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The Anxious Seat

Bige (Traveling Companion) had his nose down in the balsam and was snoring at the rate of about ten miles an hour when I awakened, and by the aid of a flash lamp, leaned that it was three-ten A.M.

I crawled out of the blankets, made a hasty and rather incomplete toilet, sneaked quietly down the trail through the woods about a half mile and climbed up into the anxious seat.

Bige and I had been camping for about a week in a log “lean-to” shack on the west slope of Buck Mountain, about ten miles back in the forest from Al Brown’s Hotel, which was the base of our supplies. Bige said there were lots of deer over there, and that we would surely see some. It is generally easy enough to “see deer” along the shore of a lake or on a river bank, in sections not to civilized, in the early morning or evening when they come down to feed of drink. It is quite another matter to see them in their forest home.

The white tailed deer of our northern mountains is a shy animal. He is provided with a keen sense of smell, ears about the size and shape of a very large “witch-hopple” leaf and eyes as large as an English walnut. He can travel on one of his run-ways or trails as noiselessly as a cat.

Adirondack White Tail Deer

When you go lumbering noisily through the woods, the deer will hear your approach a long way; if the wind is favorable he will smell the human scent and he can always “see your first.” He has the happy faculty of being able to sidestep and make himself invisible behind a clump of bushes or a fallen tree and will stand motionless and silent while you pass within a few feet.

Witch-hopple (Viburnum)

You might even look straight at a pair of “witch-hopple” leaves through an opening in the bush without a thought that those same leaves may hear every sound you make: or you may stop to admire a couple of odd shaped dried roots or branches would make an interesting trophy if mounted and hung over the mantel in your den.