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Columnists : Lisa Price
Last Updated: Aug 6, 2010 - 1:11:39 PM
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Men (and Women) of Stihl - Haven Pt 2
By Lisa Price
May 21, 2008 - 6:47:46 AM

A diamond has never been this girl's best friend; in fact, I threw one out over the crowd at a Penn State vs. Maryland football game in 1981. One of the many bones of contention in that marriage was that I was not "allowed" to hunt - my permitted activities included doing laundry, cooking, cutting the grass, depositing my paycheck into joint checking and watching him bowl.

I have this huge regret about hunting - I wish I would have started sooner.
My new best friend is orange and white, a Stihl chainsaw, for two reasons - the farmhouse now has an outdoor wood burner as its heat source, and the woods here is in need of TLC.

   

My friend Kevin Titus knows a lot about managing a woodlot and farm. He's very active in the National Wild Turkey Federation and has planted food plots at his property and on state game lands locally. I need him for his wealth of knowledge on those topics and I also need him for another, very important reason - to help me start the chainsaw!

Our first project is to cut dozens and dozens of birch and maple trees, probably dozens and dozens of years old, yet stunted and small since they're so close together. They block sunlight from the small fields, and compete with the occasional oak and cherry trees, and autumn olive and hawthorn bushes in the fields.

As we start working, Kevin dropping trees and de-limbing the lengths big enough to bother with for firewood, and me dragging brush, I keep my opinions to myself. My uneducated opinion is that he is making a big mess.

 

"There," he says, when he stops to take a break. Tree stumps are everywhere and multiple head-high brush piles are scattered where he told me to make them. 'That's starting to look good."

By the end of the day, I can see what he knew we were working toward. The trees that were felled will send up sprouts. The brush piles have been positioned in such a way as to steer deer past the limited good stand trees.

In the next days, I fill the back of my full-size Chevy two times with the cut tree lengths, bring it back to the house and cut it up for firewood. Although birch and young maple won't produce the best heat, it will be perfect wood to use in October - when I'll be too busy to bother with firewood.

Kevin sets aside the wood for the stove.
 
I hear from Dave Andrews at Andrews Archery, Frackville - he has finished the set up of my new Mathews DXT. I can't wait to shoot it - as soon as my arms recover from the chain sawing and brush dragging workouts. At this rate, I'll soon be drawing 60 pounds.

 

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