Friday, August 27, 2010

Deer Season 2010

Last year my few weeks of deer hunting effort did not go well. I was only able to get a clear shot once and clicked my safety off so loudly the damn things bolted off into the woods without my bullet lodged inside.  Last year I waited until deer season had already started before I did anything much, but this year I am going to try to up my odds by laying the ground work.  On the actual ground.  On my birthday I got a couple blocks of deer cane as a gift.  They are blocks, about the size of a brick, made of compacted salts and minerals that supposedly deer like to chew the dirt to get at. 

This year I picked a new shooting lane to focus my efforts on.  The place I laid my corn last year was right along side the road and we had to drive past it several times a day.  This year I am going to use an area beside the house down the powerline.  It is a big clear gap between a very thick grove of pasture pines and the area that was replanted a few years ago.  The area is rarely disturbed and I can get a decent view of it from the laundry room window so I can get an idea of the times the deer might be out there before I wait on the porch or in a blind a little bit closer.  I have two months now so the idea is to get them as comfortable as possible crossing that area and give them reasons to linger about so that I can get a shot. 

I know the deer come through here anyway because it is the path they follow in order to get to the peach and pear tree as well as to drink from the branch that runs across this area.  I haven't decided if I am going to hang my corn feeder back here or simply put corn out on the ground.

This is what the block looks like after sitting for a couple of days during the rain.  Your supposed to put it out and let it dissolve in the rain and soak into the dirt.  I will probably go out pour some water on it to get it to dissolve sooner.  I went out about a month ago when I first got it an laid out an old plastic green turtle sandbox that the kids have outgrown and let the grass under it die off.  Right now the deer tracks are about ten feet way from this spot, which is where the directions say to put it.  If they don't seem to notice I will pour out a little corn right around it because I know they will find that.  I may try going to buy some fertilizer which would make the grass in the area more interesting to the deer. 

I shall find out if this is a more effective strategy or not.  The only problem I see it that is puts me slightly closer to the Blue Bonnet Investment Group land that is leased out for hunting to a large group that come up to hunt every year.  These would be the very nice people that I frequently refer to as the dill holes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Got Salmonella?

Nope.  Thanks to Brewster the rooster and his flock of egg laying beauties we are salmonella free.  For now. I hope. I am not positive where the outbreaks and recalls have been because we don't buy eggs. The new flock has really started laying in the last few weeks and it won't be long before we are over run with eggs. Chickens are probably the easiest way of providing your own food that we have found so far.  You don't have to feed them much if you give them enough room to forage for bugs and such.  Throw a rooster in the mix and you will end up with chicks.  You also end up with fertilized eggs for breakfast which is nasty so I recommend keeping the rooster separate if you have one.

 If you were trying to get ready to hole up and wait out the next global disaster then a bunch of birds of one the first things you want.  If you look at stuff survivalist talk about you would think you need lots of ammo and some sort of concrete bunker, but really if you can't eat that doesn't do you much good so really you need a way to get water; either a way to pump from a well, a spring or stream although streams can easily be damned up by the a-hole with a ammo and the concrete bunker.  I would think the best thing you could have is a small flock of a chickens including at least one rooster, a couple of goats both boys and girls, and some seeds to start growing stuff from which you could save more seeds.

Twenty chickens provide a lot of food if they are all laying.  The eggs will be piling up soon even using the eggs for three households we will have way more than we want.  I may try to sell some, but selling is not my strong point.  That is one thing about any kind of farming; no matter what you grow in order to make money off it you have to have basic business skills like selling.  Almost all businesses live or die on the quality of salesman ship.  Even bad business can make money with a good salesman.  I am not a sales guy, just don't have those natural people skills.  That's probably also why I will end up in a feud with a a-hole who stocked up on ammo and I will find my self locked in a basement for food like those people in The Road.

Monday, August 16, 2010

the only thing left

After work, vacation, strep throat and the ridiculous heat a air of neglect has settled into the garden.  The majority of stuff is crispy toast either starved for water or choked out by other weeds. The peppers, however, seem to not only still be alive, but actually thriving.  The same goes for the two water melons which are twice the size we got last year.  The patty pan squash are the diameter of dinner plates and probably taste as good as a piece of 2x4 covered in garlic and olive oil. Bigger doesn't usually mean better in the squash/ zucchini family.

  That is the one problem with gardening or any other agricultural enterprise: There are no sick days. We have disscussed getting a milk cow, but you have to milk the dang things everyday.  Even the I feel like I am going to die days or the I have to work fourteen hour days, everyday.  I can deal with being sick and I can deal with it being freaking hot, but you put them both together and I am out. 

With convergence of my illness being over, my census work ending and the kids going back to school I am hoping to do some late summer planting next week along with getting ready for hunting season.  That's right large pallets piled high with 50lbs sacks of corn have begun popping up all over town.  From Wal-mart to the quickie mart there is few places you can't buy a sack o' corn as the season comes near.  I need to clear my spots and get set up so that I am not disturbing it when it gets closer to season open.