Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Winding her down

Season appears to be slowly counting down.

Dec. 15. Fifteen more days until the deer can run free without lead, nor wood or carbon shafts whizzing past their tender bodies.


As I wrote in a previously blogging, I thought I had one more deer in me. What I didn't count on was how Michigan's late fall/early winter weather can wear on the determined hunter.

The determined hunter who has already bagged a couple of deer and has gone a week or so eating nothing but venison steaks. The fat boy tends to count himself out before he goes out with negatives. "Eh, what's the use? Deer aren't even around ... Or, cold weather's gonna keep 'em herded up and not moving."

This can be translated to: It's too f--king cold to wait on stand for the furry critters.

The readers can be assured -- that is if there are any -- that this hunter did not succumb to these subconscious thoughts.

Yep, that's right, I was stupid enough to brave the single-digit temperatures while perched 15-feet high in the thick white pine behind my St. Clair County house Tuesday, Dec. 13.

Unfortunately, the only thing moving was my idiot neighbors who were blasting away on both sides of the tree I was in at what seemed to be 15-minute intervals.

I don't know if I'm being inquisitive or paranoid, but I'm beginning to wonder if I'm
a victim of my own foul play related to the day I tuned up my shotgun when I saw a orange soldier venture near my spot at the end of the regular firearms season.

I wonder ...

—— —— ——

Sunday evening, Dec. 11's hunt, was marred by a game hog across the river from where Walt and I conducted a one-man drive -- I was the driver -- through a stand of CCC plantings of pine behind my house. It nearly was successful as the three regular customers to my corn feeder were hiding out there. But they ran out the opposite side from where Walt was waiting armed with his smokepole.

We tried another drive with me walking the edge high above the Pine River, but this time nothing was in the vicinity except a pop-up blind in the clearing across the river.

Then, while we were re-organizing for the next move, we heard bellowed at us, "You two guys on the hill are TRESPASSING."

I railed back, "You wouldn't be saying s--t if I pushed something to you."

Crickets. Well, not really crickets in the dead of December. How about whispers of wind weaving through the boughs of pine?

I thought so.

It is absentee land that I care for as my own. I leave only footprints and gutpiles (of which I'm sure only last a few days at the most because of the marauding coyotes).

In a perfect world, I would have a written permission slip -- probably just like the ones the dirt bikers and quad runners have that use the trail skirting my property to go back to that property -- the same trail I never asked to have -- a mere 50 yards from my kitchen window. As long as that's happening, I'm hunting back there. Period. End of story.

Being the considerate types we are, we ended our drive ... C'mon, you didn't really think we would? We then continued on to flush the swampy island down away from Mr. Pop-up Blind and the thicket near our original starting point. Both movements yielded nothing but fairly fresh tracks and old beds.

The upcoming weekend will mark the end of Michigan's muzzleloading season. With my family traveling to West Virginia for the holidays and leaving me home alone to work, you can bet I'll be somewhere in the woods with my Knight freezing my ass off.


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