Learned a rather disturbing thing this morning just after I posted that picture of the swamp we were hunting in. Seems the land we were on was purchased by the Genesee Land Conservancy as a part of the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail system.
This is a 90 mile long trail system that starts at the very southern edge of the city of Rochester and follows old canal beds & towpaths, old rail beds and ridge lines on it’s meandering path down to the town of Cuba, NY. (That’s a curious tangent of it’s own – odd town & village names in New York)
Interesting pathway aside, the disturbing lesson was that even though we were nearly a half mile from the greenway, since the conservancy had purchased the land, there were hunting restrictions put in place. The two we were most concerned with were 1 – Bow hunting only and 2 – no permanent stands. The scary part was that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was through the area last week and they were VERY curious about who had built the stands Zach & I have used for the past 7 or 8 years.
Now, opening day of gun season the DEC folks are plenty busy. I doubt very much that they’d have been cruising through the area looking for us. But if they DID come through, the fine is confiscation of all weapons PLUS a $5000 fine.
We unloaded, climbed down and got the hell out of dodge. Home by 9:30am on opening day. That sucked. At home, we did a little research, found some public land we could get to that was in an area where we had valid doe permits. But there’s one very funny thing – on the DEC website, the aerial view of the area (with an overlay of the public land boundary on it) made the land look flat. In real life, the land was just one ravine after another, thickly wooded with an understory of briar, wild rose and other assorted sharp, prickly things.
We spent 4 hours trying to find someplace to post up where we had clear view lines that were more than 100 feet long. Zach found a nice area to hoe up for a bit. Any area I found with an open view only had it because there was a ravine in the way. There was no way on earth I was going to take a shot at anything on those slopes. I just didn’t see any way humanly (or humanely) possible to get anything out of those ravines in one piece.
But we did get one helluva work out. My legs are killing me. Today was something biking your ass off just can’t prepare you for. Ow.