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Hunting [Nov. 23rd, 2009|02:13 pm]
[Current Mood |awake]

Squick warning for the anti-hunting contingent: this is about killing a deer.

We have 80 acres in an area with a serious overpopulation of white-tail deer. Good management requires controlling population to protect the resource--their food supply. Thus, we gave two people permission to hunt on our land, with all kinds of restrictions which they cheerfully accepted. One is a neighbor; the other lives across the county and his ranch has no deer habitat. We definitely do, as the abundance of tracks shows.

Well, our neighbor-hunter bagged a big doe that we've all seen for several years. Nice clean shot, early morning, down by the secondary drainage. He brought us some breakfast sausage therefrom. He is going to try for another one, as we could stand to lose 2-4 does this year. More will move in, but we need to keep the numbers to what the land will stand.

He told us that there are a lot of wild hogs (non-native and a serious pest) up on the Lampasas, about 12 miles north. We agreed that we'll both be watching for hog sign and that aggressive hunting will take place if they move in. The last thing I want is a feral sow farrowing in the creek woods...we'd lose half the resource in a year. (Wild hog behaviors increase erosion, damage vegetation, and make wandering in the woods unsafe for the person who isn't alert and prepared to shoot. I've been chased by a domestic sow with piglets--don't want that in my woods.)


[User Picture]From: lillian13
2009-11-23 08:17 pm (UTC)
Javelinas are just about the only wildlife that will send me up the nearest tree, screeching like my monkey ancestors. They are scary!

Mmmmm. Venison sausage. I envy you.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-11-24 05:53 am (UTC)
I'm not as afraid of javelinas as I am of wild hogs--the hogs are a lot bigger.
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[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2009-11-23 08:19 pm (UTC)
Mmmm... venison sausage is one of my favorites.

Good land management doesn't mix with being the wildlife equivalent of the crazy cat lady. Much as it would be wonderful to let them live out their natural lives without interference, a nice clean shot beats starvation and disease every day.
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[User Picture]From: the_blue_fenix
2009-11-23 08:21 pm (UTC)
Javelinas or feral pigs? We get both around here (Waxahachie). There's a hog guy who traps them for free and sells them for meat, probably a similar option in your area if you wanted to go that route.

TBF, who handled a nekkid raw pot roast out of a package today.

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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-11-24 05:54 am (UTC)
Feral hogs that are probably mixed blood with Eurasian wild boars--escaped from game ranches. That's what TPWD says is running around and expanding its range. I'd like to klonk the idjits who imported wild boars for the fun of shooting them.
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[User Picture]From: green_knight
2009-11-23 08:40 pm (UTC)
I have no problems with this kind of hunting. You're approaching it from a land management point of view, you vet the people who will be waving guns around on your land, they take the animal and turn them into food. Since your habitat won't support an appropriate predator, you have to give mother nature a hand.

I do have a problem with people who hunt for fun. I have a problem with people who are afraid to enter their own land during hunting season because of yahoos, I have a problem with people who feed deer trying to create trophy animals for people to shoot for big bucks, which tends to leave forests in poor shape and hopelessly overstocked; and doesn't cull the animals that need culling. Etc etc.
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[User Picture]From: litch
2009-11-24 01:17 am (UTC)
people who hunt for fun

Care to expand on what you mean? Because as stated it seems pretty... unrealistic I guess. Hunting is a deep atavistic thrill, those front teeth you got didn't just happen accidentally. I am sure there are people who don't find hunting fun, there are people who don't like a lot of things that seem evolutionarily hard wired into the rest of us. But I think it is a vanishingly small minority.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-11-24 06:07 am (UTC)
Hunting thrills some, but not all, hunters. My great-grandfather and grandfather were very matter-of-fact about it--game was food, in a time when it was cheaper to buy one round of ammo at a time and bag Sunday dinner with it. I suspect that a lot of modern ideas about atavistic thrills derive from not living in a natural environment most of the time. (My first birds were thrilling. Then they weren't. Why I don't bird-hunt anymore, besides the fact that there's not much meat on a dove.) My thrill now comes from seeing wildlife "at home"...watching them, learning more and more about their habits, becoming still better at reading sign, etc. It's not that I won't kill (after all, we kill most of the meat we eat) but that killing wildlife doesn't give me more thrill than I get from observing them without killing. (Killing non-native invaders, though...yeah. C'mon, pigs, just show yourselves...)

For me it's kind of like sodas. For years I drank lots of soda, mostly Coca Cola. Then I realized that what I liked was the fizz, not the flavor...and I really couldn't stand the diet kind. So I quit drinking regular sodas, and now drink club soda or selzer water, because I get the fizz, which is the part I wanted, and nothing else.

