Sunday, December 7, 2008
doe in the freezer
It has been freezing cold all weekend. The temps hovered in the low 20's since Friday. It looked like snow on Thursday and again on Friday, but nothing. Sunday was the last day of deer gun hunting in Ohio, until the special season on December 20 and 21. Early Sat. AM saw me preparing for the trek out to my farm in Champion, Ohio. I had a fleece orange hat, fleece mittens, and neck gaiter. I had my filson coat, my long johns, my long sleeve sweat shirts, my fleece cover shirt and my shotgun and my blackpowder gun. i did not want to take any chances on a mishap on equipment and be cut off the gun hunting season. Plus, my second boss, a construction company that I work for, was excpecting me at a 5,000 sq. ft. monstrosity that i had worked at several times before. If worse came to worse, i would go in and work from morning to midday and then head back out. Luck was with me this time. I met my buddies at the farm and we all picked out the spots we wanted. i had seen several deer at a point way back in the woods where a swampy section met a forested section, and i knew it could be hot. With all the guns going off all week, if deer were going to be anywhere, they would be back there. I headed there before daylight. A tree had fallen and was wedged between two other trees and cut across the small clearing forming a 45 degree angle at about chest high. It was a perfect place to set up. I had the scope light on in the early morning light and the sky was quite overcast, not allowing for a specatacular sunrise, but a slow increased visibility. gray turned brown. black turned charcoal. the little bit of snow on the ground began to look white, not shades of gray. It was dawn and the first bird flew bye at a blurry pace in front of me. The wind blew and the air was still cold. it was early and i was still warm from my brisk walk to this little opening. As it got lighter, i could make out the deep pines about seventy yards in front of me. i could see the standing water that had a hard, clear ice coat over their surfaces. i adjusted my gun, resting on the downed tree and when i heard i noise i slid off the safety. it was such a loud CLICK, that i thought for sure it would surprise any animal around. It shocked only me. And the wind blew and it looked like another morning without action. The first gun went off somewhere far away. And then i heard it. The unmistakeable sound of deer or turkey walking through the woods. my sense tingled. I propped the shotgun up and saw the deer, making her way down the path. I verified it was a deer in the still dim light, even though it was long after legal shooting hours. There were no antlers, but that did not bother me. After the first shot she was running towards me, a rather fortuitous turn of luck as the path was only ten yards behind me. I checked my watch and it was just before 8 AM. after loading her in the rig and heading to the check in station, i was at the house for work at 11:30 AM. Snow was falling and the deer was already frozen. six inches fell that night in and around Mantua. The fire is still burning in the fireplace as i write this.