Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hunting season comes to the the garden.

Lately, the signs that hunting season is right around the corner have been popping up all over the place.

We're seeing lots of deer on the roads and even a few in the yard--apparently, deer like their peaches and pears straight off the trees.

The neighbors who have a deer lease that borders our property have been out clearing brush and riding their four-wheelers. I had to ask them to move their stands because they had them right at the corners of the property line, about as close to our house as you could possibly get without actually being on our property. (They were very nice about and said they would move everything before the season opened and were clearing some new spots last time I talked to them.)

My wife's cousin called to ask if he could bow hunt out on our place down by the creek. We said of course, I may rifle hunt in the same spot when bow season is over. I think he has another place he goes for rifle season. This is the first year I will have been home during hunting season and I would like to get a deer or two so we could put up the meat. I don't have any interest in hunting for trophy antlers. I want trophy burgers.

Archery Season is from Sept. 27 through Oct. 31; General Season is Nov. 1 through Jan. 4.

So basically, unless I am gonna bow hunt (which I won't) I will have two months to get ready and could take up to four deer. That would be enough to keep us in meat for most of the year, but I will be lucky as a first-timer to get even one. I'm told that as of November 1, deer get pretty crafty.

I think most people don't learn how to hunt on their own. Usually, you learn from your dad or uncle...So I am on my own, as my dad lives in California and hasn't hunted since he was 11 and lived in Oklahoma.

Before we moved to the country, I had a very different image of hunting in general. I had an image of hunting from the movie The Deer Hunter with Robert Dinero, where you drive out into the woods and wander around trying to be sneaky and quiet until you see something to shoot at, or even possibly following the occasional track or two like Daniel Boone. This is not the case. No stealthy wandering here. Nossir. Apparently, folks around here are smarter than Robert Dinero.

Here are some basic steps for hunting in East Texas.

1) Buy a fifty pound bag of dry corn.
2) Pick a spot. Figure out where you think the deer are close by.
3) Pour out some corn so the deer can come get a snack on the spot you picked.
4) Set up somewhere to sit where you can see aformentioned spot. (Best if they can't see you.)
5) Get a weapon: Rifle, Bow or Musket, depending on the season. I also believe there should be a spear season.
6) Get a License. Very important.
7) Repeat steps 1 & 3 until the season begins.
8) Get up before dawn and wait in your seat.
9) When the deer, who are coming to get the snack you so kindly provided, come into view, take aim.
10) FIRE.

To make this experience even better, set up an automatically timed deer feeder that dumps out corn at a specific time. This is like sending out a deer invitation, telling when the party starts every day. You can even set up a night-vision motion-activated deer-cam, to see if deer are actually eating your corn and what time they show up. I'm not kidding. This is totally legal.

This is not the way I thought people went hunting. However, if you are trying to put up some meat to feed a family, this is more effective.

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