Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A Day Well Spent In The Woods


Come join our little expedition as we take to the woods!  Our trail guide and expert woodsman is impressed with the deer pictures that he is seeing on our trail cameras  and wants to set more cameras up across the creek..  

Previously today I stopped in at my local Walmart and picked up some more deer corn , another mineral block and another trail camera.   You can never have too many trail cameras on the homestead! 

Kawasaki says "let the good times roll" and I plan to do so!  My first large expenditure for the Lodge this year was to buy a new 4 wheeler.  We have many trails for our guests to enjoy as well as feeding stations for our wildlife and it was decided it was time to buy a new 4 wheeler.   This time I bought one with two wheel drive and I think it will work just fine for what we need it for and was much less expensive.  

Our guide has taught us  that deer will leave signs that they have been in the area and the importance of being observant of those signs.  There will be scrapings on the trunks of trees,  broken twigs as well as deer scat which is a fancy word for deer poop.  Once a year deer will lose their antlers which is called shedding so another important thing to look for is sheds.   

Deer Scat.  Not what I was expecting.  Looks like rabbit poop.  

Notice the scrapings on the sapling and the big Cedar tree above.  More signs deer have been in the area.

Here is an example of a shed.  In a couple months we are told we can start looking for sheds.  

So let's head across the creek to the spot our trail guide tells us is the place to set up the and put out the mineral block.   Mineral blocks are good for the over all health of the deer and also help with antler growth.  

The deer seem to like spending time amongst these large cedar trees.  There are signs!  So here is where we plan on setting up a couple cameras and placing a mineral block.  So let the fun begin!

Our woodsman guide and his grandson ready one of the cameras and place it on this post.  To ready your camera make sure you have put an SD card in the proper slot.  Then set the date and time as well as selecting video mode or regular mode.  We like using the video mode.  Most importantly,  remember to turn the camera on once it has been properly mounted to a tree or post.  Otherwise, you will be very disappointed the next time you check your cameras expecting great pictures of the wildlife and find nothing  Alas,  this has happened to me...  The above camera is aimed at the mineral block.  

I am attaching my camera to the trunk of an old cedar tree aimed down a path we have observed.  I put the camera about waist high..   Again,  fasten it securely,  program it and then make sure it is turned on.   Double check! 

Now it's time to do some maintenance checks on the trails.  After every wind and snow storm rotten limbs will fall onto the trails and need to be removed.  It is good to maintain your equipment and I don't like to drive over stumps and limbs especially with my new 4 wheeler.   Speaking of maintenance notice the smoke coming out of the back of the 4 wheeler in front.  That is a sign it is using oil so we have to make sure we add oil every time we use this one.  And also before you head out always check to see how much gas you have.  Running out of gas on the back of this 62 acres and having to walk back to the house is something you will only do once.  

The "log man" is the person who jumps off the 4 wheeler and pulls the limbs off the trail.  Notice here our excellent woodsman trail guide is pulling up a small tree stump and all.  The kids realized they are the ones expected to handle this job.  

While checking the trails we stopped to check out what appeared to be an old stone  walled hand dug well.  Anyway that is what we guessed it was.     I always thought wells were much smaller around and this one only appeared to be a few feet deep.  The puzzling part was it was located next to a small creek.  Why build a well next to a creek?  Truly a mystery!

It's time to do a bit more exploring in the woods before we head back to the house.  It's a beautiful day today and we are enjoying our ride on the 4 wheelers and our time in the woods.

Anyone need a pair of dentures?

Notice my grand-daughter in the pictures?  Riding 4 wheelers and spending time exploring in the woods is a gender neutral sport.   And girls as well as boys need to learn life skills.   

It's been a blast but time to head back to the house. 

 What do you do with those rotten limbs you ask?  Why build a fire and call up the wild things of course!

Is there anything better than sitting around the fire in the evening listening to the night sounds and talking about your day?  Nothing that I can think of!  I'm glad to have a place my grandkids can come and explore away from the city!  

Hopefully, these kids will want to continue to put down their electronics to spend more time out in the great outdoors and especially in the woods.  And have learned to respect wildlife and observe the signs that they have been in the area.  We enjoy our wildlife cameras and have not only seen deer but also turkey, bob cats, coyotes, coons, armadillos, and opossums.  I'm hoping no bears or mountain lions ever show up on those cameras !  

Thanks for taking this journey with us and you are welcome to come along tomorrow with us as we check the cameras.  Every day is exciting here on the homestead!  

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