Happy Spring to everyone from Long Ridge Deer Camp! We have finally lost all our snow, even up on the Far Ridge, and the last of the lake and small pond ice disappeared a week ago. Once that happens things get really busy around the camp.
The first chore is to get a game cam out. I know for you lucky folks in the Southern tiers, you can leave them out all year around, but with our temps going below zero, batteries last only a few days, so I bring them in til spring. Up it goes during the first week of April. Below you see the first buck captured in a photo this year. He is in excellent condition, and shiney and alert. The mild winter was good on this group for sure. We'll be watching antler growth over the spring and summer months!
The second pressing issue is to get all the trails opened up and cleared of blowdowns, ice damaged trees (and there were a ton of them) and to clear some new trails. Below is one that I am clearing along the Eastern edge of the property, where there are no trails yet
Here I have cut my way along, and have yet to walk back to clear debri from the trail. Some folks have asked me if I always travel by ATV, and never walk! Well I do walk, with a pistol, or rifle, and binoculars. But when traveling with a chainsaw, hand tools, gas, and oil, I ALWAYS take transportation!
While walking along heaving brush and cut trees out of the new trail system, I discovered a bear den, kind of exciting because I have never found one right on our land. This one is very well used and there are black coarse hairs on the sticks around the cave. The trail in and out is well worn. I don't know if there are babes in there, but there could be. The sow I caught on camera this past summer had two yearlings with her, so it would be her breeding year. But there is no way to even know if it is her. The opening is about 24x30 inches, just perfect. I didn't poke around much in case there were cubs, but went home to bring Nancy back to show her so she'd believe me. She wasn't all that thrilled about sitting that close to the opening, so we did not
Yesterday I hauled out two small Maples for runners and began to pack out firewood for fall camps. I use seasoned stuff that I cut and stack along the various trails. There is so much I would give it away for free if there were any takers. When this pile is all done and stacked there will still be at least five cords, seasoned and waiting around the food plots, trails, and fields. This stack will fuel a roaring fire for a full eight days of camps.
Coming up, I hope to get to the range soon, and try those Winchesters with the triggers all adjusted. Just been too busy!