel235 over on kentuckyhunting.com: Help WITH GETTING FIRST DEER ——————————————————————————– Hi all i new to the forms Well my problem is i been hunting...
If you had told me twenty years ago that I would be sitting here, the week before Thanksgiving with 5 deer taken off my property, and a 188 lb buck of my own in the freezer I would have been ecstatic. Here it is, the Monday after season, and I am feeling quite a bit less so. If this was going to be just a lot of belly-button gazing, I’d shut up and just start cleaning deer rifles. However, I think it is worth sharing. For starters, I set out this year to get two deer myself. I only got one. Basically, my season was done and over in its first hour. Granted, it was a nice buck. I’ve stopped hunting some years with a buck taken the first hour of season. However, this was different. Looking back on what happened the rest of the year, I should have been happy with what I got. It was much better than the goose egg I managed last year. Still, I feel a little robbed, and it just goes to show you how bittersweet this whole process is. I remember thinking as I was angling for a shot on that buck– he was darting in and out of the cedars and I was trying to follow him with the binos. “This is going to be IT,” I thought as I put the binos down and picked up my rifle. “Your season is going to end here.” Funny, but I had passed on an much nicer buck and a much easier shot the year before on the same stand. That decision had caused me to go deer-less last year, and I do not regret either deer. Still it was funny how passing on the one last year kind of forced my hand this year. The year before that, I had a buck-of-a-lifetime come through just at the edge of my range, and I had held fire, because I did not want to risk anything but a good shot on such a fine animal. You string enough of those passes on your belt, and you start getting into Buck Fever territory. That is another subtlety of the sport they don’t teach you. You can only be picky for so long before you and the rest of camp stop thinking of you as the ultimate sportsman and start thinking of you as Nervous Nelson.
Then there was Angus. He got a nice 4 pointer less than an hour later. He felt good about it. He pulled it out of the woods himself and he cleaned it himself. I’m impressed, but fate kicked sand in his face the next weekend. I had not mentioned this before now, but a huge buck walked past him on Saturday #2. I stepped it off– less than 10 yards from where he was sitting on a downed tree trunk. Fate was out there this season, making us all yearn for something bigger. He had a bunch of other marginal opportunities that he passed up. That was good too. He is learning discipline.
It was good, but still a little melancholy for Moose this year. He was back out after a year’s hiatus, but he still has not bought a license, and was just going out to sit with Angus this year. He wants back into the game, but I also understand his job and family and all the rest. I’m proud he wants to do this all on his own too. It should feel good, but it still hurts not seeing him in his stand at Virginia taking shots for himself. Moose Mama has been too busy at work to make it down much, but I see that changing too.
SuperCore finished his 5th year as a hunter, and it was quite a year for him. He got shots at 5, brought 3 to the pole and overall had as good a year as anyone could dream. Still, I know he’s kicking himself for the ones that escaped. When you run into a coyote-gnawed spine in the woods it always makes you wonder if that was your “clean miss.” I had one like that last year. You could still see the shot, and it was the wrong side and the wrong angle for what I had mucked up. Still. . .
Then there is the little stuff. I spent every moment afield after The Opener with O.T.’s custom Mauser. I wanted to show him it had been equally lucky for me as it had been for him. It was just not to be. We still do not have the kind of resident doe population we had up until 2 years ago. At that point we had three distinct groups. The Garbage Pit crew, The Left Leg Crew and the Hootin Holler Crew. Their numbers ebbed and flowed over time, but they had remained intact over several seasons. This year, I believe I saw the remnants of The Garbage Pit crew running through after sundown. The other two have dispersed completely. What we have now are individual doe coming and going, and it shows how the legacy of last year’s drought continues.
Deer Camp? Deer Camp ran about as well as a patriarch could hope. Everyone came home safe. Everyone hunting got a deer. The vehicles ran. The steaks that SuperCore brought were great. The S-10 made a great deer wagon. The winched worked. Do you mind if I takes this moment to gnash his teeth and declare that as it was in the beginning, it is now and forever shall be a rather hard thing to pull off being a deer camp patriarch? This is no bitch at the crew, but now that I’ve become the Grand Poobah, there are days I’d like to be a damned ranker like Moose or Angus. Moose had the sense many years ago, when he was just a wee yute to declare that Dad (me) had Opening Morning to himself. That was the year I bagged my first Monarch, and the custom as stuck. At least one day a year, after all the prep and all, I get to hunt like just another orange-clad clown. Thanks Moose. You don’t know how much that has meant.
