Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Weekend Hunt

For the first time in a while I managed to get in the woods. The bucks are dropping their antlers, but I don't expect to find any with all the varmints around here. So I pack up my MOJO Critter, 17 HMR, and a hand call and head to the bottom.

I set up on the edge of a big field that I usually turkey hunt. The critter is on and flailing about. The sun is shining on me keeping me warm. As I fall into a stupor, I remember I should be calling. So I place the call to my lips and begin to scream like a dying rabbit.

Nothing comes in the first few minutes. After a couple more minutes of calling, three buzzards fly over head and circle. I take this as a good sign of my calling. I stop calling and wait for just a few more moments. Then I pack up and move 100 yards south of my first stand.

I'm not a patient man when it comes to predator hunting. I like to move. Either way, on this stand, I place the critter on top of a knoll on one side of a ditch. I lay on the ditch bank with my arms and rifle supported by the ground. It was actually very comfortable, but limited my movement. I called for 15 minutes and left.

I moved to hunt in the cypress tree swamp I was skirting. On the way in I spook a giant swamp rabbit! Man those things run fast! That experience really made me want to get a rabbit dog. I miss the sound of baying Beagles and Basset hounds. I apologize for getting distracted!

I then decide to place my mojo critter on an old, rotten stump. I climb up an old deer stand, and I wait. I call and call. A possum ambles over, disinterested. Then I catch movement out of the corner of my eye. Not on the ground, but from a tree 10 feet away.

There, on a branch above my head, sits a red-tail hawk! To me he seems to be looking at the mojo critter with hunger in his eyes! I didn't quite know what to do! So I waited on him to make the first move. Eventually the hawk flew off and I climb back down the stand.

After I hit the ground and start towards retrieving my decoy, I catch a flash of yellow. It's a large, blonde coyote sneaking through the swamp. I immediately hunker down behind a tree and wait. But the coyote must have smelled me, because I never saw it again.

About ten minutes later a much smaller coyote comes meandering by, and I can't get on him quick enough. So he slips away. You can't be ready for every situation! After this I make the twenty minute walk back to the truck and head home.

I love being in the woods and fields. Just getting to watch the animals interact with each other and go about their days is amazing. I always have just as much fun hunting whether or not I pull the trigger, and I try to leave the woods with a little more knowledge than I came in with.

I will see you in the field.

1 comment:

  1. Love hearing your experiences in this perspective, and great point at the end!