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The Wet Woods

The Wet Woods

There has been talk on a few forums about the gear we use. ¬†Having read and participated in some of these discussions, I figured I would post this…

This past weekend I had the opportunity to get out finally after a very busy Autumn. ¬†Although I have wanted to get out to do some small game hunting with my new NW gun and spend some quality time in the woods; the fall harvest, events with the children, and overall adult life has gotten in the way. ¬†Anyway, weather was calling for 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) and lots of rain. ¬†I was not too excited about this but at least I could get to the woods. ¬†I figured that for the night, I would take the opportunity to try out the tipi as well since that has been on the “to-do” list since I put it up.

I had a couple main goals for this little outing.  The first was just to get out in the woods in historic style and do a little hunting before deer season started.  Second was to test some of my newer gear for my 1790s+ homme du nord/gen libre hunter/trapper personna.  With this, I really wanted (another goal) to go minimal and portray what someone that has been in the NW for awhile would have and be able to do.

Gear carried…

-Bedroll of a bison robe (no other blankets), tied up with leather tumpline and bison tugs

-in bedroll… capot, extra mocs, tuque

-Small kettle

-New Shooting bag with shooting needs (a blog to come on this new bag)

-New bison powderhorn

-Tobacco pouch with pipe, tobac, flint, steel, and touchwood

-Unlined gourd canteen

-NW gun

-Trade knife (worn in the garter on my right leg)

Clothing worn…

-Plain wool leggings with woven garters and breechclout

-wool socks (knit by Hilary) with moosehide moccasins

-Striped linen trade shirt with spotted cotton bandanno

-Woven sash (Foster copy by Conde)

-Wool short coat

-Bison fur “turban”

-Bear Claw Necklace… I wore no other adornment, but felt it was a good opportunity to pay some respects to the old sow that gave her life to me a couple years ago.

I left early morning and the rain was only a mist.  There was little activity in the woods, but I was able to stalk up to one squirrel which I missed.  I can not express how embarrassed and upset I am at this miss.  I grew up hunting squirrels with rifle and misses occasionally happened, but I have NEVER missed a squirrel with shot and a smoothbore.  I need to check the pattern on this gun again and try to figure this out.

Slowly the rain was starting to pick up and I could hear distant thunder so I decided to create a quick lean-to of brush and debris.  Within 15 min. the deluge hit and I dove under the lean-to.  It was plenty enough to keep the rain off for the afternoon and likely the night, but if I had wanted to spend the night, I would have additionally gone out and added a bit more elm bark and leaves/debris to fully plug up the sides.  This would have made it warmer for the evening.

With all the rain, the squirrels were doing as I was, cuddling up in their nests and trees… ¬†hunting was pointless (as was getting wet). ¬†I simply waited the day away in my lean-to hoping the rain would let up. ¬†At one point I decided to take a little nap. ¬†Upon waking, the rain was still going. ¬†I enjoyed sitting quietly with my pipe, but after lighting it a few times, putting spark to touchwood; I decided that it would be more worthwhile to light a small fire to more easily light my pipe and to have a little heat. ¬†Lighting a fire in a wet, damp, rainy woods is always fun and I enjoy that challenge.

After sitting a few more hours and deciding that the rain was not going to quit soon and hunting was futile, I decided to head back to tipi and home.  It had been a good day in the woods using some of my new (and some old) gear, but I had other things that needed to get down.  On the way home, I dropped my bedroll off at the tipi for crashing in later and then went the rest of the way home to get some work done.


9 Responses to “The Wet Woods”

  1. Billy Maxwell says:

    Crap! I thought this was a porn site.

  2. John Powers says:

    Ike – Nice summary of a wet ramble in the woods.Something rejuvenating about lazing in the forest, forced by weather to be idle, no electronic connections to the world, just you and your thoughts. Di and I have a small, probably Victorian era print, of a young man reposing in the woods by a stream, fishing rod lying at his side with the caption: “An Nature gave me her silent answer.”

  3. Tamarak says:

    Isaac, I love this ramble. So often I think about this aspect of The Hobby and the fact that, for me, this is the aim. Nice to hear about an “average” rainy day in the woods….

  4. Duane Harshaw says:

    let me see now,a little rain,a little snooze and a little smoke.I think you done good..

  5. Bob Miller says:

    Great description of the “wet woods” I really enjoyed your “nest” I have done the same in bad weather, and actually ambushed a deer while laying out nice and comfortable during a rainy day .
    As for missing the squirrel, I have tried some N.W. guns and just can’t seem to make them fit me.
    The sight picture may be different from your last gun, which is throwing you off. I love my New England fowling gun because it fits me perfectly and shoots where I point it .

  6. Howard says:

    The pictures are great. Its always good to get out in the woods. seems like a great kit very light. how did you sleep? pretty well?

  7. Tim Murphy says:

    I love the quiet of the woods on these colder wet days- keeps the population lower in the woods and more time for introspection…
    I like the minimalist perspective on equipment- do more with less and a wider imagination with multi-purposing the gear you have on hand. I liked building brush shelters with the kids and having them try on the cozy atmosphere. How did the new buffalo robe work out for you? It sure is a beauty!

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