December 25, 2004

It's Christmas, Time to Kill

Well, today has ended up being better than I thought, but not what I had hoped for. This coughing and wheezing and just plain ole sickliness has me at home. I figured just to stay at home in bed, so last night I ran up to my mother's place hoping to visit a bit, and to drop off presents for today. Saw quite a few deer on the way, and some very large does. Mom wasn't around, so I waited for a bit, then headed back home.

This morning, I get a call from my aunt asking me to join them for breakfast. You don't tell this woman "no." Just doesn't work. Anyway, I went and ended up having a great meal and visit. On my way out of town, I watched a coyote working the brush, trying to kick something out.

Had to make a quick trip back up to my mom's to drop off a camera, and saw a couple of small flocks of turkeys. Coming back, I saw one flock that had to have had over thirty birds! And, as I'm travelling along, I see a rubline along the trees edging a creek. Some of the trees were about 4 - 5 inches in diameter. Not a bad sized buck!

Not many people get to see this stuff. I'm one of those guys that always takes the backroads, even if it is further in miles. So much more to see, at least nature-wise. Seeing this stuff today and last night has thrown a serious jones on me. I've got to get back out into the woods. I've got to do some hunting.

I used to go all the time when I lived in Wisconsin. Now here in Illinois, it's a matter of finding a place to hunt. So I haven't been out in about 6 years. It's really bugging me. It's not so much about killing. It's about being out in the woods the way it used to be. Hell, there were a few years where I let animals go, and of course, earned the nickname "Joe Lettem-Go." Just being out is a great feeling to me. Of course, downing an animal is a great feeling, too! But just to have the thrill of sitting in your treestand while a herd of deer bed down beneath you, or to make yourself a makeshift blind, and within a half hour have a flock of turkeys come through, things like that are impossible to describe. Watching a coyote running along the edge of the swamp, playing like a puppy, totally oblivious to you. That's one you'd like to get the shot at, but just the same, it's fun to watch.

Stillhunting through the woods, and having grouse explode seemingly from underfoot. Watching a badger go after a woodchuck. Being screamed at as you make your way out of the woods at night, by God knows what. Things that will get your heart pumping.

Hearing what sounds like a miniature jack hammer going, sneaking your way to the sound, and spotting the largest by-gawd woodpecker you've ever seen! I've gotten to see two Pileated woodpeckers, one by Trego, Wisconsin, and the other in the state forest by Black River Falls, WI.

Starting to lose my point. I guess all I wanted to say is that "I've gotta get into the woods, if it's the last thing I ever do!"

Posted by That 1 Guy at December 25, 2004 05:11 PM | TrackBack