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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
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February 15, 2012     The New Era Paper
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February 15, 2012
 

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Page 14 le e, r. - February 15, 2012 1 25 things I've [ear aed in00;C years c f hunting While out in the woods dur- ing the past 50 years, I've learned a few things about hunting and other less important things. Let me see if Concealed Handgun License Class Held locally in Sweet Home. We license for Oregon, Utah, Arizona Carry legally concealed in 36 states! Questions Please Call: (541) 570-0345 JL Saturday, 1 February 25 -lOam 00Concealed I can remember what they are: (1) Hunters enjoy sitting around the campfire telling stories of days past when they sat around camp telling stories. (2) Deer and elk are evolving to the point that they can read signs and stay behind those that read "No Hunting" and "No Trespassing." (3) Some hunters are devolv- ing so they can't read the above- mentioned signs, let alone read tracks, trails, rubs, etc. (4) Some hunters would rather say they went hunting than .tually go hunting. (5) Deer watch you cxefully when you eat an apple o" other crunchy foods such as a granola bar. When you take a bite aid start crunching, they move in lhe dry leaves, knowing full well that you couldn't hear a freight train go by MON-FRli 8:AM TO 6:PM I SAT: 9:AM TO 6:PM I SUN: 9:AM TO 5:PM ! uiiH gEE 8fit008 FOR ALL YOUR SPORTING GOOD NEEDS 610 MAIN STREET I 541.367,5544 I HOURS: MON.- SAT. 9 - 6 i SUN. 10 - 4 PONDER- IN IFf in HODGDON I IMR I ALLIANT i WINCHESTER 5fiNE [flHERflD- t1% 11 WILDVIEW I STEALTH CAM I PRIMOS [HILLY 5RIP 5LOVE- LATEX DIP I BLUE OR CAMO I RED STEER #A311. A313 REG. $5.99 DEflR 0H(KS- II.IIIYIIY 12 PER TRAY at 50 paces. In this manner, a herd of 20 trophy bucks can pass you by without you hearing a sound. (6) Squirrels love messing around with hunters. They like playing tricks such as breaking branches and tossing pine cones to keep you skittish and make you think the woods are alive with creatures. Then they simply laugh to themselves in silent chatter - though sometimes in noisy chatter, to scare off the deer and elk. (7) A fairly high percentage of hunters prefer to remain in camp and show off their new gear to any- one who happens by. (8) Dogs don't always point at their intended quarry. They may also get excited over critters such as skunks, chickens - or female dogs. (9) You can be so scared that you actually run out of your shoes or leave your hat hanging in mid- air like in the cartoons. However, the source of this fear usually turns out to be a squirrel. (10) When you leave camp, the animals often seek shelter there. I recall a turkey hunt in Wyo- ming when two of us walked sev- eral miles and hunted hard, seeing nothing. When we arrived back in camp, our buddy had his turkey as well as a big you-know-what-eat- ing grin. As he sat in camp against a big ponderosa, a turkey flew to a branch above him. (11) When a hunter says one thing, you can bet he really means another. For example, when he says he walked 10 miles that day, what he really means is he walked a quarter mile from camp, laid down against the first log he found, and fell asleep. (12) When he says he spot- ted that monster buck about a mile away and put the sneak to him, got within 155 yards until he saw a cougar stalking in from the north- west and the chase was on, what he really means is he didn't see a OUTDOORS Scott Staats thing. (13) Game wardens have an endless bag of tricks to reach into, including decoys of just about ev- ery animal on the planet. 1 know. I've been on several decoy opera- tions. (14) Game wardens always show up when you least expect it. I recall one instance, 27 years ago, on my very first elk hunt on the edge of a remote wilderness area in Wyoming. Just after shooting my first bull, I saw a guy walking up to the animal before I even got to it. Turned out he was a game warden and I was his first field check. (15) Sometimes all that expen- sive gear can't bring you success. A state trooper friend of mine went bear hunting and bought a $500 ri- fle, spent weeks scouting and even tore some cartilage in his knee in the process of all this preparation. He waited patiently for three hours during opening day and finally got out his thermos of hot chocolate and donut just as a 400- or 500-pound bear came into sight. By the time he reached for his expensive new rifle the bear turned tail and disap- peared. Another example of cops and donuts... (16) Food in your tent can at- tract unwanted critters such as rac- coons, mice, bears and other hunt- ers. (17) The old saying "It's al- ways coldest before the dawn" holds true especially when hunt- ing. I recall many times sitting on the edge of a canyon waiting for the sun to break over the rim. The 10 or 15 minutes before it does are always the coldest, with all four cheeks ending up chapped. (18) The more people in your group, the less reliable everyone becomes and the less likely any of you will ever meet at any predeter- mined rendezvous. (19) It's probably easier for terrorists to enter our country than for us to breach the hard plastic packaging that entombs our new gear when it arrives. (20) It's time to get out of the woods when those things making all that buzzing noise turn out to be mosquitoes and not hummingbirds or when that growling isn't coming from your empty stomach. (21) I prefer hunting alone ex- cept when I get an elk. I can recall at least three bull elk I've killed while hunting solo. I hauled one of them out in one trip with a sled and a backpack, in about a foot of snow. Another hunt was much warmer, with yellow jackets buzz- ing all around me while I gutted and quartered the elk. Being al- lergic to bees, I thought this would be the last hunt of my life if I got stung. However, I survived to tell the story around the campfire. (22) Some hunters need to think outside the truck. (23) While out in the woods one day, I came across a steaming pile of bear scat, which finally an- swered "Yes" to that age-old ques- tion.., and finally... (24) As I get older, it's hard to remember 25 of anything. Scott Staats is a full-time outdoor writer who lives in Prineville. Contact him by e-mail at news@ sweethomenews.com. Please put "For Scott Staats" on the subject line.