Saturday, 19 June 2010

Tranquility of the hunt...

Some people are after the *thrill* of the hunt. I'm guessing mostly men. Or, women, when men are concerned. I, personally, can't get enough of the tranquility of it. Sitting quietly, carefully, for hours, hidden and alert, watching, feeling the wind, but mostly listening. You can tell the minutes of the evening by the chirping of the birds - and among that chatter chaos you can hear the random anomalies of birds sounding distress: presence of foxes and ermines and other, bigger birds chirping otherwise soundlessly through the forest. 
           We have a good spot under an open hay shack in the middle or a remote meadow, surrounded by forest on all sides. It's good as both hiding and looking place. The meadow rises up the eastern slope and the upper right side are the tall grasses. Starbark was so cute in the grass, only her straight white tail giving her away when she tried to keep up. It was her test-drive, and she was wonderful. Too tiny to really know how to do anything, really, her most useful occupation was sleeping on my knees, keeping me warm.  We didn't really go there to shoot much, so the General observed things though his optics and I though mine :) The pictures were taken in dusk, so the quality is such as it is. Luckily the deer tend to freeze often, sensing a presence, which was perfect as posing goes :)

(Barki's contribution :p ) 
It got chilly towards the night, so I was not complaining. Only occasionally did she start to snore or bark in her dreams :))
Mother deer came though the tall grasses, scouting the meadow and then vanished, eventually sounding thin wheezing calls - like a kid using a primrose for a trumpet. She returned with a baby deer in tow, late born and quite small for this time of year, but a little too brave for his own good. We watched them for half an hour as she fed and he explored.
General made a tour around the rim of the meadow, at which time two males came running through the forest above us. I though they were playing, but as the binoculars turned out, the first one was so tired his tongue was hanging out - and was also very young with button-like antlers; whereas the second - the one chasing -  was older and more powerful and was chasing his competition off the territory. Although the younger one would qualify for our prey, he had enough problems and wasn't stopping. 
The elder eventually returned to see who we were - and proved his arrogant youth by crossing the meadow barking like a bear with a sinus tickle. 

All in all a phenomenal evening out. The animals seem healthy and rare, so there is no need to mark any for death so far, the hunters acking on behalf of extinct wolves as natural selection. This is by far my favorite part of being a hunter - sitting, secretly, observing the life on the rim.