Sunday started late for me. Schaeffer continued his morning tradition by waking up everyone but me (he seems to have learned that trying to wake me is a fruitless task so he ignores me in the morning and tries to wake everyone else). Since the hunt doesn`t begin until tomorrow, many of us took our time getting out of bed and beginning the day.
We`ve had another day of bleary weather. I`m very hopeful the weather will turn or this week is going to be more like swimming than hiking. It`s been a few years since I`ve hunted in the rain but I know I`d far prefer snow over water as it`s easier to stay warm when your dry. Besides, I`ve got a lot of gear that`s perfect for cold and I`m a little unprepared for rain. We`ll find a way to make the best of it whatever happens.
A few scouting crews left earlier in the morning to check the land around us. They`re checking for tracks – and a few are checking motion-sensitive camera that we`ve put on our land. The cameras will show us what walks past them and will give us an idea of what time of day animals are moving around the land. It`s our first year using cameras and I`m as excited about their effect on morale as much as I am about what could appear on them. The cameras capture pictures, the time of day they were taken and record the temperature of when they were taken. It`s our first year using them and I`m excited to see what we learn from them.
Since the day is gloomy, there was a lot of time hanging around the cabin. We watched football courtesy of our gas generator as we waited for the small groups of scouts come back from the reconnaissance trips. The mood is calm but palpably exciting – there is much hope for the week ahead and passing moments serve to get us all the more excited for the week ahead.
Schaeffer and I got out for a walk. He dove into the woods and found an old tennis ball he must have deposited there in the spring or summer. I was rather surprised given that we were almost a half kilometer away from camp at the time. He insisted on playing fetch and we did so for more than a half an hour:
We had a camp meeting – discussing safety, the plan for the week and discussing ideas on the general plan for the week ahead. The meeting is generally very light-hearted although there`s lots covered to set the plan for the week ahead.
Part of our Sunday tradition includes picking two teams for the week ahead. The teams alternate chores – a team does the inside chores one day (cooking, sweeping, cleaning) while the other does the outside (firewood, sauna and water). My team is on outside duties today; our biggest challenge is pulling tomorrow`s meals out to defrost (especially the soup which we`re intending to eat in the woods, weather permitting).
I made time to sharpen my hunting knife using a diamond sharpener I bought for my Father. My knife was woefully dull and I was really happy with the results. These small hand units make precision sharpening a breeze – you simply draw the blade through the holder, ensuring the red wheels spin which indicate that you`ve alligned your knife correctly:
a video by Well Preserved on Flickr.
My big challenge of the day was to calibrate a bunch of the guys GPS units. Our handheld devices are similar to what you have in your car except they show us topographical maps of the natural landscape around us. I`ve been working on creating a custom map that shows us the roads, trails and hunting spots that we`ve used for the last few years. I hadn`t shared what I was working on with the guys until I knew I could transfer it. It`s pretty exciting to me to see the excitement as I hand over their custom maps. (It`s taken a few years to learn how to map our land like this; if there`s sufficient interest it`s something we can share at WellPreserved though I don`t know how many people here it would interest).
If this post sounds a bit all-over-the-place, it is. The day was much like that – a great day of relaxing, doing fun chores and quietly focusing on the week ahead mixed with a lot of hope that the weather will turn. The alarm will go off at 5:00AM or earlier – we all head to bed at a reasonable time…
To see all of the posts in this series, click here (a new post will be published every day through Sunday, November 6, 2011).