END OF THE SEASON
Labels: pHOTO:r. KERN
It's been happening for quite a few years now. At some point near the end of deer season and just before Xmas I come home to find a toy or decoration in a bag on my door. The first time they left a plastic shopping bag with a little fake tree. It was just what I was hoping for. I thought it was Mupp. But he swore up and down that he didn't leave it. Carlito? Naw, he's too busy to fuck around with this kind of thing. Al? GNJohn? Slick? No one owned up. My money was on the little Jewish boy Slick but he said it wasn't he. So, this year after going to Ct., to tie one on with my mom and Duke and Mupp and Becky, I come home to find a nice plastic train set on my doorstep. Another miracle.
No matter what, the weather just won't cooperate. A cold snap with a little snow was followed by a 50 degree warming and torrential rains. The deer were shut down for the second rut. I saw plenty of does, but no bucks. Gun season ended with one small buck and no does. Monday was the muzzleloader opener.
Labels: pHOTO:mARIANA rOTHEN
The wind again. Bow season started with wind and gun season is ending with it. Only now it's 15 degrees without the 10 to 20 mph WNW bone chiller. There's a few ways to deal with it. Sometimes sitting works and sometimes drives work, but still hunting has not worked. So I bundle up in as many layers that I'm physically able to drag through the woods, along with the blind, gun and pack filled with blanket, pee bottle and extra clothes, and make my way to as remote a spot as i can get to and wait. I spent from 8 AM to 4:30 PM sitting on a stool in a little tent, looking out the windows. I froze my ass off, but the day went surprisingly fast. I never saw a deer.
All my life I've loved TV. And for a good chunk of it I've loved hunting. Well it just so happens now that I have a satellite dish, I can watch the hunting shows on two channels- Versus and Pursuit. If I'm not in the woods I can watch other people hunt on TV. After a season of watching I now have a pretty good grasp on what's out there. Want wacky and irreverent? There's THE BEST AND WORST OF TRED BARTA (who now inexplicably is in a wheel chair) or the "young gun" GUN IT WITH BENNY SPIES. This guy is a likable grunge knucklehead who drives around South Dakota in a '73 Mini-Winni, hunting deer on frozen golf courses. Or if you're looking for hot couples who kill deer together there's a bunch of hunks with tiffanys who can shoot the eye out of a chipmunk at 50 yards with a bow. My favorite is the more practical nuts and bolts approach of DEER AND DEER HUNTING. Whitetail photographer and hunter par excellence Charlie Alsheimer dishing up good biology and hunting tips. But for shear complex twistedness there's TED NUGENT'S TOOTH AND CLAW and a slew of Christian hunting programs.
It's been tough. I don't have a doe permit for Sullivan Co. and all I'm seeing is does. There's less than two weeks left in gun season and I've yet to score. I can hunt doe down at Mupp's but he hasn't been seeing much either. And it's a half hour each way in the truck. So I try to strategize my area here. I know there's a big one at Majestic and also one on the back ridge above Gilkey's. I've seen the trees. I decide to bite the bullet and drive down to the Thruway Market to buy another "outhouse" blind. That's what they call the blind I got ripped off. I saw a nice doe behind Elijah's this morning but it's too tight on those houses and you always hear the school bus backing up. The "beep-beep"stirs up the deer. I decide to go deep in the woods on the back ridge and set up the blind amongst these big rocks, overlooking a wide trail. I had the wind right in my face and backed up to a dripping massive rock ledge.
Way before I ever thought about making art by hunting and killing animals, I did a piece called MY COW. The year was 1980. This work started by designing and registering my brand with the state of California. The "Pointed Cane" brand looked a little like an elongated Pacman standing on his lower jaw. I got my local blacksmith (SF still had one in 1980) to weld me up a branding iron and then went in search of a cow to buy. My good friend Peggy Ingall's brother Pete had a little ranch in Gridley, CA and he turned me on to a farm where i purchased a 400 lb. calf. Dan Ake and I lined his old Ford Econoline van with plywood and drove east into farm country. Needless to say neither Dan nor I had any idea how to handle a cow. With the help of the farmer we got the calf in the back of the van and drove back to SF. The critter spent the night on the streets of SF, while I prepared a performance at 80 Langton.