Nov/Dec 2012

  

 

  

HOWDY DAVIS
STAFF WRITER.

My Outdoor Adventures

http://nafsmokesignals.tripod.com/2012/jan-feb_issue/pictures/dwelling.jpg

 

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OUTDOOR ADVENTURES #2


AT AN EARLY AGE MY BROTHERS AND I LEARNED TO BE GOOD TRAPPERS AND HUNTERS. BECAUSE THAT WAS ALL WE KNEW AND HAD TO DO. BESIDES WE MADE MONEY TRAPPING. THE FOREST AND STREAMS WHERE OUR PLAYGROUND. HIDDEN IN ALL OF THIS WAS A GOOD BIT OF LUCK. BECAUSE THERE WERE TIMES WHEN OUTINGS COULD HAVE GONE BAD WRONG. ONCE IN THE POCONO MOUNTAINS OF PENNSYLVANIA I HAD A SPECIAL PLACE THAT I LOVED TO HUNT FOR WHITETAIL DEER. I WAS ABOUT A MILE BACK IN THE WOODS SCOUTING I FOUND A CUT TRAIL THAT I FOLLOWED AND FOUND A CONCRETE CONE PLANTED IN THE GROUND WITH A BRASS MARKER MOUNTED ON TOP. LATER I FOUND OUT THAT THIS WAS INDICATING WHERE THREE COUNTIES CAME TOGETHER. THAT WAS A COOL FIND. ABOUT ONE HUNDRED YARDS WEST WAS THIS SPECIAL TREE THAT I LOVED TO HUNT OUT OF. I CALLED THIS TREE THE COOKIE TREE BECAUSE IT LOOKED LIKE SOMEONE PAINTED IT TO LOOK LIKE CAMOUFLAGE. I NEVER SAW A TREE LIKE THIS BEFORE. THE SPOTS ON THIS TREE LOOKED LIKE BIG COOKIES. WHILE SCOUTING I DID FIND PLENTY OS DEER SIGN AMONGST THE LOW GROWING SHRUBS.

 

ITS OPENING DAY AND EARLY IN THE MORNING, I'M PERCHED UP IN THE COOKIE TREE. THE MORNING IS QUITE COOL UNTIL THE SUN FINALLY REACHES ME AND WANTS TO MAKE ME SLEEPY. IM AWARE OF OTHER HUNTERS FALLING ASLEEP AND FALLING OUT OF TREES SO IT BECOMES A GAME OF MIND OVER NOT FALLING OUT OF TREE. I SPOT TWO DOE FEEDING ALONG SIDE OF A HILL ABOUT 50 YARDS AWAY. I WATCHED THEM UNTIL THEY DISAPPEARED OUT OF SITE. I HEARD A SOUND BEHIND ME. I SLOWLY TURNED AROUND AND LOOKED DOWN TOWARDS THE BASE OF MY TREE AND CAME EYEBALL TO EYEBALL WITH A GOOD SIZE BLACK BEAR ABOUT READY TO CLIMB UP THE TREE. WITH OUT EVEN THINKING I SAID OUT LOUD " WOOOF " THERE AIN'T ROOM FOR TWO UP HERE. THIS IS WERE LUCK COMES IN. HE DROPPED DOWN AND TOOK OFF INTO SOME HEAVY BRUSH. MY HEART IS POUNDING. I COULD SEE HIM STAND UP IN THE BRUSH AND LOOK BACK. I GROWLED AGAIN AND HE SKEDADDLED.

