Confessions of a Hunter – Watchmen of the Woods and a Pesky Critter

By Andy Anderson 

Every year hunters enter the woods, quiet and easy so as not to disturb the serenity and stillness, carefully entering the stand or climbing into the tree stand so as not to alert the resident animals to the hunter’s presence. But, there is one critter that always busts you and terrorizes you relentlessly and sounds like a monster on the forest floor.

I had a new tree stand set up overlooking a food plot and feeder. Tucked back into the wood line and covered in burlap camo, the stand was well concealed yet provided a clear line of sight to all my target areas. Getting up to it was easy. I cut a clear path and mowed the tall vegetation down to assist in easy, undetectable access to the stand. I put a lot of work into this spot in hopes it would pay off with a harvest of a nice buck. I believed I had thought out and prepared for everything, or so I thought.

It was opening day of rifle season. I made my way into the stand a good 45 minutes before sunrise. I got settled in, and as I was watching dark turn to light, the woods began to awake. Birds started chirping and flying around, a cool breeze started to pick up and then I heard him: right above me, the distinct scratching and sounds of a squirrel emerging from its slumber. Bounding from limb to limb, nickering and bantering with other squirrels, he was making an awful racket.

Suddenly and without warning, an acorn bounces off my head. Thinking nothing of it, I continue to watch for deer. Next thing I hear is this squirrel coming down the tree from above me and on to a limb just above my head and to the left. It gets quiet for a minute. Then I hear him slowly working his way down the limb into my field of view. He turns where he is now staring at me. We make eye contact and all of a sudden, he goes berserk! That crazy squirrel starts screaming and chattering and running all over the tree. Acorns begin to rain down on me. I look up and realize he’s not happy with me in his tree. He’s not just unhappy, he’s mad.

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