I did make some progress this year toward that end. In the past everyone has felt obliged to report their movements to me on the walkie-talkie. It’s a safety thing. Nobody wants to get shot. We are very tight on that. The last thing you want to do is fire at a deer and get a bad bounce and find you have bagged one of your own family. Still, it gets a little absurd when you have a nice herd of deer and you have your eye up to the scope, angling for a shot and somebody calls in to say they are leaving the blind and wanting to know if you want a pickup at the usual place and time. We have instituted a new code for that. “Sierra-Uniform” is now the radio code for ” I got a deer in the blind. Stop chattering. I’ll call you later.”
Hammond North and Lazy Boy have both proven themselves as stand sights. The question now remains how to develop them. Ground Blind? Ladder Stand? Luxury Sky Box? We’ll just have to see. I think we can pull Westwood down. It has been of no use in a couple of seasons. We have not hunted out of Newstand either in a couple of years, but frankly Newstand is useless unless there are acorns falling. The trick here is moving out and exploiting more of the property. I did some calculations out on the stand this year. By my wild-as-can-be guessing, I figure that there is about one hunter per 20 acres in our part of the county on The Opener. There is one successful hunter per 80 acres. I figure as the season ended we were hunting about half of our 200 acres effectively. We need to build out from the knot we have made for ourselves. Moose, Angus and I are hunting in a triangle about 500 yards on a side with The Garden of Stone in the middle. There are good areas elsewhere on the property and Angus will be coming online as a new adult hunter next fall. Next year we will begin breaking out.
Reloading projects this year were mixed. I finally got hold of some H4350 (Thanks Supercore!) powder for O.T.’s 25-06. That looks like a good combination, and at the moment I have it shooting at 257 Roberts levels. I like the 117 grain Hornady SPBT bullet. I’ll probably crank it up a little for next year. I really wish I had the chance to take a deer with it. The 8mm Mauser was an abject failure. So far all I have is a spray. I will be looking for a different bullet choice next and that Trashco scope has to go!
Angus will be receiving my Winchester 670 to start off next season. I will start him off with 150 grain Rem Corelokts over H4895– same recipe as Moose. I am looking to replace the 670 with a Ruger Hawkeye in ’06. This will be my “the Last 30-06″. I’m 55. I have had a bunch of 30-06 rifles. Looking at all my contemporaries, I see a general turn towards lighter recoil as they get older. I figure now is as good a time as any to start that trend. When I’m 95, I want to roll the wheelchair over to the window and plug a 12-pointer with a .223 REM. Now is the time to start planning.
Coyotes. Did I mention the coyotes? Things have been so bad with the coyotes, that I made the patriarchal decree that all folks going afield needed to be armed. There have been stories from the neighbors that indicate these 4-legged poachers are getting fiesty. I had a 357 Magnum Marlin Lever that seems to be a good fit. I will also bring the Mini 14 online for this purpose. Of course, during turkey or squirrel or deer season we are all pretty well armed anyway, but there will be times KYHillChick or Angus will go out hiking alone. So far we have not been attacked, but all of us have been tracked by the boogers. The dogs have been attacked. So far, Jay, the collie, has gotten the upperhand. However, going about armed is just the safe thing to do. A long standing goal I have had is to take the fight to the dogs. So far all of our encounters have occurred while doing something else. It is time we deliberately started putting the hurt on them. Up until now, it just has not been a high priorty.
Well, one more weekend at Camp, locking up, and then it will be down to the Shamanic Reloading Cave for the winter. I’m making sure KYHillChick has a big enough Thanksgiving turkey that I can bring a good sized plate down to Ed, the Guard.
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This was Weekend #2 of the KY Rifle Season. Angus, SuperCore, and I still had tags to fill. SuperCore was looking for a buck.
It was warmer than usual, about 48 degrees. The big blow was expected overnight going into Sunday. At 0830, I heard a shot from over at the Jagende Hutte. SuperCore had taken a shot at a doe. A few minutes later another shot came from that direction.
