We did make it out for our annual turkey bow hunt, but without success. Not even a gobble this year. We had a larger blind, better decoys, but no turkeys decided to visit.
We left with expectations to return, but it didn’t happen as I traveled out of the country for a couple of weeks and returned to a rainy and cool North Carolina. The start of a trend we never saw coming. On the positive side we found lots of deer sign and this incredible rub? I don’t know what to make of it and would welcome any opinions.
The rub extended from about just above level ground to I’d estimate close to 6’ and went around the circumference of the tree. This picture was taken in early April and the tree was probably about 8” - 9” in diameter. Several people have suggested bear. I am not saying it is impossible, but they are not recognized as resident in the area. Regardless, there were deer sign all over and one even paid a visit to the blind.
As always, I like to finish with some wildlife pictures and a story. I was waiting inthe parking lot for my son's science fair to begin. It was a warm late spring day and a brief rain shower did little more than wet the asphalt. I got out of the truck for what I figured would be a really cool picture of condensation rising from the hot asphalt. Little did I know that on the other side of my truck was a large strikingly colored copperhead. These snakes are incredibly beautiful and the wet asphalt only highlighted it.
Not much for scale here but he was about 3 feet +/- a little. Longer than most, but not as thick as expected for the length. Generally, copperheads are pretty docile and the larger specimens even more so. I decided to take a few pictures and move him out of the way. This guy was warming himself on the hot asphalt and was at about an 8 on the activity scale to start and quickly went off the chart! He probably didn’t like me hovering over him taking pictures either.
I knew that if he stayed here, as parents arrived for the science fair, he would be killed. Not that I would argue with it as he posed a real threat to young children. I got the stiff butt end of a fishing rod, placed him in a sack and a moved him to the safety of a set aside/creek a fair distance from the school with access to a non residential wooded area.
He left me a few parting gifts on the cork of my rod to show his gratitude for moving him to safety. These snakes are not endangered and I chose to move him becuase he was not a threat to anyone at that time and there really wasn't any reason to dispatch him. As a sportsman and outdoorsman I understand that everything has its place. Please do not take this blog entry as an endorsement of interacting with a venomous snake or any unidentifiable species. Any wild animal is a danger when it feels threatened.