About Post Oak

I am an avid Hunter and absolutely addicted to Turkey Hunting! I am a lifelong hunter of over 50 years and have been blessed to have taken hundreds of deer and turkey. I love the outdoor life!

Squirrel and Rabbit Season Starts Tomorrow!

 

Tomorrow is October 1st and it kicksoff the fall small game species hunting season across the state! Squirrel, Rabbit and other small game animals offer kids and us adults

A good 22 rifle and a river bottom can equal great squirrel hunting! ~postoak~

some golden opportunities to sharpen our predatory skills, gain a higher degree of expertise with our guns and hitting small targets in a moving environment. In other words, it is better than any video game and is a lot more fun!

And after the hunt, you get to enjoy the unique taste of fried squirrels and gravy, squirrel dumplings, stewed squirrels with rice and broth, squirrel dressing or any number of great recipes that use the nutritious and very low fat, all natural meat of the “Alabama Limb Chicken”.

The other small game favorite I enjoyed alot in my boyhood days was rabbits. To this day, nothing beats a nice big, “caine cutter” (RABBIT) back strap or hind leg that has been parboiled about 20 minutes, then flour coated and fried in hot peanut oil! My mother and grandmother both excelled at their ability to take rabbit preparation to the level of executive chef and beyond! The rabbits they cooked us were tender, and packed with the fresh flavor of the southern hard woods swamps where we hunted.

Most of them were prepared fresh. although mom frozen them often, wrapped in that white butcher paper and we used to get a happy smile when we saw rabbits thawing in the kichen sink or the refrigerator. Paired with sides of fluffy white rice or real mashed potatoes and always homemade broth based gravy. The meal was as lavish as any restaurant of the day. Mom would prepare it for dinner guest who sometimes thought it was fried chicken. We boys would often watch the face of an unsuspecting “city” guest for that “shock and awe” moment of delight when they chewed the bite and tried to decide if they should comment now or later. More than once, I heard a “grown-up” guest tell mother that was the best chicken they ever tasted and “wanted her recipe”. She would often laugh and reply “just start with a few fresh caine-cutters” and then they would laugh.

A doctor friend of my dad use to pay us boys to go “get him some rabbits” while he was visiting and mother would fry them up for the guys as they sat under the big red oak in our yard doing their best country music singer impressions and strumming guitars while the air filled with the heavenly smell of fried rabbits, fried squirrels, and sometimes a few fresh farm house chickens that I got to wring the neck on..

Eating the fried squirrels or rabbits is some of my favorite childhood memories. Hunting them in the oak flats between our home and the Black Warrior River. Other times we would track through the hills north of our home to find the big fox squirrels that inhabited the hickory hollows and red oak covered hills.

Take a kid squirrel hunting this week or this weekend! Make some hunting memories and harvest some of the finest eating you have ever tasted!

~POSTOAK~ OUT IN THE SQUIRREL WOODS!

 

Dove Action Slow. Owl Rescued. Squirrel Season Soon!

I hope some of you have had better success at finding doves to shoot at than I have. The two times I have got to go hunt, it was a whole lot of sitting in the Sun, having no fun. Very few birds and even way less in gun range. Oh well, Winn Dixie still had plenty of chicken wings so my grill got fired up anyway. I did have a co-worker tell me that he was on a hunt in Marengo county last Saturday where there were plenty of doves flying and they got a good bag of birds for their grill. Lucky fellows.

I did get a “bird” this morning however, My wife and I usually start each morning on the screened porch out back. Me with my coffee and her with her Dr. Pepper. This morning she made it out back earlier than me and she came running in to tell me a big hawk was hung up in the big oak tree that is on my neighbor’s side of the pond he and I share. I went out and found not a hawk, but an adult Barred Owl dangling by one wing. As I got closer, he started to struggle confirming my assessment that he was entangled by fishing line that hung down from the limbs in the old oak. Apparently someone with a bad cast had left the line hanging with a hook on the end. The owl had apparently flew into it sometime during the night and it hooked him on his left wing tip. I got my limb saw with the 10 foot extension on it and was able to reach out over the water far enough to grab the line and pull the worn out creature over to the bank. I handed the saw to my wife and took my fillet knife and was able to cut the line off his wing. He fell to the ground in a heap and just sat there looking exhausted. He sat out there for about an hour and if I approached him, he would snap his beak in loud clicks to let me know he would bite me if I got too close. He later was able to get air borne and he flew out in the woods behind the pond. I sure hope he recovers! Although I am most not an owl fan. I sure hated to see this one suffer a fate from fishing line! Be careful when fishing and dispose of your line, hooks and bait in a responsible way so no animals get trapped in the line and die a slow death!

