Whither Doth Thou Wander?
I went out to feed the Boys this morning and....there were no Boys to feed.
I soon found a section of the back fence rails knocked down with tell tale hoof print next to it. The only good thing was that this section opened into the woods, and it would be tricky for the Boys to get out to the road from there. The bad thing is that it is deer hunting season.
I hiked out to the woods at once. A hunter up in a tree blind called down to me to tell me the Boys had been by about a half hour before. He'd called to them, they'd stopped and then taken off to the west.
Darn. It would have been better if they'd headed the other way out to the fields instead of the deeper woods.
My grain bucket, lead ropes and halter hiked around out there for over an hour, looking for them. I called, rattled the bucket, and searched to no avail.
At that point I figured I might as well circle the 100+ acre cornfield, so I came back home to get the truck. I propped open the back gate to the paddocks just in case the wayfarers decided to come home and drove off.
At the tree farm up the road, I met the caretaker working on pruning the Christmas trees. I told him of my mission, left my cell phone number and was on my way in four wheel drive around the field.
I was nearly back to the part of the trail that headed home when out of the woods Toby appeared. Chance was apparently in the lead and already seemed headed home. Tucker was still lurking in the trees. As soon as they saw me they stopped and, ever the suckers for a bucket of feed swarmed over to me. I decided to put the halter and lead on Tucker. I told Chance to go home and, good boy that he is, he took the lead. I followed leading Tucker, and Toby, the herd boss who never wants to be alone followed along behind.
Once I got them all settled and latched in their stalls with breakfast, hay, and water I hiked back out to get the truck. Fortunately, it wasn't too far a walk. I drove back to the tree farm to tell Fred I'd found the Boys, called the farmer to let him know too, and came back home to fix the fence.
It wasn't the easiest job. There's a bit of a curve in the fencing at that spot and trying to get the slip rails back in place required more hands than I had. But I finally used some baling twine--akin to WD40 and duct tape a a life necessity--to hold the end of the rail up while I pounded the other end to get it set back in place. Two slightly easier rails later, the escape route was closed.
I left the baling twine on the rails to help keep them secured.
So, no need to trail ride today. The Boys already had their outings and I had plenty of exercise myself. (Still not quite ready to ride anyhow....)