The turkey stuffed crew of 10 arrives early to single digit temperatures, both outside and inside the camp. Snow is still present, and provides a workout for the gang as the hunt commences. Polecat and Leaddog assaults Beaver Valley to the Amphitheater, with the gang waiting on the other side for mules to be pushed to them. At the top of the frigid, cold mountain Polecat pushes a moose sized doe out of it’s bed to points unknown. Drivers from all directions converge on the watchers, where they laid in wait for action. The Valley in Piney Knob had the appearance and smells of an Indian encampment; fires burning resulted in smoke hanging in the valley and covering any odors of human occupancy. Mules stayed high, apparently enjoying the heat produced from below.
In an effort to totally confuse the mules, A Sunday hunt was in order. Drivers were driven to the starting point, with part one resulting in the crew mixing it up with the coyotes who now seemed to dominate the happy hunting grounds. Dogs, dogs, and more dogs were about, and actually heard by the gang, with tracks being present everywhere. This possibly may be the result of Toucher’s big mean ‘ol bear forming an alliance with said dogs, but we will never know. Mules are about, but are on high alert due to the presence of the coyotes. Toucher spanks a coyote hard, one less to chase the mules.
On yet another note:
Of great interest and amusement was what Polecat found, in the swale in the back of the mountain where no-one should have been, except for F-troop. A small tent was present with a backpacking woodstove pipe sticking out of it, with smoke! A call to the occupant by the Polecat resulted in a response from the occupant, who declared “what are you doing here?”…Polecat of course asked the same.
Mr. Occupier replies that he’s “deep in the Adirondack wilds, where no one should be” Polecat replies that there’s 13 guys around him and are hunting, and you’re only a mile from the road.
Obviously, Mr. Occupier has a different opinion and view of what is defined as the “backcountry”.
It must be told that the prior night was below zero, and the “Occupier” declared he had a difficult night sleeping all alone the “wilds” of the Great Northwoods due to the cold. Better yet, was that this individual was not hunting – but had a bow – in the north – during the big game season. He also had no clue about bears, coyotes, and of course F-troop, which he was quickly educated about.
He declared he was packing up and leaving the woods – good idea. Adios, mu-chachos!
Back on the hills, part two had mules flying about, once again playing pinball with the watchers. Three does sneak right up to Leaddog, as seen by Digger from another watch not too far away. The does bounce off him, to Steven, then they display themselves to Jake (F-trooper in training)- who had a great time seeing does all by himself on watch.
Two main troopers, Toucher and Digger leaves camp to perform “other duties” not related to mule hunting. An assault was performed on Marsh, with just three watchers in place. Leaddog on his ridge watch, Chip on Spike’s improved watch, and the Pie Whore down low guarding both the mountain – and the remaining pies at camp.
Junior (F-trooper in training) tries to confuse the mules by leaving his shootin’ iron in the woods as he stops and then moves on. After 100yds it was apparent something was a-muck, the walk is much easier without all that weight. His rifle was found as it was, and where it was left.
The drive apparently worked! A lone mule walks slowly from the drive, under Leaddog’s watch, and at 40 yards away from him headgear was observed! Concealed by recent upgrades done last week by Lindy and Leaddog to the watch, the shot was set up and delivered after several attempts to do so. Shot one hits the beast square in the heart, with the remaining four shots fired for effect. No Jammer from the Jammington 7400 occurred this time! The beast fell 20 yards from Leaddog, a nice seven pointer, almost eight – 14 inch spread- weighing in at 134 lbs is down!
Next week – Bears!
Digger will post pictures!