Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another One in the Books (Complete... :-)

This was a great day. I spent my morning and early afternoon covering one of my favorite sections of God's earth and it was wonderful as always. I am sad to say that the season is over for this year. However for the first time since I can remember thinking about such things, I am tired enough to be glad to see it end for a while. Like I said before (previous post) I am tired. I guess it's a sure sign of getting older. Who knows? My little one tells me I just need to hibernate... Yeah, time to put the bear back in the cage I guess. (damnit ;-)

The first bits of sunrise over the valley this morning. Yes, it was farging cold.

One thing I do know for sure, my zeal for slinging lead at the furry-tailed tree rats is not tired or even wavering a little in the cold, stinging January wind. I had some good shots today and didn't hit a damned one of them. I guess all that fiddling about with the bow has made some things not work as well as they should. (uh.. excuse? maybe?) So, I am going to hibernate until the tulips pop out and then I will get to work. There will be no lack of tweaking and practicing this year. Of course the missing could have more to do with cold hands and new gloves and the practicing could just be a contrived excuse to be out among the wild spots again... even if only 100 or so yards of them. No matter. Range time is forthcoming. One thing I have noticed, and am in a quandary around avoiding in the future, is the difference in the enjoyment I feel hunting squirrels with my rifle and hunting deer with my bow.

A side view of the water fall shown here doing much better now and frozen pretty well. I walked over the thing without falling through... Yes, farging cold.

I know for sure now I will never be a hardcore bow guy. I like to think I could do it but no way. The amount of respect I feel for guys who sit the stands 3 days a week for 2 months waiting out that booner is just unreal. My hat is off to you guys. I know for sure I just don't care enough to bathe in scent eliminating wash, use scent free clothes bags and wash, scent lures, trail cameras, etc. etc... and then sit still and chew gum for 2 months. I just don't have it. Not yet anyway. I like the on-the-ground, shoot and move of squirreling as much as anything I have done. And it is so damned simple by comparison. Don't get me wrong. I love (LOVE) to deer hunt. I will surely spend 5 or 6 of my days next fall in a stand or on the ground looking for a rack of suitable size. But in the end deer hunting is the high-priced, high-maintenance trophy wife of hunting. She's demanding but if you really gotta have what she's got to give, you have to do it. By contrast, squirrel hunting is just a simple and smart woman in comfortable sweats who wants to play chess. I can't say which shots are harder for sure because I have yet to draw down on Bambi with the bow, but I can tell you I have dropped a squirrel at 30 yards with my rifle and I can drill (consistently) the deer target at the same range. The squirrel shot is harder thus far. The rifle is harder to learn to do right but is far easier to half-ass and get away with it. Skill requirements are about even it seems. Quandary really... We will see I guess. I suspect I will do plenty of each in the months to come before Christmas 2008...

Sunrise down in the valley. Still farging cold...

Here's a very important picture. This is a wild monkey and her monkey Mama jumped up and flying as I have scared them up by a mistaken wind judgment and a broken twig... ;-) Nah... These are the reasons I come back home and am so glad I am moving on to something different for a while because I am sure it will involve them... Hunting just pales when stacked up with my girls. Lucky me though... I get to have both of them in my life and still go hunting when I can. How cool is that?

My Girls

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