posted on October 25, 2010 07:54
If fear has an odor, it’s lost on the most odiferous critter prowling Ohio’s soy- and cornscapes. Twice while venturing into the wilds before daybreak earlier this month, I froze midstride when I realized I was on a collision course with polecats.
Both times too close for me to bolt in the opposite direction, I simply stopped and watched them amble to within a foot or two of my boots. And believe me, I was plenty scared of being doused with funk.
I narrowly escaped the need for a tomato juice bath, but not the oxygen loss to my brain when I stopped breathing. As soon as the skunks got that something-ain’t-right feeling and turned 90 degrees, I shut my eyes and imagined sweet-smelling things.
I was bowhunting in Pickaway County as a guest of my friend Joe Schneider, on the very farm where he shot the world-record Irregular with a pistol a few years ago. It’s a gorgeous place – real bucky – and we gave it the ol’ college try.
I spent the first evening standing atop the wheel of a piece of irrigation equipment, sans bow, glassing for deer heads sharking through an unpicked soybean field. I was hoping to discover a favorite entry point from the adjacent creek bottom, but only a couple of does waded into the beans on my end of the field.
Over the next four days, I bounced around and tried different stands. I wasn’t happy with the stout northwest wind, but it was better than most scenarios.
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