Monday, February 23, 2015

A winter's walk

By Mac Arnold
RTO Editor

"We walked to the mounds before the dawn. Upon the frozen snow our feet stayed, except for the occasional sunken missteps.

"It was at the turnaround point that I noticed tracks had followed mine from the previous night's adventure in the woods to the back 40.

"Augie, our black Lab, had stayed off to the sides for the most part and had not ventured up front. The tracks in question were canine but appeared somewhat smaller, so he was ruled out as the culprit.

"A momentary pause was taken under the black sky and twinkling stars. The sting from below zero wind chills started to put a bite on my cheeks ... a coyote? Perhaps.

"Possibilities of a four-legged stalker danced around my mind until I hung up the dog leash once inside the shelter of the garage."

-- An excerpt from Mac's Night Travels

OK, there is no such literary piece but it is good fodder for a future work.

Didn't even really think about it until today (Feb. 23) when my wife told me of her morphine-induced dream at the hospital last night, where wolves jumped out of the wall and began to pounce while she was trapped in a bed that folded up on her.

The missus is recovering after complications from gall bladder surgery in the former Mercy Medical Hospital in Monroe, which now is ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital.

As I told her: she dreamt it. I lived it.

OK, not wolves. But maybe something.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I can dream, can't I?

By Mac Arnold
RTO Editor

After my shift here in Toledo on Tuesday night, I will be swinging by the mailbox to send out the annual miracle draw that is the Maine moose lottery.

Couldn't tell you exactly how many years it's been since I've started putting in for this chance of a lifetime, but I'm thinking it's been at least a decade.

The scenario starts out in rugged back northwoods of  "The Pine Tree State." It's a chilly and damp November day. Specks of white from a recent snowstorm dot the hillside. There I am set up along a cut muddy two-track and out steps a monster bull. Seconds later I raise the Mossberg slug gun and drop him with a perfect shot straight into the boiler room.

I stand over the fallen beast in disbelief from his monstrous proportions and wide palms that make up his rack.

Honkkkkkkkkk!!!! Honkkkkkkkkk!!!!

Then I snap out of this tremendous moment and realize the light is green and someone behind me is ticked off because I haven't moved for 20 seconds.

Oh, well, a guy can dream can't he?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Staying on watch

By Mac Arnold
RTO Editor

Now that the February "Super Storm" has hit, now what?

How am I going to stay on watch for coyotes in the back 40?

It may be time to invest in snowshoes. Or I could just wait until the late winter to spring thaw. Not sure how long it'll be but I'm not one to just slip into a Rip Van Winkle slumber.

Thoughts of wading in a roaring river for steelhead sounds appealing. That can be a chilly endeavor as well.

But on Saturday, Jan. 31, back in the Monroe County coyote woods, the only signs of life were a couple of determined squirrels and nonstop hooting great horned owls.

A late start and bumpy quad drive over the torn up field probably didn't leave the gig to covertness. So what the thinking is for future dog gigs is a nice hike to the back 40 ... in March.

The snow definitely has made for an arduous walk, let alone with the frozen plowed field.

Might be time to try another venue, such as the Sanilac County camp. The 'yotes roam in numbers out that way.

Although more snow is expected this weekend. Ugh! Not a lot. Accuweather is calling for 1 to 3 inches. Yeah, sure, pile it on Old Man Winter.

Guess it's time to purchase the H.S. Strut DVD to while away the time until mobility returns to ye olde hunting grounds.