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Why I love the sport

December 1, 2013
Kevin Williams - Grundy County Conservation Director , Reinbeck Courier

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I would have more news column inspiration around the first of November. That is when I start sitting in the tree stand bow hunting for deer. Well, I don't have a buck harvest story to relate yet but I have still have had some great experiences.

Over the past three weeks, I have had some wonderful observations of wildlife from the tree. They have been many and varied experiences. I'll start with the Bald Eagle that makes at least one pass up the creek every afternoon. I know he must do this just for me because he (or she) knows how much I enjoy watching it. Then there was the afternoon while heading to the stand that I had to stop and watch the bluebirds. I don't know how many bluebirds made their way down the fence line in front of me "leap-frogging" their way in no particular hurry. With the weather we have now, I'm sure they are happily enjoying warmer temperatures somewhere in Missouri or even further south.

Owls have been especially interesting this fall although I haven't seen a single one yet. From my perch in the tree, I can listen to them every morning. There are three kinds great-horned, screech, and barred. I was especially glad to hear the barred owl because they have been absent from my woods for several years.

Squirrels have been very active, as well. I was entertained one morning watching this squirrel in the tree directly in front of me hauling loads of leaves up to its nest at the top of the tree. It would go to the base of the tree, cram as many leaves into its mouth as it could, and then take the load up the trunk of the tree. In a few minutes it was back for another load. I quit counting how many trips it made that day. The work is paying off in a cozier bed with this bitter cold weather we're experiencing right now. Another squirrel dropped a branch on top of my head one afternoon. Boy, that was a surprise. Then it came down the tree beside me to eye level and leaned waaaay out to get a better look at me. I had this instant feeling that it was going to jump over to me. I hollered at it and it shot out of there. I do not make a habit of making loud noises in the tree because it tends to ruin the deer hunting but I am dreadfully scared that a squirrel is going to land on me someday. A single shout is much better than the girly-man screams that I'd likely make if one ever successfully leapt on me.

Oh, of course there are some entertaining antics performed by fawns as they chase around the woods burning off energy as the doe pays little attention. But no buck that I have chosen to draw on yet this fall. But as you can tell, it doesn't make me terribly sad. I have a lot to entertain me. That's why I love this sport.



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