Jerry's story got me to remembering a Forest Service C cutter recert class I was in several, several years back. Ol' D.D. Dent was the certifier. We were falling leave trees in a shelterwood unit, using the class to meet a down woody material prescription. There were about ten of us cutters. As it turned out, I was about the third cutter Dent called on...he set me the task of laying down a nice oldgrowth Douglas fir, about 34 inches ( I recall 'cause I was majorly relieved to note that I'd just barely be able to face and back it without double cutting with my 066/36" bar...nobody wants any extra challenge when cutting for Dent
Well, I sounded the tree, plumbed the lean, decided where to lay it and walked out the lay to check for snags and stumps. About 75 feet out I almost stepped on a tiny spotted fawn, just a few days old. It was curled up snug under a vine maple, never moving a muscle like mama and genetics teach it, hoping the predator would walk on by.
No way could I leave it there for my fall, and I knew we'd be as likely as not to put another one in the same area before we got done.
So while 9 FS C cutters and that fine sob Doug Dent stood there and watched me, I gathered that fawn up in my arms and walked a good 500 feet out of the unit and into the adjacent stand a ways...laid that little babe down under another vine maple and it lay there quiet and still, eyes as big and brown as anything.
It had to be at least 10 minutes before I made it back to the class, my saw, and my tree.
Through it all Dent never said a murmurin' word. I cleaned my escape route, faced it up, started the backcut, set wedges, finished the backcut, and wedged it over...an easy fall, really.
At the stump autopsy, per usual, Dent gave me credit for what I did right, gave me a few pointers on something he'd like to see me concentrate more on...run of the mill. But at the end he turned and said to the group "you boys know that we walk out the lay to look for hazards and unseen obstacles or dips that might either damage the log or reach back and some other way bite us on the azz...but you just saw another real good reason. This guy did a good thing there. That doe will find it."
I was pretty pleased.