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.