Saturday, October 15, 2005

Email meanderings

I'm taking the easy way out tonight. Sorry. Tired and have to get up early tomorrow and rein in the little tykes, who are always on the hunt for trouble.

I was corresponding with my arrow-flinging friend Mike of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Oct. 11. He had written on how he was gettin' a hankerin' for some tasty medallions.
Here was my response:

"That's what I've been thinking, especially since I have fresh-cut basil. One of my favorite recipes for frying backstrap: butter, soy and basil. Fry til pink juices come out. Oh, baby. I'm in need.

"Well, ... I'm coming back from a bad experience. Went out today. In the dark. Neighbor comes down road, and I just got up the tree. Noticed how close I was, and since I'm not entirely kosher there, decide to move. End up in new tree after 8 a.m., sweating profusely, of course. Did TITW (known to us Time In The Woods). Didn't see anything. No surprise there. Got down at 11. While leaving, went back to where I was originally -- had three deer come in the day the before while turkey hunting (shotgun). It's a gold mine. I always see deer there and not at the other spot. Why? Because there's oaks dropping acorns all over there. So, I just have to take the chance and stay there next time because it's a magnet. And if it's deer magnet for does, it'll be for bucks come ruttin' time. My original spot in back is only about 60 yards from there. It could be all right considering I could catch a buck trying to intercept the does going to feed.

"The 'real' problem came later when I went to set up a stand at the new place (northside of Port Huron) I got permission to hunt. Just a thick field -- suburbia -- on edge of woods. I was going to go just inside the woods and hang the stand looking into field. Technically, not the guy's property but he tells me 'it should be OK.' So I'm going with that presumption. I have the steps in -- 10 of them. Just struggling with stand. Here comes three dudes. I'm thinking ... This can't be good. We introduce each other. They're his sons. I can tell by their expressions they're not crazy about me being there. I tell them I was going to call their dad later that night. We talk about hunting and so forth. Ends fine. I go back to the task at hand. Here comes an old dude. Again, I'm doomed this time, I bet, I say to myself. Sho e'nuf, it's Big Joe. The landowner. Complete with a hat adorned with large print NRA. (Like he's the man and shit -- gimme a f'ing break.) Turns out he doesn't want me there. Has some bitch about my guy posting some fence on the line, which I never saw. So I'm agreeable and bring it down with a parting shot: "OK, I'll just hunt the field's edge like a banshee." It'll have to be during gun season though. That way I can shoot them in the head and neck and drop 'em in the field. The scenario goes like this: I pop some giant 8 or 10 cruising for does and then shout, 'Heeeeey, Joe, I got your deer out here.' Then, loudly, drive the truck out into the field to pick it up, drop the tailgate without catching it. Boom! Slam it back when done. Roar out of there. I realize I didn't do everything by the book on this stand thing, but as the typical alkie, just didn't want to hear the answer no. That's OK. So Big Joe's a king for a day. Kicked me off his land. A real hero. He'll go back into his house tonight. And in the quiet of the bathroom. Look down and take a leak and realize he's only holding 2 inches. He'll again be faced with the truth once more.

"I was out there, the 11th (Mike had mentioned how he killed a 10-point same day last year). Was a deer killing day. Overcast. Cool. Light breeze. Thing is, with my climber, I need a good 5 mph to 15 mph wind to disguise Mac the Klunker in the woods. I do feel all I need is for one hunt to come together. You know, where you do everything: play the wind right, wind at temps I noted, got in early enough to stand and was quiet. Those sorts of things. I think I spooked Mr. Big the other day when I was turkey hunting. Came in behind me, of course. He clomped off. Blowing. Flag was all I saw. Funny. Lately, the last couple of seasons, it's been coming all together during gun season. I'm already strickened with some burn-out because of the bear hunt. Need to chill, which I will -- planning on bird hunting one day and turkey another end of this week. Will evening hunt for bucks Sunday and Monday. Probably on state land somewhere. ..."

I did bird hunt Thursday, Oct. 14, with the English pointer, who again showed some decent desire and handling, but was little lacking in finding birds. Day ended fairly uneventful with only one flush -- grouse -- which I never saw because I was in typical thick grouse cover. That's why having wingmen is so vital.

Must say the woodcock are down this year. They have yet to make their migration or already have and I missed it -- which would be no surprise. Woods seems bare of them this year. At least around my spots in St. Clair County.

Looks like a trip to one of my favorite bird hunting spots in Arenac-Gladwin Cos., northern Michigan, may be in order. In the last few years, it hasn't been uncommon to have 20 to 25 flushes there. A trip there could give a better indication of what's going on.

Still planning on making the Sunday/Monday evening deer gigs. Beginning to get fired up as the rut approaches. Yet, today, Friday, Oct. 14, was entirely content on a short turkey hunt behind the house. Nuthin' happened but one of those mellow Indian summer days where the breeze gently nudges the red and yellow leaves down off of the forest canopy maples and oaks. A kind of crossroad for summer's leaving and fall's arrival. I've snoozed away many an midafternoon day slumped beneath an oak on just a day. But an hour was all I had, so I saddled back homeward.

It was a very relaxing sit before coming to what is known to me as the daily newspaper nightmare on the sports copy desk, called football Fridays, where all the scores and copy comes crashing in during the last hour. And then I crazily try to manage it all, cram it onto the pages and beat the deadline. We'll have another go at it tomorrow.

There has just got to be a better way to make a living.


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