If you are joining me in this series of "Finding Ways to Unwind" , you will soon discover how my evening hunt evolved after the slow time was over. Who would have thought sitting twelve feet up in tree on a seat made up of two metal rods and a thin cushion would be one of most relaxing places during my week? Did I say the cushion was thin? Imagine a slice of bread and then sit on it for two or three hours. When hunting is slow you think of these little comfort things, but when it picks up you could be sitting on a seat of nails and you wouldn't notice it. And for me it was getting ready to pick up.
As I looked about three hundred yards to the north of my deer stand, I noticed something moving along the cedar tree row. It was hard to make out because of the trees and tall weeds. I mainly could tell it was big and dark. I squinted a little to cut down on the glare from the sun that was starting to get about eye level. Luckily for me, if I leaned back just a little I could use a branch to my left to block the light. Since it was far away, I decided that looking through my range finder would help me make out what it was. As I looked through the eye piece and scanned down the tree line, my pulse rate went up a little thinking that I might see a big buck. I could make out the hind legs and then the body. It was big, but it was a COW! A stupid cow!
Seeing a cow in your hunting area is almost as bad as getting your cover blown by a snorting deer. Deer and cattle don't generally hang around each other. It’s not that they are mortal enemies or anything, but they just don't hang around the same social circles. If one cow was bad enough, then twenty was worse. As the cow moved into a clearing, I could see several more follow. Although this was disappointing, I have come to learn that it's not the end of the world. The phrase, "A bad day hunting is still better than a good day at the office" always holds true. I was still enjoying unwinding and if I wait long enough, you never know, the dumbest creature on the earth might just move out of the area.
For about twenty minutes I sat and watched the cows lumber around and eat grass or chew their cud. Whatever they were doing, I didn't really care because they were just getting in the way. The only thing that is important to remember about a cow is this: Don't shoot them. If you do, it will become a very expensive hunting trip. You might end up with a lot of meat, but it will run you a price of one full cow. And what's worse the land owner probably won't send you a thank you card inviting you back onto his property. Let me put it this way, if you just shot the family favorite that little sis bottle fed when she was a little girl, you won’t get a warm "come on back anytime you get a chance" invitation.
As I kept looking north watching the cows doing their cow thing, I noticed a doe jumping over the fence line about one hundred yards to the east. Finally, some action! Even though it was just a doe it made life more interesting. Better than watching a bunch of quarter pounders walk around the pasture. The next thing I knew two more does jumped the fence line and followed the lead doe. They were making their way across the pasture to the automatic water tank. As they got within twenty yards of the tank, a cow decided that it was thirsty. I guess being several hundred pounds heavier gives you the right to go first in the drinking fountain line. Really not much different than when I was in grade school. The big kid always got to cut in line and get his drink before me. I was okay with that because I figured he needed the hydration to sustain his girth. The does seemed okay with standing around and drawing circles in the dirt with their hooves as they waited on "Big Mac" to slurp all the water up. Oh sorry that was more of a flash back to grade school. Actually as they waited the does did a little bit of munching on whatever wheat that had come up in this dry land. Once the cow had finished, the does stepped up to the tank and had their refreshment.
This was one of the first times I had seen this type of activity by deer. It gives you an idea of the type of dry conditions this area was going through. In order to survive and receive water, the deer were willing to change their habits and be around the cattle. As leaders we can learn a lot from their example. Sometimes circumstances that are out of our control can change the environment around us. The best way to survive is to adapt to the changes and not only survive, but thrive in our organization. What ways have you had to adapt or change to be a successful leader?
Here is a picture of one of the does. Notice the
lack of wheat coming up.
Join me in my next post to find out what joins us in the hunt.