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Archive for January, 2016

Redbank Trail

 

Redbank Creek

Redbank Creek

My friend, Frank Maus, and I have for a number f years hiked after the flintlock season. We have traveled  to various places to accomplish our annual kid-winter walk. Today, I suggested we hike the Redbank valley Trail. This trail runs parallel to Redbank Creek in southern Clarion County, Pennsylvania.

 

Leatherwood Creek

Leatherwood Creek

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The hike didn’t feature a lot of wildlife this time. We saw, and heard, a raven, and crows. We saw some various small bird life. I saw one squirrel in the distance. We searched for an eagle nest, but apparently, we missed the exact location of this majestic bird.

Milkweed

Milkweed

DSC_0006 We traveled past the communities of Climax,  and St. Charles in Armstrong County  . The latter once yielded a brick works type of work for many years. Today, the site is covered with falling down buildings and debris.

A long-abandoned building.

A long-abandoned building.

Leatherwood Creek flows past the brick works into Redbank Creek. I had hooked a Northern Pike near here sometime ago. I caught the fish on a light weight trout fishing rod. The fish won!

 

 

Beaver activity.

Beaver activity.

With the hike completed we traveled back roads to see the sites.

Frank looking for grouse!

Frank looking for grouse!

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DSC_0002  Single digit numbers with a below-zero wind chill…no problem! Yes, I ventured out into the elements to enjoy some woodland time. The secret to enjoying such weather is mental attitude, along with proper attire.                                                                     DSC_0007

DSC_0015  This morning I walked on several trails at the Todd Sanctuary. This site is Audubon Society lands near Sarver, Pennsylvania.       DSC_0017

One of the advantages of hiking such weather is the lack of others. I was all by myself!

The trails I traveled  witnessed much wildlife sign prior to my arrival.  Squirrel tracks were common. I saw lots of rabbit tracks in areas where the habitat was present. I couldn’t go short distances without seeing deer tracks, and  deer feeding activities. All tracks appeared rather fresh. Later, I would see four deer.

 

Rabbit Tracks

Rabbit Tracks

I hated to stop the trekking, but I knew  some plumbers may be calling in the afternoon for a leak repair….and they did show up. The simple leak turned out to be a pressure regulator issue.      DSC_0014

 

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"old Jacob" and my gear.

“old Jacob” and my gear.

The “Hunter Mode” evades me easily. Many things can trigger a lack of desire to shoot. With me, weather can play a part. Traditionally, I butchered 98% of what I have taken over the years, so I want cool weather to work with.

Other reasons include my attempts to help others harvest over myself. I have been working at having  deer pass by my step-father, Bob. I may tend to pass up shots while doing this task. I actually allowed several close range shots to not happen. There are times I just do not want to take an animal. Some may call this weird, and maybe it is. Whatever, I have passed shots on gobblers, many deer, and even a bear one time. I think of these times as “Counting Coup”. Many Indian tribes, especially the western ones, considered touching an enemy over killing  to be bigger “medicine” than killing the opponent.

I haven’t hunted the long times as I tend to do. My leg feels like it gets fluid at times, so I have limited some woodland hunts. I didn’t hunt on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I passed up two 20 plus yard shots. I was standing, and thought maybe I should end this hunt. At the “click” of the hammer, being pulled back, the two deer bolted. Later, I missed one of these same deer. Then it happened! The “Hunter mode” kicked in.  I had 32 deer sightings by noon when I quit.                                                                                                                               DSC_0001

Thursday morning, I hunted about one hour, and a half behind where I grew up. I was trying to move some deer for Bob. This area was fields for most of my life. They had been abandoned and now the briars and goldenrods encompass  everywhere. the deer love it, but the goldenrods are over my head.

I was walking the old farmer’s road when I heard deer moving in these towering goldenrods. I quickly moved only to see two doe at about eight yards. They instantly took off never to be viewed again. I saw five deer totally.

Today, January 1st, I couldn’t stand being home, and took off to hunt. I was still hunting and saw two deer. I continued sneaking along when I saw a deer down over the hill walking towards me. I stopped. The deer turned broadside. The shot was true, and humane. The big doe lay still. The distance was over seventy steps.

I offered up a prayer of thanks, and the dragging began.

 

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