Squirrel Season is fast approaching and if you have young hunters it is a great way to get them out for good hunting lessons in the early fall woods. A 410 shotgun is probably the best way to make the hunt an easy success, then as they get enough practice, switch them over to a 22 rifle for some fun that will make them forget those video games! My granddaughter  has gotten so good with a bb gun that I am going to take both the 410 and the 22 rifle for her to use as we chase some squirrels through the tree tops on our farm. Try it and take a kid! It is lots of fun! But, please respect the animal and eat what you shoot! Fried squirrels, Squirrel Stew, Squirrel dumplings, squirrel hash are all great outdoor dishes for making meals and memories with young hunters!

~postoak~

September is a Month of Many Outdoor Possibilities

Postoak with a September Pond F-7 Bass. Lots of Fun!

September  is one of my favorite months if for no other reason other than it is the end of summer!  Fishing of both the salt and fresh water varieties is entering a time where the fish are not hugging the bottom so far up under the brush that you can’t get a cast close to them in the freshwater. And the saltwater fish, especially the in-shore varieties such as speckled trout, are hungry, big and downright aggresive towards live shrimp or small sand fleas and other types of crustaceans floated in a free line fashion from a pier, dock, or boat drifting around in the Mobile Bay, Wolf Bay, or any one of the other small saltwater estuaries we are blessed with along the coast. Many of the summer tourist are gone, if you have to rent a hotel room, the rates have dropped a bit in many locations and perhaps best of all, the many great seafood restaurants are still serving up wonderful gulf seafood, you just don’t have to wait in line so long to be served! I love a September or October trip to the Alabama gulf coast for great fall fishing! There are more inshore guide services now than every and if you charter with most of them, you will not be sorry! They can take you to where the fish are and show you the secrets of getting them to bite!  A few I can recommend are Captain Mikes’ inshore fishing, Nelson’s inshore fishing and Backbay inshore fishing. Or if you prefer just click the link to visit for more info: http://www.inshorefishingalabama.com/

Pond or lake fishing for bass and bream is also great in September The bream and crappie seem to find their appetites again after the heat of summer subsides and you can find some great fishing ponds around central Alabama. Check the Bulletin Board and Craigslist Montgomery in the Sporting goods section for pay fishing lakes in the area. Also click here for more fishing guide info: http://www.fishingguidesworld.com/stats/make_stats/220

I love to fish for crappie and bass in September when I can find the time to get outdoors here in Central Alabama! Try it soon! And Take a kid fishing!

On the hunting front, dove season came in with a whisper and most of the hunters I check with for results said the opening weekend was completely underwhelming. I did not get a hunting opportunity  since the folks I normally hunt with cancelled their hunt due to a lack of doves flying the week before season opened. This Saturday morning, I plan to go set up feeders and trim bushes on my hunting place in Tuscaloosa County before the Alabama Florida game, then I am going to go to Bryant Denny and cheer for the Tide! The doves will just have to wait to the following weekend for me to fling some lead toward them! (if any show up)

Until next week, get out in our wonderful Central Alabama Outdoors and have some fun!

~POSTOAK~

 

 

 

The Fall Hunting Season is FINALLY Here!

The smile of a young hunter is one of the best reasons to hunt! Take a kid hunting! ~postoak~

The fall hunting season has finally arrived and the long hot summer dog days will soon be only a memory, I hope! Dove season started yesterday across the part of Alabama that most of us are in called the North Zone. The great news is that this year it will be TWENTY DAYS LONGER than previous seasons lasting into November 9th!

The season takes a break until December7th and then last all the way through December 31st!  This gives us all many more changes to sharpen our aim and also to hunt a mixed bag of Dove and Small game or Dove and Deer through until the end of the year. I love to start a fall Saturday from a tree stand at daylight and end it with laughter around a dove field cheering in between for my college team and razzing my buddies about theirs.

