Deer Season is OVER! Too Soon For Sure!

Nice November Buck from the BlackBelt!

The season has once again closed quickly and if you didn’t fill your freezer then you will just have to “Eat More Beef” like the cattleman’s association says. The season for me was just a blur since I was sick from September until December and just did not feel like hunting as much as I normally do each year. While I did get out to hunt a few times, it was a struggle and I did not really feel like hunting as hard as I am accustom to at anytime this season. I did enjoy hunting this season with my nephews and especially my granddaughter who has picked up the buck fever with the gusto and determination that we all remember from our childhood hunting days. I bought her an archery set for her birthday and a new turkey caller so she has shifted her focus to target practice and turkey calling practice. I plan to make a few squirrel hunting trips in February and hope to bag a rabbit or two. But, I will quickly be drawn into preparation for my very favorite season, Spring Gobbler hunting! I will hold off on that for a little while longer though.

I did get some great deer pictures this past season from various readers around the state and hope you enjoy looking at the deer taken by some lucky Alabama Hunters this past season.

He knew it was over! He is safe until next fall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two big Bucks taken near Oneonta recently!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bruiser from East Alabama Taken recently!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe you Missed! Maybe not! Look at the hole in this one that is walking around!

 

Hope you enjoyed the deer pictures! Lots of big deer were taken in Alabama this year! Hope you got yours! Or at least a doe or two for the freezer!

Until next week, POSTOAK out….doors..

Deer Season Over Soon! Did you Get Your Buck?

Did you get your Buck this season? Wilson Murphy of Prattville sure got his! a nice 7 pointer that weighed over 200lbs! ~postoak~

This weekend is the last of the season and like most folks, I am not ready for it to end! A major illness kept me out of the woods as much as I would have liked and with the Christmas committments we all make to family and church, the time has just rolled on by! Hopefully, lots of you have your freezers filled with fresh venison and are ready to move on to our February hunting seasons of small game, which is very entertaining hunting and can provide some very fine winter meal starters.

Squirrel hunting in February is fantastic. The trees are bare and the bushy tails are much easier to spot,stalk and shoot! This past weekend I walked the perimeter road on the lower end of a tract we hunt in Tuscaloosa near the Black Warrior river, As I slowly stalked along the trail looking at the activity on the many scrapes along the way, most of which were showing the rut is mostly over in that area. I noticed the squirrels were in a very active feeding mode and I saw no less than 25 to 30 at various locations along the two miles of trail. I have seen this type of activity many times through the years but, this was happening from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on a bright sunny day! I found myself wishing I had my Remington 22 rifle instead of the 30-06 I was toting.

These squirrels seemed as brazen as the ones on that commercial that attack the guy in the park! They would sit on limbs or hang off the sides of trees, barking and shaking their tails in protest as they watched me go by. It was great! I stopped several times and chatted out some squirrel barks and whines and that really set them off! Squirrels cames out of hiding to join in the cacaphony and they seemed to cheer when I walked on, like they had succeeded in driving some big predator away! But, this big predator will return in a couple of weeks with that 22 rifle and silence a few of the squirrels. I can taste that fried squirrel and gravy already!

I finally stalked on around to my chosen deer stand and after placing a couple of Tink’s scent bombs in some limbs near the stand and I got settled in for the hunt. From 3:00 until 4:30 there was not a deer on the field. Then the does came piling out of the pine thicket until 12 of them were out in the green field over to my right, about 20 minutes later they were joined by a young spike. Then, they all paused feeding and looked back toward the thicket and I thought, now, here comes that “wall hanger” but, out stepped a nice 8 pointer who was clearly a young buck. He was a very nice young buck but, not the kind we shoot so I just enjoyed the rest of the hunt in a great stand at a beautiful place. That was a nice hunt! I love to just sit and enjoy the act of hunting sometimes without taking an animal, just soaking up the solitude of the great Alabama we all love so much!

Other activities to check out in outdoor news for our area! ALABAMA BLACKBELT ADVENTURES HAS SEVERAL INTERESTING ITEMS -JUST CLICK IT!  http://www.alabamablackbeltadventures.org/about/our-monthly-newsletter

My good friends at the ALABAMA WILDLIFE FEDERATION  have some wonderful family centered activities coming to Lanark in Millbrook! Check out the info for more details!

Make Plans to Come Run Wild at the Critter Crawl Get ready to run, walk or even crawl at the Alabama Nature Center’s Fourth Annual Critter Crawl on Saturday, February 15. This year, the Critter Crawl has expanded with a brand new mapped 10K run in addition to the 5K run along beautiful trails located at Lanark in Millbrook.

“We’re excited to expand the course this year in order to accommodate all ages, abilities and endurance,” said Elizabeth Johnson, Critter Crawl Coordinator. ”Bring the family and make plans to enjoy the great outdoors and nature at its’ best.”

