Rick Bramwell mug

Rick Bramwell

I was hunting a woods surrounded by cornfields Wednesday morning and noticed the farmer had missed some corn along the edge. I’m pretty sure he practices no-till, but birds and animals, for the most part, can’t get to this food source because it is tightly wrapped in multi-layered husks. What can you do?

I leave the ears on the stalk to make the corn accessible should there be several inches of snow. This keeps it off the ground. I shuck the husks down to the base of the ear and leave it.

If you shuck the ears and strategically relocate them, say in front of your deer stand, then it is considered baiting.

Taking a break from hunting to do the aforementioned will warm your body in a short time on a cold morning and benefit wildlife all winter long.

One morning last week, I decided to still-hunt instead of sitting on stand. It was obvious I did not have the local whitetail movement figured out.

While measuring my steps, I looked ahead for movement. At 7:30 a.m., I turned a corner and came face-to-face with an eight-point buck. My gun was slung on one shoulder and my folding chair on the other.

The buck turned and bounded across an open weed field. I should have seen him. I was looking so far ahead that I missed something right in front of me. Another day, I returned for a repeat encounter, but the buck didn’t show.

This past Monday, a friend lost her ride to the airport. She gave me short notice of about an hour. Since the Indy airport is halfway to Owen County, I began hurriedly packing my hunting gear. When I arrived at my cabin, it became obvious a few things were missing.

I hunted an area of cedars replete with rubs and scrapes but saw only squirrels and woodpeckers. I hunted until the end of legal shooting time which is one-half hour after sunset.

My walk out of the woods was more determined than the one in. No need to hesitate as my breathing became deeper. This has to be good for you. My last hurdle was climbing the old green gate. Amazingly, I have never slipped getting over it.

In Spencer, Chamber’s Smorgasboard has Community Night on Mondays where they drop the price of their buffet to $8. Rest assured, half of the community shows up. I was lucky to find a table.

Most tend to overeat at such an event, and I was no exception. I made a meal from the salad bar then graduated to the fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. On that dinner plate were also two fried biscuits with apple butter.

“Whoa, Nellie”, as my friend Conley Seal would say (his wife’s name). Like the folks in the hotdog eating contest, I had to find a little more room, for dessert. The cherry on top of the pineapple upside-down cake winked at me when I walked by. I had to try a piece of that, another dessert and some ice cream.

That meal was to be my undoing among other things. In my haste, I had forgotten my bedclothes and pillow. My gym bag became my head rest and my overalls my blanket.

I could not get comfortable enough to fall asleep. After midnight, I took a shower and twisted my knee on the way to the restroom facility.

Of course, once I got on stand, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Soon, I gave it up and headed home.

Rick Bramwell’s column appears Thursday in The Herald Bulletin sports section. To contact him, email rickbramwell@aol.com.

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