Dove shooting is the most social of all the fall hunting sports and can be done all hours of the day so even if you go to a football game, you can still have time to go shoot at some “birds” before or after, depending on kickoff time. One of the best shoots I was able to go on in the last four years  was on a Saturday when Alabama had an open date  and we had the opportunity to attend a Troy game that had an early kick. After the game, we went to a shoot in Brundidge that was “crazy-good”. I was given a spot on the “valley end” of a long hayfield down near a small pond that looked like a livestock pond but, there were no cattle left on the farm. It had been recently harvested and had the big round hay bales along terraces across the field. A good many oh the participants used the bales for cover and I had a prime spot in the bottom, between the pond and the woods.

The later part of the afternoon, a little past 4:00 doves started to show up in sufficient numbers to make the hunt start to get exciting. By 5:00, it sounded like a small war, with shouts, whooping, hollering and I was hearing about a half dozen shots every few seconds! Now that is when dove hunting is some of the most fun you can have!

There were probably 45 to 50 hunters on this shoot including probably more than a dozen kids. I am talking below 13, not teenage shooters, who can be as good or better than some of us adults. I am talking about kids from 7 to 12 and they were being introduced to the “magic” that is a great dove shoot. Squeals of laughter, fathers proclaiming “great shot son” (or daughter) and the excitement was almost breathable!

That is what good dove shoots can do. Make memories a father and son can share for the rest of their lives, indoctrination for kids into the brotherhood of the greatest sport of all, Hunting! 

When you go to the outdoors this fall, make it a point to take your kids or young relatives so they can experience the magic that is found in the dove fields of fall, the hardwoods chasing early season squirrels or a combination hunting and fishing trip to a local farm with a pond. They will remember the hunt and you long into the future!

TGIF  THANK GOD ITS FALL!!

NOW, GO ENJOY THE OUTDOORS!!

~POSTOAK~

Preparation is The Foundation For Success in Hunting

 

We are Getting the Buck Prepared! Are you getting Prepared for Hunting Season? Postoak.

This weekend I could be going fishing with friends, got an invite to go to the gulf for some off shore bottom fishing. Reluctantly, I turned it down. Got an offer of two free tickets to the Alabama game over at the Georgia Dome, very reluctantly turned those down. Got a request from my wife to go with her to west Alabama to see her dad, turned it down. I decided to get to the actual tasks I have around the house and even more, the tasks I need to do in preparation for the kick off of real important season to me and that is of course, HUNTING SEASON!!!

Admitedly, I am not a dove hunting fanatic, but, I plan to be ready next saturday with a well oiled and cleaned shotgun, back up shotgun, pistol (for plinkin) having fresh dove shells, my light weight camo cleaned and treated with tick repellant, dig out my early season boots, my dove stool and two camp chairs, 40 quart cooler, two caps and stuff I haven’t even thought of yet!

I also need to clean the carb on my four wheeler, drain out the old gas and stabil mix and make sure it is running sweet before I show up slowly rolling around the fields at our shoot in west Alabama next Saturday. Dove shoots are some of the most fun hunting, sporting, shooting, socializing, networking, events in all of our fall events. I have had planned meetings and chance meetings around the dove fields that led to hunt offers later in the fall for deer, offers for Bama tickets, gun trades, business trades, and even a great deal on an antique jeep!

Dove “Shoots” are great events to get to know many other sportsmen and sports women who are ready to have a good time and share it with others. I have had so many hunts where it was almost like a reunion, seeing  old friends and even a few cousins that I had not seen in years! Sitting on, and standing around tailgates on pickups under the shade of old oak tree next to a well prepared plowed or cut dove field, enjoying time in the field!

The doves you actually take are just a delicacy and part of the well planned evening meal at the camphouse watching football games and cheering on your favorite team as they beat the tar out of some early season “lesser team”..  I have found I can even smile and be happy for those buddies of mine who yell War Eagle when we are watching or listening to their team. Just don’t expect me to say that. That is something I am never prepared to do!

This weekend, I am waxing my bow string, swabbing out the barrels on my guns, checking and rechecking all my gear, eventhough I have done that before I put it away in May. It is my way of enjoying getting ready for the Kickoff! of Hunting Season!

Good luck with your preparation, may it lead you to hunting success!

~POSTOAK~

Buckmasters, Fabulous Once Again!

 

 

Fall Hunting Season, Are You Ready? I AM! ~postoak~

The 2014 Buckmasters Deer Expo has of course come and gone but, not before I got to make a trip through all the exhibits on Friday night and again on Saturday. What an event! I go to several different hunting shows each year but, none I like better than Montgomery’s own Buckmasters Expo!

