When I Ride…

Helicopter Count…


Ready for take off!

Ranch horses running for cover

Every year we count the whitetail deer on the ranch. Once in the summer and once in the winter. Texas Parks and Wildlife wants to know the numbers because the state owns the deer. Did you know that? The state owns it’s wildlife. The best part of that is the helicopter count.

The trees have lost their leaves so as we fly over the ranch, we can see through the trees and count bucks, does, fawns, coyotes, bobcats, ect. Flying in a grid pattern, an average is taken and there you have it, the deer population.

This year I decided to try some picture-taking. The pilot and a friend on the right side and my husband and myself on the left. All belted in and wrapped warmly because the doors are off, we hang out of the helicopter and look down into the tress below. What a beautiful perspective. The antlers that were shed from last year are bleached white against the fall grass and easy to spot. Bucks and does scatter as we approach and it was fairly easy to call out to the record keeper,”Two does, two bucks”! It was fun and exciting. For the first 15 minutes.

I started taking deep breaths. I could feel myself going pale. My skin was getting clammy. Dang it! I’m having fun! Why is this happening?

I remembered when we took the kids to Six Flags one year, I got queasy watching them on the rides. Motion sickness was setting in.

Every time we turned to go in the opposite direction I would look at the horizon and breathe deep. I’m going to push through this I told myself. When we would do turns in ballet, we would find a focus point to keep from getting dizzy. Mind over matter.

I started missing deer but I knew we had three other sets of eyes so I just stole a glance at the horizon on a regular basis and my stomach began to settle. Thank God because the alternative would have been really messy.

Later, back on terra firma, I laughed it off. “Oh, I’m fine. Hahaha”! You don’t know how close you were to disaster!

This entry was published on January 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm. It’s filed under ecology, nature, wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Helicopter Count…

  1. Mary K. Dunn on said:

    How fun! What a beautiful view….so grateful that you get these expierences and then share…Thank you

  2. Oh my Lissa! Sounds like Kenny!! He goes UP, darts, comes back down, throws up! Goes back UP, darts etc. etc….but for the short period before it hits???? He says it’s beautifully breathtaking!

  3. dressage rider on said:

    I’d be right beside you in the nausea dept. but I’d still do it! Great photos.

  4. Very good experience …
    Cruz del Sur

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