It’s was just raw cold, soundless boots in a fresh light snow and me trying to burn off more dinner than I should have stuffed in. I eat lots more in the winter, I know I do and kinda in my head I was going over that last slice of roast beef when, then it became harsh.
Seconds ago it was just bitterly cold and in one exhaled breath a rabbits shrill scream comes from the ridge behind me as the reapers scythe has claimed one from the night.
The rabbit shrieks again, again in a wail, and now all is quiet. How long I held my breath I’m not sure, but what a cloud of exhausted air just came from my lungs.
Walking the skidder trail, I think to myself, instead of finishing heading towards home, I have to go find the carnage. What I want to see im not sure will I find the tracks if any or find some fur.
With very little snow I don’t have any snowshoes on so walking around won’t be that difficult, my headlamp is beaming a wide swath as I move in an quick turn and head for the area I think the sounds came from.
Did an owl get the rabbit? Coyotes? Wolf I wonder? Funny how seconds ago I was thinking enough cold, enough dark hiking, hey time to head this red nosed noggin for warm.
Now I’m all reenergized for a fresh hike. I move quickly along my logging trail and just at the base of the ridge I can hear coyotes yipping up along the pipeline.
So do I go try and see them or stay the course to try and find the kill site and it makes me wonder did the yotes feast and flee as I may have my two questions answered in a single space place and time.
I hit the woods line and there is the rabbits last stand. Maybe three drops of red and a half a tuft of hair. Coyote tracks leave no doubt about what was had and who was had for dinner.
The trout whisperer