Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tree sitting time is here

Few things are more puzzling to non hunters than how a person can sit up in a tree for hours on end. I don't know if its because of the cold, the lack of entertainment, potential danger, or the perceived boredom. It can be brisk up there, I generally don't bring a hand held video game or battery operated TV, and old guys climbing in and out of little platforms 15' above the ground might be perceived as tempting fate. I find it anything but boring however.

There is constant drama in the woods. Our camp happens to be situated on the western end of Lake Superior and many birds migrating down the north shore find the dozen or so miles of open water to be just the spot from them to 'cut the corner' on the lake. Its amazing how many different birds a person can see if they are sitting quietly up in a tree. Mammals are constantly on the move as well. Porkies, fisher, squirrels, ermine, bear, otter, wolves, deer, and even a wolverine a few years back, have been seen from the many tree stands at the Reefer Creek camp. A person can even get some woodland drama from time to time. I watched a industrious red squirrel moving corn from a small pile to one of his many burrows. When he would run back to the burrow, a couple of blue jays would swoop down and eat a couple kernels and then fly back up to a small bush when Mr. Squirrel came racing back to the pile, chastising them in squirrel language. The jays would squawk back and this went on for several minutes. Unfortunately for the squirrel, I was not the only witness to the scenario. All of a sudden the woods erupted and before I knew it, a hawk was climbing past my stand, within 6' of me, with poor Mr Squirrel in his talons. If I'd just pulled up my camera and shot, I would have had one of the coolest hawk shots of all time but I was simply mesmerized by the event.

Like kayaking, safety is an issue and todays Mpls paper had a great article on how not to fall out of your tree. I may need to get one of those sophisticated vests since I have a tendency to doze from time to time in the tree. I am securely buckled in with a seat belt but this apparatus looks like it might be just the thing for more comfortable snoozing.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this weekend will be a multitaking event with some kayaking, grouse chasing, and perhaps some quality tree time. For me and a number of my cronies, it marks the official end of the Gitchee Gumee padding season for 2009. Our Gales of November event remains (Tuesday, Nov 10th folks??) but that is on an inland lake.

Doug W. update: It appears that Dougs paddle and gps have been found. We hope for the best but fear the worst.

1 comment:

bonnie said...

TQ's been living on a piece of land where he's sort of serving as a caretaker during a long court case (sad story, the friend who'd encouraged TQ to buy his own land & was supposed to be living there when TQ moved there passed away quite unexpectedly & the settlement of the estate has been complicated). The land is rolling, young forest with clearings and a creek, and it's a favorite of the local hunters. TQ's been managing the access, he knew the guys his friend used to welcome & he's kept that going. They've all got stands, they're spaced out so everybody's got room, all works pretty well.

One rule the friend had had that TQ's held onto is no bear hunting.

A big boar bear's living in the area. TQ's seen him a couple of times, usually passing through & minding his own business, but while I was out there, one of the hunters stopped by with a picture on his cell phone of the bear RIGHT UNDER HIS STAND! Bear was apparently just curious, walked out of the woods, walked around under the stand looking up at the hunter for a bit & then went on his way.

That's where you wonder who's hunting who. The guy said the bear did just seem curious, and it's a black bear & not living in an area where people think it's cute to feed the bears, but he said it was still pretty hair-raising having that bear checking him out.

Made for a great story, though!