Monday, 2 March 2009

Cold Weather Hunting: Concentration and Long Johns

I was lying in a field yesterday, as day became dusk, very distracted from my task of waiting patiently for rabbits to emerge from their burrow by the astounding beauty of the sunset going on behind me.

I kept turning my head to taken another peek at it, reluctant to let its majesty escape me. 'How could I describe this sunset on my blog?', I kept thinking - should it be: 'flaming bands of fleecy pink and dappled bronze?', or 'the brightest, palest azure, interspersed with iridescent swathes of searing crimson?'. 'No', I thought, that's not right, that's not it...' and I turned my head back for a second to look at the burrow and there - barely twenty yards away - was a fat, furry rabbit sitting right in front of me. And of course he'd seen me move my head back to look at him - so, after a shared split-second of wide-eyed gawping at each other - he fled.

Irritated with myself, I moved down the fence another 60 yards and lay down again, downwind of another likely-looking burrow.

It was such a beautiful bright afternoon when I went out yesterday I thought, Nah, I don't need long johns or gloves - it's a lovely mild spring day, I'll be fine! So I lay in front of the burrow for a half-hour - and the temperature around me plummeted. My fingers froze to the extent that I could barely squeeze the trigger and I couldn't warm them up by breathing on them. I stuck it out for a while longer but I noticed, then, that I'd started to shiver. I creaked up onto my feet and realised that - including all the snowy months of winter - this was the coldest that I'd ever managed to get while out hunting: I was absolutely perished.

There was still light enough to see what was going on through my scope, and there were certainly rabbits around - but I was just too cold to stay out. Enough of this, I thought: home to a bowl of soy & lentil spag bol.

After this education, I pulled my Long Johns out of the laundry bag ready for tonight.

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