Monday, November 19, 2012

Rescuing Birds & Stalking Luck

Gibson was behind the row of pine trees, slowly creeping towards the cowering Buff Orpington who was stuck and confused in the weeds. I saw her there while doing chores—my eyes and ears super sensitive now that three times a day I am out hunting deer—I doubt I would have noticed her otherwise. She was stuck in the mud and tight stalks of dead grasses. She seemed to have given up. I knew she was one of the new birds right away. She was supposed to be in the barn with her friends, still getting used to the new place, but she must have escaped. There are holes in the barn big enough for a bird to get through. She probably followed the yard birds to the watering area here, by the artesian well, and then realized she was alone in a weird place in cold weather.

I was on the opposite side of her, hoping that when the choice to run towards one of us she would pick me instead of the black and white teeth machine. I told Gibson to "walk up" and then after a step, "Lie down" and he did. The bird took a look at him and my open arms and did not run into them, but instead, tried to dodge past me. I caught her as she made the attempt and Gibson burst through the pine trees, tail wagging. "Good Boy!" I told the farm dog. Together we walked the nervous bird back to the wind-free, chicken chow buffet, safe zone that was my small barn. Bonita watched from her indoor stall as Gibson and I got her settled in with the other birds. "No more exploring for a bit, okay? You're a long way from an Eglu here, sister" I said to the blinking, black eyes. I don't know if the Buff cared to reply to her captor. I shrugged and called my dog as we headed out of the barn. I stopped needing the acceptance or approval of chickens a while ago.

I haven't been writing much this weekend due to it being a Rural Holiday of serious Import: Opening Weekend of Deer Hunting. I spent most of the two days outside in the woods far from my farmhouse and rode, scaring three deer away and cursing under my breath. I hope to get a deer, I really do. I adore venison and have the luck of having drawn a doe tag in my state's lottery. That means I can take a buck and a doe this season, and I'll take either. A buck with a beautiful set of antlers would be heroic, sure, but you can't eat antlers. It's been a beautiful and frustrating introduction to hunting large game this weekend. I usually hunt upland birds, a daylight affair with happy dogs and lots of chatter. You are trying to scare the game when shooting at pheasants or grouse. But hunting deer means silent walking, lots of hours sitting still, and involves about 50% luck. I have three weeks and two farms to hunt on. I think I'll get something, and I have asked and written it down, which to be is as good as factual reality. But Time and luck will tell.

It's cold out there.

10 Comments:

Blogger Kelly said...

My husband went hunting for the first time ever this year. He set up the tree stand in our back yard (woods) Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning he sat for 45 minutes and killed his first deer! A big buck on top of that! We got tons of meat and a hunter was born yesterday!!! His friends who drive hours to hunt think he was lucky! I say he was blessed and I hope you are too!

November 19, 2012 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger becky said...

do you not bait the deer your trying to kill

November 19, 2012 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger becky said...

do you not bait the deer your trying to kill

November 19, 2012 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Rich With Life said...

Hunting season doesn't start again until Saturday where I am at, and I am sorely hoping to get a nice deer to fill me freezer and get me through the winter. I wish you much luck! My grandfather rolls his clothes in my horse manure before going- says he would rather smell like horse than human. I don't know that I have ever heard of anyone else doing that, but it works for him!

November 19, 2012 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Mist said...

Sending you good hunting mojo! Hope the wool lion doesn't scare the deer away. ;)

November 19, 2012 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Josh and Haley said...

Good luck hunting! We depend heavily on deer meat through out the year to feed our family. You are right - deer meat is yummy! We are having venison chili tonight!

November 19, 2012 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Be sure and eat the liver. That's a delicacy in Upper Peninsula Michigan...or so I've been reading this weekend.

November 19, 2012 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna ---where do you buy your maple syrup---thanks jim

November 19, 2012 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

Deer liver a delicacy? I know some folks really like the heart. Eh,but what do I know I'm a troll
residing under the bridge. (lower peninsula)

You are right horns don't eat good. I always thought bucks were easier because they are running stupid this time of year. A three year old doe, waaay to smart and alert--that's a challenge.

November 20, 2012 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger becky said...

I grew up in the UP in moran just north of the bridge and I've only met one person that eats deer liver. Back Straps and heart are usually considered the best eating

November 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM  

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