I have always been drawn to farm fields. When I was a kid my Grandfather would have farming magazines and I would dream about them. Luckily I grew up on my Great Uncles farm for the first 6 years of my life. Then moving we moved next door to my Grandfather who is surrounded by a large portion of farmland. I have some of my best memories around farms. I fell in love at a farm and I suppose that will always be something I will treasure. I'm so happy for those memories and look through adversity in life as something I can learn from. The snow will soon melt and each and every part of an empty field, fence rows, and woods that can seem so barren and empty will soon grow again and become something magical providing so much diversity within nature.
I ran across the fungi called Neofavolus alveolaris today while hiking after checking the trap line. I also was searching for tracks for deer and any other creatures traversing about after the ice storm we had last night. Every step I took was like my boots had a megaphone attached to them announcing to anything surrounding me that I was on my way towards it! I found a raccoon skeleton that was pretty much picked clean by what I'm thinking was coyote judging by the tracks.
This previous week we endured a snowstorm that brought over a foot of snowfall here in Northeast Ohio. The temperatures have also dramatically dropped and tonight it is supposed to dip down below ZERO! I have been checking my coyote traps everyday and have only had either a fox or coyote come into one of the 6 traps. It dug a little around the hay that is pretty much covered in ice and snow and found some of the lure and went on its way. I am pretty certain my traps are probably frozen solid because of the amount of ice on the farm fields I am walking. It's literally like I am walking over a solid sheet of ice at times and not a farm field at all! The season for Fox and raccoon etc. ends January 31st. Coyote season is open all year long, but if I catch something that isn't a coyote I will have to release it. I'm not really keen on having to be in that situation so I will be pulling the traps for the season on January 31st.
Today I went on a hike after checking my traps and got off a couple shots at some Fox Squirrels at a distance of 50 yards, but with open sights on my rifle it made for difficult shots and I missed at both attempts. I really need to invest in a scope soon for my rifles. I'm thinking about getting one that is electronic and will enable me to save profiles for each rifle and then easily interchange them. It's pretty incredible what technology can do these days.
I went deer hunting yesterday and took my pop up hunting blind and a camping chair up with me in the ice fishing/trapping sled. I was all set up and sat for about an hour when suddenly a neighbor came walking their dog around 30 yards from me. I should have probably called it a day right then and there, but found that I enjoyed sitting in the freezing temps listening to the forest trees creaking and swaying to the icy arctic wind. Hopefully sometime soon I will have a report of actually putting some meat in the freezer!
Until next time,
Day 2 in checking my tracks proved to be unsuccessful. I haven't seen any coyote tracks at all since the original ones I had seen. I'm hoping to see something soon or catch something for that matter! Nonetheless it's fun waking up every morning and checking the traps with anticipation I make a catch.
Yesterday I set my first 6 traps for coyotes. This Autumn while deer hunting in my tree stand I saw movement in the field. It was some does and their yearling fawns. I enjoyed watching them at a distance 200 yards away feeding and enjoying the morning. They were only gone for about 15 minutes when I sighted more movement in the field and this time it was 3 coyotes. One was a large black one as well. It was then my blood began to boil knowing just how destructive the coyotes are as predators on not just the whitetail deer population, but the wild turkey, rabbits and other small game. I haven't seen grouse or pheasant in Northeast Ohio in years and a big reason is so very few people trap or hunt predators these days. I'm trying my best to do my part here in Geauga County, Ohio to control predators moving forward. I have 6 hay sets made with dirt holes filled with lure and bait. I'm going to be setting more traps as well.
Tonight I headed out to my tree stand before sunset. I ended up sitting in the 20°F for a little over 3 hours with hopes in seeing an anterless deer for my second deer of the season. I already harvested a 4 point buck earlier in the 2018 season. Now that's it is approaching the end of the season in February 2019 I am anxious to try to get some more meat in the freezer. I've already eaten quite a bit of the deer! I was surprised how little tracks I have been seeing.
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