WELL I DIDNíT GET A DEER DURING THE BOW SEASON SO IM BACK IN THE AREA WITH MY MUZZLELOADER. IT HAD SNOWED A FEW INCHES OVER NIGHT, AS I APPROACHED THE COOKIE TREE AND WALKING DOWN THE VERY NARROW PATH TO THE COUNTY MARKER I FIND A VERY FRESH SET OF GOOD SIZE BEAR TRACKS GOING INTO THE LARGE STAND OF BRUSH AND PINE TREES ON MY RIGHT. I BACKTRACK AND MAKE MY WAY ALL AROUND THIS STAND OF TREES. THAT BEAR IS IN THIS HEAVY TICKET. I FIGURE HE EITHER HAS A DEN OR HE IS IN THOSE TREES WATCHING ME. IM SPOOKED TO SAY THE LEAST. THE BAD PART OF THIS IS I DONíT HAVE A BEAR TAG AND I GOT A SINGLE SHOT GUN. I QUIETLY MOVE ALONG AND GET ELEVATED INTO THE COOKIE TREE. NOW I HAVE ALL SORTS OF THINGS GOING ON IN MY HEAD. IM WONDERING IF THIS IS THE SAME BEAR THAT WAS AT THE BASE OF MY TREE A FEW WEEKS AGO. THE IRONIC THING ABOUT THAT WAS THAT I HAD A PEANUTBUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH IN MY PACK THAT HAD TO BE WHAT HE SMELLED. THIS TIME I HAVE A HAM AND CHEESE SANDWICH AMD A SNICKERS BAR. NEEDLESS TO SAY THAT AS SOON AS I GOT SITUATED I GOT THAT FOOD OUT AND ATE IT RIGHT AWAY. I EVEN CRUMBLED THE WRAPPERS AND TOSSED THEM AS FAR AS I COULD. THIS WAS A REAL LESSON THAT YOU DONíT GO WALKING AROUND THE WOODS SMELLING LIKE BAIT. I WAS ALWAYS PRETTY CAREFUL BY ALWAYS KEEPING MY HUNTING CLOTHES IN A SEALED CONTAINER WITH PINE BRANCHES DURING THE OFF SEASON. DURING THE SEASON I LEAVE THEM HANGING OUTSIDE. ON THIS TRIP I DID SEE DEER BUT TO FAR FOR A SHOT AND I DIDNíT ENCOUNTER THAT BEAR AGAIN.

I NOW HAVE A BEAR TAG AND IN ANOTHER DIFFERENT AREA THAT MY SCOUTING HAS SHOWN PLENTY OF BEAR SIGN. WHEN I SCOUTED THE AREA I PICKED OUT A TREE BUT NEVER REALLY CHECKED IT OUT. IT'S OPENING DAY AND IM IN THIS TREE THAT HAS TO BE THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE TREE I WAS EVER IN. IT HAD A NARROW CRUTCH THAT I HAD TO BEND ONE FOOT AND AFTER ABOUT TWENTY MINUETS I HAD TO RAISE MY BODY UP AND BUT THE OTHER FOOT INTO THE CRUTCH. THIS AREA HAD A LOT OF SWAMP AND BERRY BUSHES ALL AROUND. I KNOW THAT BEARS LOVE BERRIES. I HAD FOUND BEAR SCAT ALL AROUND THIS PLACE. IM ONLY ABOUT TEN FEET UP IN MY PERCH. THE SUN HAS FINALLY REACHED ME AND REALLY FEELS GOOD. I DONíT KNOW WHY THE BEAR SEASON ALWAYS FEELS LIKE THE COLDEST DAYS OF THE YEAR. I SUDDENLY HEAR A SHOT A WAYS OFF WHERE I BELIEVE MY BROTHER BILLY IS. SO I GET READY JUST INCASE WHEN JUST THEN TO MY LEFT I HEAR THE SPLASHING AND BUSHES MOVING AND A BIG BLACK BEAR COMES RUNNING UP OUT OF THE SWAMP RIGHT TOWARDS ME. I RAISE MY 54 CAL AND SLAMMED HIM RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CHEST. I CANT BELIEVE HOW FAST I RELOADED AND SLAMMED HIM AGAIN GOING FOR THE SPINE RIGHT BETWEEN THE SHOULDERS. WITH THAT HE SPINS AROUND AND FALLS DOWN. IM GOING LIKE HECK GETTING RELOADED. WHEN HE GETS UP AND STARTS WALKING TOWARDS ME SWAYING FROM SIDE TO SIDE. WITH THIS HIS HEAD IS SWINGING SIDE TO SIDE WITH BLOOD SPRAYING ALL OVER. FINALLY IM LOADED AND TRYING TO CONTROL THE SHAKING I SHOOT HIM AGAIN RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CHEST. HE'S STILL COMING LOOKING RIGHT AT ME. I NOW GOT A VERY MAD BEAR AND NO WHERE TO GO. I TURN THE RIFLE AROUND AND READY TO USE IT AS A CLUB WHEN HE DROPS RIGHT BELOW MY TREE. I PULL MY FOOT OUT OF THE CRUTCH AND TRY MY BEST TO LAY OUT IN THE TREE TO CATCH MY BREATH AND LET MY HEART LEVEL OFF. IT'S A VERY COLD DAY AND I WAS RINGING WET FROM SWEAT. HUNTING IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN. I CAN ONLY SAY THAT IT'S NO PLACE FOR SOMEONE WITH A BAD HEART.

 

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