Friday, October 05, 2007

3 second fox.

It was a cool crisp morning after a light rain yesterday, so I went out to play for awhile today. Called in a gray fox on the first stand. He didn’t see the injured rabbit, and it didn’t take him long to see everything else he wanted to see, and figure out that this was a bad place for him to be. He went back the same way he came, and I caught about 3 seconds total of video. Click here.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bear hunt!

I was expecting a friend to stop by this morning, so when the 2 indoor dogs started telling me that something was going on outside I thought that he had pulled up in the driveway. I opened the front door expecting to see Jim on his way in, but no one was there. Instead I could hear someone talking just down the road, and saw a pickup parked there. I walked out into the road for a better look, and one of the fellows walked over to tell me what was going on.

Turned out to be a fellow who lives up on the hill across the road from my place. While he was eating breakfast this morning he happened to glance out the window and saw a bear busy at its own breakfast, raiding his garbage can. He told me that the bear had been a regular garbage raider at several of the houses on the other side of the hill, so this fellow promptly picked up a 30/06 and shot it, but didn’t kill it. The bear made a run for it on my side of the hill with my neighbor and a buddy of his in hot pursuit. It treed in a big pine tree right on the side of the County road next to my place. My neighbor assured me that he had a bear tag, and since bear season was open would I mind if he shot it? No, of course I didn’t mind; and since he had already wounded it I certainly hoped he would shoot it. Don’t need a wounded bear around here! He backed off for a good view, put a bullet in bruin’s head, and dropped it right on the side of the road. About a 150 pound bear, just the right size for eating, but I doubt I would want any meat from a garbage raider. Nice hide though, in good shape and coal black.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bum luck!

A cool front has moved in here, and it sure is welcome after the run of hot weather we’ve been having. The archery hunting season closed here last Sunday, and the general deer/bear season will open tomorrow (Saturday). I wanted to get out with the dogs in this time between seasons, and this cooler weather made it perfect.

There are some old logging roads and skid trails that I want to check on, and see if they are passable with the horse. I know a couple of the old roads have become impassable to anything without wings due to washouts. Yesterday I loaded the mare in the trailer, took a couple of dogs along, and drove up the mountain to a place where I wanted to unload. An old road had been closed by the timber company that owns the land, and they had bulldozed a berm up to block the road. Sis went up and over it without a problem. There were a few down trees across the road, but nothing she couldn’t step over. Aside from a tight squeeze through some brush in one spot we had no trouble, and we made a nice loop back to the truck and trailer. Enough of a ride to make a good hunt, but not so much as to cripple up my old knees. Just about right. Saw a couple of old bear tracks, but nothing fresh. Feed is scarce in the mountains this year, and so is bear sign. I have a feeling that a lot of the bear are still up in the high country, but when they drop down there isn’t much to hold them here. They will probably just pass on through in search of better pickings.

Last night really cooled off in a big way, and this morning I awoke to an overcast sky. Even had a little sprinkle of rain while I poured down my morning dose of coffee. A perfect morning for predator calling. I loaded 2 dogs in the truck and drove to a couple of my better hot spots.

It was a short hike to the first stand. I tied Bear and Dove to a couple of small saplings, then set up my stool, and video camera on a tripod. The stool is becoming almost mandatory equipment for me, unless I am horseback of course. The little bit of added elevation, as opposed to sitting on the ground, gives me a better field of view and I can pan the camera much better. I know I’m going to like it even more this winter when the ground is wet or snow covered!

A few minutes into the stand, and I saw something move behind a bush; small, gray, and close to the ground. Could have been a gray fox or a squirrel. The color was right for either. It disappeared without ever moving out where I could get a good look at it, and aside from the usual gang of blue jays I saw nothing else on this stand.

I roaded the dogs for a little exercise, then set up another stand right on the side of the road and looking down an old fire break. I set up the stool and camera again, then placed an electronic call on the edge of the brush some distance down the fire break. I was back on my seat and a few minutes into the call when a fox started barking down in the brush. I switched on the camera just as a second fox came around the side of the hill directly below me and stopped behind a bush. I had my finger on the “go” button, but I couldn’t see much of the fox in the view finder. I was waiting for it to step out into the fire break where it would be in plain view.

