Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Couple of Days Hunting

It's a nice place...100+ acres outside of Black River Falls by about 3 miles. The sandy land doesn't support much agriculture, really, unless you count growing white pines as 'agriculture;' there's a stream running through the acreage with a lot of birch and oak bordering the water. The planted white pines are 6+ years old and provide a lot of cover for the deer.

It's quiet. So much so that the reports of gunfire and their 6 echoes from more than a mile away are easily heard, just like the hammering going on perhaps 1000+ yards distant, and the dog barking. Squirrels at play on the dried oak-leaves within 50 yards are very audible, and a .300 WinMag report at less than a quarter-mile is a real wake-up. But it's not from our party.

All the hunting is done from a number of well-placed stands. Most of them are near the stream and offer lanes to the cleared field near the center of the "L"-shaped property. The owners don't "drive" for deer--usually there are only 2 or 3 hunters.

Earlier in the season, four deer were sighted and two does were taken. That provided an excellent meal on Friday night. The steaks were not 'gamey,' at all; the preparation included an hours' marination in oil and red wine, plus a liberal dose of herb-seasonong.

The weather couldn't have been heavy clothing was required, making the walks to the stands (and climbing into them) a breeze. Friday morning was perfectly clear. Wish I'd spent more time with a basic astronomy book, for then I'd have been able to identify 6 of the 7 visible constellations (I got the Little Dipper, no problem.) The Milky Way was sharp for the first 30 minutes. A very high-flying plane (probably out of Minneapolis, but perhaps further west) crossed but there was no noise later. A dangerously-curious chickadee stopped by to get a closer look at the pumpkin-esque critter in the tree-stand, landing perhaps 2 feet from my face, on the stand's plywood half-wall.

Saw no deer. Neither did the others.

Friday afternoon we did manage to scare up a deer near the stream as we crossed it. I heard the rattle-and-crunch and called my PH about the same time he heard it; my position was right, and the tail flashed and bobbed a couple of times before the deer disappeared. The deer never came out, and we had it surrounded, more or less, each of us at opposite ends of the stream's shallow gully.

The only TV station that came in clearly was an NBC affiliate from Eau Claire, which apparently had only three 'on-air' personalities who worked Friday from the early news at 0500 through the 6PM news show; a different anchor showed up at 10PM but the weather-kid soldiered through that broadcast as well. Evidently nothing happened in Iraq, DC, Milwaukee or Madison on Friday which merited attention from the news department...but it was reassuring to know that shoppers were out in Eau Claire I guess. That, and the story about a body of a young mother found in the woods, took up the 'news hole.'

The mother's baby is an orphan, permanently--but there was nothing about the baby in the stories. Wasn't really much of anything in the stories--video of yellow tape, a Sheriff's car, and a couple of men carrying a litter towards a small truck, plus a shot of the tavern where she was last seen. Kind of a lousy epitaph.

The Nick Cage movie was an inverse-play on It's A Wonderful Life. Reasonably well-done but not really cohesive. Cage does very well with the mouth-hanging-open double take.

Leaving town--how does someone actually make a living being a psychic palm-reader in Black River Falls? What's to become of the old-style WallyWorld directly across from the new-style WallyWorld?

Delightful, altogether. And there's a red squirrel who got a reprieve from becoming dinner until at least next year. Haven't figured out how he eluded the 1000 fps .17 missile. Maybe the kids played with the sights, eh?


Neo-Con Tastic said...

Sounds quite engaging. The tranquility alone must have been a breath of fresh air.

And I concur, Cage is a phenomenal actor and his dumb-founded stare is quite selling.

Dad29 said...

Actually, I meant that (based on this movie) that's ALL Cage is good at.

He's also reasonably good at being a normal guy.

But you do that well, too, sometimes.