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[User Picture]From: cdozo
2009-11-24 02:08 pm (UTC)
It's like thinking that you get a thrill every time you go to the grocery store.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-11-24 05:58 am (UTC)
I grew up among meat hunters, not sport or trophy hunters, and those men had a contempt for trophy hunters.

I don't have any problem with people afraid to enter their own land, unless they leased it to yahoos...the yahoos are there, and people get killed by them. It's prudent to recognize that yahoos exist and might be hunting on a neighboring place with or without permission. I don't go across the creek on the first two weekends of deer season, just in case. People have been shot in their own driveways and yards (not around here, but in the East) or while riding horses (yeah, right, a person on a horse looked *just* like a deer!)
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[User Picture]From: jon_d_r
2009-11-24 11:38 pm (UTC)
I was at a friends house south of Albuquerque one morning having coffee when some bird season was going to start at sunrise. Still dark, a shotgun blast went over the house and a bird fell in the yard. We waited for the hunter to move in then the Fish & Game officer having coffee with us went out to have a talk. Priceless.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-11-25 03:04 am (UTC)
Oooh, yes. Nothing makes a game warden as happy as bagging one like that...

Though I have to say that listening to one of my mother's friends reminisce about her childhood as the daughter of a poaching father who taught her to poach...this was during the Depression...gave me a different view of the subject. My mother had told me "They were one of the few families that always had meat, and they welcomed anyone to the table but the game warden." Even later, when times got better, everyone knew that her dad just could not get along without venison out of season. But the pleasant, hospitable elderly lady just did not seem the type...until she started telling me some of the stories.
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[User Picture]From: mouser
2009-11-23 09:16 pm (UTC)
I am, of course, very offended by this post since it's obviously meant to taunt me with my lack of deer meat.

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[User Picture]From: keristor
2009-11-23 10:12 pm (UTC)
Yes, me too. I don't remember when I last had venison, let alone fresh venison. Hmm, now if I can find which of our local butchers does venison sausages now I might just indulge next weekend...
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[User Picture]From: alexandralynch
2009-11-23 10:36 pm (UTC)
I shall helpfully taunt you with the elk farm just north of us where I can get delicious venison any time I like.

I use it in my meatloaf.
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From: (Anonymous)
2009-11-24 02:15 pm (UTC)


I'm with Mouser -- I want some vension too.

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[User Picture]From: mrs_redboots
2009-11-23 10:07 pm (UTC)
Do your hunters gralloch the deer on the spot, like they do in Scotland? I was watching a wildlife programme last week and they said that the golden eagles, in Scotland, had learnt to follow the hunters as they knew they would get a meal when the beast had been gralloched.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-11-25 02:58 am (UTC)
If "gralloched" means field=dressed, then yes, if they're a long way from transport, and sometimes not, if not. John, who owns the ranch where our cattle are pastured, told me about hunting as a teenager on his uncle's ranch, when he might be out on the back side of the place, several miles from the house (or a road.) The deer in that part of Texas are larger and heavier, so he'd gut it, skin out the legs from the hooves to the hocks and knees, cut off those lower legs, and use the hide strips to tie front and back legs together, making a sort of sling and then hike back with about 90 pounds of deer on his back.

The really stupid sport/trophy hunter types have been known to drive around with an ungutted deer displayed on the hood of their vehicle...which in many parts of Texas may be quite warm already, and engine heat on an ungutted deer does nothing for the quality of the meat. The disgusting ones skin it roadside, leaving everything for the vultures and coyotes, and drive off with the cape and rack. That's not quite as common as it was when I was a kid. We got trophy hunters into south Texas for really big white-tails and let's just way the locals--who were all meat hunters (some of them poachers, but none would waste good venison) were not thrilled by trophy hunter attitudes. The posh hunting ranches now manage their trophy hunters firmly, so you don't see the idiocy you used to--they have staff to collect the carcasses and some of them even have taxidermy services on the place. Meat hunters, I can tell by my neighbor, have the same neat and tidy approach they used to have, and use every scrap.
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From: otterb
2009-11-24 12:53 pm (UTC)
You've reminded me of my younger days in Texas, when the extended-family Thanksgiving spread invariably included smoked venison provided by my uncle and cousin. Sigh...
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-11-25 02:59 am (UTC)
Venison chili. Not ground, cut into those thin strips...cooked down into the broth...
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[User Picture]From: dunkelza
2009-11-24 03:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I remember the hog problem at Camp Dierks. They can be a big issue if left unchecked.

How was the sausage?
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-11-24 06:51 pm (UTC)
Haven't eaten it yet. This morning was a scramble to go over to the ranch before John left, to pick up ground meat from the Big Bull, come back, and rearrange the freezer so that the old meat was on top and the new meat in the bottom. I had half a bowl of cereal for breakfast and now I'm hungry...

And there's a forequarter of lamb in the oven...
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