Josh Jones and Adam Robinson may not have shot any squirrels at the public hunting grounds in Bell Center on a recent outing, but they didn’t exactly come home empty-handed either.
Both boys attend school at North Crawford, where the 14-year-old Adam is in eighth grade and the 15-year-old Josh is a high school sophomore.
While they hadn’t even seen a squirrel, as they walked back to the parked vehicle, they were still hoping Josh’s dad and younger brother and sister walking on the ridge above would push something their way. So, they kept a close eye on the trees.
That’s when Adam first noticed it wedged into the branches of a tree. It was circular and camouflaged.
Actually, it turned out to be a medium-sized plastic food container that might have contained Cool Whip originally. The container was completely covered in camouflage tape. It’s the kind of tape that is commonly used by hunters to camouflage equipment in the field.
The boys took the container to the car and opened it, while they waited for Josh’s family to show up.
The pair initially thought they might have discovered some sort of hunter’s stash of equipment, ammo or even food. However, it turned out to be a lot more interesting than that.
They had texted Josh’s dad on the cellphone and were informed that he and the kids would be down to the car in about five minutes. Well, they just couldn’t wait until the rest of the family arrived to open their find. Curiosity got the better of them. So, they opened the container.
What they had found was a geocache complete with a Travel Bug and a list of others who had found it in other places. Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use GPS and other navigational techniques to both place and find containers called geocaches at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.
It seemed like the one found by the boys in Bell Center contained two lists of finders. The first list contained entries from 2012, while the second list had 2016 entries. There was also a strange assortment of toys and other objects in the container.
The geocache had been found in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on August 31, 2012. It was the oldest date found on the lists.
The 2016 entries were clearer and seemed to start with August 31, 2016 and the name RUN4CACHES.
The October 2, 2016 entry was signed Cindy 22. Then, there was October 17, 2016 entry signed JADAT. The last entry, well what would become the second to last entry, was Ocooch Mountain Lure Company.
The very last entry was made October 23, 2016. It said quite simply “Donald Trump.” The boys smiled.
“That would be us,” Josh volunteered.
Well what treasures did this geocache contain? The prize among them was the silver ‘Travel Bug,’ a metallic thing about three or four inches long. The Travel Bug has information on it and can be used in tracking and finding geocaches through computers.
Then, there were the additions of those who had previously found and replaced the geocache. They included a couple of green beads, some toy horses, two toy soldiers, a whale, a toy compass, a toy clothes hanger, another bead, a shiny rock, a lady bug refrigerator magnet, a pen flashlight, a pen and some matches.
The boys weren’t sure what they would add. They were leaning toward the shell casing of a .410 shotgun shell and .22-caliber shell. They reasoned that since they were hunting at the time they found it, this would be their way of letting other people know that someone who found it was hunting.
One of the boys confessed he didn’t play the geocache game, so this would probably be the first and last time he would find one.
As to where they would put it, they weren’t quite sure and they weren’t telling if they were.
The boys had initially though they might hide it around town, but Josh’s dad proposed something a bit bolder, like taking it to somewhere near Highland or Dodgeville.
While the boys may get a few squirrels the next time they go hunting in Bell Center, it’s doubtful they’ll be talking about that as long as what they found a few weeks ago.