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.

If there is one thing that has me concerned about the 2011-2012 hunting season, it has to be the Texas drought we have been experiencing for at least the past 2 years. The drought is so bad, I was wondering if the oak trees were even going to have acorns this year.

Yesterday my wife pointed out that the water oak in front of my house has baby acorns on it – much to my surprise. This is a good sign, the water oak in front of my house has sprouted thousands of small acorns.

But, this is an older tree, maybe close to 60 or 75 years old. I do not know how the younger trees are doing.  In 2010 a willow tree in the back yard died because of last years drought.  So I am sure that the trees are still stressed.

In the past 2 weeks we have gotten more rain then in the last 6 months.  Maybe the recent rain helped the oak trees start their acorn production?  If that is the case, will we get enough rain for the acorns to mature.  Only time will tell.  I was wondering if the oak trees were going to sprout acorns at all this year due to the drought.  We have acorns, now if they will just make something.

For those of you that do not know what this means, Texas has been under a very bad drought for the past 2 years. We are probably 3 or 4 feet below normal rainfall in the pact 2 years.

Its so bad, Lake Sam Rayburn is about 9 feet below normal.

But then again, if the acorns do not make very well this year, maybe the deer will bunch up around other food sources.

Corn prices

The local wal-mart go their deer corn in last week, its almost $9 a bag.  I wonder if this is just early season price gouging, or if the price of corn has “really”  gone up due to the widespread drought?

At $9 a bag there is no way I am going to be able to afford to have a feeder going.  If prices stay like that, I will just have to set a ground blind up next to a creek bottom and play the waiting game.

Hunting gear

This deer season, I am thinking about adding a 5 gallon bucket and a boat cushion to my gear list.  I can store some snacks and water in the bucket, go into the woods, pick me out a spot overlooking a creek and have a seat.  There is one spot that I have in mind between 2 hills that overlooks a nice stream.  With oak trees all around there is plenty of food for the deer and hogs.

Last year when I went down into that same creek bottom, I saw all kinds of hog tracks.  Maybe I should go back there this year and see what I can get.