Things I learned on my recent vacation

Some of the most important lessons of my life have come while I was sitting in a tree.

Well, some of my most enjoyable lessons.

Six straight days of bow and duck hunting showed the following -

I understand why they call America’s tallest birds “whooping” cranes.  At first it sounded like excited people yelling – and then I realized they’d have to be flying. The noises the seven cranes made as they prepared to land in a field near where I was hunting was definitely “whooping.”

It was kind of like the audio of one of those “Gone Wild” videos. (And I make that comparison based on what little I’ve seen and heard of the videos on television commercials.)

Like house cats, bobcats have rituals when it comes to going potty. They dig a hole with their paws, fill it with doo, sniff to make sure it’s all theirs and loosely cover their deposit with grass and leaves. They then smugly move off like they’ve created some kind of masterpiece.

Redtail hawks have good enough vision to see a small rodent from 150 feet above the ground that I can’t see while sitting in a treestand 50 feet from the rodent. Seconds after nabbing the thumb-sized rodent the hawk spotted my cam0-clad self in a tree and was gone.

Sometimes during the rut lust over-powers a young buck’s fear of humans. I learned it when a small six-pointer caught my scent and started to run until it smelled some doe pee I sprayed into the air. The buck didn’t stop for long but it was obvious when the scent of the doe reached his nostrils.

And lessons I learned in the past about the greatness of the Kansas outdoors were confirmed over and over again as I enjoyed successful hunts for deer, ducks and pheasants.