Saturday, November 27, 2010

In case there is any doubt....

Ready or not, winter is here. I woke up this morning to 8 inches of new snow on the ground. Heavy wet stuff, the kind we usually get here. At least that means warmer temperatures. It has been unseasonably cold lately for so early in the season; breaking records in fact.

It hasn’t been very long ago since I posted a photo of a few deer in the field behind my house. This is what that same field looks like now.

Snow field

My pigeons come out of their loft for a short time in the afternoon. I can’t chase them out of there in the morning.

Snow birds

We had a little excitement in the neighborhood yesterday. A 2 story house on the hill across the road from me burned to the ground. Fortunately it was unoccupied. I don’t know the people who lived there, but I learned today that the house was for sale and vacant. Our fire department has a poor record of putting out house fires out here in the country. They usually arrive in time to save the foundation.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Neighborhood pets

We got our first snow of the season this morning. Not a lot really, less than an inch of dry powder. The guys who get paid for guessing what is coming say there will be more tonight and over the next few days.

There has been a little group of does and fawns hanging around here all summer. I happened to see them crossing the road this morning and grabbed a couple of shots. Not the best, as I was using pretty high telephoto and bracing the camera against a door jam. Didn’t have time to even think about the video camera.



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chigger and the squirrels

I didn’t plant a garden this year, so I haven’t been shooting the ground squirrels around here. That’s a mistake! It doesn’t take long for them to get out of control, and recently at least one decided it would like to spend the winter under my house.

A few days ago I saw one sitting on a stump in my back yard, so I picked up a .410 which was handy and shot it right out of the window. Of course the dogs knew I had shot something, so I turned Chigger out. The digger hadn’t dropped right where I shot it, but crawled off down toward the creek. Chigger found where it had been and trailed it up. He didn’t have to go far, but he found the squirrel and ragged it around. Then I set a cage trap where I had seen the squirrel going under my house.

That evening Chigger was laying where he could look out the window, and he started whining and growling. I looked out, and the trap had been sprung. I turned him out, and when he found the squirrel in the cage he went nuts! Thought he was going to tear my trap apart, rolling it all over the yard. I finally pulled him back and shot the digger with a .22, then dumped it out. Chigger practically tore it apart. I was able to get it away from him and hung it up on a clothes pole. Chigger was trying to tear the pole down, but I kept fooling with him and he started barking treed. He was eventually able to get the squirrel down, and by the time I was able to get it away from him again there wasn’t much left of it.

That was several days ago, and the weather has turned cool and nasty since then. I haven’t seen another squirrel - until this morning. Chigger was laying near the window again while I was sitting here at the computer. He started making quite a fuss, so I went to see what was going on. The trap had been sprung again! I picked up the .22, and a camera this time, and turned Chigger out. He went around the side of the house in attack mode, and had hold of the cage before I could get to him. I was trying to get it away from him before he cut his mouth up, and wasn’t entirely successful. HE’S STRONG!

I finally pulled him back long enough to shoot the squirrel and dump it out on the ground. I let Chigger rag it around some, then had a time getting it away from him. I hung it up on the clothes pole as I had done with the other one, and Chigger started treeing hard right away. I petted and praised him, and he treed even harder. He was able to get the squirrel down off the pole, and by the time I got it away from him again there wasn’t much left. Now I see a problem. If I want to shoot a gray squirrel to eat, I’m going to have to tie Chigger back first, or there won’t be much left for me. And now I have to do some repair work on my trap before I can set it again.

Chigger barking treed

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Last of the pack

Setting up

Sadie was the last of the old pack of Casey, Kelly, and Sadie; all hunting Airedales. She passed on in her sleep last night, not unexpectedly. She would have been 15 years old next month, my oldest Airedale so far.

Sadie was a little female that no one wanted until she arrived at my place at around 14 months old. She had been passed from owner to owner for various reasons, but when she got here she stuck. When she found out what bear hunting was all about, she discovered her place in life. Like her running partners she really preferred lion, but there are generally more bears around to run and that is where she shined. She loved to run and tree a bear, and if one felt like staying on the ground that suited her just fine too. She generally changed its mind and made it rethink the matter. The bear usually ended up in a tree. In her later years, after Casey and Kelly were gone, she accompanied me on many a calling stand. That is what we were doing in the above photo; setting up to call coyotes above a place called Horse Thief Meadows.