Today was the first day of muzzleloader season here in western NY. I spent the morning in a friends 10 acre woodlot. Timeline went kinda like this.
5:45 am, Roll out give Pelenaka a squeeze and a kiss, load the car.
6:15 am, stop at Tim Hortons for coffee, then spend 15 minutes waiting for the woman in front of me to decide what she wants.
7:01 am, pull into friends driveway half an hour later than I planned.
7:08 am pop caps to clear the nipple and load up. start the quarter mile walk back to the woods. Discover knee deep snow on the lane and ankle deep mud in the corn next to it. Not too bad walking if I stay right on the edge of the lane.
7:20 am, step into edge of the woods, wade a shallow puddle and discover the waterproofing on my right boot need to be redone. Within five minuted discover left boot isn't any better. Decide to stalk the woods up to high ground and hope my woolies keep me going.
7:35-8:00 am, Wander woods following tracks of a single turkey. Big tracks, figure it's a big bachelor tom.
8:00 am, find myself tangled in brambles. Was so intent on turkey sign, I ignored everything else around me.
8:15 am, find a trail being used by a small deer. I'm not a trophy hunter, small deer are better eating. Not saying I wouldn't put a trophy eight pointer in the freezer and his head on the wall. Saying I would rather drag a 100lb forkhorn through the mud back to the car than something huge.
8:25 park my butt on a blowdown maple 30 yards off little deers trail. Sitting up off the ground, big rootball to lean back against, which also breaks up my outline.
8:35 am, light drizzle falling. Take time to be thankful I brought a caplock carbine and not the flinter. Hunch over guns lock trying to keep everything dry.
Approx 8:40 am. take brief nap. Not by choice, hunters will understand, it's peaceful, nobody's bothering you, it happens.
9:05 am, Nearby movement wakes me. Not a deer. Consider small batch of squirrel stew for lunch. Realize that at all of about 4 yards, there won't be a whole lot left by a .50 caliber round ball propelled by 80 grains of ffg. Might only have squirrel tail stew. decide to wait for something bigger, or at least farther away.
9:30 am, You know what? My feet didn't feel cold until my ass got cold from sitting on a wet log.
10:00 am, decide to sit tight another half hour. Feet are already wet and cold.
10:30am, West end of this woods has a big swale that cuts into it. Lots of water in there. It's also on the way back to the car. When I entered these woods it was still kind of dark to be bumbling around in there. Turns out also lots of deer in there! All probably figured out I was there and left. They did leave lots of fresh sign behind. Decide to stand still for half an hour overlooking the busiest trail and see if any return.
11:00 am. Feet so cold it's painful. Decide to swing trough the woods and leave in the north east corner. Drier that way. Pass gutpile from doe that's in the freezer. There is a fox in the woods, and he's been treating it as his personal grocery. May come back after deer season with .32 squirrel gun and see if we can get a nice fox pelt.
11:20 am. Turn on car, crank up heat. Dig diet pepsi out of back seat. Wish it were hot coffee. Oh well! A hot woodstove is 20 minutes away. Can get coffee at home.
Tomorrow I will return. Earlier, I will enter from the back side of the woods, the dry side that is. I will take a stand watching over that swale. Oh by the way. I will also be wearing my brand new pair of rubber knee high boots from tractor supply. Also, they will have 2 layers of wool socks inside them. The woods are an awesome place to be. But wet cold feet suck no matter where you are!