Around the Nimrod home range the weather has been unseasonably warm. A mid winter thaw had lasted for well over a week and most the snow had melted. Carpe diem!! Time to beat feet to the secret honey hole I had found during the late late late season. To late to hunt correctly really.
With the snow melting and a good portion of the ground bare it should reveal the sign from the late season. Not the sign I had found in the late late late season. Once Monkey was off at the place of higher education, kindergarten, I jumped in the sled and sneaked out to the honey hole for scouting and hoping to maybe find a shed antler or ten. Murph asked if he could come and I reluctantly agreed knowing I was going to be walking a lot and he tends to be lazy.
I should have known it was gonna be an adventure when we found 13 bags of trash and a guitar case dumped in the parking area of the honey hole. Why some people feel the need to dump their trash on our public lands is beyond me. I doubt someone of that minimal intellect reads the diaries but if ya do, give me a shout... Nimrod has a place to stuff all 13 of those bags, you useless slob.
I took a couple photos in case the officers need them later for prosecution and then stepped off for the secret honey hole. The walk back was short but fun. The weather had turned from the last few days and the wind and snow were making sure we knew it was still winter. I only carried the camera today. The day before I took the old Fred Bear Kodiak Magnum out for a walk and attempt at some squirrels. I found no squirrels but stumbled on some turkeys.
As we approached the honey hole the snow really started to come down. We started following the deer trails here and there, to and fro, hither and yon. I meandered about the hole and I finally got a decent understanding of the deer did what they did... and why they didn't do what the didn't. I quickly realized I had been hunting the wrong section of the honey hole. Chances are I will forget by the time the late late and the late late late seasons come around next year. Murph decided his feet hurt and went back to the sled, and I told him “Bye, hope you get lost, again.”
I continued following the deer trails around the hole. I worked our way further back where the majority of the trails lead. I had not been that far back in the area of the honey hole but knew it held some potential. A place the deer may escape the hoards of hunters closer to the road. The sign left behind seems to agree with that but how do you hunt some of the thickest, nastiest, thorn infested, impenetrable thickets that have no trees big enough to climb? Time will tell.
The middle of the thickets were a gold mine of buck sign. If I did know better, which I don't, I would say there is an elk or moose hanging out in there too. I found one tree about six inches in diameter that have been tore up by antlers. Since everyone claims there are no big bucks on heavily hunted public land there is no way a whitetail attacked a six inch tree...
Knowing I had to pickup Monkey from school, and the yoopmobile is still not running right, so if I was late I would have to answer to Yoop and Monkey I kept a good idea of what directions were what as I wandering amongst the depths. The time came to head back out and I walked in what I knew was the way out.
After walking the same direction for a few minutes nothing looked the same as I remembered on the way in. I thought real hard and realized if I took the same way I took on the way in I would be backtracking through the thickest, nastiest, thorn infested, impenetrable thickets I had come through on my way in. The sky was hidden by a thick layer of clouds and the snow falling kept me from seeing anything to give me an idea of direction. I went back towards the creek and tried to see what direction it was flowing, and found it frozen over. I have studied the map of the area over and over so I figured I could figure out what bend I was near... but then realized I never paid attention to the hundreds of bends it makes in the half mile it runs in the area.
Thinking Murph was playing a trick on me I decided to go the opposite way I was going. I walked for another five minutes and started to think I was heading west instead of east. I found the end of the walking trail a few minutes later... which is at the furthest west end.
I turned around and started to hoof it back to the east, the way my nose knew was right. I made it back to the sled in time to see Murph there laughing his fool head off. I asked him what he had done and he gave me the “who me” look.
We made our way to Monkeys school, quickly but legally, mostly, just as the final bell was ringing. I meet Monkey and his teach at the door and told him do I have a story for you. On the way back to the Nimrod homestead, I started to tell him what had happen and he interrupted me...
“Dad whats for supper?”