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<u>A Fawn of Possibilities</u>

As I head up the trail following a late spring rain, I can almost hear the foliage drinking down the water as the plants fight to be the greenest, tallest, fullest plant first and shade out their competition for the sunny months that lie ahead.

I approach a hinge cut hedge row I cut back in March that separates the trail from one of my Fall plots and am happy to see the hinged trees greened but no longer in the competition up in the canopy. As if on a cue a nice doe steps out on the main trail from that hedge row of green. She stops and checks me over for a bit and flicks her tail several times in sort of a nervous manner , looks back from where she came and then walks into the pines on the left. I figured she must not see this guy in shorts and hiking boots as a threat now, but perhaps knows it is the same guy she was likely snorting and stomping at last fall when she found me perched awkwardly in a tree near this same trail and I cannot be trusted.

I go to take another step, and a wobbly legged fawn darts onto the path at the same spot as mom, stops briefly then follows mom down into the pines. “That looks like it was just born” I think as I give the two time to get reunited and regrouped before moving on.

As I get to the steeper part of the trail and my blood begins to flow a bit faster from the stress of the climb, my mind starts to work a bit harder in thought. Perhaps this increased blood flow to my brain and the thoughts that follow are why I like hiking the mountains so much? It takes me to a place the flatlands cannot. My thoughts turn to that little newborn fawn and the possibilities in which he carries with him.

Perhaps that little fawn is indeed a male, and becomes the buck that 5 years from now appears on that foggy rainy November morning like a ghost in the clear-cut, stops briefly enough for me to be in awe of his magnificence then disappears just as ghostly back into the fog and cover. Maybe I get to watch this fawn on a couple occasions as he develops prior to this meeting 5 years later, seeing him make the mistakes of a young buck, that is unknowingly benefiting from regulations written to protect him and govern those that pursue his kind and also from my desire to let him grow. Maybe this young male becomes a proud harvest of one of my kids during the next couple years and his early set of antlers spend their days on a plaque in my kid’s room to forever be remembered, thanked and cherished by a family that finds such things their lifeblood.

Maybe this little one is the ever important female. A seed of sleek, beauty and cunning, and maybe she was not only following her mom but learning from her what she will need to pass on one day. Maybe she becomes the matriarch of the herd, and the first to snort when danger is detected. Perhaps that one little fawn will produce for us many meals and memories from her offspring over the next several years as she is able to avoid demise. Should I thank her now for that when we are not foes? It also could be this little fawn just becomes the unfortunate one that because of harvest goal decisions made in a far away State office or my own need to see the herd balanced to preserve and protect this habitat we work so hard on all year, she is the one the hammer will fall on and she then becomes the meal provided by her mom, all while letting another fawn’s story unfold now. Let’s hope the fate that made or paths cross then, also helped us in making the right choice when we ultimately swung the hammer.

At a rest point on the trail where I can look back down over the hill and the neighboring hills surrounding it, I take comfort in the fact that one thing this fawn will not likely have to worry about is finding its end in the headlights of a vehicle or seeing its habitat converted to one that just suits one overwhelming specie. But I just as quickly think about the early threats to it from the numerous year-around predators here, the coyotes, the bears, those that live by their own regulations and that roam these same hills. My best wishes to that fawn that the same fate also steers those threats down over the bench instead of along it where their paths will cross.

On descent of the hill I take a good look at the shape of the world this fawn will grow up in. And the rain once again starts to fall from the sky, I find myself really rooting for the plants that provide the fawn what it needs to become healthy to win the competition and help it avoid the pitfalls that bad surroundings can bring especially in late winter. I am motivated once again to committing my free time to doing what I can during this year that is now suddenly in full swing after such a long winter lull. I remind myself that not all things pay dividends but that is no reason to stop investing. I am in this for the long haul, not just my generation, or the fawn’s, but for those generations that have yet to even step foot on this hill.

Once home, I relay the story to my family and talk of this fawn with the knowledge that we all will be players and blaze trails that may cross there…and I end my story to them with saying “that was a great fawn to see, a fawn of possibilities”.

Be well, and never forget the possibilites.
RB
 

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Re: A Fawn of Possibilites - Rooster's Wanderings # 6

RB another great post. With new life possibilities are endless.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Was checking the trail cam cards this week and sure enough...got this fawn and doe feeding at night in the remenants of last years food plot there, about 15 yards from where they crossed in front of me...I'll load the pic later tonight so you can see the little guy.

Love to put an ear tag or radio collar or something on him so i could ID him the rest of his/her life and see how the story does unfold...I bet wildlife biologists love their jobs, if not they should.
 