Bear was under the camper shell in the back of the pickup, but Dove was up in the cab. She heard and saw the same things I did, and she couldn’t stand it any longer. She began to bark! Of course that blew the stand, so I turned her out knowing full well that she couldn’t run a fox under these dry conditions. She went looking anyway, but was soon back to me. Oh well, it feels like fall is right around the corner, and things will keep getting better and better; especially if we get some much needed rain. I’ll hole up for a few days now. Opening of deer season is a good time to stay at home.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Facing reality.

Home again after a few days spent in the mountains. I picked the particular camp where I intended to stay because it is the coolest spot I know of during a heat spell. I had about all I wanted of near 100 degree temperature. There is this nice little camp in a shady spot next to a creek.......... But as it turned out we had a general cooling trend with average temps in the 80's. This made my camp by the creek a little cooler than I had intended, and actually chilly in the mornings, but all in all it was pretty nice. A sweat shirt was welcome even in the afternoon in the shade, and tee shirt weather out in the sun. Higher on the mountain at a lake the weather was just about perfect. The only fly in the ointment were the yellow jackets. Every meal was a battle with the little meat bees. Even the rattle snake that I killed as it crawled through camp paled by comparison.

As a contrast to earlier camps this year, where people were coming and going practically all the time, I had the country almost to myself. During the time I spent in camp there were only 1 or 2 vehicles going by every day. Only 1 stopped at my camp, and that was a Forest Service fire vehicle. The crew reminded me that camp fires and BBQ grills were banned. Only propane or liquid fuel camp stoves permitted. There was only 1 vehicle parked at the trailhead, about a quarter of a mile up the road from camp. It belonged to a couple of back packers that I met on their way out when I rode to a lake higher on the mountain. It was a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle around some of the busier camps and trailheads. It won’t be so once deer season opens. There will be a truck load of road hunters going by at least every half hour!

I set up a snug camp with a tarp stretched out from the horse trailer for shade, and shelter in case of rain. There are no facilities at this camp, basically just a place to park off the road. No horse corral, so I set up the portable hot wire corral that I carry with me. The photo that accompanies this post shows how I like to keep a horse in camp.

This is a simple little outfit that runs off a battery that is charged by a small solar panel. I much prefer it to high lines or picket lines. A horse can lay down or roll if it chooses to without becoming entangled in a rope and possibly rope burning itself. You can set up an enclosure for 1 horse or a dozen, being limited only by the amount of "electrical tape" on hand. There have been times when I have been out with several other people when we completely encircled a mountain meadow, with even a creek running through it for water, and easily had a mixed heard of over a dozen horses and mules happily grazing near camp. Once broke to a hot wire a horse or mule will not touch that white tape.

After a day of lounging around camp with my nose in a book, the next morning I saddled Sis and rode to a small mountain lake. I am becoming disappointed with this lake. It used to be known for large fat brook trout. A couple of years ago there was a rumor going around that the Dept of F & G in their wisdom had poisoned the lake to eliminate the big brookies. I’m inclined to believe it, as lately all I can catch there are pan sized rainbows. I caught a few for the frying pan, then started back down the mountain. Although I had felt good going up the mountain, it soon became apparent that I had bitten off a little more than I should have. Sad to say, my old knees and hips aren’t what they used to be. By the time I made it back to camp I thought I was going to need help getting off the mare. Getting old is the pits! That evening I melted some margarine in a skillet, coated the larger trout with corn meal seasoned with garlic salt, and fried them to a golden brown. Opened a jar of home canned chili and heated it to go with the fish. Life was good. I saved the smaller fish to go with bacon and eggs the next morning.

After my ride down the mountain, the next couple of days were spent in camp nursing sore knees and hips. Oh well, I had brought along a good book to pass the quiet times in camp. There being almost no one around I was able to turn old Kelly loose to shuffle around camp as he saw fit. The old dog is 13 now, and no longer able to make it out on the trails. He would wander down by the creek for awhile, then come back and lay down beside me where we could reminisce about days gone by.

Finally I felt like getting back on the horse again, but I didn’t really feel like a ride back up and down the mountain. I saddled Sis, turned the dogs loose, and took a little ride up a trail behind camp. I tied Sis in a little grove of trees and set up a calling stand. A raven sailed in almost immediately, and a few minutes later something moved on the hill across the creek. Probably a deer. I heard it rather than saw it, and the dogs heard it too but couldn’t locate it. They ran down by the creek, but unable to hear or wind what had moved there, they were soon back to me. A short ride back to camp and I called it good for the day.