I Found some neat camo gear, Enjoyed watching the indoor Bow shooting and added to my turkey call collection. I also found a very nice and very safe lock on tree stand by a guy named James Boekeloo. He has a locking stand that he markets under the name LOCKJAWZ and it is really innovative in the way it clamps to the tree. IT will clamp to trees from small to over 30 inches and it is made of a light and quiet composite that is rock solid! For more info on this new type of lock on stand, contact jimmyboek@hotmail.com or call him at 1-815-878-5469.

If you are calendar watching like me for fall season dates, September 6th is the opening day of the Alabama dove season and that is only two weeks from this coming Saturday! I really do love the dove season since it signals the start of the various hunting seasons and  dove hunting is such a social event. I get to see folks I have not seen since last dove season or even two seasons ago, so the social aspect is very appealing. Last year, in early September, I found myself in ICU for an extended period and did not get to make many doves shoots, so I am really ready to burn some powder on those little gray streakers of the early autumn skies! for more information about the upcoming Alabama dove season please visit the ALDCNR website. I have also included information about the upcoming youth dove hunts, designed to give our youngsters a great dove hunting experience! http://outdooralabama.com/2014-youth-dove-hunts

For all the season dates and bag limits, click here - http://www.outdooralabama.com/season-and-bag-limits  and be sure you have a valid license and know all the rules and requirements for meeting the legal status of a hunter by visiting the licenses section – http://www.outdooralabama.com/alabama-license-information

Hope you find a good place to hunt this fall and I will post additional hunting opportunites here on my next blog. If you have a question about hunting in Alabama or about hunting in general, just drop me an email to postoakman@gmail.com

Get Ready! it will soon be time to pull that trigger!!

~Postoak~ 

Buckmasters Expo is This Saturday!

AWF Fishing Rodeo, Catching some Big ones! ~postoak~

This weekend is one that I wait for all year long! The annual Buckmasters Deer Expo will have Montgomery’s downtown jumping and I will certainly be in the crowd on Friday and Saturday to take in the many exhibits and events offered for a broad spectrum of us deer hunters, turkey hunters and outdoor enthusiast. Celebrities of the hunting shows, vendors from across America, The top indoor Bow shooting competition are just a few of the highlights as we get the start of 2014 fall hunting season kicked off! There will be special events for the kids and a archery contest for the ladies. All this and tons more for an admission price of just a can of food to donate to the Montgomery area food bank! Folks this is the big one! the best deer show around and it is right in our town! put on your camo or your shorts and tees and come enjoy a Montgomery tradition! want more info? just click here –) http://www.buckmasters.com/resources/expo.aspx

Last weekend the AWF hosted it’s annual wild game cook off at Lanark as well the the Youth Fishing Rodeo the morning before the cookoff. Kids from around the area got to fish in the well stocked catfish pond at Lanark and it was a great event once again!

More than 225 young people were on hand for a fun filled morning of fishing at Lanark, the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s (AWF) headquarters in Millbrook Saturday, August 9, from 7-11 a.m.  The day was packed with excitement as children honed their angling skills while catching over 450 pounds of catfish in one of Lanark’s ponds.  Each child got to take up to five fish home with them at the end of the day, and all participants received free tee shirts, and complimentary snacks and drinks.  Many of the participants won door prizes as well. Seven year old Kelsie Ledbetter, who was fishing with her three year old brother, Hunter stated in a very excited voice, “Look, I got a really big one!” This is the 12th year for this event and AWF looks forward to hosting many more youth events like this one at Lanark.  “We can’t wait to do it again”, explained Elizabeth Johnson, Alabama Nature Center Education Coordinator, “Our goal is to instill a lifelong love of fishing and the outdoors in our young people.”
This event was sponsored by: City of Millbrook, Prattville Wal-Mart, Allen & Pat Foster, Millbrook Area Chamber of Commerce, First Community Bank of Central Alabama, Millbrook Men’s Club, Millbrook-Coosada Kiwanis Club, Bass Pro Shops, Reddy Ice, Courtesy E-Z Go, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Food Outlet, Plano Synergy, Front Porch Grill, Academy Sports & Outdoors and Alabama Dumpster.

