Here in southeast Texas hunting season starts in just a few weeks. Archery season starts the first Saturday in October, while regular rifle season starts the first Saturday in November. In order to get ready for deer season my dad and I went to the hunting lease to check on things.
While dad used the tractor and brush hog to clear the ATV trails I used a 4-wheeler to get from one stand and wildlife feeder to the other.
The first feeder had been knocked over sometime during the off season. The first feeder is not included in the video. The top of the drum was bent so that the lid would not go back on. but the damage was nothing that could not be fixed with a nice sized hammer.
I knew this day would arrive, and here it is. The hunting lease my family and I have been a part of for the past 15 years has gotten so expensive I can no longer afford to be a member.
1970s – To be on a hunting lease in the 1970s you had to know someone who was a member of the lease. Then that member had to put in a good word for you. A lot of leases had a waiting list of people who wanted to be a member.
2000s – Hunting leases are begging for members.
In the past 30 years we have seen a shift of people who live in rural areas, timber companies have gobbled up land, parents are not introducing their children to hunting, and most importantly, timber companies are being bought up by invest firms.
The great depression of the 1930s saw a shift of people living in rural areas to living in urban areas. The reason for this shift was simple, and that was to find a job.
As the people who were left in rural areas started to die, their property was left to the children who had moved to rural areas. The children who had moved away had no use for the land, so they did not pay the property taxes. Various counties across the nation seized the land for overdue taxes. As the land was auctioned off guess who bought it, the timber companies.
In essence, we allowed timber companies to buy up unwanted land, then charge us for access.
There used to be a time when leasing land was cheap, or at least affordable.
There used to be a time when hunters were left at their own discretion with size limits. Coyotes, wolves and mountain lions are not held to size limits, so why are human hunters held to a size limit?
Which one harms the deer population more, timber companies stripping the land, or shooting a small deer?
While at the deer camp this evening I was told a story of a lady who shot a deer with a 12.5 inch inside spread. She was not sure about the law, so she called the game warden. When the game warden arrived, he wrote her a $750 ticket, and the lady was charged a $750 replacement surcharge. Since when is a 1/2 inch worth $1,500? I guess when the state of Texas says so.
Take your pick:
Option A – shoot a deer that is not quit the legal limit, and risk getting a $1,500 ticket if you take it to the butcher.
Option B – shoot a deer that is not quit the legal limit, and leave it in the woods for the buzzards, maggots, other scavengers and get to keep your money.
To me, no deer is worth $1,500. But the state of Texas seems to think they are worth that much.
What it boils down to is the states want to milk as much money as they can from sportsmen.
With the cost of hunting leases and the cost of public hunting permits going up, I do not know if hunting is worth it anymore. The hunting lease I am on cost around $1,000 a year. That $1k could be better spent elsewhere, such as property taxes. I think I will keep that $1,000 and the cost of a hunting license and raise my own pigs.
Why should we teach our children how to hunt, when the state wants to milk sportsmen for every penny they can get?
A few weeks ago a buddy of mine and I got a call saying my son-in-law and his friends needed some help getting a hog out of the woods. The dogs had chased the hogs a long ways from the boat, so far that the hunting party needed help packing the hogs out of the woods.
My buddy and I hook up with the hunting party, we then spend the next 30 minutes or so wondering through the woods to where the hogs were at. The two hogs were separated by maybe 200 yards or so.
When we arrived at one of the hogs, something had killed it, and ate part of it. The wild hog had been tied up for only around 4an hour or so.
The next week I called a local wildlife biologist and told him what happened. The wildlife biologist said with multiple bite marks on the neck, the attacker was probably either a coyote or a feral dog.
While we were packing the hog out, I kept wondering how well the 223 Remington would do on wild hogs? I know the 223 Remington is effective, but how effective is it on hogs? Hogs have a thick fat layer, how would that fat layer affect bullet performance?
