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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘gunshots

Gentle Reminder

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This year’s initiation to snow cover came gently and during the weekend, causing minimal impact to our routine. We aren’t sure about the history of our horses’ experience with snow but there was no indication they were the least bit disturbed by the arrival of whiteness.

Their greater concern of late is the frequent report of rifles reverberating in the valley. In the days leading up to the actual 9-day deer hunting season, there are a lot more gunshots heard than the few bursts at dusk and dawn when the season is underway. My guess is early gunshots are a result of shooters aligning their scopes and firing their weapons in rehearsal for the real thing, based on a comment I heard from someone years ago.

Not being a hunter myself, I just rely on what others have told me.

After a single day, the snow is rapidly disappearing.

I’ll take that as a reminder that the transition of seasons doesn’t always happen in an instant. This year we have been spared one of those sudden blast storms with deep snow that ends up lasting the entire winter. I’m lookin’ at you, 1991 Halloween Blizzard.

Maybe I’m just getting old, but I’m perfectly okay with a gentle reminder when season-long snowfall is nigh.

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Written by johnwhays

November 16, 2021 at 7:00 am

Last Last

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Honestly, even if the grass continues to grow, I refuse to mow in November. Yesterday will be the last “last time” that I mow this season. I’ve already mowed for what I hoped was the last time this fall three other times. Admittedly, the first “last time” was hopeful thinking that didn’t pan out. The rest could’ve/should’ve been the end of growing blades but warm sunshine and some rain have kept the grass happy and active.

Yesterday, I almost wasn’t able to finish what I started. Just after I got done cutting the front yard and was working my way around to the back, the mower shut down on me. I wondered if it was making a statement about also wanting to be done for the season. It was certainly the coldest air temperature I’ve been out mowing in –mid 40s(F)– so I wouldn’t blame the tractor for not liking it.

Turned out that it was a fuse that didn’t want to be forced to work on Halloween.

Now it’s November and that means deer hunting season is near. Already, the sound of gunshots is an almost daily experience as neighboring farmers are adjusting their sights and perfecting their technique in preparation for the big day. Delilah is ferocious about wanting to defend us from the sound of a rifle “carrrrack!” She rushes toward the sound until her leash abruptly hits its limit, barking all the way.

Then she barks some more. As in, over and over again, ad nauseam. Poor girl almost barked herself hoarse yesterday.

With the majority of our trees now void of their leaves, the sound of gunshots travels from miles around us, so it’s not just the next-door neighbors we are hearing from.

At least Delilah quieted down enough while on a walk that we were able to sneak up on a flock of turkeys that were hanging out in our field near the road. They initially thought about running away and then took to the air toward an unplanted field to our north, offering a gorgeous display of the emergency version of wild turkey flight.

The turkeys were probably loving that I had cut the grass short down by the road.

In case they are wondering, that’s the last “last time” I’m going to do that this year.

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Written by johnwhays

November 1, 2021 at 6:00 am

Deer Season

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It is quiet this morning, meaning, there have been few gunshots echoing around us. Yesterday was the opening day of the deer hunting season and shots were heard with regularity.

Even though the majority of land around us is cultivated for crops, there remain a fair amount of forested lanes and steep slopes where deer herds tend to travel. The farming neighbors who surround us on every side all don the blaze orange head-to-toe uniform and ply the hunt.

It’s a bit nerve-wracking.

IMG_iP0992eI don’t mind them thinning the herds. The other main predator of deer seems to be cars and trucks, as the sight of dead deer by the side of the road is a daily spectacle. I recall that there was one in the road ditch of this property years ago when we came to visit in the weeks after our purchase offer was accepted.

The previous owners told us that one doe came up to the house and gave birth to her fawns in the nook by the front door. We did see a pair of deer in our yard frequently that first year after we moved in. Not so much anymore.

I figure it is a combination of our getting Delilah and the horses. We did add a trail through our woods, which actually opened up a new path for deer, but we subsequently began using it regularly for walking the perimeter with Delilah. The deer traffic became less conspicuous.

I’m sure they are still passing through. We just don’t see them as often.

DSCN4120eThe neighbors must still see them. They found a lot of reasons to shoot yesterday. Across the road from us, as I was returning up our driveway from the mailbox with Delilah, the neighbor-hunter group shouted a greeting, waved, and showed me they were successful on opening day.

For us, it means the horses are edgy, the dog is on high alert, and the nearby woods are alive with scanning eyes and booming firesticks, sunup to sundown. It is a brief anomaly in the sedate ambiance that usually prevails.

It is deer hunting season, and the hunt is on.

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Written by johnwhays

November 22, 2015 at 10:55 am