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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, December 2, 2016

While not a hunter myself, I have a couple of friends who seek their venison yearly in the woodlands via the vintage Pennsylvania Long Rifle(the weapon of choice that the American Colonists used during the French and Indian War on through the Revolution)............... Thought that I would share their feelings(and mine) about being out in the woods during what in New England, the Great Lake States, NY, NJ and Pennsylvania is known as the "quiet season"(leaves off the trees, wind whistling through the forest, snow falling gently).....................In fact, this feeling is captured beautifully by NORTHERN WOODLANDS MAGAZINE editor Dave Mance in the article below..............I will tell you whether hunter, birder or hiker, nothing comes close to being out in the woods and meadows during this time of year............The "quiet", the periodic bird chirps, the footprints of deer/ coyote/ fox,/fisher/bobcat, the unique sound of bare trees rocking to and fro from the wind----Your senses on overdrive/your mind in introspection-mode, the feeling of being alone in the world and yet a part of the greater life circle unequaled

by: Dave Mance
Djou See Anything?
A deer hunter pushes open the door and enters a warm, slow camp. The woodstove pings pleasantly as it accommodates a fresh charge of wood. Wet clothes hung above it shutter slightly in the heat’s convection. A venison roast, smothered in broth and onions, simmers on an antique range.
Around a table older men play cribbage beneath the yellow glow of a gas light. “Djou see anything?” one asks. It’s a more complicated question than it sounds. The hunter furrows his brow and wonders where to begin.
He’s seen a moon that hung like a tear in the black, pre-dawn sky, a wound cauterized by dawn’s light. He seen a landscape animate – a woodblock relief become a color photograph. Trees that were iron black become textured: whites and pale greens and dark greens on the fissured bark.
He’s seen cold – yes, seen it – sitting in the puddled bottom of the layer-cake air. In the hoarfrost the day before in the hemlock bog. In hair ice that sprouted from downed limb-wood, each strand 10,000 times longer than it was thick.
He’s seen the animal life around him persevere despite the cold. A deer mouse that mistook his arm for a log. The black-tipped tail of a weasel floating manically a few inches above the ground. Blue jays eating birch seeds: little flashes of empyrean blue.
He’s seen twin brooks that raced down cracks in the earth like white lightning; water that sang as it curled around boulders; water that, when he stopped to drink it, was so cold it seemed hot.
He’s seen the sky turn gray before its time, then small, fast snow that coated branches and forced even forearm-thick limbs into seasonal genuflection. Vandal west winds that painted tree trunks white and ripped the marcescent beech leaves from their stems.
He’s seen hare tracks unrolled across the snow like ghost-face stickers. Coyote tracks like a string of beads. Buck tracks like alternate leaves on a branch that lead to a buck in his bed. An ovoid depression marked by a tarsal-brown streak. Great bounds to the north as the buck made his escape. The hunter kneeling in the bed and a mingling there of two life forces – this ancient ritual that’s as old as life on earth. The driving snow already wiping away every trace.
The older men are looking at him expectantly. “Jumped a buck but couldn’t get a shot,” he replies as his companions go back to their card game. It will be enough.

by The Photography of Brandon Neubert

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