Leaddog arrives to almost a foot of global-climate-warming-change-whatever-it’s-called-now, and is the first up the drive way. Robba and Hobbit follow soon thereafter and the snow cleaning efforts begin, to ensure that the rest of the crew can easily make ingress to the camp. After clearing a nice spot so that everyone could park, the woods were assaulted once again. Leaddog sports his new insulated watch gear and sits for five hours in 16 degree temps, at a very close to camp watch.
Polecat and Robba hits the area in an attempt to move mules, without success. Both with Hobbit in tow leaves the area to rescue yet another barrel of beer before the rest of the gang arrives. Leaddog refuses to leave his watch, being ridiculed with the truck horn by the now departing beer rescue crew.
At dark, Leaddog leaves the watch, and starts to make his way back to camp – and there at the cable just 100 yds from the watch now are fresh mule tracks present in those made earlier by Leaddog. Apparently, the mule heard the beer crew leave and thought it was safe to come out from hiding, but ran into right Leaddog’s tracks. The mule turned and ran back to where it came from. The beer crew confirmed that there were no tracks when they left, and saw them upon their return.
With a strong crew present, all attempts a saturation hunt on Marsh. Drivers drive, watchers watch and the mules ran about the hill like mice in Spikes old camp! No bucks were seen this time. Polecat decides to see if the “Polecat Recovery System” (PRS) is working by engaging mules with the lakeside crew, and not being able to be contacted by the Duckhole side crew – who incidentally “had the bell”*. All now worries and activates the PRS, which led to backtracking by those up top (who had the bell*) to find the Polecat. All is good however and the keepers of the bell* are relieved, as determined by the endless squawking from Polecats radio transmissions to the lakeside crew. Plus he almost poked his eye out.
Robba earns his newly coveted “Rescue Ranger Badge”, Toucher however does not due to his recent placement on triple secret probation by the FAMHC, due to lack of participation.
A return to camp hunt on the Duckhole side through the Knolls had similar results, with all returning to camp, including the Polecat with one good eye…..
*”Having, or Who’s got the bell”
– A term used between guardians and parents that specifies who’s in charge, and is responsible for the “kid” at any specific time.
Rains from the previous night results in a diminished but slippery snowpack, and I-ronder-twat is the focus of the day. Watchers are dispersed, drivers go the their starting points and the fun begins! Mules evade the drivers, but puts them on notice of their existence. As the drive progresses, A sound of something breaking just out of Leaddogs sight is heard. Twenty seconds pass, which is followed by five shots – and a subsequent transmission from Chip. A big buck was between both, and the Remington ammo division is in the black! Chip has his first buck encounter!
The mule vacates the area, but minutes later another single shot is heard in the direction of camp on the other side of the mountain. After a few minutes, it is conveyed that Bernie (aka: the Pie-Whore) has an encounter with a mule with headgear, at the very spot where for some time it was known that mules escape the crew. A critical but not instantaneous killing shot was delivered, with the mule heading “cross the creek”. Robba and Toucher are immediately dispersed to dog the deer, joined by Trailhugger and eventually Leaddog (who was on the other side of the mountain) to assist. The compromised mule was chased almost a mile before it decides to head into the swamp, where Robba, Toucher and Leaddog finally corners it, with Toucher delivering the killing shot – and baptizes the poor thing in the stream.
The buck of Chips dream and now nightmare was not this beast that the Piewhore tangled with, so there’s more than one buck still on the hill!