Patty Learns to “Bush Whack”

On Saturday we went up to our friend’s deer camp, now officially known as the Sand Creek Hunting Club or Sand Creek for short, to move a trail camera and hopefully bump into some wild turkeys along the way.  We decided to walk vs taking the “Gator’, a 4 plus rider version of an ATV made by John Deere, mainly as we weren’t sure if any one else (the owner of the Gator, perhaps?) might need it.  It was a glorious day, in the low 80’s, so quite pleasant for a walk.  We were wearing our HECS camo suits, an amazing bit of technology – check it out at http://www.HECSLLC.com) using the Faraday principal to contain the human EMF signature so animals have a much more difficult time seeing you.  I bought a suit for me but when Pat started coming out to call turkeys for me (she does a mean gobble imitation as well as using the regular turkey calls) I knew I had to buy her one , too, otherwise we had to many variables going on.

Sand Creek is comprised of 350 acres of hills, woodlands and pasture land.  It is where we have roughly 30 cattle as cattle need so much acreage to forage.  Roughly on quarter of Sand Creek is wooded hills that the cattle can’t get access to so that makes it basically only hunting ground.  After taking the camera off the tree overlooking a salt lick, we started to try and find  an area that was recently cleared and planted with wheat and rye grass.

Well, The Prince got himself a little mixed up where it was and decided the best way to get there was to simply to take a straight line towards where he thought he was going through the woods.  This is known as bushwhacking as you are basically plowing through the bush and whacking it out of the way.  He took the lead and his lady gamely followed. We also had our two labs with us, and proved their weight in sand (the property gets its name as the little streams known as creeks cut through sandy soil and leave sand deposits all around).  There are some pretty deep erosion ditches that the creek cuts into the land but the dogs find the path of least resistance across them.  By watching the dogs I was able to save us a considerable amount to effort.  I was quite impressed with my bride as she just kept plugging along right behind me, but what was her option?  Occasionally I would explain why we were headed in a given direction to assure her we weren’t lost.  Finally, we hit a clearing and a trail back to the main cabin.  After a rest and a cool drink we opted to take the Gator as we (okay, I) figured out we had a lot more bushwhacking to do if we wanted to get to where the new area was located.

Here is a picture of our ‘girls’ posing with an interesting tree at the bottom of the creek.

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Once we finished, I told Pat how proud I was of her for being such a good sport on her first real bushwhacking excursion into the woods.  We really did cross hill and dale and went through good sized ditches all in the name of scouting.  Because we had the ‘girls’ we didn’t see much in the way of deer or turkey but got to know Sand Creek a lot better for this deer season.

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