As it turned out, SuperCore had a doe come out of Skunk Hollow. He had drilled it and it had run off. A buck had come in shortly thereafter, trailing the doe. He shot that one two. Both deer expired within a few yards of each other. SuperCore had retrieved the buck by the time we got there. The dogs found the doe close by.
This became a chance for us to try out the modifications I had made to the Chevy S-10. I have been working to turn this truck into a deer recovery vehicle, with the goal that one man can get even the biggest deer into the back. To that end, I have a block and tackle borrowed from the meat pole as well as a set of ramps. I also have an electric winch which will get the truck out of even the deepest hollow if need be. The buck went 180 lbs. The doe went 170. It was easier to deposit the buck at the meat pole and then go back for the doe, but in a pinch the back of the S-10 will accommodate two deer.
Saturday afternoon, we deposited two deer at the processor, retrieved the venison from last week and then went back out. SuperCore was all deer-ed out. However, Angus was all set to get his second as was I. SuperCore accompanied Angus out to Lazy Boy. They saw 3, but they were moving too fast for Angus to get a shot. I was at Garbage Pit. A herd of doe came through after sunset, followed on by a rather large spike. He hung out by my stand until it was too dark to shoot.
After we all got back out. We rode out beyond Powersville to check out a new taxidermist. SuperCore had decided he wanted his buck mounted, and all the taxidermists I knew were not answering the phone. My GPS sent us to the wrong place, and a bare-chested fellow came out of the trailer armed with a shotgun. 18 miles later we finally got to the right place.
Sunday was a washout. There was bouts of hard rain and wind from 0400 on. We cleaned up and hauled out for Cincinnati with two coolers of venison. The power was out when we got home from the storms, but it came back on just in time to catch the Bengals whooping the Browns. By 1400 we had chilli going in the crockpot and dill bread going in the bread maker. We DVR’d the game and after a brief trip to the storm shelter while the worst of the front passed through, we finished watching the game with a big bowl of buck chili.
We’re just in from the field with fuzzy windchimes hanging on the meatpole.
Both Angus and I bagged bucks this morning.
This was an average sort of Opener — average temperatures, an average number of shots. The weather was cool, but sunny. Angus and Moose hunted together. This is Angus’ last year hunting as a Yute. Moose decided not to buy a license this year and accompanied his younger brother unarmed. SuperCore went to the Jagendehutte. I went to my usual stand at Campground. Angust took his Mosin Nagant M44. I went out with the Savage 99 in 308 WIN.
My sons and I parted company at the Honey Hole. Moose and Angus took off for Hammond North with the idea of watching the sun come up there and then heading down to Lazy boy, which is just across the field. I got situated at Campground and immediately started hearing deer. A small 4 pointer came out just as legal hunting began and browsed on acorns on my upwind side. I normally have some slack time after sun-up to get a few extra warm things on like my boot blankets and mittens, but he stayed just close enough to keep me from moving much on my stand. All the while, there was a shot or so a minute coming from the surrounding ridges.
About 0800 a larger buck crossed onto our land and started up towards the cedars where the small 4 pointer was hanging out. I think this larger buck saw me, but did not pay me much attention. I tried to get my binoculars on him. I did, but he was moving too much for me to get a good view of his rack. He was a larger buck with a larger set of antlers than the first one. I grunted a bit, and this sent the 4 pointed deep into the cedars. The larger buck followed and soon there was a bit of commotion coming from the cedar thicket as they tried to settle their differences.
After about 10 minutes I saw a buck emerge from the cedar thicket. He had what looked like a nice rack. He was disappearing up the Left Leg Hollow, and I did not have a good chance to examine his antlers. He did have an interesting shape on one beam. I switched from the binoculars to the scope on my rifle and waited. He came out from behind a tree and I had to make a decision quickly.
Look, I am not going to try and tell you that I am an expert on judging deer at a distance. I know a doe. I know when it has antlers and then there is “Quint, we’re going to need a bigger boat.” The nuances sometimes gets lost on me. All I knew was that. It was a buck with antlers, it was a fairly big bodied deer and if I was going to get a look at that quirky rack, I was going to have to act. He gave me one last broadside view angling a bit away. I figured he was about 80 yards out.
