Saturday, December 17, 2016
"What's up dude?" An appropriate story for an intro to this blog page
Rustle, Rustle, Rustle, Rustle, Squeak, Scream, Crunch, Crunch, Rip, Tear, Crunch, Crunch... I was deer hunting with archery tackle and had settled into my treestand about an hour before first light. After sitting for a half hour I heard this very loud and close commotion out in front of me. My heart was beating like a 400Hp Chevy 350 at full throttle. It was still pitch black. I couldn't see what had happened. However, I absolutely knew I had just heard the demise and consumption of a squirrel. I assumed the predator was a coyote. The woods settled back down and the first hint of blueish light started to show in the sky. Again, I heard loud rustling out in front of me and the squeak of another freaked out squirrel. As I peered into the darkness I saw the squirrel try to make an escape up a tree. Right on it's tail was a much larger critter. All I could see were the silhouettes against the faintly lit sky. The squirrel tried to jump to the next tree and the chaser swatted him just as the tree rat jumped causing him to fall 25 ft to the forest floor. As the squirrel was stunned, the hungry beast made about 4 bounds down the tree and was on that squirrel in seconds. I couldn't see them anymore as the forest floor was still engulfed in the black. Again I hear the scream, squeak, crunch, crunch, rip, tear, crunch, crunch. After a few minutes I could finally start to see the forest ahead of me. There were no critters in sight. I thought that maybe the critter that was chasing the grey long tailed tree rat was perhaps a raccoon and had now wandered off. Fast forward a bit...The sun was now above the horizon and I figured after all that commotion I wasn't going to see a deer come anywhere near the slaughter scene. Never the less I stuck it out. 45 Minutes passed by and I see this creature come out of the weeds just behind the killing tree. It was a big male Fisher! He walked around the base of the tree he had smacked the squirrel out of, sniffing around. He then started slowly making his way toward my tree. I was thinking to myself, wouldn't it be crazy if he climbed up my ladderstand or tree?. Well, that is exactly what it did. He got to the base of the tree I was in and sniffed around for a bit. He looked up and started climbing. As he climbed up the backside of the tree and all I could see was one side of his body and his tail flicking about as he made his way up. He got to my head level and stopped directly on the backside of the tree. At this point, I was freaking out a bit. Not because I was scared this giant weasel would tear my face off, it was because I thought it was the coolest freaking thing! I pulled my hip knife out of its sheath just in case. That bugger stayed on the backside of the tree and all I could see now was it's tail swinging around while he was doing whatever it was he was doing back there. Perhaps he pulled a piece of bark off and was using it to clean his teeth? After a couple mins i decided to make the first move. I slowly started poking around the side of the tree with my knife to try and spook it away. I wasn't trying to stab it, just get it moving. Nope, that didn't work. He peaked his head around the tree and was staring me dead in the face about a foot away. The markings on it's face were amazing. It was like some exotic burlwood pattern. After about 10 seconds of this stare down I said in a low voice "What's up dude?". That got his attention. He shuttered and stuttered then quickly started to make his way back down the tree. He stopped about three feet below my platform, turned around and kept staring at me. I was thinking there was no way he was going to come back up. Wrong again. As he was coming back up towards me I said, a little louder, "Yo dude, somebody is already hunting here.". He stopped and stared for a few more seconds before turning around and gingerly getting back down to the forest floor. He gave me one more over the shoulder "wtf?" look and slowly meandered his way through the swamp edge that was behind me. I could have stuck an arrow in him before he climbed the tree or stabbed him as he was easily in blades reach, I was totally in my legal rights to do so. I thank god for giving me the strength not to as this story wouldn't have been the same if I did. Sharing some time in the woods with this fellow hunter was more than enough satisfaction for me.