Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good news, bad news - why I hate rabbits

Bad news - The hard drive in my computer has crashed and um. It doesn't work. The good news, of course, is that my hard drive crashed and you don't need to listen to my senseless blather.

I've been out hunting a few times in the past few days and had some great flights. I will post more pictures soon (when my real computer is working, I lost all of my pictures as well, so I need to start updating my library).

We had a few moments this morning to get out and hunt. It has continued to rain, so any hunting that I am doing involves a whole lot of sloshing. I hit a spot that I usually go to when it gets colder. It runs along the edge of a major tourist destination, and I always fear that my hunting will interrupt their visit.

Anyway, after flushing a small flock of geese and finding that Tess and Gonzo were not interested, I waded into the briers. Yearling pine trees hid the ground and my boots sloshed through much and needles as I slashed and beat my way through the underbrush.

I saw the flash of a tail. That was it, the only time I saw the rabbit.

The birds launched themselves from the branches, crashing and crashing again. I followed them in a blind frenzy, trying to crash my way through the tangles and briers and swamp. Water seeped into my boots and I thanked my maker with every step for my good Filson chaps.

I finally gave up on the rabbit. The hawks couldn't punch through the underbrush and I knew that the squirrels were a little deeper into the trees.

Hunting rabbits in this part of NC is hard, and you never see the flight. One of the reasons I love squirrel chases so much is that it is up above and all around you. It is pure eye candy if you can keep up with the squirrel.

I can call the birds by name and they will come. They pulled off the rabbit and followed to the other side of the small grove of mixed hard and soft woods. Crows bombed us from overhead, cawing their displeasure at our passage. There was probably 20 or more in this particular murder of birds. The hawks stayed close in as I waited for the birds to pass.

Soon, I trudged on. The hawks spotted something and pinged on it. Tess dove for the ground as I ran to catch up. The birds worked their way up higher, as the squirrel had obviously made it to a tree. They circled the tree hopping past one another as they climbed branch to branch.

This is a new trend, both birds actively seeking. On of the birds made it to the top of the large pine, tussled with the squirrel there, and parachuted down with it.

It was Tess that made the kill at the top of the tree. Will wonders never cease.

Gonzo came in for the assist.

It was a one kill day, we'll be out more in the coming days. This is number 8.

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