Saturday, November 17, 2012

Open Season

It's the first day of Rifle Season here and the mountain is alive with Gunfire. In the short hour I was out on the hunt (between chores and stoking the home fires) I counted twenty shots and none were mine. I saw the same large doe I heard so many times before, just thirty or so yards off but no clear shot and I was downwind. I watched the ravens mostly. So many are around the farm and so fewer crows? They fly higher than crows and have a guttural Gruk Gruk Gruk sound. I said a little prayer out there that I'd be given a deer, but who knows what the Gods have in mind. I may get lucky this season, I may not. But regardless if venison I shot myself gets into my freezer—I will be living differently these next two weeks. With trucks parked all over the edges of the woods just outside my property that means a lot of people who do not know these woods or neighborhood are out excited with firearms. No riding Merlin, even on the road. I will be wearing blaze orange during chores. If I do get out on a serious stalk it'll be a weekday. I'm not dealing with weekend warriors from out of town. I want a deer but I alsow really have grown fond of my own chest cavity...

It was sure cold out there. Coming inside to the fifty-five degree house was Shangri-La. In a few moments both fires were blazing in my home's humble wood stoves and by the time the sun was halfway through its work the heat would be unbearable for me, somewhere close to seventy degrees. I run hot, as a rule, and like my home around the low sixties so a sweater is always welcomed indoors. I find this is often not the case for guests and so when I am hosting people for dinner I crank those stoves and get the house to hit the big 7-0 and sleep with a window open. To each their own.

This weekend marks the beginning of the holiday party season for me. The Washington County Draft Animal Association has a business meeting/turkey dinner/holiday gift swap I'll be attending. I'm also going to be the turkey's vallet since Patty and Mark (who can't go due to company staying with them for the weekend) are the ones preparing the bird and I will be picking it up as my date. I tried finding myself a companion for the party but had no luck. I guess it's hard for a girl to find a fellow the first weekend of deer hunting season. They already have their eyes on another kind of rack. Their focus is mighty.

Like I said, to each their own.

18 Comments:

OpenID vintageandhandcraftedinnovascotia said...

You're so right about weekend warriors during deer hunting season. The lie of the land adjacent to my home leads down watercourses that bring you to the roadside and very close to my house, if you do not know the area it's easy not to realize you are too close. I make sure that all the lights in my house are blazing at dawn and dusk, and stay inside!

November 17, 2012 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Eileen Hileman said...

Years ago growing up in Texas we would put bright orange paint on our pasture grazing cows because we lost a few to "weekend warriors" who couldn't tell the difference. I remember going out to pull clothes off the line (its still warm enough in Nov/Dec to hang clothes out to dry)and after getting it all down and in the house, finding a bullet hole through one of my Dad's shirts. My Dad was a hunter but even he was upset with how close to our house that bullet had come. And at least every other year we an animal either hit and killed or grazed deeply enough it required vet care. I kept my horse in barn because I was terrified I'd come out one morning and find him the victim of a misplaced shot. Hunting around farms requires special knowlege of the lay of the land and what other (domesticated) animals are around. Good luck getting your deer Jenna.

November 17, 2012 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Seth said...

It is a shame to see the inexperience and ignorance of some during the rifle season. I don't want to lump all rifle hunters into one mass of ignorant gun toting slobs, but, I think something is lost during the 9 days of gun season here in Nebraska. I myself, prefer the intimacy and challenge of the bow and arrow. Here's to venison with cranberry sauce and a fine dark beer!

Love your posts!

November 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Patterson said...

Still remember the "rare white deer" (goat) one hunter proudly brought out. Livestock and people are not safe around idiot hunters who don't know what their prey looks like and will fire at sound shots.

November 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

"Sure you can have your deer, lady--just let me get my saddle off it first!"

November 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Jenna, if you ever want to get your gun Cerakoted, if you'll send it to our gun repair shop in FL, I'll do it for free. Cerakote is a very durable, virtually rustproof coating. We do prolly 8-10 a month.

November 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Brittany said...

