Monday, September 1, 2014

Day Two
SnakeNot much to report today.  Went out in the evening, and while heading toward an old favorite hunting area I impulsively stopped at a gate I'd never explored behind.  Some of my best days have been spent on such impulses, though today I didn't see any elk or deer.  Hiked 12-13 miles to find a small, desiccated pile of wapiti dung, likely from a year ago.  No tracks, and one rub, also at least a year old, judging by the colorless and odor free bark laying around the trunk of the victim.  Did see 6-7 small snakes sunning in the road, one of whom was hilariously aggressive (defensive?) despite being only 8 inches long, at best.  He reared back and let the tip of my bow have it when I tried to determine if he was alive or not.  I let him go, unmolested.  Had to admire the fight in the little fellow.
Anyway, saw some beautiful, Ferngully like drainages, and a simply BRUTAL clear-cut.  A lot is said about how clear-cuts create browse for deer and elk.   I've passed this one (not pictured) occasionally on the highway for about the past 10 years, and have yet to see anything approaching "browse" show up, (or elk and deer, for that matter).  Just a tangled mass of root balls, stumps, and towering burn piles that have yet to be burned.  Not even those annoying, low-growing berry vines that take about five minutes to completely entangle any brush pile on my place that I dare to leave overnight (I'm exaggerating a bit, of course).  Hide it all by lining the highway of tourists headed to the coast with a thin barrier of cottonwoods, and the illusion is complete, like a Hello Kitty band aid covering the results of a compound fracture.  Really, there is no excuse for it.
But, I digress, and will do so again in the morning.  I will go south, to try again.

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