Lets say that some kind of SHTF situation happens, you and a couple of your buddies go on a hog hunt, what rifles would you pick? Would you pick a semi-auto in 223 Remington or 7.62X39, lever action or bolt action?
Need a good source of renewable food after SHTF, look no further then the wild hog. Wild hogs have invaded all of the lower 48 states, Texas alone has an estimated 1.5 million feral hogs.
The problem is, the hogs are mean, can be difficult to trap, can injure or kill hunting dogs, and can be difficult to transport.
Trapping Wild Hogs
Hog traps are only limited by your imagination. They can include anything from a box trap to a pen trap.
The usual hog trap is made out of welded angle iron, and is 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. The door is spring loaded so that when a hog enters the trap, the door closes behind them. Some traps are rigged so that the door opens while the hog is rooting around the edge. The hog pushes the door open, the hog goes into the trap, and the door closes behind the hog.
Hog traps are not that difficult to build, all you really need is the materials, wire cutters, maybe some boards, hammer, nails,,,,.
Most people use corn to bait the traps.
In some cases hogs will not enter the trap. When that happens, wire the door open for a couple of weeks so the hogs can go in and out of the trap.
Its post SHTF, you and your family need something to eat, so the yall head out to a local river. The dogs are let loose, a few minutes later the dogs corner up a 200 pound boar hog.
The boar hog is loaded in the boat and brought back home.
A pen is hastily assembled out of whatever materials you can find.
The boar hog is put in the hen, and the leg ties taken off. Since the pen is made out of fence, the boar hog rams the fence, breaks the wire loose, then the hog runs off.
Sounds unlikely? Well, that is what happened when my son-in-law bought a boar hog home.
In this case the dogs were waiting outside the pen in case the hog got out.
Keep in mind this is not a friendly domesticated hog, this is a wild boar hog that will use its tusk to tear flesh off the bone.
The dogs caught the hog, and the hog was put into a stronger pen.
Lessons learned, wild hogs are less likely to run into the side of the pen if there is something blocking the hogs view. In other words, if the hog can not see what is on the other side, chances are the hog will not ram the side of the pen.
Hogs are stronger then they look. All it took was one hit to the fence for the wire to tear loose.
So what happens next
The wild boar hog will have its nuts removed. This will improve the taste of the meat. Commercial pork processors remove the nuts from male piglets. Most people who eat pork do not know it.
From time to time I pick a topic, then do research on the given topic.
Tonights topic was the Passenger Pigeon.
How could mankind take a species that numbers in the billions and hunt them into extinction? Were the people blind, or they just did not care?
As long as people were making money harvesting Passenger Pigeons, did they give any thought about what would happen if an entire species was wiped out?
Sometimes I am ashamed of humanity. While reading about how the passenger pigeon was slaughtered, I was very, very ashamed. Are humans so narrow minded and short sighted that we can not see what is happening in front of our faces?
Past the Passenger Pigeon
In the early 1900s millions of long leaf pine trees were clear cut. This deforestation contributed to the decimation of the wild turkey flocks and white tail deer in places like southeast Texas. It was a combination of deforestation and overhunting from the great depression that wiped out wildlife stocks.
If people could not see the Passenger Pigeon disappearing in front of their eyes, what makes us think people care about what is happening today?
We are still having to pay for the crimes of our forefathers.
Buffalo stocks will take thousands of years to recover. Here we are 100+ years after the north American buffalo herds were hunted to the edge of extinction, and the herds still have not recovered.
Passenger Pigeon – gone.
Turkey populations across the south – still recovering after 70 years of conservation. In places like southeast Texas the wild turkey were hunted to extinction. Stocks had to be brought in from other parts of the nation to restore the species.
The southeast Texas turkey and whitetail deer were killed off between the early 1900s and the 1930s. Here we are somewhere between 70 – 100 years later and the stocks “still” have not recovered.
Dodo bird – gone.
Tasmanian tiger – gone.
If those who came before us ignored what was in front of their face, are we doing to same?
How are our descendants going to deal with the billions of tons of trash our society is producing?
