Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Winter Wonderland

The Blacktail Deer population of Western Washington are pleased to report they survived another season of yours truly lugging his rifle over the hill and through the woods.  I aspire to one day approach hunting in a more serious fashion, scouting in the spring and summer, planning each hunt in detail, sighting in my rifle, and having my gear meticulously packed weeks in advance. 

As it stands, my current technique is more akin to "I think I'll go hunting this weekend.  Has anyone seen my rifle?".

My outdoor equipment is kept in a series of rubbermaid bins, clearly marked with the subject of their contents, such as "camping", "hunting", and, of course, two marked "horse".  On the surface this would seem to simplify matters, except for the one variable in the equation.  Me.  I tend to lack consistency in where I put certain essential items, such as my Survival & First Aid Kits.  Since they are most often carried when riding, they can usually be found in the horse bin.  But if last carried while hunting, I probably left them in the aforementioned hunting bin.  Or worse, left them in an unrelated location.  Case in point:  my binoculars are sitting on my dresser right now, where I put them to dry.  With any luck, I might return them to their proper location before next season.

The net result is that packing consists of a mad scramble to find and pack my gear, and usually consists of me throwing things around the garage and cursing, all while attempting to locate the less important items, such as bullets and hunting license.

When one considers that Blacktail Deer are considered by many to be the most elusive, difficult to hunt members of genus Odocoileus, it becomes clear that I am not exactly setting myself up for success.  Maybe someday.  At least I enjoy being out in the wilderness. 

Mother Nature was kind in that she provided a nice treat in the Cascade Foothills this past weekend:


At times, it was snowing so hard that visibility was down to a hundred yards.  I had to keep shaking the accumulated snow off my hat.


There was no wind, and when one stopped and stood perfectly still, the most noticeable thing was the unbroken silence.  Not a sound.  Nary a rustling leaf, or chirping bird.  The kind of silence that should only be found in a tomb.  Eerie is the only word that adequately describes the sensation.

Since it was deer season, the elk were plentiful:

Can you see her? (Click to enlarge)

A rather good weekend, I daresay.

In other news, Smokey Joe got a new blanket.  I think the color is rather apropos, myself.


stopsign said...

I see her but I won't give it away :)

Enjoyed reading your post and the pictures are beautiful of the snow.

Thank You!

Bag Blog said...

The snow looks beautiful, but I would not like to be out hunting in it. We have the same problem with storage bins around here. We spend lots of time searching for things, but very little time putting things where they belong.

Deb said...

On the surface this would seem to simplify matters, except for the one variable in the equation. Me. It's a guy thing Dave, the former-husband-unit had 3 of everything 'cause he never put things away and would just run out and buy another one when he needed it. At one point he had eighteen tape measures.

innominatus said...

>>>Since it was deer season, the elk were plentiful:

No, really, Mr. Game Warden! I thought it was just a REALLY big deer!

in2paints said...

Beautiful pictures! I enjoy snow only in pictures... :)

Buck said...

I SO hear you about deep snow and the silence. I'm grateful that phenomenon happens in more accessible places than the deep woods, too. One of the thangs I loved about living in the northern latitudes was walking in the evening after a big snowfall... the crunch of my footsteps in the snow, the purity of the air, the smell of woodsmoke from the neighbors' fireplaces, and the silence. Recalling that almost makes me wish I lived up that way again.


Great post.

Dave (aka Buckskins Rule) said...

Stopsign: welcome to the blog. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

Lou: It's good to here that I'm not the only one who is "bin challenged".

Deb: I don't go out and buy more. Just spend a lot of time looking for things.

Inno: The local PD and the Game Wardens race each other to poaching scenes in these parts. Whichever department makes the arrest gets to confiscate and keep everything used in the act. Firearms, truck, you name it.

in2paints: I prefer to visit the snow, just not have it at home.

Buck: I hear ya. Snow is nice for a couple days, but after a few months...not so much.

BeBe said...

We got a bunch of snow too, but it all melted today!

Love the colour!

Mary said...

I am pretty sure I saw the critter, it's a bit like "Where's Waldo"... I haven't walked in the silent snow in years. You described it perfectly. Maybe this year year I will venture out into the wilds. So, when you got back did everything go back neatly in their preverbial spots this time? That reminds me, where did I stash my snow boots?

Dave (aka Buckskins Rule) said...

BeBe: I'm pretty sure he can be seen from outer space right now.

Mary: I managed to put most of it away. The rest of it was still wet, and is lying out to dry. Maybe I'll get it put away in the next few weeks.

Jessica said...

We have bins, too, but since we mostly just camp and backpack (which require the same things as horse camping and trips to Slide), we do okay.

There was the one time the fanny pack with the compass and water filter did not make the trip with us. That was bad, but luckily has not happened since.

I think deer can see orange. Lena certainly can. She runs away from it, as a matter of fact.

Good hunting, Dave! You'll get one someday, soon.

And Smokey looks FABULOUS!

IanH said...

Alas, Deer 1, hunter 0