Friday, January 03, 2003

I've not been posting regularly, choosing instead to hunt. Not that I've been all that successful at my pursuit of the Virginia Whitetailed Deer. However, I have had two interesting incidents.

The first was 3 days ago. There was still a bit of ice/snow on the ground where I was hunting in the mountains west of Staunton. I took a seat and thought I'd wait a bit and see what transpired.

Those of you who hunt in this area know that the bear hunters are out and about with their hounds. It so happens that on this particular day there was a good number of hunters roaming the roads, their pickup truck dog boxes evidence enough of their particular interest.

After sitting for about 30 minutes, I became aware of a noise approaching. Soon, I was able to discern the rapid footsteps of some approaching two legged animal. Very quickly a turkey hen ran by. Only 30 yards or so away, she was moving so quickly that I didn't get my gun up before she had passed me by and moved on up the mountain and out of range. She was flat gettin' it. I've no idea why she did not take off and fly. The rest of the flock must have gone other directions as there was no sign of other turkeys. HOWEVER... in only about 2 minutes a rather louder crashing was heard. Not really load footsteps but the breaking of limbs and rustle of bushes and... in the distance... the baying of hounds. Oooooh, I was going to be in for a treat! The bear, about 150 lbs or so, passed just 50 yards away from my ground stand. Since the area I overlooked was fairly clear of brush, he was pretty noiseless but loped along at a pretty good pace and, at least while I observed him, did not pause or look back. Whether he was taking her lead or not he pretty much followed the hen turkey up the mountain. About 5-6 minutes later, here came the hounds. Lustfully baying now and again and strung out as the more fit animals were apparently in the lead. They paid me no mind what-so-ever. I had hoped that they would flush something more to my liking such as a nice fat dry doe but no evidence of that was heard or seen. Convinced that there were no quarry for me I moved on.

Of course I did not try to take the bear, those were somebody else's dogs and that just isn't done.

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