This event was followed by the AWF State finals on Saturday night.Swine-N-Wine, Dirty Quail in Gumbo Broth and Mad at Gator were just some of the tasty dishes served up to around 325 people found at the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s (AWF) Wild Game Cook-Off State Finals held at AWF’s headquarters in Millbrook Saturday, August 9.  This championship event is a combination of winners from the over 300 cook teams from regional events held throughout the year.  Eleven teams were there to win the coveted State Champion Title, not to mention the $1,000 grand prize that goes along with it! The judges, Major Todd Wheeler of Alabama Army National Guard; Sean Johnson, Central Alabama Area President of Regions Bank; Chuck Sikes, Director of the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Tina Denton, Co-Manager of Clanton Walmart had a tough time, but in the end winners from the Lake Martin Cook-Off, Chonita’s Cookers placed first with their delicious Big Buck Flatbread Pizza. The team also took home the Best Presentation Award. Severa and Mark McGrady, Angel and Joey Davis, Jasmine Uribe and Braden Welcher made up team the winning team. Sean Johnson stated, “the quality of food was outstanding and well above all of my expectations. I am certainly not a wild game connoisseur, but the taste, presentation and overall caliber of food was unbelievable.” Second Place Winner, People’s Choice Award and Best Presentation Runner-Up Award from the Covington County Cook-Off, Team Massey including Gary Musgrove, Jeff Owens, Johnny Duggan and Chris Little placed with their delicious Swine-N-Wine. First South Farm Credit of the Limestone County Cook-Off, including Grant Bennett, Randy Allen, Jeff Ferguson and Mike Besh took home Third Place for their delectable Dirty Quail Gumbo Broth. In addition to the great food, there was a silent auction, raffle and entertainment provided by Michael Rhodes.

Great events like these help us hunters to bridge the gap to the fall hunting season across this long hot Alabama Summer!

~postoak~

August is a Long Month! Some Events to Help it Seem Shorter!

Lanark and a fishing pole! A good time coming up this Saturday in Millbrook!

August! And thank God we have finally made it to the last of the true summer heat months! I am so ready for fall that I have found myself actually dreaming about several past hunting seasons and some of the successes I enjoyed. I am ready to do more than dream though, and I hope you can do more than that too!

Here are a few of the events coming in August that might just help you make it through to September dove season!

12th Annual Youth Fishing Rodeo Is coming to Lanark in Millbrook on August the 9th, that is this Saturday morning folks! This is a great family day close to home! Below is the info;
Time is 7:00 am – 11:00 am The rodeo is open to anyone age 15 and under. Admission is free, however, participants are asked to pre-register as space is limited and all youth must be accompanied by an adult. Each young angler will receive a t-shirt and will be eligible for door prizes. Snacks and drinks will also be available. In addition, each participant may take home five catfish each, but may catch and release all they would like. Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment and bait, though a limited number of loaner rods and reels and some bait will be available on site. Call AWF at 334-285-4550 and register today!
This Saturday Night the Winning Wild Game Cook Teams from thirteen competitions across the state will battle it out for a $1000 first prize and bragging rights to the title Alabama Wildlife Federation-Alabama Army National Guard Wild Game Cook-Off State Champion at Lanark Pavilion in Millbrook. The festivities kick off at 5:30 p.m. and, in addition to the outstanding cuisine, there will be a silent auction, raffle and musical entertainment. The Alabama Army National Guard will also be sponsoring a “People’s Choice Award” which is voted on by the people in attendance.
BUCKMASTER WORLD DEER EXPO IS COMING TO MONTGOMERY AUGUST 16,17,18  As most of you know, there is no better outdoor hunting show and sale anywhere in the world and we are just lucky enough that it happens in our own home town, Montgomery! This is an event you do not want to miss! Seee more details at the Expo’s web site – http://www.buckmasters.com/resources/expo.aspx

2014 Top Bow Details Announced AT BUCKMASTERS EXPO.

The Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Championship format has been set for 2014! Building on the huge success of last year’s changes, this promises to be the most exciting Top Bow event ever.Like last year, the qualifiers and championship will be held at one event, the 2014 Buckmasters Expo, Aug. 14-17. What that means for shooters is there’s only one event to travel to, and just one entry fee.

“The shooters really liked the new format last year,” said “Big” Mike Foster, Top Bow official and rangemaster for the event. “It’s a big expense for them to have to travel and stay away from home for several days, so consolidating the qualifiers and championship into one big event really helps.”Also popular last year was the new payout format that awarded cash down to 20th place. “We had only paid down to 10th place before,” Foster said. “The new prize structure makes it a lot more fun and adds excitement and incentive throughout the field. Not everybody is a professional shooter, and the new prize system gives everyone a chance to win some cash.”