This could very well be my last campout for the season. I have several chores to get done around home, and hunting season will be here before I know it. My days of long rides are over, but I plan to use the mare all I can. It will be a simple matter to load her already saddled into the trailer, haul her to where I want to use her, and save my walking legs (which aren’t much better than my riding legs) for when I need them. Short rides are better than no rides, and I still have plenty of use for a horse.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Smoke smoke everywhere!

I returned yesterday from a little over a week spent in the mountains. Actually it was the smoke from the many lightning caused fires that finally drove me out.

We had been having 100F+ degree temperatures here at home, so I left for higher country on a Monday hoping it would be at least a little cooler at higher elevations. I have no idea how hot it was in camp, but the thermometer on my front porch registered a high of 105F degrees while I was away. After setting up a good camp, Monday and Tuesday were good for nothing but laying around in the shade trying to keep cool. Tuesday evening the thunder storm rolled in.

As a rule thunder storms begin to lose their punch in the evening as the temperature drops, but this time the main event came after dark. Not only noisy, but one heck of a light show! I later learned, via the portable radio that I had with me, that somewhere between 30 and 40 fires had been started in the Klamath National Forest. Most serious were the ones burning near the small mountain towns of Happy Camp and Oak Knoll where some homes were evacuated, but there were many smaller hot spots burning throughout the forest.

The temperature being cooler after the storm, I saddled Sis and took a ride on the various trails about every other day. One morning smoke jumpers could be seen from camp as they dropped from a plane to a fire on Box Camp Ridge. The next day as I was riding down from Red Rock Valley I could see smoke from that fire, and a helicopter made several runs that day and the next, to the river and back, dragging a bucket and dropping water on the blaze.

Depending on which way the wind was blowing, it was pretty smokey around camp in the mornings; but by afternoon it cleared so much that it was hard to tell that there was even a fire burning anywhere. Several back packers and horsemen began to arrive at the trailhead, most of them heading for Sky High Lake. A group of 25 back packers from Headwaters came out and another group of 15 from Sierra Institute went in. A commercial packer took a couple of groups in and out, packing their supplies on mules. Several small parties of horsemen and back packers went up and down the trail on their own, all coming and going to or from the same place. I avoided that area like the plague! I like a little more solitude in the mountains.

By the following Monday the entire area was socked in with smoke, and it never cleared out. I couldn’t even see the mountain across the little canyon from camp. Everyone who had packed in, both horseman and hikers alike, began to head out. By evening I had the whole place to myself, with the exception of the cars belonging to the Sierra Institute group who still remained in the mountains as long as I was there. By Tuesday morning it was no better. A Forest Service fire crew showed up at the trailhead and hiked to the fire still burning on Box Camp Ridge. Planes and helicopters were no longer of any use. The smoke was so think it was impossible to tell where the fire was, and to fly would have been taking a chance of crashing into a mountain.

I fixed breakfast and cleaned up camp while I debated on what to do next. As conditions showed no sign of improving, I decided that it was a good idea to break camp and head for home. As it turned out, I might as well have stayed where I was. It was just as smokey at home as it had been in the mountains. The whole valley was filled with smoke. Last night we got a break, and a steady rain moved in. Not the gully washer that I would have liked to have seen, but it cleared the air. This morning was fresh and clear for the first time in days. Now this afternoon there are thunder heads beginning to build in the west again. We don’t need any more lightning just now, thank you very much!

Thanks to those who have sent messages and comments to my blog. I simply haven’t had time to respond personally. As usual when I return from a trip, I have a backlog of both snail mail and email to wade through, as well as a certain amount of camp gear to clean up and put away. I will get caught up..........eventually.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Personal photos from a calling trip.

A few days ago I made a predator calling trip with a good friend to the high country east of here. This is really John’s hunting territory, and I’m not that familiar with it. The object of the trip was to try to call some coyotes to the video camera, and the cooler temperatures of the high country seemed a lot more appealing than the hot summer weather we have been having here in the valley.
As it turned out either the coyotes weren’t in the area or they didn’t want to play the game. We set up 4 calling stands in the same area where we had called 7 coyotes in a single day last fall, but with zero response this time. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Unknown to me at the time, John took a couple of still photos of me, and I will include them here. One is a photo of me on a stand overlooking a large meadow that we hoped to call a coyote across. The other is a photo of me setting the camera up on a calling stand. The dog with me is old Sadie, 11 year old Airedale Terrier.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

First trip of the season.

