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Sunday, November 28, 2010

11/28/10 LAST DAY

Sunday, 8:30 AM. 25.5 degrees, wind W, calm. The sky is overcast except for a golden aura on the eastern horizon. The barometer is down, predicting precipitation. After a full day yesterday I slept in this morning, the last day of the gun deer season,
Yesterday dawned dark and dismal, although both the barometer and the temperature were up a bit. As day broke in the deer woods I heard coyotes howl, the first time this season. They yipped and yapped for a while off in the distance and then all was silent again. The last several deer seasons there had been many coyote voices, and multitudes of their canine prints tracing back and forth over the deer tracks. This year there is very little coyote sign or sound. Does that mean there are so few deer that the coyotes have moved elsewhere? Or, does that indicate the presence of wolves, since they drive coyotes out of their territory? Or is it all just a charade of circumstances, signifying little or nothing? As the morning progressed I witnessed something I had not seen before; the sky had been gun-metal gray, and seemingly instantaneously it turned blue, but not the blue of a cloudless sky, but rather the clouds themselves turned blue, so quickly that I was a bit confused as to what had happened. Evidently the ambient light of morning reflecting off the fresh snow gave a bold bluish cast to the gray clouds.
Eventually a few ravens set to talking in their croaking voices, and two squirrels chattered, evidently annoyed at my presence. But no other movement or sound challenged the stillness of the woods. I heard two shots all morning, from somewhere off to the west.
After standing quietly for several hours or so, I stiffly made my way back to the truck. I swear I could actually hear my joints creaking. After trudging a hundred yards or so I came across a very fresh deer track, which I am certain was not there when I walked down the trail earlier. It had come down a narrow trail and crossed right in front of the buck rub on the big sumac bush. The tracks were those of a walking, not a running, deer. It had evidently crossed the logging road while I was standing quietly. I had been very careful to watch both extremes of my field of vision, and yet I had missed seeing the deer. And it had perhaps not seen me. A hot soup lunch fortified me for a fruitless stand again until dark.
My subconscious will probably bug me enough to go out again late this last afternoon if the weather turns as nice as predicted, but I suspect most hunters will be watching football, which is probably the more sensible option.

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