The Buckmasters Top Bow World Championship is the highest-paying single event in competitive archery. It is designed to simulate whitetail hunting, and shooters must hit the vitals (and the Buckmasters impact-sensitive pad) on 3-D deer targets to score a hit. Shooters never know where or when a possible target will pop up, and only bucks count for points. The field is limited to the first 70 shooters who sign up, although there is a waiting list for those who wish to shoot should anyone drop out before the event.

“This is like their Daytona 500,” Foster said of the competitors. “The Top Bow Championship is the biggest prize in shooting, and it’s a four-day competition that leads up to the big finish on Sunday. It’s great entertainment for the audience, as well. They get to see some of the best archers in the world, and the finals are pretty exciting with all the lights and music.”Entry fee for competitors is still $450, and there is no additional fee if you move on to the World Championship. Spectators are admitted free once inside the Buckmasters Expo.

The Road to the Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Championship

* 70 archers, 35 in Pool A and 35 in Pool B, compete in one of the two qualifiers, held simultaneously. * 24 shooters (12 from each Pool) from the qualifiers advance to the World Championships. * The field of 70 is cut to 36. * The field of 36 is cut to 24. * The field of 24 is cut to 12. * The field of 12 is cut to 8. * Shooting switches to head-to-head format. * Field is cut to 4. * Semi-Finals. * Finals.

2014 Buckmasters Top Bow Prize List Below: Qualifiers Pool A winner — $1,000 Pool B winner — $1,000 World Championship Winner$15,000 2nd through 20th cash prizes determined by % of entry fee collection. 100% of entry fees are given out as prize money. *Bonus: Dan C. Bussey High Score Award presented by Wellington Outdoors, $750.00. This prize goes to the highest overall score in the World Championships.

Hope these events will help you survive August and be ready for some Dove shooting in September!

POSTOAK

Side One & The Stand Stealer

 

This is a buck named "side-one" a memorable buck I took in the mid 80's ~PostOak~

One of my favorite things to help me through the summer is to replay some of my old hunts in my mind. I wish I had owned a video camera back in the 80s but, they were too big and mainly too expensive for me to consider. Yesterday I had a MONDAY and it seemed that most of the clients I spoke with were angry, stupid or both. By the time I got home I knew a “Tang & Tonic” was over-due, so I poured one up and settled in to my screen porch chair to “think of better things than work”.

As I walked through my den, my gaze rested on a buck I have mounted there, along with several others, and I thought about the hunt that resulted in his being there and how angry I was that afternoon but, things did not turn out so bad.

We had nick-named the buck “Side-one” since he had a very nice rack on the right side but his left side rack was stunted and deformed. He had eluded us for several seasons and we never saw him in the daylight after bow season. Even in bow season he had managed to be wary enough to stay out of range and then he went nocturnal all through gun season. He was an old, wise buck and even with the rack anomoly we all sought him as a good buck to “take out”. A couple of the guys on the lease with me said he was a cull buck and I told them I would cull him right up on my wall if given the chance. But, he was a sly old swamp donkey and the trail cameras were the only way we knew he was still around. Even then, most of the photos were time stamped from 10 p.m. to around 3 a.m. We even had a few “man-drives” through some of the bedding areas on the place  that resulted in a couple of other bucks getting whacked but, old “side-one” was never spotted.

I took a few days off for Christmas and drove up to Tuscaloosa from my home in Mobile to hunt the rut that generally peaks around Christmas week over in south Tuscaloosa county where we had the hunting lease. I hunted on the “river tract” the first day from dawn until dusk. I saw good rut activity and had numerous opportunities for some young rack bucks but, no shooters came through. The next day was Christmas Eve and it was cold, clear and all I could ask for in a nice winter day. I sat the morning hunt in a ground blind out near a spot we called the “duck slough” since it often flooded in the winter and attracted a good number of the local wood duck population. It is a beautiful swamp with just enough elevation around it to for a great hardwood stand of old growth trees that looked like a hunting paradise, and it was! Still no shooter! lots of rutn and running and it was fun but, I moved on.

Christmas Eve afternoon, I signed out for stand # 6 that was located near where the property corners next  to a “pay hunt” operation and they had a stand so close to the property line, if they put a hunter in it I could not hunt there and feel like I was isolated enough. I slipped into the woods about 2 p.m and walked the trail to my ladder stand location but, when I got there, it was gone! I was fighting mad! my afternoon hunt was ruined and my ladder stand was stolen!  I walked on over to the property line and walked up on a hunter in one of those orange jump suits just over the property line sitting in a ladder stand but, it was not mine.