How are our descendants going to deal with nuclear waste?
How are our descendants going to deal with mercury in their fish?
Will the following generations be able to build a society on our trash piles?
Do we really think our actions today will not have long reaching effects in the future?
Lets say some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation happens tomorrow, what would your long term farming, gardening and hunting plans be?
Do you plan on hunting for most of your food from livestock, gardening, hunting or a combination of food sources?
Long term survival plans after SHTF
One of the common theories in the various survivalist communities is that a family will grab their bug out bags, head to the hills where they will live off the land.
In theory this may sound fine and dandy.
In reality, chances are the family is going to starve to death.
If various humanoids have gone extinct over the past 100,000 years, what makes a family think they can survive with very few primitive survival skills?
The long term survivability of humans is directly related to much much food we can produce, and not how much food we can hunt or gather. There is a physical limitation to how many miles a person can walk in a day. There is a physical limitation to how much weight a person can carry.
Primitive tribes were able to overcome some of those obstacles by being in great physical shape and living a hunter-gather lifestyle their entire lives. How can some couch potato expect to kill a 300 pound hog, then pack that hog 3 or 4 miles back to the camp.
Our sedentary lifestyle in no way compares to the lifestyle of a hunter-gatherer.
Long story short, my dad and I went to the hunting lease, filled up the feeders, bush-hogged the 4 wheeler trails then went home.
Now for the rest of the story, The day started off nice and cool. Here in southeast Texas its takes a little while for the summer heat to wear off. It is not unusual for the first part of November to have highs in the 80s. There have been times when I have been sitting in a deer stand on opening weekend sweating.
On October 4th fall was in the air. A cool front had pushed through a couple of days earlier, which helped bring the temps down to a bearable level.
Dad went to the camp on October 3rd, were he spent the night. The plans were for dad to pick me up in Jasper, then we were going to the hunting lease.
Kristy and I woke up Thursday morning, did our typical morning routine, which includes a shower, brush our teeth, then eat breakfast. While I was eating breakfast, I called dad, he said he was running a little late. I asked dad if he wanted Kristy to fix him some breakfast, he said sure.
Dad showed up about 45 minutes later; Kristy fixed him some sunny side up eggs the hens had laid.
After dad finished his breakfast we went to walmart in Jasper to pick up some deer corn. I tell you what, the price of deer corn has gotten outrageous. A few years ago corn was somewhere around $4.75 a bag, now its almost $10 a bag.
Dad bought 16 bags of deer corn. He had 4 bags in the back of the truck, so there was a total of 20 bags to put in the deer feeders.
Here in southeast Texas we have about 2 weeks until bow season starts, and about 7 weeks until rifle season starts.
Over the past few weeks my wife and I have been going to the lease to spread beans and oats, and to check on the feeders. My family and I have 4 feeders and 5 stands setup. One of the stands is a portable ground blind. The other four stands are on legs and overlook at feeder.
Out of 4 feeders, 3 of them had been knocked over. We suspect wild hogs knocked the feeders over; I hope vandals did not knock the feeders over during the summer.
Today (September 14 2012) my dad and I made a trip to the lease. The purpose of this trip was to check the feeder motors, put fresh batteries in the feeders and put 3 bags of corn in each feeder.
First feeder – is what the family calls the “hog pen stand”. The stand is called “hog pen stand” is because there used to be a hog trap close to the stand. This is one of the feeders that was knocked over during the off season. My wife and I stood the feeder up a couple of weeks ago.
Dad backed his truck up to the feeder, the lid was removed and the inside inspected. As usual there was a good bit of rotten corn inside the feeder. It was leaned over, turned upside down and the spoiled corn was was dumped out on the ground.
Hogs will find the spoiled corn.
The feeder was stood up; the motor was locked up, so we installed a new motor. When the feeder fell over during the summer, the motor housing fell in such a way that it caught water, filled up, and the motor was sitting in water for several months. As a result of the water and the rust, the motor was ruined.