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A very touching writing from a fine sportsman that has the rare ability to see things that many miss in connection with our sport & put same into another great writing!! Thanks much for sharing with us all John!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here are some pics of the little guy...this would be the night after I saw them. Guess I didn't scare them off too much since I was only about 15 yards from this camera when we crossed paths.




Does a guy's outdoor soul good to see Mom deer getting eats from my last years plot work there, while the fawn gets eats from her. Motivates me to get some fresh protiens in the ground for the year ahead.

Thanks again for the somments guys, sometimes I think I get a little to caught up in this stuff, so it is good to read them.
 

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Very nice story and good pics. I grew up in 2G and have wonderful memories of many great deer hunts. Back then it seemed like there were unlimited amounts of deer for the hunters but all things change. I believe some quality deer are starting to come back from what I hear but there is still a long way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Smokey!!

I have no complaints about 2G or 2F over my entire 29 year hunting career...the woods and deer herd have changed ALOT, but so have I. It is kind of funny but deer manangement here seemed to follow what my hunting goals were at the time. From seeing lots and getting lots of shots as a youngster, to seeing a few and trying for just THE ONE as a veteran hunter...guess that is why I never complained about it, it seems to of always fit me.

I definately see each deer as a gift now, instead of just one more sighting or harvest.I think that is how it should be...the Outdoors are too full of wonder to take anything for granted.
 

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Rooster, I agree with you, each deer is a gift. It is strange as to how you see things differently over the years. I have not hunted PA in many years but very much miss the mountains. The last time I was back there to hunt was over 10 years ago for a five day hunt. In four days I saw four doe and a small spike. The fifth day I was only to hunt the morning and head back to Arizona. That stretched into the the afternoon sitting on the top bench on a point in the Young Women's Creek area. Just as I was getting ready to leave a young spike came around the point with no idea I was there. I put the scope on him but figured he had some growing to do. Then about fifty yards behind him a young but nice eight point made his debut. In the scope he looked great as he followed the little buck around the point. That five minutes and just being back in those woods made for a great hunt. You don't need to always shoot something to have a great hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My camp is in the Young Woman's Creek area...no wonder we are on the same "bench" in all this, bench sneaking and peeking is my lifeblood now when I deer hunt ..


Be up there tomorrow in fact to check on camp
...if you ever are coming in from AZ give a hollar.
 

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Great writings, just being in the woods enjoying nature is generally enough to keep me coming back, year after year....
 

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You my friend don't get to caught up in anything! That is what it is all about...getting caught up in it. I go for walks and watch different sorts of wildlife and imagine their life and what they are up to.
You put my walks to words.
Great story.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys......saw a fawn over in Potter this weekend too. That one had future Mountain Monarch written all over him.
 

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Rooster, I grew up in that area, learned to hunt, fish, and trap there. I don't think there is a mountain in that area that I have not climbed numerous times. It was the place I always thought as a hunters' haven. I've seen every kind of game there and have just marveled at the pleasures I've had in exploring those mountains. When I do get back there I drive through the valley early every morning and at times hike around the old hunting and fishing spots. There isn't a better place to teach young ones about the great outdoors then the Young Woman's Creek area. I have lived and been virtually all over the world and this place is still the number one place for me. Congratulations on finding such a great place for a camp.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Now that is a cool reply to read.

Congratulations on finding such a great place for a camp
Thanks but ALL Kudos go to my Pap and his brother and a few friends of theirs back in the 1930's when an insurance agent asked them if they would like to buy a hunting cabin...this will be my family's 77th year on our hill, I could not imagine my life without it. EVER. SOmetimes i think about that insurance agents family...and how many of those moments they missed. We are BLESSED to have it and will never take it for granted.

I have called that area "My holy land" numerous times on this forum. It is, and I only spent on average about 30 days a year there, every part of who I am has been honed some by those hills and those late old hunters who i still look to make proud with my actions as a sportsmen.

Pap and that camp/mountain and their effect on me are what brought forth both the "Spirit of the Hunt" and "Hunting Camp" forums here on HuntingPA in fact, cause I knew to so many it meant the same thing and they are two of the very best forums because of it....wonder what all these old Paps up there think about this electronic appreciation of such things?

Again Smokey, you make it back to NC PA, you give me hollar. Really enjoyed talking to you here, and my guess in person while riding those back roads that trickle around those steep hills and moss covered banks of YWC it would only be more enjoyable.

I have alot of stories of my camp on this forum...just set the time limit for the forum forum to "from all dates" and look back thru...might even be some hills you recognize.
 

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RB as usual what a great read..makes me close my eyes and picture what I havent seen now for several months, makes me know it is soon time to load up and head north..
 
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