This past weekend, I headed north with a friend of mine (and two new friends) to work on some property that we are going to be hunting this year. Now, for those of you that know me, I have never shot a deer. In fact, I have never even seen a deer while deer hunting. When I am small game hunting, I dang near trip over them, but never when I am chasing the great Whitetail.
We started off by tilling up a few small plots (maybe 1/3 acre) that had been planted with clover earlier, but he didn't remove the oak leaves before he tilled, making it very acidic. Unfortunately, about half way down the trail, the drive belt snapped on the tiller. So, the rest of the day was up to us and our trusty rakes. Fun. After the leaves were picked up, we laid down a hefty helping of lime, followed by more clover, another random blend, then some neutral fertilizer. On to the next plot.
The next one wasn't nearly as bad. No leaves here. The clover here is coming up pretty well. The problem we were having was lack of sunlight. We had to remove some trees, but which ones? The problem we faced was the types of trees we were dealing with. The majority were white oak and cedar, with a few poplar in between. The poplar can go no problem, but the white oak and cedar are two major attractants for deer. So, after careful consideration, we cut a select few, making a few funnels with the fallen trees as we go. Now it's time to cut the shooting lanes for this plot. Next to this plot is the shooting house called "the condo", mainly because of the room you have to move around, and the Lay-Z-Boy chair that has replaced the overturned bucket. Part of this trip was to install another window on the one side so you would also have a shot into the food plot about 40 yards away, as well as the on in front of the shooting house. After an hour or so of clearing, we are good to go. But just to make sure, we all pile into the shooting house to check for ourselves. And it is in the next 30 seconds that my season ended before it even started.
As everyone piles out of the shooting house and down that ladder, someone made the comment about being careful coming down the ladder. Which is always a good idea, but how bad could you really get hurt falling from this thing? The top step is only at five foot at the most. So I start to make my way down. The, the next thing I know, maybe four foot off the ground, I'm falling. I don't know how it happened, but it did. I tried to bring my legs down, but my right foot became caught in the ladder, leaving my left leg the only one to break my fall. And that it did. The second I hit the ground, I heard the "crack!" come from somewhere in my lower leg. My buddy yells, "what the hell just happened?! Did you fall?". To which another friend replies, "yeah, he did. I tried to catch him, but it happened too fast.". "Are you all right?". Not wanting to ruin the rest of the work we still had before us, I replied, "Yeah. I'm fine. I just need to move around so it doesn't get stiff. I can walk this one off". With the adrenaline and initial shock, the pain was not bad at all, so I just kept working. But after a bit, each step became harder and harder, until eventually it was too much and I had to sit the rest of the day out. The other guys worked like madmen trying to get the rest of the work done so we could get out of there, and after a couple more hours, all of the work was done. Well, everything aside from the window because Brent forgot to bring the hinges and enough OSB (I told you I wouldn't let you forget that move :)). After that, we made our way back down south, with a little side trip to drop me off at one of the local hospitals. So, I sit here writing this on opening day of early goose season with a cast that will be with me for quite some time and my broken tibia. But all is not lost yet. I'm working on an idea for and epoxy coating and Mossy Oak Duck Blind burlap for the new cast I get next week. Wish me luck...