What is the legality of hunting so near residences? Do those people have permission to be on the land next to yours? How do you keep them off of your property? I'd like to move back to the country and have a wooded property, but I'm really worried about people trespassing on my land and/or getting shot by some idiot.

November 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Brittany said...

What is the legality of hunting so near residences? Do those people have permission to be on the land next to yours? How do you keep them off of your property? I'd like to move back to the country and have a wooded property, but I'm really worried about people trespassing on my land and/or getting shot by some idiot.

November 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Brittany said...

What is the legality of hunting so near residences? Do those people have permission to be on the land next to yours? How do you keep them off of your property? I'd like to move back to the country and have a wooded property, but I'm really worried about people trespassing on my land and/or getting shot by some idiot.

November 17, 2012 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

My husband has been hunting for 40 years and he and 3 friends have hunted on our property and abutting property for the last 3 days. Each day, deer were spotted but none of the hunters could get a clear shot so no venison stew here yet. But, gladly, there are no golden retrievers, chickens or hunters with holes in them either.
We host all hunters here for coffee & muffins or cranberry bread in the morning (before hunting) and sandwiches and/or beef stew or spaghetti with sausages at lunch. I always look forward to trying out my recipes on the guys and they are always appreciative of the tasty fare.
I will be glad when hunting season is over though ~ I worry about people and animals in the area getting hit by an errant bullet from an inexperienced or over-excited hunter.
Good luck, Jenna ~ let us know if you get the doe or maybe a buck. I'm hoping for lots of venison steaks, chops & stew meat this year (I don't think I'll get it unlss I buy it from a lucky hunter).

November 17, 2012 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger ican said...

Ugh, as one who owns 25 acres of mainly wooded land, I am not a fan of this weekend. We've got the property posted up and down, with one side butting right up to neighbors' yards. Unfortunately, we hadn't posted anything several years ago and some young hunter dropped a doe within 100 feet of the house on our property! We should have yanked his tags and called it in right there, but after a stern talking-to, we haven't seen him since.

It's a beautiful day here, sunny and 48*, but I'm afraid the dog and I are going to have to forego our walk...

Stay safe!

November 17, 2012 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger The Village Queen said...

Well I dont have to deal with errant hunters, just errant gang members! Its always gun season in a big city.
I like it cool too, this old place is a sive and hard to get to over 65 without costing an arm and a leg. So I rarely have it over 62. Just die in other peoples houses, no wonder everybody is so broke, its pretty wasteful to heat to 72-75, just unnecessary unless there are babies or old sick folks around.
Good luck staying safe! And hope you get a deer.

November 17, 2012 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger ican said...

@Brittany - here in NYS it's illegal to hunt within 500' of a residence, so with all the houses that our land abuts, no one should be hunting on our land ever. We've got it posted super-well, but I still don't trust the idiots...

November 17, 2012 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Rosie said...

Opening for gun here in Oklahoma too. Dog won't be allowed to go off leash and I worry about our cows. They are big tiger stripes and we have calves that are fawn colored. We also have black hided cattle and gray brahman, hopefully common sense will prevail.

The deer hang out in our pastures because of the mineral for the cows and we don't allow hunting, another reason the deer like it here.

November 17, 2012 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Kelly McMichael said...

lol! We started hunting season here in TX last weekend and expected to hear guns a blazing all weekend. It was oddly quiet. Only a few shots in the evening.

Interesting thing is: the week before season I saw more deer than I had in a month. Since then, I've not seen any. Smart little buggers!

Kelly at http://homestead101.wordpress.com

November 17, 2012 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger Wayne Jones said...

Keep moving for the next couple weeks. Remember it's hard to hit a moving target.

November 17, 2012 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

Here in NL, in some rural areas the most common sight is a pick up on the side of the road with 3 or 4 men sitting on top of a 24 case box ,... guns loaded and cocked ..ready to shoot ANYTHING that wanders out of the woods. Hardly anyone here wears blaze orange in the woods either, crazy IMHO since so many people here hunt.

Good luck with your deer. Hope you get her soon!

November 17, 2012 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Mind if I ask what rifle you are using? Still learning and deciding what to add to the toolkit.

November 20, 2012 at 8:29 PM  

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