I got all my gear down to the ground, doffed the heavy stuff and took off. Despite marking the shot well from the stand, I had a devil of a time finding where I had actually connected with him. 80 yards became 100 became 120 — a long shot in the woods. One cedar behind him became a line of cedars. When I finally got everything triangulated, there was a disturbance in the leaves. He had taken off down hill towards the head of Left Leg Hollow. However, after three more marks in the leaves, I was looking at him.
Ground shinkage happens. I have had worse cases of it. I thought about it for a bit and realized I was being stupid. This was a fairly big deer, and I had taken him on Opening Day and it meant my dry spell was over and that was that. I wanted Moose, Angus and SuperCore to continue to hunt so I marched out alone to get the truck. I radioed to everyone to let them know about my success and to let them know to stay put. As I was passing Knollton’s Corner, there was a blast that came from Lazy Boy. I was less than 100 yards out from my sons. They knew I was coming by them. Still, I went low and hid behind a tree. There was shortly another shot and then another. I radioed to my sons. Finally Moose came back and explained there was a buck down, but not dead. Angus put a finisher into him and then I met them.
Campground to Lazy Boy is close to a quarter mile apart. Campground is down at the mouth of Left Leg Hollow. Lazy Boy is near the head. When all the shooting stopped and we all convened, I figured out what had happened. My first buck of the morning, the one eating acorns at my stand as the sun came up had gotten scared off by the second buck and had run up Left Leg Hollow. There, he met my sons, at about 20 yards distance. Angus put a round into him, but only managed to take out 1 lung. The deer had bedded, passed out, and then revived . Moose and Angus had given chase, and Angus had made a few more shots at him. By the time this deer had expired he was only 50 yards from where mine had run as he’d taken a short run up the hollow.
Moose went up and brought down the truck and we got both deer loaded in the back before heading back to the meat pole. We found one of Angus’ 180 grain slugs in the hide. At the meatpole, we enjoyed a first at camp: two bucks on the pole at the same time. Mine went 188 lbs. Angus’ buck went 150 lbs life weight.
We got the two gutted and loaded back onto the truck and then headed off for B&B over towards Falmouth. They had taken in very few deer until just before we arrived. We had quite a line and waited for our heads. SuperCore has gone back out to the Jagende Hutte. Angus and Moose went out towards Garbage Pit with the gut buckets in hopes of getting the bead on some coyotes.
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This was the last weekend before KY’s Rifle Opener. If it was going to be done before the shooting started, it was going to have to be done before Sunday afternoon. Angus and I went down to camp. Do to my schedule, I still did not have a rifle sighted in. There was a big blow on Halloween night as a front came through, so we needed to check the stands one more time as well.
Saturday afternoon I sorted gear while Angus went scouting. I really like seeing him stepping up this year and starting to do things like this on his own. He is becoming a deer hunter and not just the son of one. There was a tree down over the road near Fountain Square, so after Angus left, I took out the S-10 and hauled it back to the house for firewood. While I had it out, I brought out the rigging and made sure all was in order. Using chains, a ramp and the block and tackle from the meat pole we can now get even the biggest deer into the S-10 solo.
After Angus returned, we set about getting my rifles sighted-in. The first to come to group was the 25-06 Mauser. It was not long before I had it doing sub-MOA with the new loads. SuperCore found me some H4350 at Knob Creek. I’m loading that behind the Hornady 117 grain boattails.
Next to test out was the Savage 99. This was supposed to be a simple three-shot deal. It was not. After an uncommonly wide spraying, I tried looking for a reason. The scope was not loose. There seemed to be no damage to the crown. I did notice that as I squeezed on the lever, my sight picture changed. Under further examination, I found the stock screw was coming loose. I needed a screwdriver long enough and big enough, and of course I had left the tools back at home. I called O.T. , and drove over to the mower shop. This is not the first time O.T. has helped with my attempts at emergency gunsmithing. See Briar Engineering and the Win 670
It was getting late when we got back. I was grouping back around an inch, so I knew I had fixed the problem, but I held off doing final adjustments on the scope until Sunday.
