Fiddleheads and Hooters

I hunted for 2 hours at lunch near the boat ramp. I heard a hooter directly above the ramp when I came back from the cabin after a quick trip with the Conteh’s to check the crab pot. I heard hooters from the road, but the one I heard no Sunday was not there. I climbed up to the knob above the ramp and the only hooters were too far away, so this hunt was just for exercise. When I got home a little after 6 pm, I grabbed a bag to pick some fiddleheads. As I was looking in the woods behind my house, something caught my ear. And there he was. A hoot from the spot above the house where birds had evaded me the past 2 years. And there were not many fiddleheads yet. I learned from the bird at the boat ramp I better go now and not wait till tomorrow. I grabbed my pack and headed up the hill. After perhaps 20 minutes, I reached the group of trees. I recognized the spot, too. The bird was hooting from a group of trees that sat on top of a cliff face. If the bird was in the lower trees of the cliff face, I could probably see him from below. If he was in the upper trees, I’d have to go back down the hill and skirt the cliff to get above it. The bird was in the upper trees. Daylight was fading. I thought I could get up there and probably find and shoot the bird and get back before dark. But if the bird fell to where I was standing now, at the base of the cliff, then that would add time to get back down here and get him. I decided to pass and hope he was hooting again before the season closed on May 15 on a day when I had more daylight. When I got home, Sara had sauteed the fiddleheads with some kale, and we had Prince William Sound pink salmon and Kenai River sockeye salmon patties for dinner.

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