Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: Whitetail Deer

Spreading oats and beans at the hunting lease

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.

Misconceptions in deer hunting

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?

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.

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.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018