I called back to the house. KYHillChick is back in school, learning to be a massage therapist, and had to stay in town. When I got hold of her she was excited over seeing an 18 pointer wandering through the neighborhood, trailing a doe. It sounded like a the Seeking Phase of the rut has kicked in at home. It was well past sunset when I hung up the phone and went back to enjoy Happy Hour at the Thoughtful Spot. It was not but a minute or so later than I saw a doe come off Gobbler’s Knob and head down towards Skunk Hollow, walking right past the Jagendhutte as she went. I noted to myself to tell SuperCore. Just as she disappeared, there came a small buck, with his nose to the ground following the same path, and as soon as he had disappeared, another much larger deer came. It was now too dark to see his antlers, but the size of this last deer to be substantial. Yes, indeed, Seeking had begun.
Sunday was the time change. We took it easy, watched the sun rise, ate some breakfast and then went scouting. We went up towards Fountain Square and then ducked down through an unnamed gully that drains the pasture at Redbud, looking for deer sign, and then followed the property line for a while before cutting back up towards Garbage Pit and Glenway. We found what may have been old deer beds at the head of the gully. Glenway needs to be repaired or moved. Garbage Pit was un-touched by the storm, and the new clothesline idea had stayed intact.
Angus left me at Garbage Pit and hiked back alone. I dug around a bit, looking for recent sign. Frankly, it has been very light this year. There is pasture to the west of Garbage Pit that is normally full of deer scat. It was untouched. Angus drove the truck out and met me. We went back to the house and set up for some more shooting. I got the Savage 99 zeroed in quickly (whew!) and then turned to the Winchester 670. It needed a bit of a tweak to the elevation, but soon everything was boxed up and ready for the trip home.
And now comes the long wait. Counting the hours, checking the forecast, and waiting for it all to begin.
Look, I do not want to knock this deal with faint praise. It was okay. I’d call it BassPro Lite. This is the hunting and fishing departments of Dicks Sporting Goods blown up a bit and packaged in a nice wrapper.
The exit was backed up a good half-mile and it took over twenty minutes to get to the parking lot. I am sure this was due to it being evening rush hour. However, I saw a lot of people peal off and leave before I got to the light.
Prices? These were not deep discounts. Remmie Green Box Ammo was marked down $1. A F&S T-shirt went $20. A truck logo decal went for $18. These were not prices you would drive 100 miles out of your way to get.
Well stocked? Yes. However, I have to say that part of that was a bit illusory. I found socks scattered hither and thither. Ditto for things like boots and ammo. The point was obviously to make it all seem bigger and more spread out. However, when I found the rifle ammo, I found it was rather limited. They had 30-06, 30-30, 270 WIN. However, I did not see 35 Whelen– something I know they carry at BassPro.
There WAS a reloading section!!! Prices were high, but it was nice to see rifle powder and primers out somewhere again. It gave me hope for the future.
If you’re looking for a $15K Drilling, you will not find it at F&S. What I did see was a large gun counter filled with a lot of the new low-end rifles– the Mossbergs, the Ruger Americans, you know. Prices looked reasonable.
Helpful staff? Dang! Everywhere you looked you saw somebody with a tag. They were nice folks, but you had to wonder exactly how many folks in there were patrons and how many were employees.
Parking? I parked less than 50 yards from the door. The whole front of the place was blocked off for the grand opening show. It makes me wonder about the traffic at the exit. This wasn’t a packed-full crowd.
One interesting thing to note was that the check-out counters were remarkably open. You could tell the cashiers were bored.
I see this as a good step for Dicks. I used to shop at Dicks the first few years they were in Tri-County. However, their selection in the hunting and fishing departments waned, and so did my interest. A few years ago I had an hour to kill and dropped into their Kenwood location. After 5 minutes, I still had not found hunting, or fishing, or camping. I asked a floor walker for the gun counter.
“Sir!!!” said the clerk. “We don’t have ANY hunting or fishing merchandise at THIS location. This is a family store!”
Well, DANG! You don’t have to tell me twice. I have not been back since. This was a nice step back in the right direction.
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It was the weekend after Muzzleloader Season. We had two weekends to go before the start of Rifle Season. We all went down on Saturday to finish up the mountain of chores left. Saturday evening, Angus and I did some scouting. On Sunday morning, Angus left early to scout Hammond North and Knowlton’s Corner. I slept in and rode out after sunrise to Garbage Pit to put a skirt on the treestand.