I recently returned from a week spent camped in the nearby mountains. Much cooler up there than here at home, and I wish I was back up there. I had actually intended to stay a little longer, but I shorted myself on hay for the horse. No suitable grazing where I was camped, so the only alternative was to head for home until next time. A camping buddy indicated that he might be able to join me for a day or two, but as things turned out he didn’t make it.

Fishing was about as poor as it gets. I dropped a fly in some pools in the creek that ran by camp a couple of evenings, but couldn’t raise a fish. One day I rode the mare to Campbell Lake. Fished a baited hook about a foot and a half off the bottom. Had a couple of bites that didn’t hook up, and that was all. A couple of days later I saddled Sis and rode to Log Lake. Finally managed to catch a single brook trout. If he hadn’t been such a hog about it, and swallowed the hook, I would have turned him loose. As it was I dropped him in a frying pan along with some bacon and eggs for breakfast the next morning. From talking to a few back packers on the trail I learned that I did about as well as anyone. Nobody was bragging much about the fish they caught.

I had in interesting conversation with a llama packer that I am acquainted with. He is doing some contract work for the Forest Service and the Indian Agency. Specifically, he is collecting water samples from the creek and the lake it flows out of. He asked me if I ever had a bear tear up an inflatable boat. I haven’t, and I asked him if he had been fishing and if the boat had a fish odor to it. He told me that it was a brand new boat, and hadn’t even been in the water yet. Said a bear tore it to pieces! Funny critters, and they sometimes do strange things!

The closest encounter I had with some potentially “dangerous wildlife” was a wild mountain woman from the Salmon River country who popped into camp one evening. Ringy as a pet ‘coon, and obviously floating a little high on something. She had 2 horses with her, a filly and a stud, and wanted to put them in the camp corral with my mare. I told her that no way was she going to put a stud in with my mare. We made some arraignments, divided the corral, and put the mare and filly in one section and the stud in the other. She made her own camp, up in the back packer’s parking lot where the Forest Service would have written her a ticket if they found her there. Early the next morning she loaded her horses in her trailer and pulled out of camp.

I have some chores to do while I am home, most urgent of which is painting the top of my horse trailer. I hadn’t realized it was in such bad shape, but I had to stand up on a fender to spread my tarp out in camp, and discovered that the paint is cracked and peeling badly up there. Once I have that done it won’t be long until I am ready to go again. Far better to spend the hot part of the summer in the mountains than here at home.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Spring has come to the Marble Mountains. I took the dogs along and drove up to a trailhead today to check things out. Dogwood is in bloom now, and Lupine is everywhere along the side of the road. The dirt road had been graded, so I won’t have to move any rocks to get a horse trailer up there. I saw the first bear track I have seen this year in the dust of the road.

There were a couple of cars in the parking lot, back packers or day hikers. There was a single set of horse tracks on the trail. For several years, not so long ago, it was a better than even bet that I would be the first person up there on a horse each spring, and possibly the first person on foot. Seems like more people are beating me to it lately.

I turned the dogs loose and walked up the trail to the first creek crossing. I didn’t feel like wading it, and in my best days I was never much good at walking logs, so that is as far as we went. The water is still to high for fishing, and the season opens on Memorial Day weekend, but it is a fraction of what it should be at this time of the year. The snow pack in the high country is way below normal, and what is up there is going fast.

Next time I go up there I’ll take the mare along and see what the trail looks like. There are a couple of other trailheads I want to check out too before I pull the trailer up the mountain.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Photo coyote hunt.

Yesterday my coyote calling friend John and I had a photo hunt planed on some private property where he has permission to hunt. This was to be a hunt for coyotes, and John has the coyote dog, so the Airedales stayed home. The rancher who owns the property isn’t particularly interested in pictures of coyotes. He likes to see dead ones, but we left the guns at home too. John took a still camera and I packed a video camcorder.

The first stand of the morning produced nothing but some coyote howls way off in the distance. John said he saw a coyote way over on a ridge when he walked out to put his electronic caller on a rock several yards in front of us. A few minutes into the stand I saw something moving way down below us, but I couldn’t make out what it was. The last I saw of it, it was moving away, not toward us. This is wide open country, unlike the timber and brush country that I am used to, and a guy can see way out there!

