Copper Harbor has it's first official dusting of snow. The last time it snowed, it didn't stick. Now the air and ground are cold enough to color the lawns and rooftops white. Unless it snows soon, however, this batch won't stay around for long. Sounds like they got lots more snow up the hill at Lake Medora, though. I hear the roads are icy, so be careful if you're traveling!
Yesterday, as I was at home working on a project, Aaron came home early from hunting. "Why are you back so early?" I asked, with an inkling of an idea.
"I came to get you," he said. "Want to come help me track a deer? I shot it, but I didn't find it yet."
My first deer tracking ever! I was pumped. Now let me say, unless the world came to an end, and we had to kill our own meat to live (though I would be more of a forager), I would never sit in the cold, cold woods with a gun poised to shoot an animal. But this one was already shot, so I was compelled to track it down, and make sure it was put to rest.
DISCLAIMER: If you don't like blood, you might not want to read the rest of this because that's what I was looking at the rest of the time.
We parked the truck and walked into the bush where Aaron found the last blood. He shot it behind the shoulder, through one lung. "Not the best shot," he admitted. I could tell he felt bad, but it was now a mission for us.
We followed the red sprinkles through the cedars, over dead trees, through a swamp, over a brook, through the pines and so on. I liked it. I thought it was so cool to follow in a deer's footsteps. You know, go where a deer would go (although this one was wounded, not just looking for food).
I felt like a detective. Following the trail of blood -- the poor thing was leaving a steady trail -- and going the way of its hoof prints. We saw a couple spots where he laid or fell down. "He must be wearing out," Aaron said. I thought we would be getting closer. Yup, there was another spot where he laid for a while.
Aaron's friend Mike, who also came to track with us, found him first. At first I thought he was still breathing. He looked like he was alive! But nope. Deader than a door nail.
I took a moment to thank the young buck for sacrificing his life to feed us. He sure looked like good eating! Besides that, he was beautiful. It was nice closure to find him and admire him before Aaron sliced him open and pulled his guts out. Cedar leaves were his last meal. Man oh man, that was my first experience at a gutting too. I can't say it was my favorite part.
The boys dragged him over a hill an out of the woods, while I got to carry their guns -- unloaded, of course. It was a neat experience for this girl. Aaron's first Keweenaw buck was my first "hunting" experience. Tonight he will be cut into pieces, wrapped up and put in the freezer.