Sunday, October 20, 2013
Bow Hunters and Tree Thieves
This has not been a good Fall for cutting wood. Nor was it a very good morning either. I am now so far behind on wood cutting I am going to be scrambling big time this entire week just to catch up and I am going to have to dip into some of my backup supply as well.
As I have explained many times the Small-Hold is not blessed with a large number of trees. Ya I know having 25 acres in Missouri that isn't covered in trees is about as easy as finding an Islamic cook book that doesn't begin with "Steal two chickens". Most of my tree-less-ness is because of those evil tree eating horses but also because when my Father retired he sold his 200 acre farm.
Now the guy that bought it actually wanted me to continue cutting off the place. He lives off in New York or some where and rarely comes around. Apparently the farm is for his retirement. For all intents and purposes I still have full access and he likes having someone keeping an eye on the place.
This arrangement worked well until he rented the old house out this year to some young couple who apparently are into hunting. WITH ALL THEIR FRIENDS!!
This morning at 10:00 am I pull up next to a good sized old White oak that died over a year ago and was perfect for cutting. I been waiting for months to bring her down as there is easily 2 months worth of wood in that beast. I get out of the truck and some guy is standing in the tree next to it on his hunting stand. Apparently bow season started this weekend.
He wasn't too pleased. I apologized but couldn't help thinking that if hadn't seen anything by 10 AM he was probably in the wrong place anyway.
There must have been 12 trucks parked up at the old house I noticed on my way out. Those guys must be falling all over themselves out there.
OK not to be skunked I headed down the road to another old oak that had died and the owner asked me two weeks ago to cut it down. Easy access and clear ground around it, I was going to save that tree for a rainy day or something. I went and checked it out last week. When I pull up there this morning the tree is gone. Apparently it disappeared this week sometime. The owner swore he thought I had already come and cut it down and hauled it away.
Somebody stole my damned tree!!!
Alright I have several old trunks and the like I need to pull out of the brush in my own little sad woodlot. I go home and jump on the tractor, hit the start button and NOTHING. Deader than Nancy Pelosie's love life.
I charge the battery up remembering this time that it is still a positive ground 6 volt battery as opposed to the converted 12 volt I had been used to as a boy. This is an important fact to remember. After an hour or so I have maybe a load of stuff pulled out and ready to cut up which is now on tap for tomorrow. I had to go feed the bees this afternoon so I took the time to check out my super backup wood lot and take a few Fall color pictures.
As you can see the Maples are coloring up nicely. I figure I have another load or two down by my North Bee Yard I can get to.
I guess the time has come to begin switching from cutting standing deadwood to actually cutting live stuff to cure a year or so in advance.
I have about a cord and half stacked and left over from last year. I should have cut some this Summer but I just can't stand fighting the brush. Wood cutting is so much more pleasant when it is cool and/or cold.
Looks like this next week is going to be constant cutting to get ahead of things. It is nice and dry now but you just never know when it can turn so wet I am unable to get out and get the firewood I need.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!