January 19, 2013
Oh, what a beautiful morning — oh, what a beautiful day.
Here it is, 6:30 a.m. on December 15, 2012 and a beautiful daybreak. This second gun season for deer hunting finds me on a stump overlooking a 20-acre field and power line intersection.
I’ve seen quite a few deer pass through this spot in the past because it’s a swale in the hilltop with the tree lines closing in at adjoining hollows. This “saddle” situation is a natural travel route for deer because they feel more secure here.
As I sit here and watch the world light up, I can see 200 yards in several directions and 50-100 yards in others. This is a great sunrise and a great time to assess stuff.
I start to think about now and then. Jon and I have started to reverse roles in this hunting game.
He is me at 35, eaten up with deer hunting as I was at that age. He is spending the time and money on it that I did at 35.
I still want to hunt and especially with him and Benji, but I just can’t seem to prioritize scouting as I used to. We don’t miss a chance to hunt together, but by the time I work all week, I’m feeling tired for hunting.
It’s him that wakes me up at 5:30 to go hunting instead of vise-versa. At eight, I see another hunter. A red-tailed hawk perches on the power line tower to scan the area for rodents.
Jon and I have also reversed our stands on this farm today. He is hunting the other end, a half mile away, where I hunted the first day of the first gun season this year.
I’m hunting where he was three weeks ago. This makes it more diversified and interesting for everyone.
It’s 8:30 now and about time to get a deer. The radar at six revealed rain in Indiana and that could mean rain here by noon. If that happens, we go to “Plan B.”
Jon brought his blind and I will retreat to the old hay barn. I hunt three places that have old barns in good hunting proximities.
Two of these old structures are old mortise and tenon tobacco barns held together with oak pins. As you pass time in these old monarchs, you ponder a lot of thought. You compare the quality and effort required in construction now and then.
One of my main hunting distractions this season has been building a four-truck garage with rough-sawn lumber. I framed it with white pine two-by-four and two-by-six lumber, which I accumulated from the past two years and then I used what one-by-four and one-by-six lumber I had for the purlin boards. Two weeks ago, I screwed down the black metal roof and dropped two trees for the siding lumber.
One yellow pine and one yellow poplar yielded 15 eight-foot logs that I hauled to the sawmill and they yielded 2,500 board feet of three-quarter-inch random width siding lumber. This week, I picked up and nailed up all the siding and drove 30 pounds of coated eight common nails.
Several times, I’ve thought this was a pretty big undertaking. But as I study these old barns, I wonder how I would like to trade my chainsaw, dump truck, hammer and nails for a mule, crosscut saw, auger and chisel.
Now I know how easy I have it. That’s a role reversal that probably won’t happen. Those old tools will most likely stay in retirement in my grandpa’s blacksmith building.