Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Hunting I Will Go
Monday morning, the first day of buck season, I went to my brother’s place for a day in the woods. It was a chilly twenty-one degrees. We were to hunt in opposite directions, but I needed to use his four wheeled ATV to get to the area to watch. The spot I wanted was about a mile back an old logging road filled with ruts, some of which were water filled. After parking it, I had to walk the last quarter of a mile to stand at the crest of a hill overlooking a flat bottom area with a promising area behind.
The sun was the first to greet me, peeking over the horizon with the promise of warmth in its coral glow. A frisky gray squirrel soon clambered down a tree, chirred and twerked its tail before scurrying down some fallen trees and disappearing in to the trees below me. Later, as I surveyed the woods, I saw a movement. It was one of the gray wraiths of Pennsylvania. A small doe was moving almost silently, no antlers. In a short period of time, two more ambled, browsing along the same path.
A hawk swooped up from the valley below, and settled in a tree in front of me. It surveyed the vale before flying on. Several crows flew overhead with their raucous calling. The woods quieted and I moved slightly to see behind a bit easier. I decided to sit on a wide, moss covered tree for a rest. After I settled, I saw movement again. Two more does, but they were moving in the opposite direction from the first three. Ambling ever closer, I scarcely dared to breathe. They took a few steps, then glanced around before nibbling at some plant. They walked past my perch only twelve yards away, before wandering off in another direction.
Later a spot of white caught my eye. It hadn’t been there earlier. My brother said there was an albino doe and that is what it was. There was also a buck travelling with her. I could hear him snort every so often. Today, she was protecting him as much as she was him. Each time they came into an open area, he was on her far side. When he wandered ahead of her, the brush was too thick to risk a shot. Slowly they meandered off.

Later, I got my buck. I think my brother chased it out as he came to check on me. Six points, but it was quite a haul to get it out. The hills were rocky, slippery, wet leaf covered and steep. Thank goodness, another logging road wasn’t too far away and the “impossible” journey was made just a bit easier.

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