Thursday, November 21, 2013
Compass or GPS needed in the woods
I'm hunting from a friends cabin near Roscommon. I might just as well be in the middle of Clarkston for the lack of deer.
Hunting unfamiliar land like the Mason Tract is a little like someone dropping you in the middle of the Mojave Desert and telling you to find water. It's not going to happen.
Neither am I going to run into a nice buck meandering his way through the woods I'm sitting in, crossing a two track, plowing through some thick cedar, all on the way to the AuSable River and a drink.
On my drive into the area I was to hunt I saw no tracks in the soft sand of the road. Once I had parked and gotten my gear together, I headed for the opposite side of the road away from the river.
Again, there wasn't any sign. But a short walk into the brushy field and I saw a run that looked like I-75. It was large and seemed to be well used. Other runs were in the area.
All around me were huge trees that had been toppled during the recent wind storm. Runs ran near the downed trees then skirts them to get to the other side.
Walking into the woods about a quarter of a mile, I found what looked like a good spot to sit. I could observe several runs in front of me and the wind was right. I didn't see a single whitetail.
Just shy of the lights going completely out, I decided to call it a day and began walking out. Somehow, I angled my walk away from my truck. By the time I hit the two track, I had to look hard to see it.
I'm glad I didn't wait much longer or I could have still been out there looking for my ride. Even though I hadn't gotten too far off the beaten path, that woods began looking like it had when I walked in.
With no compass or GPS to guide me, I was on my own. It's a good thing that some dead reckoning paid off.