2/4/17 This morning we went out looking for cat tracks. Missy is trained on bobcats and mountain lions, so we will usually run whatever we happen to find. We figured we would bring a puppy along too, in an attempt to get him started in his training.
Now this may seem like a nice idea, but when you are the mother of three equally adorable puppies, HOW DO YOU JUST PICK ONE?! When I walk over to their kennel, they are all so excited to see me they can barely stand it. It’s like each one is just begging me to take them on their own little adventure. So I obviously can’t decide and have to make Marshall go get a damn puppy. He grabs Todd, stuffs him in the truck, and away we go!
The morning started out nice enough: a balmy 5° with a nice midwinter breeze to keep us cool. We got to the spot to unload the buggy (Marshall’s tracked up 4-wheeler), and before we can unload, Todd vomits in the backseat of the truck. No paper towels to be found. Make due with a used McDonald’s napkin off the floor and some snow. Of course the puke is in the texture of the seats like someone’s life depends on it. Add that to list of things to deal with later.
Get all loaded in the buggy, do a few loopty loops looking for tracks, and it overheats. Repeatedly. This, of course, is after Marshall thought he had fixed this problem earlier in the week. Obviously not.
We didn’t find any fresh tracks either- just a day or two old bobcat track and probably a week old lion track. We did see around 25 muleys though, and one appears to be a shooter-in-the-making. Give him til this fall or next, and I would be dern happy to get him with my bow. Add him to my mental Rolodex of deer to scout for later in the year.
Marshall, Missy, and Todd went on a hike, while I made myself scarce and ended up taking a nap under a juniper on a sunny slope.
It was late morning, and a pack of coyotes were still out and about. They woke me up will all their yipping. They’re just lucky I was sleepy, the gun was on the buggy, and they were over the hill from where it was parked.
I heard the boys and Missy coming back, way up on a ridge across from me. I had a good vantage point to watch their progress. Todd did pretty good scaling the rocks for being less than 4 moths old, but did get left behind a few times. He has a bad habit of barking when he’s upset or confused. We have to just ignore him when he does that (according to the hound training book I read) so that he doesn’t think he will get help or attention from it. Apparently it’s bad because if he’s on a hunt with other dogs, he may bark and actually pull the other dogs off the scent because they think he has found something, when really, he’s just being an asshole. But since he’s so little, I’m cutting him a little slack for now.
Todd also ended up finding a lion kill (deer) from this season, and had a grand ol time shredding the hair off of it and gnawing on the bones. Of course, “no” means nothing to him, so when he gets worms, maybe he will learn his lesson. It’s unlikely, but I can still hope.
We also went to a friend’s place looking for trees to build a bed. Marshall is a real artsy kind of guy and has his own woodworking business, Wild River Woodworks. He is more skilled with a chainsaw than anyone I’ve ever met. Seriously, check out his work.
He made fast work of the tree cutting, and I attempted to make myself useful by hauling the smaller branches and limbs through the snow, up the rocks, and to the truck. We were able to strap the main logs to the buggy (okay, fine. Marshall did, and I watched) and made it back to the truck in one piece. We officially have enough cedar for a couple of beds, so now the real work begins. Hopefully I’m not too shitty of a student, because I really want to be a useful asset to the team.
That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll try to remember pictures of the bed building process for your entertainment. (Assuming Marshall keeps putting up with me being in his shop, hovering around, pretending to help.)