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Work Day In The Woods

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Work Day In The Woods

Postby FireCloud » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:06 pm

Today I finally got some time to have a much needed work day in the woods. I started by clearing some of the limbs from the east trail that had fallen in the spring storms. I only cleared off the smaller limbs as I have some large limbs and a fallen tree or two that will require some major chain saw work. But the trail is now open and useable.

Next, I picked up a ton of fallen limbs in my food plot area and threw them either into the ravine or into a couple of burn piles. I won't be able to burn for quite a while due to the burn bans in effect right now but at least I got most of the limbs out of at the front half of the plot area.

The deer have really been tearing up the ground at my mineral station. I don't know how they managed to dig the rock hard soil but they have a half circle trench dug down about 6 inches all around the stump where the minerals were placed. At least that tells me the deer are still visiting the plot area on a regular basis.

After picking up the limbs, I then mowed for a while. Mowing was very discouraging as it produced huge clouds of dust. The entire food plot is nothing but a huge dust bowl. There is absolutely nothing growing in the plot for a deer to eat and no reason for a deer to even visit the plot right now, other than the aforementioned mineral station. More discouraging is the fact it is not possible nor sensible to plant anything in this plot right now. In fact, there is no way to even work this miserably dry soil into a decent seedbed. All the vegatation is completely dead and dry, except for a few weeds.

I took a lunch break, then a cat nap with my baby kitten, and resumed work later in the afternoon after some shade came over the plot. I swept out a few months accumulation of leaves, dirt, and grime from my tree house shooting stand. The raccoons had knocked most everything off the shelves, such as my rattling horns, coffee cup, predator calls, etc. There is nothing in the stand for them to eat yet they constantly visit the stand and, I guess, just amuse themselves knocking stuff off the shelves.

It brought back a lot of memories of past hunts, enjoyable times spent in the stand, deer killed from the stand, and memorable shots...misses and successful hits. That is one of the best things about working in the woods...it let's you remember the many great days spent hunting. Even as I mowed, when I mowed between two trees I remembered starting to track a blood trail from that exact spot left by a doe I shot two seasons ago that went right between those trees.

Mija, my baby kitten followed me out to the plot this afternoon and I put her in the tree stand while I mowed. She has a good time anywhere in the woods and enjoyed being in the stand where she could get the benefit of what little breeze there was and be able to watch me mow. She will happily watch me work for hours. Animals find humans as interesting to watch doing their activities, much as humans like to watch what animals do.

I stopped mowing because I heard some thunder in the distance and it looked like some rain might be headed our way. Mija and I went down into the dry creek and filled a 5 gallon bucket with sand, then I lugged it back to the house to create her a small sand box for her use. I retrieved my equipment from the woods and called it a day. Unfortunately, we did not get any rain however.

But the end result is I did get about half the plot cleared of limbs and storm debris and mowed, plus I got my shooting house cleaned out, and the east trail passable again. Another half day of work should get the plot fully cleaned and mowed. After that, I will just have to wait and hope for enough rains to come so that I can actually plant something.
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Re: Work Day In The Woods

Postby jv » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:37 am

Good report FireCloud enjoyed the read.
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Re: Work Day In The Woods

Postby gtk » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:00 pm

way too hot for me to be in the woods "for fun" right now ..
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Re: Work Day In The Woods

Postby huntall » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:23 pm

Maybe we are haveing our drought early this year , and come planting time we will get some much needed rain! I sure hope we start geting some regular rains!
I need rain on all those trees I planted last winter!
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Re: Work Day In The Woods

Postby jbullard1 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:37 pm

I got out this morning and cut a few limbs with an Amish pruning saw got hot quick then took a kizer blade and cut a few bushes
Had to do this for better visibility from the "Shooting Room"
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Re: Work Day In The Woods

Postby FireCloud » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:50 pm

Oh yeah, it gets plenty hot very, very quickly as soon as the sun starts beating down. I take a lot of bottled water with me and keep hydrated because the heat index will make you break a sweat just like you were in a sauna. When you are losing water as rapidly as you will when sweating in this weather it is critical that you drink no less than (and preferrably more) than a gallon of pure water per day.

But I work outside in this heat all the time so it is not too bad if you use common sense by taking breaks frequently, sitting down and resting, cooling off, and drinking water. I also napped during the extremely hot time of the day and worked mostly when the food plot was shaded in the morning and later in the afternoon.

It's actually much cooler working in the open area at the food plot or up in the tree stand than it is working to clear the trails. The foliage is too dense along the trails and it blocks any slight breeze that may blow through, making it oppressively hot. It's exactly like working in a thick jungle and no fun at all. The tree stand gets the benefit of the natural updraft rising out of the 30 foot deep ravine below and it is really a pretty pleasant place to be even on a very hot day. It has four large windows and a door plus no roof right now so the air flows through very well.

I have gone out hunting late in the evening and into the night three times this past week and it was very hot all three nights. One evening it was still 95 degrees when I headed out to the beaver pond and probably still near 90 when I got back. I wear long sleeved mosquito proof mesh camo and that stuff will make you even hotter. But I just like being in the woods so much that I just endure the heat and go on with my fun! Hot or cold, it really does not matter to me what the temp might be when I get the chance to be in the woods.

But JB, you can have that Kaizer blade! Those things are murder to work with. I did a lot of "hard labor" as a teenager with one of them and hated them with a passion. Might have to check into that Amish pruning saw. Some low life stole several of my tools a couple months ago and my pruning saw was one thing they got so I have to get another one.

Huntall, I'm hoping like you that the rains will come in time to get enough moisture in the ground for planting food plots, and of course to water the trees so they too will survive. Drought can kill anything if it stays dry enough for a long enough time. I know you put a lot of hard work into your tree project and really hope you get some rain so you won't lose any of them.

Unfortunately, it's not looking very likely that will happen. Most people plant the first week of September which is less than 60 days away. Statistically, September is the dryest month of the year in Mississippi, so we sure cannot depend on getting much rain that month. Realistically, the rainfall we get in the next 8 weeks between now and early September will determine whether or not our food plots will be successful. We need to get at least 5 or 6 inches of rain spread out during that time in order to build up the soil moisture. Given the drought pattern and the short amount of time, we are going to have to see a major reversal of the rain pattern very soon if our plans are going to work out.
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