Monday, 6 February 2017

Deer shed hunt

I'm on my last legs, as is the deer shed hunt. It's truly over.
This was a ridiculous failure! If you cannot laugh at yourself, though, you should just give up! 
Do you recall the parable about the woman searching for the coin outside her home, when she lost it inside? That's how I feel. I have been searching the wetland, and figured out I'm better off looking on the sanctuaries on the islands in the wetland. They didn't pan out, either!

Friday's walk was a beautiful one. Saturday, I thought I'd explore some of the islands in the wetland. This is where the deer hunker down, and you can find deer beds. They are a lovely indication of activity in the forest.
Friday walkabout!
Saturday walkabout!

I set off with walkie talkie, water, backpack, whistle, GPS device.

I was good. It was cloudy, but lovely in the forest. The sun peeped out from time-to-time. The indentations on my Garmin Base Camp map indicate trees. The flat, even spots are all bog. You can notice that I just about circled around on myself. The walking in the bog was tricky.

My first stop, I spotted a bird. I could see its head under the log. Watching me.
Instead of taking a photo, I just watched. Turns out it was a grouse under a log. I was too slow as it took off. Despite watching it leave and rise up into the cedar trees, I could not find it! Then, as I approached the log to take a photo, two more flew away. Gone!

I never did spot the three of them. This is an archival photo. One hit the window, chased by the sharp-shinned hawk.

The funny thing is, I found another spot in the forest where the grouse were hanging out, this on my walk on Friday. Now I know what it was! They nestled in under the rock. Pooped all over the place. I love the precarious tree, perched on the rock.

But I digress. I was a tad disappointed with myself.

By now, I was near the spot on the map where it says, 'sled' on the map. Who did I meet? Had to be Tigger, since they never stand still. The minute they hear me in the forest they take off. I talked to him, and managed a couple of photos. I followed their trail, which led me south.

I circled around the property, checking for the tell-tale spots of blood. Our newly-named buck, Jake, as of Friday still had one antler left. This is unusual, since they lose #2 in 24 hours, they tell me. It's been 48 hours, at least. Here is Jake, on Thursday and Friday.

Walking back up the hill, I noticed a few spots of blood from Friday, just at the bottom of the hill down to the meadow. It has to be Friday, since Jake was on the trail cam (see video). I put all the pieces together, and came up without an antler!

Jake buck from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Before I made a hearty spaghetti dinner, I had a long hot bath with bubbles and epsom salts. I'm still sore. I hope you like my wetland photos. It was a dull day.


Out To Pasture said...

At first glance, it looks like your Saturday GPS map has 'drunk' marked on your trail. Surely not! Ha!
Glad you saw some ruffed grouse. They are scarce now in my area because of the severe deforestation to make more cropland.

WendyFromNY said...

OMGosh! You expect to be able to spot an antler in all that vegetation? Ungrateful beasts! The least they could do is drop them at the feeders! Will you look again when the snow has melted? And every branch on the ground is antler colored....

Nancy J said...

A whole lot of fallen trees and branches, Jenn, I hope you get a handy man with chainsaw to come and do the hard work, when the snow has gone. A heap of firewood there for next winter. Yes, after all those KM's in snow, tired legs are the result, hope you kept warm, and a good soak, just what the Dr ordered. Love all your photos and the GPS map,

Powell River Books said...

Good thing you take the survival and communication gear with you. - Margy

Red said...

I think you deer friends wander much further than you think and that may be where the antlers are.

Kay said...

Wow! You were hiking all over by yourself? That wasn't dangerous?

William Kendall said...

Well, you had a go at it. Unfortunately those antlers won't last until spring.

Silver Willow said...

gorgeous buck!

Rajesh said...

Great shots. This is a wonderful experience.

NatureFootstep said...

great hike and wildlife :) Loved the grouse.