I love maps, and back before the web, I had a Maine Delorme map filled with hunting and fishing spots. I still use one like it today- stained with coffee spills, creased like old hunting boots, and speckled with colored dots I used to mark brook trout pools and bird covers – but I supplement it with satellite images on my iPad. When I have them with me, ones give me quick directions to a spot, the other lets fly above the trees and scout covers far from a road. But when I forget both at home, neither one is very helpful.
That’s what happened today. Our hopes were up when we left the house. Instead of the hard winds and heavy rain we were supposed to have, the sky was overcast with just enough of a breeze to puff a flag. Puck and I thought we could pound some ground before things turned bad.
But after 45 minute of driving to get where I wanted to hunt, and about hour trying to find a certain spot, the weather turned from just overcast to overcast with drizzle, and then to black sky with down pour. Then the wind kicked in enough to make the 50′ pines on the roadside sway. So much for hunting. We turned around and headed for home.
The weather did let up some on the way back, so we hit a little spot that migrating woodcock like to bunch into. I think most of the flight birds have moved through now, but we did find a straggler. Puck stuck him with a rock solid point, and the bird flushed up and ahead of me. A flash of umber, a peet-peet-peet, the bird rising up like tossed softball – an easy shot for once. But I let him go and wished him luck. Perhaps we’ll run into him on his journeys back through come spring.
So tomorrow we pack our bags and head back down to Boston, and on to an exciting new chapter in my live: Puck living with me and my wife full time. Check back to see how it goes…