Monday, November 3, 2008

Oh deer.

Along with preparing for winter, and actually I guess hand in hand with that, folks have been getting ready for deer hunting season around here. Actually, there has been a hunting season of one kind or another going on for what seems like a long time.

There is bear season, which is broken down into all crazy kind of ways like.. bear season for 12 year old males with bows only, then bear season with baiting, bear season with dogs but not for 9 year olds with guns, and bear season for only men and women wearing green flannel shirts.

For about a month during bear hunting season with dogs there were some hunters staying next door at the ‘white cabin’ with their hunting dogs. The dogs were fine but everyonce in awhile they would bay... I guess that is what you would call it. But it was not the typical bloodhound sounding kind of bay, instead it is an unearthly hound of the Baskervilles kind of sound. Would scare the tar out of anyone coming through the moors in the middle of the night.

Umm.. that is not a bear hound... I am not sure what the hell that is.
This below is a bear hound.. called a Plott Hound apparently they are good bear hunters. They use them to tree the bears so hunters then wander up and shoot them out of the trees.

Well, Cosmo and Delta took delight in the whole situation. They would chase squirrels over close to where those dogs were penned and dance around in front of them teasing them. After all, they were roaming around free and can hunt squirrels all they want!

The bear dogs were like…. Whatever. Just undo this cage door and we will show you what we can do.

Now deer season is nearly upon us and it seems that there are many more deer hunters than bear hunters. All of these old deer camps that you find here and there in the woods... the ones you thought were deserted all of a sudden come to life. The doors and windows are open, the bar-b-ques are going, beer cases laying around (Pabst) , and there are a bunch of men, trucks, and neon orange accessories of one kind or another.

Oh.. and don't forget the various hunter's toys:

Deer season is also broken down into guns, bows, ages, days, times, baited or non-baited.. I dunno… all I know is that once it really starts you have to stay off the atv trails until the season is over. No scaring away the deer… and no getting shot that way. It’s a good thing.

Men even grow beards and even if their work has a policy about shaving and looking scruff… apparently that is suspended during hunting season. Hmmm… must be some kinda cave man issue. Hairy hunters.

David is going to get his license this year and most folks we know are setting up their deer blinds and getting all ready. I have been invited to join in and have just not been real clear about my answer yet… I will eventually be letting folks know that I really don’t have any desire to go hunting.

Don’t get me wrong, I will eat deer and I have even help butcher a little bit before, but I will pass on the hunting part. Don’t get me wrong, I sure could shoot a deer if I had to but the thing is… I don’t have to.

If I was hungry, had no money, and needed to kill a deer or rabbit or whatever to eat I would. Plain and simple. But I am not in that situation, and frankly... I could eat beans and rice and do just fine. However, David wants to get at least one this year and put it in the freezer and that is okey dokey. I have no problem with hunting if you plan on eating what you kill, and eat it we will. I have some pretty good recipes that we will be trying out.

But given the choice and if hunger is not a factor then I prefer to see my venison like this (you may remember the first one from an earlier posting, click on the picture to remind yourself if you want):

than like this:
... of course I really do love this though:

and ... hmmm.. this looks good too:

Anyway, David, the dogs, and I went out and scouted around in a place where David might do some hunting.

We had tried to take the scooters back there during spring and summer but when we first tried there was:

1. So many maples and baby maples it was hard following and or even finding the path, and
2. Because we were going slow the mosquitos found me and were having such a feast on my flesh that I turned back and went home. Seriously. It was during mosquito season.

Anyway… we were able to walk through that area easily now that all the leaves are down and it really is a very pretty area now that it is all visible.

This country is filled with rolling hills and hidden rock formations. You just don't know that until fall and winter because it is so densely forested. Delta and Cosmo loved the walk of course.

We found a whole little section where there was handfuls of burrows… or dens. I don’t think it was a badger village or anything because I think they are more solitary creatures but I don't know what else would live like that. There were a few active burrows or dens and then a bunch that were not active this year. I think foxes are more solitary critters too but I looked up info on coyotes and apparently not only do they live in dens but they usually have a few nearby for backup in case their main one is compromised and they have to move the pups.

Anyway, I am kind of suspicious that they were older coyote dens because Cosmo who thinks he is a tough guy went halfway down into one (I had visions of badger terror and flipped the snap on my holster) but he sniffed around real good, and then peed on the outside of the burrow.

TAKE THAT! He said emphatically.
Scratch Scratch scratch hop hop hop.

Geez. Maybe he should grown a beard.

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