Saturday, September 5, 2009

Scouting Adventure with the Grandkids

Friday,September 4th, The day started out slow and easy, coffee and tv then down to dads to try to repair a riding mower for the upcoming yard sale on the 26th of September ( yes I know opening day of bow season here but they'll just have to make due till I return from hunting that morning. ). My dad and I worked all day long on the mower ( trial and error mostly.) trying to figure out the starting problem with the mower and finally gave up on it around 3:30 p.m. when I got called home for supper ( fried chicken -- mmm won't be late for this meal.). After supper I decided to go do alittle scouting across the lake bed to see what the deer were doing over there. On the way to scout I decided to stop and pick up the grandkids that wanted to go along. I ended up with four of them going with me so we loaded into my truck, went to the other side of the lake bed, checked a few mud holes on the way in, then parked the truck, got out and headed of further up the road bed and into the woods. As we entered the woods I explained we were looking for fallen acorns, tracks,rubs and of coarse deer. We worked our way through the woods as I answered questions from the boys about deer hunting and the upcoming hunting seasons. Probably the best question was how I find my way through the woods at 4:00a.m. without a flashlight? this I told them was an easy task to do if you scout the area carefully and take time to look at every detail as you are going in and memorize the surroundings to your hunting stand. You remember every little overhanging limb,bush,rock,stump,fence and fields that you encounter on your way in then picture that scenery in your mind every morning in the dark as you walk to your stand, by doing this you never need a flashlight to see by thus spooking the deer off. The boys had gone with me before to put up stands and hunting and were amazed at how easily I made this act look. By now we had gone well into my hunting area and the sun was beginning to set so I delegated one of the boys to lead us out of the woods back to the truck. This proved to be quite a chore because nobody had really paid attention to detail in the woods and they said everything looked the same. This is when I began lesson number two and the most important one of all for them all. Lesson number two was simple-- stop, look, listen and think. When you think your lost or don't really know where your at in the woods in the dark, stop and look around for familiar things close by, check for security lights in the distance, look for the moon and stars, listen for sounds of cars on roads and highways, tractors on a farm and finally think of the route you took coming in (directionally ). Picture the route in your mind from the truck to your stand and if need be to your harvested animal ( if your lucky enough to get and make a shoot.) then simply reverse this route in your mind to get back to your truck safely. The best plan of action when you start out hunting an area is to scout it fully and completely so you know every square inch of the area. Lesson two over and we were still in the woods following our leader through the brush heading into thicker brush and deeper into the woods away from the truck. Finally I decided the boys were going to be getting tired before long of fighting the brush and briar's so I guided them close enough to an old grown up road bed that they realized where they were and we got started back on track to the truck. One of the boys then decided he knew exactly where the truck was and was going to be first one to get there so he ventured out far ahead of the rest of us just as we cut of on a shortcut and ended up at the truck before him, rode around the road beds looking for him and finally parked again waiting for him to come out of the woods. The boys all had a great adventure scouting the woods with pepaw and learning new ways and tactics for the upcoming years hunts even though one got poison ivy, they were all covered in ticks, a couple of them had scratches from head to toe and mosquitoes ate them alive but the main thing was we all made the adventure safely and laughed about it all the way home.