Tag Archives: White-Tailed Deer

Bucks and bourbon: Texas deer season

 

This post is supported by Texas Hunter Safety Course online for Texas.  The Texas Hunter Safety Course online is endorsed and recommended by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

By all means hunters, speed to your lease with these essential items before sunrise!  Please don’t, you shouldn’t speed.  Remember that in Erath County, Texas, the general hunting seasons is November 5, 2011 — January 1, 2012: bag limit 4 deer, not more than 2 bucks, and no more than 2 antlerless, all seasons combined (citations from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department).

The Flying Hat Ranchito is closed to hunting because of the deer population decline.  In 2003, the White-tailed deer count was daily at 15-16, but this year the count has declined to three (3) deer, two doe and one fawn.

In truth, I recommend that you eliminate all of the following items below except a non-scope deer rifle and the deer from your hunt.  (And, yes, I have and still hunt without scope.)  Dress appropriately, maybe even a bit of camouflage, but considering the number of unschooled hunters out in the veld, you probably should wear red or orange.  Those of you that need to hunt for food or as an essential supply to your winter larder, I have no quarrel — in fact, I don’t like to quarrel or wrangle, in most cases — but the accumulation of the following “essential” items should be pared down whether venison is imperative or not.  I don’t like all the gadgetry and waste of resources.  To wit, I recommend these changes:

Build a natural blind of brush, hide behind a tree, sit on a log, get lost in the shinnery in order to scan and conceal. (Wear red or orange somewhere on your body, preferably above your waist.)

Do you really need an all-terrain vehicle to run up and down pasture roads or across fields?  Of course not.  Walk, glide through the forest, the grove, the bush.  Forget the telescope, use a less powerful rifle and stalk quietly the deer you seek to slay.  I think I would keep the flask and contents purely for exorcising the chill — two sip limit after the hunt, of course.

These changes, if adopted, will exercise your body, get you close to your kill and the extra money saved can pay part of your kid’s college tuition.

Of the following, what items can you eliminate and still achieve your goal?

Essential item no. 1: camouflage clothing

Essential item no. 2: all-terrain vehicle (ATV)

Essential item no. 3: the deer stand

Essential item no. 4: 30.06 rifles, some with scope

Essential item no. 5: bourbon whiskey flask

Essential item no. 6: White-tailed deer (bag limit is four).

Have a good hunt and feel liberated from the technologies of the present day!

(Please catch the field report of November 5, 2011, later on this morning in a separate post!)

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Notes, corrections and additions:

This post was originally entitled, “White-tailed deer season opens in Erath County: essential recommendations.”

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Long shadows soaring

Long shadows in the grove

This afternoon I decide to walk into field, grove and far pasture of native grass.  The walk.  What propels me, anyone, to walk into the raw material of nature?  Flying up in my face are three urges: what is changing out there?  Who is out there?  And, what is the surprise, the non-contingent event, large or small, that will stop me, stop us, and reveal the universal in the particular?

Before I walk into the field, from the house on top of Poprock Hill, with the aid of binoculars, I count approximately ten ducks, mallards mostly, feeding at the south end of the stock pond, the same pond that Star, my paint gelding, and his mother, Lilly, drink and cool their feet in mud.  The pond is low this December, the water line two feet below the cockle-burr plants I must root out next Spring.

I walk through the alleyway of the barn and through the two corrals, striding slowly next to the fence line of the Dooleys, our neighbors to the west.  Their stock pond is also low.  Yesterday morning, I heard a lone coyote call and yip near the pond.  (After dark tonight I heard the same coyote near the Dooley pond.)  I walk past the pond, counting vultures and crows in the air.  I see the gray, cocked-tufted, long-tailed bird that builds nests on barn light reflectors, pulling horse hair around the nests, dabbing the nest with feathers and mud.   I must pull down my Peterson and type it when I can.  I walk beside the west fence line, away from the mallards on the pond so as to keep them feeding, turning as they do upside down, their rumps fully exposed, their heads plunging and bills nibbling below the surface for tadpoles and moss.

I see that deer have been licking the salt block I put out last summer in the grove.  I do not see deer in the late evening so they must come after dark.  I see deer hoof prints abounding, more than I have seen in months.  The soil is hard packed from the lack of rain, but hardly any dust is stirred up for the wind is slight and cool from the east.  I believe when the deer walk down the pasture road, their small hooves stir up dust.  The horses and deer as well ducks browse and feed in close vicinity.  I have seen Star and Lilly wade up to their ankles in pond water while five feet away mallards dunk each other and dive for food.  The deer browse for grass alongside the horses.

