The view from here

It’s probably natural for Deb and me, after crossing a finish line yesterday, to experience a letdown. That’s by no means a negative condition, only a reaction to pressure relieved. And this day — November 1, 2022 — offers another vantage point of sorts.

Two years ago Sunday, I was fired from the last job I held. (That was a great day.) A few days after that we met Ernie for the first time, and the next day we voted in the 2020 presidential election.

A week from today is this year’s general election. That same day, based on my conversation yesterday with our contractor, work will commence on the driveway at the homesite. When that’s done, or mostly done, construction will begin on foundation piers.

At some point there will be another attempt to deliver building materials..

Today I continued working with an insurance agent in Mountain Home to transfer and update our auto, home and liability policies. And I paid bills — specifically, I paid the last bills associated with Second Chance Ranch.

UPS brought a gift I gave myself, an ax I’ll put to use on The Mountain. I’ll say more the next time we get up there.

This afternoon we drove down to 76 Arms & Ammunition, the place where Deb bought her deer rifle. The owners sat down with us in the store’s “conspiracy corner” to relax and chat. We bought Black Rifle Coffee and a couple of boxes of utility-grade .308. We played with the new shop dog, Bentley, a Corgi puppy.

We’re in a great place right now.

Confession: Deb and I never paid much attention to whitetail rut. Now for the first time, we do — we tap her cousin’s woods wisdom, watch activity on our trailcams, look for signs when we walk the property and read bulletins from Arkansas Game & Fish.

For purposes of predicting rut, some in the hunting and wildlife-management community divide the Lower 48 into North and South at the 35th parallel. (Think of it as the latitude defining the border between Tennessee and Georgia.) The Mountain is situated a degree or so (85 miles) above that line, which means that we’re at the trailing end of predicted rut in the North, perhaps toward the early stages of rut in the South. In other words, we’re on our own down here.

Deer know what time it is. We’re better off reading the signs and listening to folks with more experience than we’ll ever have. That’d be true anywhere.

That said, it looks like we’ll see more activity as we get farther into November, even as late as mid-December. We’re anxious to see how it unfolds.

In our AGFC zone, the four-week “modern gun” deer season opens November 12th.

Speaking of trailcams, both of ours been busier over the last week. The camera near the homesite sees twice as much activity, and a whole range of critters (besides deer) come a-callin’ — squirrels, chipmunks and crows, plus gray foxes and a couple of trash pandas (‘coons).

Up-top we’ve recorded only whitetails and that one bobcat.

All the deer we’ve seen over the last several weeks appear to be in good shape. I’m sure the drought put a hurt on their food sources, and certainly they’ve had to cover a lot more ground to get water. But they’re resilient beasts. The whitetails on and around The Mountain are gettin’ along just fine.

Some of you may be curious about another game animal — turkeys, that is. We know they’re here, having seen a couple of dozen together out on the subdivision road in February. Spring turkey season kicks off in mid-April, and in our AGFC zone hunters get an extra week.

Yeah, this is a whole new American Life. Thanks for ridin’ with us.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB