'Locked in' awaiting the arrival of snow geese in Pennsylvania
One of my grandfathers – who is long gone but never forgotten – took a moment on a winter day in my youth to share with me his perception of the dead of winter: "You’re locked in for awhile, son,” the old man told me. "You ain’t doing nothing and you ain’t going nowhere. Get used to it."
I can only imagine what it felt like for my grandfather, living as a youth in the late 1800s – no television, no cars, no computers or Internet. I suppose – although I have no way to be certain of this – his days were composed of some school (that one's a big maybe) and chores he was responsible for in and around his family’s home.
That was it.
Right now, I feel “locked in.”
The light rain currently falling is forming into a coating of ice, applying a treacherous sheen to everything it touches. I’m sure not going anywhere.
That’s a shame, truthfully. Being alone most of the week, I’d now like to spend a few hours in a couple wooded patches I archery hunt in fall, and take a chance on some gray squirrels that run roughshod over those woods when I’m up a tree, bow hung beside me.
I could also kick into some small thickets and fencerows I know of where a rabbit or two may sit because I haven’t done much rabbit hunting this year either. Although I have a friend with a great little beagle, the dog is aging and my friend was hurt seriously enough – falling and injuring his ribs – to prevent our going out.
With those seasons ending soon, and this crusted and deep snow likely to be here for awhile, this might be a year of eating no rabbit.
My fishing rods are in good shape, guns are cleaned and bow and arrows stored away, so I won’t mess with them. I don’t ice fish, so I’ll have to wait for ice-off, which could be a ways off, too. I’m “locked in,” but I can’t get used to it.
I swore to myself last spring I was finished hunting snow geese. No more would I rise early and work my butt off to help place a thousand decoys in a field that only produced a thousand decoys to clean up at the end of a day after watching 10,000 white honking birds come close enough to excite us, but not close enough to kill.
But you know what? Being the hunting fool I am, I’ll probably be doing exactly the same thing snow goose hunters continue to do come late February and early March – get up early, work hard and go home tired and angry, all the while making a liar out of myself.
What else can a guy who has been “locked in” too long do?