Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Learning his Life's Work
Learn to come when called.
Be comfortable with the sites and smells of the woods
Learn to leave the Deer and Turkeys alone
Learn that he is part of a team with me and he can trust me
These daily walks also let me see my woodlots, which was something I could not do as often as when we had sheep. Truth be told, Hardwood has been one of the most profitable crops on our homestead over the years. At the risk of oversimplifying a complex subject, we have always "low graded" so we grow more timber than we cut. We open up small spaces to give partial shade to new undergrowth and let the big straight trees grow faster.
Farming Magazine has an excellent article by Wendell Berry on that subject.My interest in the woodlots have always been beyond timber. The peace of the woods is a place for me to think, and important to my spiritual health.
There is nothing I would rather do than run with woods with a dog. I also like to eat squirrel, so I have made a few management decision that other woodland owners might not. For example, I don't get too excited Beech Tree encroachment (Beech can be invasive, and is lower value. Some woodland owners eradicate them by spraying).
Squirrels look plentiful this year. and I don't have much competition in hunting them. most hunters today are after bigger game. Few bother hunting squirrels and fewer still seem to want the time commitment of training a dog. If anyone is interested, there is a good article about squirrel dog training in this months Fur Fish and Game, which to my way of thinking is the only general interest hunting and fishing magazine still worth reading.