One eye sees, the other feels. ~Paul Klee
…Continued Our Hunting Adventures … New York Continued
New York hunting always starts before Pennsylvania hunting, which increases our odds of filling the freezer with meat. In Pennsylvania, the first day of buck is the first Monday after Thanksgiving. The day of excitement! Generally speaking, most schools in Western Pennsylvania give kids that Monday off, simply because a lot of kids hunt, including Kyle.
The Saturday before hunting season started this year, dad had me and Kyle went to the property where dad hunts in Green County. What town? I have no clue where I was except we had to pass through Waynesburg to get there. All I knew, we had to take down yet another tree stand, and move it up hill. Up this steep hill. Up the steep hill with no clear path. Did I mention it was up hill and the hill was steep? Plus the ground was soft and muddy, which didn’t make the move easy. Once dad picked his new spot, (sometimes that takes a while for him to evaluate his surroundings and pick the perfect tree) I had to get back in the tree stand and secure it. I’m actually getting pretty good at it especially after What It Takes to Move a Tree Stand and What It Takes to Move a Tree Stand … Continued.
Now for the directions to my pre-chosen hunting spot, courtesy of dad. The old man wanted me to find the tree stand before hunting so I was acclimated to the area. Actually, great idea! He also wanted me to physically sit in the tree stand, ensuring it was stable and secure. Ok, good thinking! Now for the directions to the Directionally Challenged, Dad said:
Follow this path up and at the large poplar tree make a left, go up the hill and off to the left you’ll see the tree stand facing uphill.
Again, there wasn’t really a clear path. And, in a forest full of trees, which I’m sure there are more than one poplar tree, I had to find a big one. What kind of directions are these? Granted, it was daylight this time, but still sometimes looking for a black camouflaged tree stand can be tricky. Again, Ryan must have came down from heaven to point out the tree, because when I saw it, I knew that was the one dad was referring to. At one point, Kyle trekked up to see what I was up to, and I could tell he was given the same instructions. Luckily, he saw me in the tree and made a straight path for my stand. When we left together, Kyle questioned, “Is that the big poplar tree pappy was talking about?” I laughed and said, “I guess so.”
You think these types of directions are rare? Nope! Even up by my parents house dad’s directions include, “Out by the big poplar tree.” and “Over by the huge oak off the bank.” and “Beside the birch trees” and so on and so forth. Dad’s lucky I usually can identify the trees, but not always. I didn’t work in the woods my entire life like he did. To dad, each tree is as unique as a street sign.
Monday, the first day of buck in Pa.! I will admit, it was a long day. Not only did it take us about an hour and a half to get to our hunting spot in Green County, plus the return trip, but we had to basically make our way up a cliff in the mud to get to our tree stands. With every step uphill, we slid back two. My tree stand, which used to be Ryan’s was furthest up the hill, past dad and Kyle’s hunting spot. I’ll give dad credit, I’m in reasonable shape and my breath was labored walking up the path through the woods and handled the trip like a champ. Good old Kyle was huffing and puffing along the way.
Usually the first day of buck is exciting, not this time. There was almost no one hunting, which means no one pushing the deer either. I did see a couple of doe up further on the hillside, but again we were only allowed to shoot buck and they had to have two points plus the brow point. Dad and Kyle saw NOTHING! Boring!
On a side, there were a bunch of turkeys making another ruckus. Not as many as Our Hunting Adventures … New York but enough to bring a smile to my face.
Kyle always seems to make the days interesting. One of the trips to see me, he came straight up in my tree stand, pushed me aside and plopped himself down. It look like he just set up camp! We were both cracking up, just because he seriously is so funny!
Then, I could tell he couldn’t wait to share his experience with me, probably because he knew I would get a kick out of it. Which I totally did!
Kyle started by saying, “Well, Aunt Heather let me tell you about my morning.” Seriously? What a trip! He continued, “First pappy knocked my bag, with all of my food off the tree stand onto the ground. Then, I got deer poop on my hand.” As he was showing me his hand (cleaned). What! What? “Kyle, how on earth did you get deer poop on your hand in a tree stand?” I was seriously wondering what the heck those two were doing. Kyle said dramatically, “Well, when I was climbing up the ladder to get back in the tree stand, pappy must have tramped in deer poop and got it on the ladder and I put my hand in it.” Gross! Even worse, he knew I was totally grossed out and he continued on about the deer poop story. “Ya and pappy had to pour my water onto my hand so we could get it out.” I’m trying not to fall out of my stand laughing at this kid! Then, the ultimate, he kept touching my arm with THE hand. I said, “Stop touching me with the poop hand!” He must have thought that was an invitation because he began patting me on the head with THE hand.
Later, dad retold the story and said, “That kid! And how did he know I was the one who tramped in the deer poop, the deer scat? No, it couldn’t have been him?” (sarcasm) On a side note, we find humor in calling the deer poop, scat. So we exaggerate that word every time we see it or reference it. Dad elaborated, “Ya we had to use all the water and you should have seen him scrubbing his hand and wiping it on me. That kid!” That’s our Kyle.
After, we calmed down, Kyle decides he has to go to the bathroom. What? Now the truth comes out. He didn’t just visit me to see how I was doing, he came up so I would hang with him while he went to the bathroom in the woods. You see dad said, “If you have to go to the bathroom, you’re walking back to the truck and doing it there. I don’t want you going [to the bathroom] around our tree stands and hunting areas.” Reiterating dad, I said, “You’re not going here! Go back to the truck, it’s not that far.” Hesitantly, “Ya but I’ll probably get lost, I’ll just go around here.” What? No!
So what did I do? I walked him up and over the hill, which happened to be the property line and let him use that area. “Kyle I’m going back to the tree stand, when you’re done, go back the way you came, OK?” He also commented, “Don’t tell pap until we get back to the truck.” With my reply, “Ya right! I’m tell him as soon as I see him.” In my mind, I’m also telling his Aunt Nikki and Gigi about the situation. Obviously he didn’t want to tell pappy and have to walk to the truck.
A little while later, I thought I saw Kyle at the top of the hill, walking down the wrong side, but then he disappeared. Only to reappear again, standing at the top of the hill looking around. I was cracking up, the kid got lost! Finally, he was looking in my direction and I waved. Kyle waved back! Too funny! Seriously, how can he not see me? I’m up in a tree, probably close to his eye level, just a little distance away, wearing bright orange! I stand out like a sore thumb. Whatever.
Once he made his way back, he jumped up in my tree stand to confess the obvious. I couldn’t resist asking, “Did you get lost?” He smiled and confirmed my suspicion while we giggled over his actions before heading back to hang with his pap.
Leaving the day defeated, but having a truly fun day, we headed home. Later on, we found out there wasn’t any action going on around my parents house either. No one was seeing deer this year and especially not bucks. How can that be? There are at least a dozen or so dead deer along side the highways?
Dad and I went back to Green County to try our luck on Tuesday. The same old nothing, however I did see the same couple of doe in about the same location. But aside from that, zip! I even hiked the hillside trying to push the deer out for dad. Let me tell you, my butt and quads were burning! That is one steep hillside and it was full of thick brush, which makes it really hard to walk through. Tuesday heated up a bit and no movement from the deer.
Actually the only excitement came from dad. Some hunter on the adjacent property, which apparently dad had words with in previous years, cut through the hunting area were dad and I were sitting, to try and push deer onto his property. Dad yelled at him to stay on his own property and that was the last of it.
Read our hunting adventures of 2013