The gang assembles once again at the happy hunting grounds and finds winter conditions present already. Six inches of global warming created a winter wonderland, that proved the presence of mules, bear, and coyote.
A big push was in order, since the Polecat has his new bionic hip installed and seems to be in good working order. A drive up from Billy’s Watch Trail to the watch line on Hooter Ridge Extension resulted in a good shakedown cruise for the gang. A feast of tube steaks was consumed at the Hilton, with part two of the day consisting of a drive across Liz to the “frozen all day watchers” at Piney Knob and the 10 point watch. A bedded mule was kicked out of it’s bed and departs the area, as well as the bear that laid fresh tracks in the snow. Copious amounts of beech nuts are keeping the mules from fleeing the area, as the ga-zillion tracks prove. One mule is kicked out of the Knolls by Probie, that runs the Toucher over, and stealthily sneaks by Digger and the Leaddog. All returns to camp and partakes in the opening day feast of mule steak and mac n’ cheese. And of course, some beer.
Waking up to “snrain” the crew contemplates a hunt in the bunny hills. The gang disperses to the hill behind camp, with Ray cheating with Toucher’s does up top. Since Toucher has a bum knee due to all the firewood cutting over the summer, he’s placed on “watch in da’ notch.” Robba and Chip performs the drive in place of Toucher, with Chip actually completing the drive as instructed; a first for the Chipster! Many mules observed, scrapes, feeding and their exodus as always.