Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Category: Hunting

Hunting

Thinking about the 2011 – 2012 hunting season

east texas whitetail deerWe are on the final 3 month countdown to the start of hunting season here in Texas. Bow season starts in October, and rifle season starts the first weekend in November. How is the season going to turn out? I have no idea.

My new rifle, a DS Arms SA58 FN/FAL needs a scope. Even though the shots are only about 75 – 100 yards, in the late evening light the sights seem to just fade away. I thought about getting some tritium sights, but for the price of the tritium sights I could get a scope. If the price between the new sights and a scope is “about” the same, why not get a scope. Before I could mount a scope on my FN/FAL, first I had to install a new scope mount, which worked out well.

Hunting season is my favorite time of year, the weather turns off cool, we get a break from the Texas heat, bugs go away, leaves on the trees turn colors and fall to the ground.

There is just something about winter time that can not be described, the quiet and peacefulness of the woods and the wind blowing through the trees. Summer is nice, but I think winter has a certain beauty about it that summer can not touch.

Only 3 months until hunting season

Only 3 more months until rifle season starts – August, September and October. Rifle season in my part of Texas starts at sunrise on the first Saturday of November.

Hunting season is my favorite time of year. Not because I get to go out to the woods and shoot something, but because I get to be in nature without burning up with this Texas heat. The weather turns off cool, the deer start moving, the bugs slack up on their blood sucking. Being outside in December is much more enjoyable then being outside in July or August.

Another thing that I enjoy about hunting season is being outside with my kids. When we are walking to the deer stand, or even sitting in the stand, the wind will start blowing, the birds are flying around looking for something to eat. The sun starts to set, the sky turns beautiful colors, the leaves on the trees are a golden color and as the setting sun streaks through the clouds, its a beauty beyond description.

Best 30 Caliber SHTF Survival Rifle

.30 caliber survival rifle

If you were going to pick a .30 caliber rifle for a SHTF survival rifle, which one would it be? The contestants are: 7.62×39, 30-30, 308 and the 30-06. Lets take a look at each of those calibers, and what rifles their currently available in.

For the sake of discussion, the 30-06 is the largest caliber that will listed in this article.

7.62X39 For SHTF

The 7.62×39 was made famous by the AK-47 and SKS, developed in 1943, has seen service in major conflicts all over the world, available in civilian rifles such as the Ruger Mini-30 and various bolt action rifles.

  • Bullet weight: 110 – 155 grain
  • Muzzle velocity: 1,900 – 2,100 fps, depending on load
  • Effective range: around 350 meters
  • Availability: Plenty

There are at least 3 things that makes the 7.62X39 a good choice as a survival rifle – 1. Availability of ammunition, 2. Availability of rifles, 3. Low recoil.

Good Deer Rifle for Teenage Girl

white tail deer and atv

My daughter is about ready for her first deer rifle, but I’am not quite sure which direction I should go. All of my other kids have a Marlin 336 in 30-30. For here in East Texas most of our shots are no more then 100 yards, and she will not want anything with recoil. With these east Texas deer, we are talking maybe 125 – 150 pounds.

I would like to stay away from calibers like the 270, 280 and the 30-06, they have too much recoil. On the flip side the coin, I don’t care for shooting deer with the 6mm or 243 either. The smallest diameter caliber I would go with would maybe the 257 Roberts.

Ruger Mini-30 in 7.62X39

The Ruger mini-30 is a semi-auto, 30 caliber bullet and effective out to our average range of 100 yards.

Stockpiling SHTF Survival Rifle Ammunition

Whitetail deer taken with a 270 Winchester bolt action rifle

It was the last weekend of regular deer season, Saturday night. A long time member of the deer lease drives up to the camp, and backs his truck up to the scales. That is usually a sure sign that there is a deer in the back of the truck. They get the doe weighed and are stringing it up to skin when I walk out there.

As the skinning of the deer proceeds, there are a few of us standing around helping and watching. The topic turns to the cost of ammunition and bullet performance.

Like a lot of hunters, I tend to buy the cheapest ammo on the shelf – and that is usually Remington Core-Lokt. Over the past 14,,,, 15+ years Core-Lokt is about all that I have bought and shot deer with. During that time I have had no complaints. There is usually a hole going in and a larger hole going out.

The guy who shot the doe goes on to talk about Remington Core-Lokt and how he has since switched to Winchester softpoints. The rifle the guy used was a 270,,,, I do not remember the exact make or model. After talking for a little while, the person who shot the whitetail deer said that he has not been happy with the performance of the Remington Core-Lokt lately and that he felt it may not be expanding like it should. So he switched to the Winchester softpoints.

Those Late Season Whitetail Bucks

East Texas Whitetail Does

Season drawing to an end? Have not taken a deer yet? If you play your cards right, there is no reason not to get a deer towards the end of deer season.

Here in Texas regular rifle season has passed and we are now in muzzleloader and youth season. Youth season is for anyone age 16 and under to be able to hunt deer. Adults have to use a muzzleloader, anyone 16 and under can use any legal means – bow, rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader.

