Fall as a condition of the forest doesn't come to this part of the world until after other regions are in deep winter. Right now the live oaks and laurel oaks are shedding and the turkey oaks are a brilliant crimson-gold-orange mix. It is also very dry right now, so all those leaves are like popcorn underfoot. The moon is waning, but not that much, so the forest was aglow when we started walking in at about 6:40. I'm carrying the .30-30 right now, since Aunt Mary's .270 is up in SC with Cousin George. Its such a tiny gun in comparison, noisy to cycle too.
Probably about 7:10 I heard what I thought was a deer coming in from a little behind my left. The worst direction, a house lies within rifle range over there and there is no way I'd try it. I heard them get closer and closer until one of them either saw me as I craned my neck to spot them or else just plain smelled me. A couple of snorts later and I barely caught a glimpse of some white flags bounding off, three I think. I don't know if there was a buck in there or not.
After that excitement the cold sank in, and my woolen socks were no match. Don't laugh if you live in the Frozen Northlands, we don't come equipped to deal with it, and I already had on most of the layers I own. The last half hour was a test of my will, since I didn't want to disturb the woods any more than possible if John wanted to stay. I finally texted him I'd had enough, and since he couldn't feel his toes either he got back to the truck right after me. He did spot something I missed on the way out, a fresh deer print in one of his footprints from earlier.
Sunday morning is supposed to be warmer, we might try again then.
|View from the half-assed hide.|
In other news, my overnight backpack trip had to be put off due to a cold, but I'm over it so its back on for the 2nd. I took a short day hike last weekend in spite of the illness and stumbled on the complete skeleton of a spike buck. No hunting is allowed where I was but there is a lot of WMA and private tracts nearby, it might have been an unrecovered from one of those. I collected the skull, so at least I have one antlered trophy this year.
Some pics from around the area:
|Dry cypress dome (domes are actually depressions, go figure)|
|Old turpentine woods, pines long gone though.|