Frustrated, I turned and walked about 200 yards to a small clover field and decided to sit on the ground and hunt the field. I found a good brush pile to hide in and the wind was right so I doused myself with a little extra “Earth scent” for cover and got in hunting mode even as I fumed about my stolen stand. A little after 3:30 I saw the movement of deer coming to the clover patch and a nice herd of does and yearlings piled into the field and attacked the clover. I watched them until 5:10 and other deer had come and gone but, no bucks. Then, one of the does looked into the woods and literally pranced toward the woodline, then turned and bounced back to the clover but, she was not feeding, I believe she was flirting! And that did the trick! Old “side-one” walked up to the far end of the clover patch and stood there for several minutes, then started that “rut walk” posturing and his hair was standing up on his back like he was going to fight! I did not see any other bucks and thought his actions odd, then he just trotted on out and went to the does rear for a whiff of “love potion number hind”  He had an actual smile on his face when the 150 grain 30-06 ended the affair!  Actually not a bad way to go if you think about it!  The big buck weighed 245 lbs and was a 5 and half year old buck.

He died with a smile on his face so actually that is not a bad way to go!

~Postoak~ Dreaming about deer season!

Respect The Animals You Take!

Respect your game. This nice Venison makes great meals! Use it wisely and completely! ~postoak~

This is the time of year when the wait for fall hunting season is almost unbearable so I use different strategies to get through it.

One such strategy that is a good money saver and  provides some great summer suppers… and breakfasts is to make sure that I use the venison from last season before this season arrives. I cook the steaks in the traditional skillet fry method, bake them in the oven with olive oil and rosemary, grill them with garlic and “Dales” sauce, cook whole hams or roasts on my electric smoker with hickory chips, make fajitas, pepper steaks, you name and the venison steaks work well in it. Ground deer has an almost endless list of recipes, is almost 100% lean since I make sure my processor adds zero fat. It is organic, tastes great and makes me feel like I have taken care of the animal in a way that my hunting ancestors would be proud of!

My granddad, my dad, and all the adults who influenced my hunting philosophies were serious about respecting the animals you take in the wild. They were just as serious about the use of our farm animals. And I understood that since they were our possessions, that money was invested in so you wanted to use all of the feeder pig or the feeder calf or the chickens from our coop.

However, the transfer of that to wild game was a bit more difficult for us kids to understand. I might come home with only one squirrel and it would have been my preference to toss it to the dogs, who would have been glad to “take care of it”. A single small game animal such as a squirrel, small rabbit, coon or a single quail did not offer much meat and as such, we often considered and even a few times did, give them to the dogs instead of making the effort to clean and prepare them as food for the table.

But, my daddy better not catch me doing that! He would ban me from hunting for 2 weeks after he whipped my rear with a belt! I used to think he was crazy, but the more I grew, I came to understand that disrespecting the game was a terrible sin and a terrible waste. During earlier times, a single squirrel, rabbit, coon or even a quail made the difference in him and his siblings having anything to eat. He said that people did not deserve to kill any animal they were not going to eat. He told me about his great grandmother “Granny Randolph” who was half Cherokee and how she taught all the kids many of the native American ways for gathering food, herbs and medicines from the woods. One of the biggest lessons was respect for all other animals and that everything is worthy of respect, even after it is killed. We considered lots of it as old superstitions but, as we aged we learned it was something else, wisdom.

It is wise to not waste, wise to be frugal and wise to value the gifts we get from the woods and fields. After all, I figure the venison I have in my freezer probably has an aggregated cost over $100.dollars a pound so I need to eat it instead of that pitiful $8.00 a pound T-bone!

I recently cleaned out a second refrigerator we has outside in the garage, like many people have, so I could give it to a friend for his kid in college. We used it mostly for sodas and beer and summer produce. What I did not realize was that I had stuck a whole wild turkey breast in the freezer behind some wurkey wing feathers and a couple of turkey fans that I was going to preserve. I was very upset with myself since I was the one guilty of putting it there and not taking care to get it in the freezer and stored properly to prevent the freezer burn that I saw had ruined it. I love wild turkey breast and was ticked at myself for this waste of a noble bird.

Repect the game you take and use it for good meals and great nourishment for you and your family. To not respect it and not use it wisely is a real shame!

~postoak~