I could not have asked for a lovelier day for hunting on day#1 than Monday.I didn't even need my gloves.It was a pleasant enough day,but I saw nothing.
I stressed over crunching twigs and leaves that I walked upon en route to the stand, but here below is Ed ....en route to his stand , and I heard nothing of his footsteps.This color orange will be caught by your peripheral vision in a split second.I only wish the DOT (Dept of Transportation) in Pennsylvania would exert such wisdom with road workers.
Years ago, their colors changed from orange to flourescent green. The trouble with that is, it blends into the background greenery of the woods, especially in the spring when the sun shines on trees and shrubs.I have to deliberately search and search for road workers, and usually it is the stop sign I see first.They are well blended into the shadows , camoflaged into the woods background.Many of these road workers & sign holder have been killed by oncoming traffic of drivers who never saw them until it was too late.
On Day #2 I was up before dawn and into the woods by 6:30 AM. I made sure all animals were locked up or tied and then I took off .I had almost arrived at the tree stand when I heard "Meow" behind me. 'OH NUTS'!!! It was my jet black cat, Midnight,trotting behind me. She wanted to be carried.She must have gotten out through a hole in the garage.A soft snow was falling and dusted the ground. I crunched through the snow but the crackling of dried leaves and twigs was at a minimum.Good! The cat wanted my attention but I figured I could lose her once I climbed up into the stand. She would have trouble climbing an aluminum ladder.And so it was.....for about 15 minutes she played then all became quiet down below.I assumed Midnight had trotted back to the garage.
Snow fell softly and light Trees would periodically shed snow from limbs with spoon like snowy boughs. The snowfall formed a glittery curtain . Little chickadees and titmice played together hopping from branch to branch,periodically shaking jackets of snow from their feathers. In the distance I heard familiar farm sounds and visualized them in my mind . My turkeys were stretching their wings , clucking and belting out 'Kee Kee' calls to one another.The toms gobbled occasionally and I knew they were strutting with fanned out tail feathers.A small bandy rooster exercised his new found crow in an adolescent hoarse rasp that cracked half way through his morning greeting for other chickens to wake up and get their breakfast. A well seasoned adult rooster let him know WHO was boss and stole his thunder .Somewhere nearby a woodpecker was hammering his beak into a tree, then another and another.I saw movement in the distance and hoped it was a deer stirring in the brush....nope.....a squirrel.Today the woods was livelier despite the snow. I sighed as I listened to the ever present crows.However, today they were not interested in exposing my presence.
Then I felt a rumble behind me.Midnight had climbed , actually clawed her way ,up the tree stand pole.She was dangling in mid air, 12 feet up,hanging on for dear life onto the platform. All I could see was her 2 paws and head, meowing. Her legs were swaying and kicking in mid air beneath her."Come up here, dummy" I said. She began circling me , meowing, purring and begging to be pet. I pet her for awhile but I had other things to attend to. She was becoming a distracting pain in the neck.Finally I got her to nap on my lap ,purring all the while.Of course, as Murphy's Law would dictate, the deer would come now.First I saw a small head behind brush. I didn't know what it was, but hoped it was a deer.Then a second behind that one confirmed them as deer. They walked a leisurely pace along a well traveled deer path.They were doe, but where doe are, bucks may tag along.I got in position and dropped the cat off my lap to the floor.I got the doe in the crosshair sighting , as practice, and waited for the buck that I hoped would come.I don't shoot doe. I think Midnight must be trying out for a Disney role because she decided at that moment I needed a back and neck rub.She angled herself behind me and began kneading my neck and upper back, the same stuff they do at night to your head when you're trying to sleep. The first doe stopped and stared in our direction, flicking her right ear back and forth.The other doe seemed oblivious.Apparently , a cat standing on her hind legs in a tree stand was unremarkable to them both.I sat still as an ice sculpture.The deer continued searching the underbrush beneath and strolled away at a relaxed pace. No buck ever showed himself. I ignored the cat after that and soon she soundlessly disappeared.She was suddenly just gone. After hours of no more activity, I determined it was time to go home for a nap and return later in the day.