Up until this year, muzzleloader season and youth season lasted for 1 week. In 2011 Texas Parks and Wildlife extended the season to 2 weeks. Next year be sure to check the hunting regulations, because they seem to change every year.

One thing that is really nice about late season hunting, the bucks tend to flock together. The rut is over and the does have been bred. While humans might have a bar-b-que to socialize, bucks look to find food. During the rut the bucks have expended a lot of energy and lot a lot of weight. Now its time to eat and put some weight back on before the heart of winter arrives.

While the does were in estrus, the bucks were chasing them hot and heavy. This means that the doe did not have a lot of time to eat, because they were too busy either trying to get bred, or trying not to get bred.

My Remington Model 700 is back

Remington 700 BDL

A couple of years ago my Remington model 700 started shooting funny. 1 round would hit to the right, the next round would then hit straight up from zero – both rounds would be around 18 – 24 inches from zero. At first I thought it was the scope – so I replaced the scope and the problem was still there. I tried different types of ammo, and the problem was still there.

One day I noticed that stock had warped and was touching the barrel. When the rifle was new the barrel was floated, so that you could slide a dollar bill between the stock and the barrel. But now, the dollar would not slide under the stock at all.

Fast forward about two years – and during that time I have not taken a single deer. A buddy of mine is over at my house, who just happens to work on firearms. I tell him about my rifles problems – and he tells he that he has a spare stock and a spare target trigger. So my buddy takes my rifle with him.

A couple of weeks later I get my rifle back, but it needs to be sighted in before its used for hunting. This past weekend I take the rifle to the camp and fire off a couple of rounds – and its hitting dead center just like it was years ago.

This morning I took my Remington model 700 in 7mm express / 280 out on a hunting trip. It was not until I held that rifle again, that I realized how much I missed that rifle and how well it shoots.

My Remington 700 BDL Mountain rifle is 16 years old. In the past 16 years I have taken more East Texas whitetail deer then I can count. The first deer was a small 4 point sometime around 1994 or 1995. The next few were some spikes and does in the following years. In 2000 I went through a rather nasty divorce and did not do much of anything for a few years.

Stockpiling Ammunition For a Long Term Survival Situation

Stockpiling food and ammunition for long term SHTF situation

Last week my buddy and I were talking about stockpiling ammo for a survival situation – this is when something happens to cause society to break down. Examples are civil unrest, some new disease, climate change,,,,,, something that causes the fabric of mankind to unravel. In general we talked about stockpiling 308, 223, 7.62×39, 22 long rifle and shotgun shells.

My buddy stockpiles 2 different types of ammo for his 308 rifle – ball and hunting ammo.

Ball ammo – is your target round and urban defense round. When my buddy goes to the shooting range, he will shoot ball and most of his magazines are loaded with ball ammo. The plus side of ball ammo, its cheap when compared to the more expensive hunting ammo.

Hunting ammo – this is the ammo your going to be using to hunt deer, moose, elk, wild hogs,,,,, whatever goes in your neck of the woods. Currently my buddy stocks some kind of expensive Hornady ammo that cost something like $35 – $40 for a box of 20.

Best Rifle and Shotgun For Surviving SHTF

white tail deer and atv

If you were going to pick two of the best firearms for surviving a long term SHTF situation, which firearms would they be? These do not “have” to be considered survival rifles or a survival shotgun, but firearms that you may shoot with all year long. The two firearm combination should be diverse enough to take everything from small game to the largest game in your area. Someone that lives in Alaska and who might run into a grizzly bear will have different rifles needs then someone that lives in Texas or Florida – because there aint no grizzly bears in Texas or Florida.

The purpose of a “survival firearm” is a little different then a Main Battle Rifle (MBR). While an MBR is designed for the military and combat, survivalist need something that is not expensive, very reliable, and effective for harvesting wild game. Which would be the better invest, a single M1a or 3 Marlin 336s in 30-30? Price is a factor here. For certain people money may not be an issue. But for most people, dropping $1,000 into a single rifle is just not feasible.

Marlin Model 336 and Marlin Model 60

Marlin model 336 – chambered in 30-30 is more then adequate for just about anything in the southern United States. The recoil of the 30-30 is not excessive, the ammunition is popular so it can be found just about anywhere, the ammunition is not expensive – so its not going to cost a fortune to stockpile 30-30 ammo, the rifle itself is not expensive – so buying more then 1 is not going to break the bank.

Thoughts on Hunting After SHTF

whitetail deer hunting post shtf

During the great depression of the 1930s, whitetail deer and wild turkey were almost hunted to extinction in certain areas around the USA. From what I understand, the East Texas wild turkey was hunted to extinction levels, and birds had to be imported from other parts of the nation to restore the population. The same thing happened to the whitetail deer population in East Texas. The one animal that does not seem to be affected from hunting is the wild hog. Even though the majority of the 50 states has an open season on wild hogs, their population is still thriving.

One of the big differences between wild turkeys, whitetail deer and wild hogs – is the amount of off spring that can be produced. Deer and turkeys reproduce once a year. Wild hogs are like rats, they reproduce all the time.

