Friday, October 24, 2014

Buck Stops Here

There is a fence line off to the northwest that had a lot of small hardwood trees twisting themselves among the barbed wire fence that used to keep a small herd of cows at home. Last spring I cut down the sweet gum and oaks, stacked them tree-length, and left them to wilt and dry. This morning I began sawing them up with my chainsaw. Tonight, a couple of friends are coming over for dinner. After we eat, a circle of fire will be at our feet, and a million stars above our heads. That wood will be put to good use.

As the saw whined, a nice buck came loping across the field from the east. The rut is on, and no doubt,  he was on the trail of a doe. Our field is a good two-hundred yards from edge to edge, so I got a good look at him. I shut down the saw and bleated at the buck; he stopped. His rack spread outside his ears, curved toward the tip of his nose, and the main beams and eight tall points glistened white in the bright morning sun. I bleated, and he stopped; twice. And then sprung off into the shadows of the woods. About three minutes later a second four-pointer, and much smaller, came loping across the field in the same fashion and from the same general direction. Once again, I bleated and he stopped. As he started moving, I bleated again, and he stopped again. Like the big guy, he then bounded off and out of sight.

After stacking the wood next to the fire pit, I got my rifle and crept down into the hardwood bottom that separates The Shire from our neighbor. Sitting down against the base of a pine tree I watched the rising sun form dappled shapes that moved across the forest floor. Leaves slowly sifted down from above. There were woodsy sounds.

No deer -- no problem. The bucks stopped here, but not for long... 

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