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01/25/92
Camp Kindrick, WV
Greg Kindrick, Sam Kindrick Mark Coppala, me
Below 10 to high 20s, lots of snow

Friday after work on the road to Greg's camp. Mark picked me up about 4:30 pm. We headed up I-79 with cold beer and warm hearts. It had snowed in Charleston all day and I feared bad road conditions. The interstate started getting a thin sheet of ice on it about 10 miles before the Flatwoods exit - I don't have much poor road confidence in 2-wheel drive Nissan pickups. While we were getting supplies at the Flatwoods GoMart, Greg walked in. We parked Mark's truck behind the GoMart and piled in Greg's 4-wheel drive for the rest of the trip. This was undoubtedly the smartest decision of the day.

The road got progressively worse as more and more snow was down. By the time we got off the interstate at Roanoke conditions were very poor. Greg locked in the 4-wheel drive to get us up to the camp.

We drank too much and stayed up too late. This, of course, rarely happens at Greg's camp.

We got up a little late but made it into the woods a few minutes after daylight. The temperature was below 10 degrees with no wind and about 4 inches of snow on the ground. We saw fox tracks, rabbit tracks, and deer tracks everywhere. We set up at three different spots for fox; at the low gap, at Mark's persimmons, and by the old barn near the power line. At the low gap Sam heard something in the gap although no one saw anything. At the persimmons we called in about 1/2 dozen blue jays and a small owl. No action at the barn.

We rabbit hunted our way back the creek from the barn to Greg's camp. Sam took the left ridge, Mark and Greg the creekbed, and I took the right ridge. I quickly saw a rabbit hole up in a pile of old appliances but too quickly for a shot. Mark saw a rabbit running away from us a few yards later. After a couple of minutes Sam yelled, "Rabbit, coming toward you!" I saw him running straight at me on the path. I shot and a small sapling between the rabbit and me exploded. Sam shot twice, above Mark and Greg, without touching the rabbit. I took three steps and dropped the rabbit in its tracks. What a movie!

We went back to the camp without any more action. Mark and I skinned and cleaned the rabbit. We all put on blaze orange and headed back into the woods for grouse and rabbit. We went through the low gap and around the side of the mountain. Greg jumped a rabbit and killed it with three shots. A few minutes later we jumped three grouse without touching either one. We walked all the way around the mountain and back again without seeing any more rabbits or grouse.

We went back to the camp around noon for lunch and a nap. It started snowing again as we all settled down. While we slept Greg took the fox call out to fight off boredom. On his second stand he sat down 15 yards from a fox's den. As he called, the fox came out and looked at the call, which was positioned between Greg and the fox. Greg held up his 12 gauge with only his right hand and hit the fox in the head. The recoil caused the gun to hit him in the throat!

About 4:30 pm we headed out for evening fox hunting. We set up around a field with Greg working the call. Right after we settled in the snow picked up into a Montana-like storm. It snowed so hard I couldn't see the ridges around us and could barely see Mark and Greg. We kept the call going until dark with no luck.

We got back to camp around 6:30 pm and the chefs went to work. Mark and Greg cooked up a mess of super deluxe spaghetti and garlic bread. Greg used deer meat in the sauce. It was perhaps the best meal I have ever had in my life. We all collapsed at 10:00 pm.

It was a wonderful weekend full of camaraderie, sportsmanship, friendship, and fun. I want to teach my kids to have weekends like this - they don't happen nearly often enough.

Summary
  2 grouse, 0 kills
  1 fox killed
  2 rabbits killed

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