Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A day in the woods

The air is still. The mist blankets the valley floor. The forest is silent.  I am alone in this place. As daylight breaks over the marsh below the silence is broken by a  myriad of birds greeting the  new day. A chipmunk joins in the chorus and then another. The world is alive. A blacktail deer with her fawn in tow emerge from the jack firs to graze at the edges of the marsh. The fawn was born last spring and has only recently lost it's spots. I think of bambi as it is more interested in running around than eating.
   I love this place. I have hunted this valley since I was eight years old. I hunted when it was covered in dense forest. I hunted it when weyerhaueser clear  cut as far as the eye can see. A new forest has grown up but the marsh remains. It is unchanged. Nobody hunts here anymore. The young trees were planted so tightly that it is impossible to see into them. There is no longer clearcuts to sit and watch from the comfort of a truck. Good riddance. I won't miss them. I am old school  I will hike 10 miles today. I love being in the woods. I love everything about it. For now as I sit motionless in my mossyoak cammo I am a tree. A twig pops somewhere below me. Elk are far from quiet as they roam through the forest. Where are they? Another branch breaks but closer this time. The minutes pass slowly.  The deer walk away and vanish into the trees. Below me the first elk comes into view followed by a dozen more cows and calves. There are no bulls in this herd except for one young spike. The season will be ending in two short days and I have had no luck at all. My dad is a mile below me watching the only cut on the mountain.  He will be wondering where I am. Time to get up and get moving before my  butt freezes to the ground. I wonder if a frozen ass is G.F.M.P.H. haha. Todd