Intro to Archery: Deer Signs

I walk my dog every morning down the rough dirt road that remains unplowed all winter. Edged in wild blackberry bushes, the road slopes into a rough two-track with rocks the size of small boulders that will rip tires if you aren’t careful. It’s my favorite place to walk.

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Sometimes it’s nice to unplug for a bit, mid-day, before the homework-dinner rush, and walk the path. I love when the only sound is the slight crunch of gravel beneath my boots and the light-footed jog of my dog beside me.

Yesterday was one of those days where I managed to steal away for an extra walk before I had to head out to pick up my daughter from school. As my almost-eight-month-old Chesapeake, Mackinac, and I meandered down the path, our footsteps were softened by the newly fallen leaves – a reminder that colder weather is on the horizon.IMG_9849

Rounding a corner, we walked up the rocky hill when two large does materialized before us on the path about 60 yards away.

I stopped.

My dog stopped.

They stopped.

We watched each other warily and my dog, startled and aware of their size, stood quietly at my side.

It is so magical when worlds collide like this – and I feel so incredibly lucky with the amount of wildlife I see on a daily basis out here. From deer to coyotes to porcupines to owls to red-tailed hawks to blue herons and an assortment of waterfowl. It is so amazing to catch these glimpses of the wild world.

Within seconds the reverie was broken as they leaped up the mountain away from us. As we continued up the path, a third doe darted out in front of us; this time, my dog responded by jogging a few steps before watching it trail up the mountain behind the others.

Archery deer season begins Oct. 3, which is a week from this Saturday. While I hope to fill my tag this year, I also know how much I am going to appreciate sitting in the tree tops and watching the natural dance of the squirrels, black-capped chickadees, and blue jays unfold.

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