A short drive to another spot, and a hike up a steep ridge, and we set up on the back side of a rocky knoll. John has hunted this country for years, and he knows where the hot spots are.

Video #1: Click here.

John saw the coyote coming first from way up on the mountain. I didn’t see it until it topped a barren hill in front of us. It came about half way down the hill, then stopped to look the situation over. It didn’t look like the coyote was going to come any closer, so John sent Jiff the tolling dog out. The coyote didn’t like that at all, and it ran back up the hill for a little way. Jiff came back, but the coyote didn’t come with her. It looked things over for a bit, then started circling to pick up our wind, and there was a pretty good breeze blowing.

In the meantime John had spotted another coyote coming up the hill along a fence line. Coyote number 1 ran across and then down the hillside, circling to my left all the time, and I ran out of room to maneuver the camera. The 2 coyotes met, but by then they were out of range of my lens. They soon went out of sight behind a ridge, and the show was over. The coyote vocalizations you hear on the video are coming from John’s caller in a effort to stop the coyotes and possibly bring them back.

Video #2: Click here.

A drive to another spot, and a short walk to a calling stand. We backed up against some low brush on the edge of a meadow. A few minutes into the stand and I saw a coyote coming through a wide spot in the brush across the meadow. It came about half way down the hill, then just as suddenly it turned around and went right back the way it had come; out of sight. I turned my attention back to the area in front of the caller, and there stood a coyote right out in the open at the edge of the meadow! I hadn’t seen it coming, and don’t know how it got there, and neither did John. He had been looking in another direction at the time.

The coyote looked things over, then turned and headed back into the brush. John sent Jiff out, and she brought the coyote back into the open. On her way back Jiff stopped to pee, and you can see the coyote stop in the same place and lift a leg where Jiff had urinated. That is as far as the coyote was about to come. It stood there for so long that I actually turned the camcorder off for awhile. There was zero action! You can see the coyote occasionally looking back into the brush, an indication that the other coyote might be there, but out of our sight. Some magpies were attracted by the coyote out in the open, and you can see them flying above it and lighting in the brush. Finally the coyote just sort of wandered away, still accompanied by the magpies.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Called one in!

It’s been awhile since I’ve made an entry here, but I’ve really been up to my ears in spring chores. Haven’t had much chance to get out lately, but you know what they say about all work and no play. Today I decided to take a dog out for awhile and prowl around a little bit. I roaded Bear in front of the pickup for a little exercise, then set up a calling stand. You can CLICK HERE for a short piece of video. And it came to a Deer In Distress sound. Honest!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Looking around.

The last couple of days have been sunny and warm, and the snow is melting. Water is pouring off my roof like rain, and where the snow had been over my knees in my yard it is now only a few inches deep. I thought I would take a little drive this afternoon, as much to ward off a case of cabin fever as anything, but also to see if I might find someplace where I can at least take a little walking hunt. Wishful thinking!

I loaded a couple of dogs in the truck and started up the mountain behind my house. I got exactly as far as the road had been plowed to the last house. The plow had left a wall of snow across the road, and that was the end of the line. I turned around and drove down the County road to Mill Creek. I knew I could get up there at least as far as the intersection where an old logging road takes off, as there are a few houses farther up the main road and the residents there would have the road plowed out even though they don’t live on a County road.

I had in mind walking up the logging road with the dogs for a short distance, at least until the snow got to deep to bother fighting it. Again wishful thinking. Two feet of snow lay across the road at the intersection, and I knew it would only get deeper further along. Of course I could have strapped on some snowshoes at that point, but I knew I would pay for it over the next 3 days with crippled knees. There was a day when I wouldn’t have given it a second thought, and would even have called it fun; but those days are behind me. Today I keep a pair of snowshoes in the pickup through the winter just in case of emergency, but the truth is I hope I won’t need them. I turned around and headed back the way I had come, looking for tracks in the snow along side of the road along the way.

I saw were a few deer had bucked the snow, and where a bobcat had walked on top, only sinking in about an inch. There were a few old tracks that were probably fox, but they were to old to tell for certain. At the rate the snow is melting it shouldn’t be to much longer until I can find someplace to stretch my legs, and the dog’s too. The next couple of days are supposed to be warm, and there is even a chance of a little rain in the forecast later in the week.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Winter, February 2007

Winter has come to northern California with a vengeance. Been snowing for several days now. The white stuff is over the knees at my house, and I have no idea how deep it is in the mountains. It will be awhile until I can get a pickup off a plowed road, let alone get around much on a horse.