Hunting season is only 2 months away, and that is for rifle season. In some areas of the nation, bow season starts the first weekend of October. The recent droughts have drove up the price of deer corn. What used to cost $4 – $5 for a 50 pound bag, now cost around $10 – $11 for a 50 pound bag.
A lot of people object to the use of wildlife feeders, or even hunting over a food plot. If you object to those kinds of hunting tactics, that is fine. I have no objection to your objection. Just realize that your objection gives you no special privileges or rights.
My family and I hunt on what is called a pine plantation. The timber companies cut down oak trees, strip the land, and replant only fast growing hybrid pine trees. During the stripping process, natural food sources are displaced or even destroyed. Its sad how our forest are turning into nothing more then pine tree gardens. A few years ago the local timber company cut down oaks trees that were at least 75 years old, bulldozed the oak trees into a pile and burned them.
Deer are foragers, kinda like goats. Deer walk around eating weeds, twigs, just about anything they can find. But there are certain food sources that deer like, such as acorns. When the timber companies cut, bulldoze and burn oak trees, what are the hunters supposed to hunt over? We can scout for deer trails, but there is no promise the deer are taking those trails during daylight hours.
In order to replace those lost food sources, hunters will sometimes set up feeders, or plant a food plot.
Lets say that some kind of SHTF situation happens tonight, how ready is your ammunition stockpile? Whether its nuclear war, plague, disease outbreak, collapse of the dollar,,,, something happens to disrupt society. What kind of ammunition do you have stockpiled to hunt and protect your property? Have you taken any wild game with the ammunition you have stockpiled? Have you sighted in your rifle with the various types you have stockpiled?
My wife and I made a trip to the Academy sports and outdoors in Lufkin Texas just to buy some ammunition. It seems that the walmart in Jasper Texas can not keep certain types of ammunition in stock. Its either buy online, or drive almost an hour just to buy some ammo.
Todays Haul Includes:
100 rounds Federal 223 Remington
20 rounds 30-30 Winchester in Remington core-lokt 150 grain
20 rounds 308 Winchester in Remington core-lokt 150 grain
20 rounds 30-06 Springfield in Remington core-lokt 150 grain
120 rounds 7.62×39 in Monarch 123 grain full metal jacket
You may be asking “why so much Remington core-lokt?”
Because its a proven performer in southeast Texas whitetail deer.
I stockpile what I know works. Over the past decade and a half my family and I have taken dozens of whitetail deer with Remington core-lokt and in a wide range of calibers.
A few examples of deer taken taken with 30-30, 270 and 308 Winchester. All of these deer were taken with Remington core-lokt.
156 pound whitetail deer
taken with 30-30 Winchester
Over the past 20 years I have heard the same story probably 1,000 or more times – “if SHTF, I am going to bug out to the wilderness and live off the land”. Then the person starts talking about hunting small game, how they have X number of 22 long rifle, and how they should be able to get X number of squirrels or rabbits with X number of rounds. After you hear the same story hundreds of times, it gets rather repetitive.
The first questions I have, how often does the person go hunting? How often do they load up their gear and head out to the wilderness for 3 or 4 days to test their plans? Has the person ever skinned a squirrel or rabbit, much less cooked and ate one?
Then there is the big question, where are you going to hunt at? Do you have access to land? Do you have access to remote land, or private property so other people will not intrude?
What other ammo can you buy 500 rounds of for less then $20? Just a few years ago a brick of 550 rounds cost in the $10 – $11 price range. I wish I would have bought several cases 5 years ago, it would have saved me a lot of money.
No other type of ammunition is more practical to stockpile then the good ole 22 long rifle. One reason why the 22 long rifle is so popular today, is that during the great depression, 22 long rifle is all people could afford to buy.
It stores well
Anyone in the family can shoot it
Rifles do not cost a fortune
Works in rifles and pistols
Effective on small game
Does not cause excessive damage to the animals
Report does not scare livestock