Thursday, December 1, 2016

The meteorologists missed the forecast once again. There was a zero percent chance of rain today, and it poured all day. Dad headed north early. He couldn’t sit still today, and the urge to wander got the best of him. He covered a lot of ground. The woods were quiet because of the rain, which made it ideal to still-hunt. By the time he returned to the truck at dark, he had seen eight deer but no bucks in the bunch. He wasn’t impressed with the sign that he found. The snow is gone, which will hopefully turn away the people who suddenly become fearless when it is present.

I got out of work around 2:00 p.m. and hustled to get into the woods, so I could sit for an hour and a half before it got dark. I nestled into a good place right near camp and waited it out. I wanted to go back to the notch where I wounded the deer a few weeks ago, but I didn’t have enough time to get there. Although I can’t stand hunting in the snow, I kind of missed it when I was sitting against a big yellow birch tree. Snow sure does allow you to slack off a little. It makes it much easier to see what’s going on and spot deer much quicker than normal.

I didn’t see anything in the few minutes I got to spend in the woods. I didn’t mind. I just enjoyed sitting amongst nature and taking it all in. I’ve come to realize that the forest is my home. The Adirondacks breathe life into me. When it comes right down to it, there’s no place I’d rather be. I like carrying my gun, the gun named Widow-Maker. It rides on my shoulder like a well-worn mitten. It has become part of me for the last 26 hunting seasons in northern New York. It gives me comfort just by looking at it. If the gun could talk, I would love to sit down next to it and listen to the stories. Would our stories be similar or would they twist and turn in different directions? As I’m sitting here typing this in front of the wood stove, my gun is resting against my backpack behind me. It’s resting before going on another journey in the morning.

I love the excitement of what the next day will bring. I might not see a thing and that’s fine, but I might just put the biggest buck of my life on the ground. I might even shoot a lesser buck because it excites me when I see it. I can’t predict what will happen, but I do know that there’s no place I would rather be. I will be spending the day with my dad in a small piece of timber somewhere in the Adirondacks. It really doesn’t get much better than that. I’m doing what I love with the man who taught me how to do it. This is my 33rd year of sharing the woods with him. Sometimes we go in our own directions and other times we stay close to one another for some creature comfort. Tomorrow we will be hunting in the same general area. We haven’t done too much of that this year. Hopefully, it will bring us a little bit of luck. We might try to cut an area off and see if something wanders by one of us. I’d like to see dad knock one over. That would make my day.

The Adirondacks. There is no place like it in the country. If you can regularly take bucks in these mountains, you can do it anywhere in the country. Here are some pictures of the Adirondacks. We’ve used every method imaginable to get deer out of the woods. We used a kayak to get this one out.


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