It was getting on towards Nine when I finally got up the ladder and started working. I was in my Carharts, bibs and barn coat, yesterday’s socks and underwear and hiking boots. I climbed up, belted in, pulled up the duffle bag with the camo skirt and set about putting pipe insulation onto the shooting rail. When the pipe insulation was on, I threw two remaining scraps down to the ground for later retrieval. Then I sat down. It was a beautiful, blue-sky morning. That is when I saw her.
She was younger doe. She might have been the one from last weekend. I had dropped the hammer on her at last light on Saturday, but the cap had failed. She was staring my way less than 30 yards from the stand now. I was busted for sure.
Or not. She stayed where she was, trying to make up her mind. I think the falling pipe insulation had caused her consternation– that and all my banging about on the stand. As I sat there, waiting for her to bolt, I realized she was not looking at me, but rather at a point under the stand. She had no idea what was up the tree.
For the longest time, she stood in that same spot. She pawed the ground, stamped. Her warm breath clouded in front of her, as did mine. This would have made an easy off-center brisket shot. Unsatisfied, she turned broadside for a bit, before going behind some cedar trees. Finally, when nothing showed itself, she got bored with the whole idea and wandered off towards the stand at Virginia.
So, shaman, you saw a doe. Big Stinkin’ Whup!
Well, there was a lot more going on there. For one thing, there I was up in the last stand where I bow hunted. This next weekend will be the 6th anniversary of my last bow hunt. I realized as I watched that doe that bow hunting, which was a huge part of my life, is rapidly disappearing in the rear view mirror. For another thing, I realized that over 30 years of deer hunting had left me with a lot of mixed feelings about that doe. On the one hand, I just wanted to marvel at her. On the other hand, I was a bit peeved. I had a lot to do and so little time to do it.
Honestly, I really have to catch myself anymore. Deer have become so plentiful around the house in town that I sometimes have to remind myself that coming upon a wild deer in the woods is still something special. Back home, they are getting to be a bit of a nuisance. A pair of them were beside the truck the other day, the dogs did not even bother with them and got in without either side reacting.
Even twenty years ago I would have thought of this visit as a special occasion. In bow season, I might have shot. More than likely I would have held off, saving my tag for a buck. Still, having that doe at the stand would have felt like a hard-won victory that had taken many hours of work, and a silly amount of dedication, and a fair amount of shirking of various responsibilities to make it happen.
Thirty years ago? I would have been shaking like a leaf with anticipation. My head would have been filled with garbage from magazines and few friends that claimed they knew something about deer. There just HAD to be a buck around there somewhere, prodding her along with his antlers, pushing her ahead to scout for him. (Yeah, folks really did believe that back then.) Thirty years ago I would have not dreamed of shooting that doe. I was determined to make my first deer a buck– an 8-pointer or bust. This was at a time when I still was wondering about that odd noise I was hearing. It sounded like something sneezing. It took me a couple years to figure out it was coming from a deer, and a couple more to realize that it might not be a good idea to stuff mothballs into my wool hunting clothes before putting them away.
Thirty years had taught me a lot, but thirty years had also taken its toll. Thirty years ago, I could not have held still. As I sat up there, I realized it was far too easy to stay still– not like the old days. When I started hunting, one of my biggest hurdles was trying to stay still enough. Nowadays, I have to look at my watch to know when to get up and stretch.
I had quite a while to watch that doe. A lot of stuff wandered through my head. I realized how silly obsessions with things like scent control, camouflage, UV(!) , and such can be. There I was in my smelly old chore clothes, banging around on a metal stand. I had on a white T-shirt under my jacket. I had been caught out in the woods in full sunlight, and the tree stand, if anything only accentuated my presence. Still, the doe could care less. All the time I was within her gaze, she was within easy shooting range with a bow.
After a good long time, maybe 10 minutes, the deer got bored and moved on. I finished putting the blind material up, zip-tying it around the pipe insulation. I unhooked, came down, picked up the scraps of pipe insulation and headed back to the truck. I felt like my life had passed before me and that in some small way the fellow who had come down the ladder was different from the guy who had gone up. Hunting is like that some times.
I radioed Angus that I was rolling over to Knowlton’s Corner to pick him up. Angus had seen nothing and was ready to come out. It was time to get on to chores.