Instead of waiting until summer to get your deer stand setup, go ahead and do it right after last years deer season. Then you have all summer free. Here on the farm a tree limb smashed a deer stand, which was a porta potty. The fiberglass was smashed. The old stand was pulled off and […]
Tag: deer hunting
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.
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?
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.
There is an interesting article on Fox News about excessive laws on fishing and hunting.
About 100 yards from the stand is a deer feeder. The feeder is 55 gallon drum on three legs, a lid to keep the rain out, and a spinner on the bottom of the drum.
Dad backed his truck up to the feeder, I stood on the bed, took the lid off, checked the corn level, then put 6 bags of deer corn in the feeder.
The 6 volt battery was a little low on its charge, so we put a new battery on the motor. Feeders have a test setting, you push the test button for a few seconds, then there is a 10 second count-down. The motor spins just like it would during its time to go off.
Dads stand was in rather bad shape. The tarp was tearing in places, the boards holding the roof up had rotted through and some vines had grown up through the stand.
I climbed into the tri-pod, then used some cable ties to hold the tarp up. Some of the rotten boards were removed. From the looks of things, the framework will have to be reworked after this hunting season.
After we finished the stand and feeder, Dad and I drove to the top of the hill to the next feeder and stand.
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.
Deer season is here, instead of grabbing a pack, throwing some random gear in and heading out to the woods, lets take a look at some items that should be considered. The way I look at it, your pack needs to contain everything you need to track a wounded deer, find your way back back to the truck after dark or spend an unexpected night in the woods.
A basic pack – This could be anything from a school book bag, to a good quality pack like a Maxpedition Sitka or Maxpedition Noatak. You need something that is not going to tear apart when your tracking a deer as the last bit of the sunlight fades away. For my current load out I am using the Maxpedition Noatak.
GPS & Compass – When you get off the trail back to the truck, you might need something to help find your way. Or worse yet, if you and your buddies have to track a deer through a thicket in pitch black dark.
Mark the truck before you head out and set the GPS to go back to the truck before you head out. This will tell you how far off the way point is.
Get familiar with your GPS and compass “before” you have to use it. Make sure you understand the difference between heading and bearing, and which one you need to set your compass to.
Learn how to set and read a compass.
If the GPS says you need a bearing of 130 degrees, would you know how to set the compass to 130 degrees in order to find your way to where you want to go?
One of the comments posted to my video about setting up a deer blind kinda struck me. The comment went something like setting up a deer blind was along the lines of deer camping and that I might as well be shooting deer on a deer farm.
I am going to guess that the person posting the comments has never had the opportunity to watch deer in its natural state?
It seems to me that people think deer hunting is easy, that you can sneak up on a deer, and you will have meat on the table. That is about as far from the truth as you can get.
If deer can stay away from natural predators, how does a city slicker think they can walk into the woods and find a deer?
A few weeks ago I bought a bone collector dog house blind from the local china-mart. This past saturday 2 of my sons and I went out to the lease, did some scouting and setup the blind. Rifle season here in Texas starts in 2 weeks. I am getting a late start on the season, but oh well, you do what you have to do.
We followed a creek until we found an oak tree that had a bunch of acorns on the ground and some rubs.
From the oak tree we moved to the north maybe 35 yards and setup the blind on the edge of some underbrush. There is a thicket with a lot of underbrush that opens up to the creek bottom and a pine tree clearing. The blind is setup on the edge.
Related forum section – Hunting Forum
The spot for the blind was picked for 3 reasons:
Water – Texas has been under a terrible drought, probably the worst drought in 50 years. Due to the drought a lot of creeks have dried up, that is why I paid special attention to water.
Food – Due to the drought, a lot of oak trees are stressed and seem to be dropping immature acorns. I was looking for an oak tree close to the creek that was dropping mature acorns. The acorns should attract squirrels, hogs and deer.
Deer sign – with several rubs in the area, I know there is a buck moving around. I did not find any scraps, so rubs will have to do.
Check out the deer camp and make sure no vandals have tore anything up during the off season. Sometimes people will go to the camp and mess with stuff. One year a couple of sets of antlers were stolen, another year a shed was broke into and a chainsaw was stolen.
Scout the area where you want to hunt. With the drought this year, any place there is a waterhole will probably be a good location. There is a creek on the lease that almost always has water in it. I am thinking about setting up a ground blind on a hill that overlooks part of that creek. With the drought in its current state, I suspect anything that lives in the woods will be gathering around creeks that have water.
Oak trees – I am wondering how the drought is going to affect this years acorn crop. The oak tree in my front yard is loaded with small acorns, but they are dropping before they are mature. Its like the oak tree is stressed under the current drought.
We 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 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.
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 […]
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 dont remember the exact make or model. After talking for a little while, the person who shot the 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.
I can say one thing about the doe that was being skinned, there was a massive amount of bruising, bleeding and tissue damage. It was like the whole area where the bullet went through had residual damage to the surrendering tissue.
The last day of deer season is tomorrow, and how I dread thee. Like the passing of dusk and dawn, from one day to the next, from spring to summer, from fall to winter, so deer season must also pass away. The does will venture to spring and have their fawns, and I hope to see next season.
Like all other things in life, so deer season has to come to an end. But regardless of the facts, its still a sad time of year.
This deer season has been a good one – my son got a nice 8 point whitetail that weighed in at 156 pounds and my kids and I made several trips to the lease. There was one evening my daughter and I were getting out of the stand, and the coyotes started howling. I thought it was a beautiful music to my ears, my daughter not so much.