In the tree grove alongside the creek, I notice shadows of trees are long, but it is only two o’clock in the afternoon.  This makes me fully aware, these long shadows, that it is nearly Winter and that the sun sinks lower towards the south until December solstice, a few days away.  In the low underbrush, two wrens feed, each starting at the top of the bush and making their way down towards the ground, spiraling downward, gravity’s pull upon their browsing.  I was aware of the calendar, December it is, but the natural effect of being outdoors and seeing the long, long shadows of elm, ash and oak force my day into the truth of the season changing to Winter.

As I walk with short breaths up the road and into the edge of the far field of native grass, I hear the surprise.  I hear the call of the Sandhill Crane above me — a gentle warble of sorts — and I look intently, but cannot see the flock flying south.  I hear them, once, twice, three times.  I take a photograph of side-oats grama grass, turn around, retrace my path, avoiding the mallards on the stock pond still quacking, and come home.

I come home because I have seen what is out there and what is changing.  And, I have been surprised at life soaring in the wild.

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Notes:

The date of hearing the coyote at night is December 8, 2010.  This post was composed the next day.

The bird in the barn alleyway is most likely a flycatcher.  I looked it up in the Petersen, but could not find a precise description or photo.

Correction: “Sandhill” Crane, not Sandhills.  Also, “grama” grass, not gramma grass.

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First Anniversary Prairie Sagebrush Awards, June 27, 2010

First Anniversary of Sage to Meadow Blog, June 27, 2010

On June 27, 2009, I began blogging.  My first blog was The 27th Heart.  Over a period of time, I changed the name of my blog to Sage to Meadow.  In order to celebrate and pay attention to a year of learning and relating to other bloggers, I am going to give a Prairie Sagebrush Award to each of my blogging friends for their best post.   Read the details below.

Prairie Sagebrush Award

The First Anniversary Prairie Sagebrush Awards, June 27, 2010, will be given to the finest post written by my blog friends, during the year, 2009-2010.  One post will be chosen from each blog and I will edit and publish them as a collection on June 27, 2010, on Sage to Meadow.   For each reader comment, Sage to Meadow Blog and Flying Hat Ranch will donate one dollar to a Wildlife Corridor in west Texas and New Mexico–see details below.  I will not designate a first, second or third place, but rather select the one finest post from each blogger.  How can I?  Each blogger has great posts and I’ll post the one I like the best–personal taste.

Why Choose the Prairie Sagebrush as Logo?

The Prairie Sagebrush is a native plant that is an important winter feed for Elk, Pronghorn and deer throughout the American West.  It is an edible herb and aromatic.  So many aspects of nature are associated with the American West and Southwest, but among the more prominent are sagebrush, antelope, deer, elk, buffalo, pines and the Rockies.  The sagebrush is imperiled–see my page on Sagebrush.

The Sensual Sagebrush

The Prairie Sagebrush and other varieties of sage provide one of the most sensual and pleasurable plants known to man: perfume, cooking and wildlife habitat.   The burning of sage in Native American ceremonies implores sanctification and purification as well as perfumed smoke about the room.  I used to burn sage in my fireplace and briefly close the flue to smoke-up the room.  I use sage in cooking, both chopped or whole leaves. Lewis and Clark reported that antelope would rub their foreheads on sagebrush for its perfumed scent.

I look forward to re-reading posts of 2009-2010, and putting together a collection for the Prairie Sagebrush Awards, June 27, 2010.  I’ve already started collecting and the blog posts are most outstanding!

Photographs of Prairie Sagebrush

Prairie Sagebrush No. 1 (Artemisia frigida) by Sally and Andy Wasowski

Prairie Sagebrush No. 2 by Sally and Andy Wasowski

Prairie Sagebrush No. 3 by Texas Agriculture Experiment Station

Wildlife Corridors

For every reader comment, Sage to Meadow Blog and Flying Hat Ranch will donate one dollar to Wildlife Corridor organizations in west Texas and New Mexico. (Limit is $500.00 and only one comment per reader counts.)  We need Wildlife Corridors so that migrations of beautiful animals may be seen by our grandchildren.

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