Wild Turkeys

If you harvest 3 wild turkeys out of a flock, they will not be replaced until the following year. Female wild turkeys can lay about 12 eggs at a time. Survival rate of turkey chicks is determined by a lot of factors – such as, if there are fire ants close to the nest, and the raccoon population.

Fire ants will attack, kill and eat the turkey chicks. Studies have shown that the higher the raccoon the population in a given area, the lower the survival rate of egg laying animals. Whether its ducks or turkeys, raccoons will raid the nest and steal the eggs.

Trip to the deer lease August 29

Even though deer season does not start for another 2 months, my daughter and I made a trip to the lease to take a look at the feeders and stands.

The good news, all of the stands were still up. If we get some strong winds – like from a hurricane – sometimes the box stands will blow over. To get them back up, you need either 3 or 4 men, or a tractor with a boom pole on it. The last time I had to stand one of the box stands up, we had 4 men with us.

The bad news, one of the feeders had been knocked over – I guess by wild hogs – and damaged pretty bad. The motor housing has been broke off, and the plastic drum was bent. This feeder will be brought back to the camp and replaced. The legs will be taken off and put on another drum, and the motor replaced.

What happens – the hogs get tired of waiting on the feeder to throw the corn out, or the battery will go dead,,, but either way, the hogs will hit the legs of the feeder until they knock it over. When the feeder hits the ground, the lid comes off and the corn spills out. The hogs then feast on the spilled corn.

Looking forward to deer season

With the summer heat starting to break just a little bit – the past couple of days have been around 91, 92 or 93 degrees, a couple of weeks ago day time temps were in the 97, 98 and 99 range – its time to start looking for deer season.

My daughter and I just got finished eating breakfast, and I’am getting the truck loaded up. Over the past few days I charged 5 or 6 – 6 volt batteries for the feeders. When we leave home, we are going to go by Tractor supply in Jasper, Texas and pick up something like 12 bags of deer corn. We have 6 feeders to check on, and I’am figuring 2 – 50 pound bags just to get the feeders started.

Youtube Censorship of Hunting Videos

whitetail deer hunting post shtf

Since when is hunting considered animal cruelty? Well, it seems that the management of youtube thinks that hunting is just that, animal cruelty. Or, is youtube bowing to political pressure? Over the past few months youtube has started removing hunting videos. The reason – hunting videos depict animal cruelty.

One of my videos that showed how to skin a squirrel was removed from youtube. The squirrel was legally taken according to the laws of the State of Texas (where I live) and was taken in a humane manner. The video was removed on December 20th. On that same day I sent an email back to the people at youtube asking if I could get a reason “why” the video was removed. Four days later and I still do not have an answer.

While doing a few google searches to try and find out why the video was removed, I found a fishing website where a guy posted that youtube had removed one of his hunting videos. According to him, the management of youtube considers hunting animal cruelty. I also found several “animal rights” websites where the members make it a habit of trolling youtube with the sole purpose of reporting hunting videos. On one of these animal rights sites, several people said they report every hunting video they see.

Tips on Hunting Wild Pigs

Pictrue of wild hogs taken with trail camera

It is believed that hogs were first introduced into the United States by Hernando de Soto in or around 1539. Recent excavations from some of Hernando de Sotos’ encampments in Florida have discovered jaw bones of pigs and other swine bone fragments. It is further believed some of those pigs may have escaped into the wild and became the first wild pigs in the Americas.

Wild pigs are a true omnivore, meaning that they will eat almost anything. The diet of a wild hog can include grubs, worms, termites, acorns – anything that the hog can get its mouth on, its likely to eat. There are even stories of wild hogs killing and eating new born deer.

Several factors have contributed to a recent surge in hog populations.

1. For some reason, several states have passed laws prohibiting butchers from processing wild hogs. If a hunter kills a hog, and brings that hog to a butcher, in some states the butcher will not be able to process the meat.

This has helped prevent an active hog hunting community of hunters from developing. There are a group of people that hunt hogs, but not to the degree of deer hunters. Most people that hunt hogs process the meat themselves. This is something that not everyone wants to do.

A Deer Hunting Story

Whitetail deer taken with 280 Remington

This is based off a true story that happened on November 30th, 2007.

I got out to the lease around 3:30, got the 4-wheeler unloaded and drove a little over 1/4 mile to an old logging road. I parked the 4wheeler on the logging road and walked 100+ yards to the stand. I walked because I can move quieter by walking then I can on the 4-wheeler.

On the way to the stand I saw some coyote tracks. It looks like a rabbit track was mixed in them them. I got in the stand around 4:00 pm, took some scenery pictures and read my bible for a little while.

By 5:00 pm there were 3 does under and around the feeder. A little after 5 pm a spike and 6 point came out. The 6 point was too small to shoot. All three of my last deer have been 8 points, so there is no use in going backwards.

Just after 5:15 a nice size deer walks out and starts grazing on the grass on the logging road. I looked at him through my scope and thought it was an 8 point. Later I found out it was a 9 point.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018