It takes at least twice as long as usual to do normal every day chores. Shoveling snow to get to the hay so I can feed the horse. I scatter scratch feed under the eves of my house where the ground is bare for the chickens and whatever else shows up. The wild birds have a tough time of it, and they appreciate the handout. Mostly Oregon Juncos, but also Stellar and Scrub Blue Jays, Spotted Towhee, and Varied Thrush.

I back the truck out of my driveway at least a couple of times a day to make ruts in the snow. Took a little drive down the County Road today just to look around. Saw where someone’s hay shed had collapsed under the load. I thought for awhile that we were going to have a mild winter, but right now it looks like spring is a long way off.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Photo fox hunt.

My good friend John came over this morning for a photo fox hunt. He’s been meaning to come over here ever since last fall when I went with him on a coyote calling expedition in his hunting grounds. He has plenty of coyotes over there, but hardly any fox.

I thought it was pretty chilly here this morning at 18 degrees, but he had me beat. He said it was 9 degrees at his place! Kind of frosty, but we warmed up hiking to a few of my good calling spots. Saw tracks made by several different fox in the snow, and one cougar track, but all a day or two old. The first three stands drew a blank, and we didn’t see so much as a blue jay. John set up a video camera on each stand, and I did the calling.

We ate lunch, discussed the situation, and decided to try one more place. While John got ready with the camera I walked across a small gully and hung an electric caller on the branch of a small oak tree. I walked back and sat down with two of my dogs, and just that quick a gray fox came trotting down the ridge to the call. Dove saw the fox but Sadie didn’t. I held off letting the dogs go to give John a chance to shoot some video. He got a little footage on tape, but not a lot. Cover was tight, and the fox didn’t stick around very long. As soon as I saw that there wasn’t going to be a chance for any more camera work I let the dogs go. Sadie never really got started good. Dove took the fox for a little run, but failed to tree it. Oh well, it was a good morning and fun to be out. I’ve got to get John started editing video with the computer so he can post some clips now and then.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The spook.

They say there is a nasty storm headed this way right out of the gulf of Alaska, so I wanted to get out with the dogs today before it arrives here. I had in mind hiking to one of my good calling spots, but I didn’t know if I could cross a creek that runs across the old logging road where I park the truck. The timber company has bulldozed a berm blocking the road to vehicles, so this is always a walking hunt. The creek was running higher than I cared to wade, so I put the truck in 4WD and drove across to the berm. I turned the dogs out there, got my day pack out of the truck, and started walking.

I had all 4 of the Airedales with me, and I let them run loose on the way to the stand. When I set up to call I tied Bear and old Kelly to a couple of trees and left Dove and Sadie loose. They know the procedure, and they laid down next to me like they are supposed to.

Down the hill several yards there was an old log laying on the ground in the timber. I had been calling with a mouth blown call for several minutes when I noticed a spot of brown just behind that log. It was about the right shape, and looked suspiciously like a bobcat’s head, as if a cat was crouched behind the log and peeking over it. I was wearing my glasses, and I gave that spot a good hard look. It was one of those spooks that frequently turn up on calling stands. Had it been there all along and I had just now noticed it; or had a bobcat or other predator just slipped in? For awhile I imagined I could see a pair of ears on that round spot, but it remained perfectly motionless. I decided it was just a brown piece of wood, and I went back to calling and scanning for incoming game.

Eventually my eyes were drawn back to that brown spot. No ears! I decided my old eyes were just playing tricks on me. I looked away for a minute, and when I looked back the ears were there again. Still no movement. It had to be a piece of wood. About then Dove keyed in on it, and she was up and running with Sadie right behind her. No doubt now. The cat was up and running too, and I unsnapped Bear and Kelly.

It was a pretty short race. The cat had the old choice of treeing or being caught on the ground. It got it’s little bob tail up a tree! I got the camera out of the day pack and shot some video. You can CLICK HERE for a link to a short clip. 3.4 mb download. The price of cat hides is way up, and it seems everyone is after them. This appeared to be a female, certainly not a large one, and poor color as cats go. As hard as they are to come by this year, the last thing I wanted to do was kill a female; so I put the camera away, called the dogs, and headed back toward the truck. I figure the hide was worth more to the cat than it is to me, and I might run her again some other day.