The Critter Crawl is a 10K and 5K TRAIL RUN benefiting the Alabama Nature Center that takes runners through a portion of the Alabama Nature Center’s 5 mile trail system. There will also be a 1 mile race beginning at 10:00 am. Tech shirts are guaranteed for participants registering before February 1, 2014. Shirts come in Mens, Ladies and Kids sizes! Extras will be ordered but run out fast.
Pre-registration cost is $25 (10K and 5K) or $20 (1 Mile). Day-Of Registration we will add an additional $5.00.Prizes will be awarded for male and female overall, Masters (40+) and Grand Masters (50+). Also, three deep in the following age groups: 8 and under, 9-12, 13-18, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-69, 70+.
Don’t forget to dress the part and run in your most creative Alabama critter costume – prizes will be awarded so be creative! Music and food will be provided, plus door prizes and lots of room for kids to play. The 5k starts at 9:00 am and 1 mile starts at 10:00 am; both races start and finish at the ANC pavilion. Please visit www.alabamawildlife.org or call Elizabeth Johnson at 334-285-4550 for more information or register online at www.active.com. Participants may pick up race packets at the ANC Pavilion Friday, February 14 from 1pm-5pm.

The Alabama Nature Center, a hands-on outdoor education facility located at Lanark in Millbrook, Alabama, is a joint project of the Alabama Wildlife Federation and benefactors Isabel and Wiley Hill. The Lanark property, State Headquarters for the Alabama Wildlife Federation, contains 350 acres of striking forests, fields, streams, wetlands and ponds that are traversed by five miles of trails and boardwalks including a tree top viewing platform. The Alabama Nature Center hosts a variety of outdoor education programs including Lanark Field Days events for youth and school groups, Expedition Lanark Summer Day Camp for children aged  5 – 15, and monthly weekend events for the general public.For more information about the Alabama Nature Center and the Alabama Wildlife Federation, call 334-285-4550 or visit www.alabamawildlife.org.

Hope you get your buck, or doe before the season is gone! and when you do, send me a photo so I can share your good hunt! Just email me postoakman@gmail.com

Good Hunting and Good Times are waiting, in Central Alabama Outdoors!

~Postoak~

 

 

 

 

Big Bucks Being Taken Across Bama!

Rut reports have been pouring in from across central Alabama through my network of dedicated deer hunters . It certainly seems to me that the overall size improvements, both in body size and rack size is showing the reduction in antlered deer harvest numbers is working across Alabama. This bodes very well for the future of deer hunting if everyone will “buy in” as they should. I have a lot of confidence in the leadership at the ALDCNR and believe they have got the best interest of the majority of hunters in mind for overall game management in the state, both for game and non-game animals.

These photos show some of the nice bucks taken this past few weeks from all around central Alabama. Hope you enjoy viewing them and if you want me to post your  photo, send me that trophy photo! or that first deer, or big doe, or big hog!  Send to- postoakman@gmail.com and I will include it on a future blog of Gobbles and Grunts with Postoak!

This Nice buck was taken near Fort Deposit, lots of mass!

 

Hunter Nolan shows off these two East Alabama Bruiser Bucks taken near Alex City recently. The one on the left is a stooge of a buck! Congratulations Hunter! ~postoak~

 

Norman Turnipseed of Millbrook shared this photo with me of a buck his brother took recently. This great looking typical 8 in Lowndes county ~postoak~

Doctor "Joe" shows off a very nice Sumter county buck he recently took in his farm

 

No doubt, the rut is on in central and north Alabama with a few reports coming in from Crenshaw, Bullock and Butler of rut activity showing up in the early stages. Hope you take the time to get out and hunt some during the rut! I know I WILL!

~POSTOAK~

Hunting with Kids, Best Hunting of All!

Anna Faye and her buck taken this past weekend! ~postoak~

I took my granddaughter hunting this past weekend and I am still trying to figure out which of us had the best time and made the most memories! On Saturday afternoon we went to “the barn field” stand and waited patiently for a doe to come out. We were hunting on a tract my family owns and one where we have declared a “no bucks” season since the doe to buck ratio is way out of balance according to the bioligist who manages the property’s wildlife. Well, according to my nephew, they have taken about half the number of does they expect to take this year from the place to put the ratio back in order which is 49 does taken. However, they might want to reconsider because we only saw one doe, who appeared to be panic sticken as she darted across the far end of the field over 300 yards away! We did see 5 bucks cross the field in a trot and they appeared to be in pursuit of the doe. Later two more bucks crossed and My grandaughter just sighed and told me “you know I could kill them, even at that distance” “Right?” 

I told her “I know you could but, we do not break hunting rules, and there will be more chances later”. However, later did not mean that afternoon and as we walked back to the truck without getting a shot, I explained to her that is how most hunts are. “There is not a deer to be shot on every hunt, or even on most hunts, and hunting is more about enjoying the woods and the company of a good hunting partner or the solace of being alone when you get old enough to sit on a stand by yourself”. She said “I know pop-pop and I had a great time sitting with you watching for a deer but, shooting a deer is alot more fun!” We laughed and walked on to the truck.

Sunday morning, we all slept late at my father in law’s home in Eutaw and then enjoyed a great country breakfast prepared by my sweet wife “deb-deb”. Anna Faye was ready to go hunting so I agreed we would go on up to “deer town” as she likes to call it. This time we hunted on a different tract where we have hunter’s choice if it is a child hunting. Adults are supposed to be adults and shoot only wall hanger bucks or mature does.

I took the opportunity to teach her some mid-day hunting lessons as we walked to the stand I had signed out for that is way out in a hardwood flat on the Warrior River. I reminded her of how to “sneak” or stalk-walk” and what it means to hunt on the way to and from your stand. I told her about the many encounters I had with deer while walking to a deer blind or stalking a section of woods and she did a good job of “stalk-walking” out to where the stand overlooks an old farm lane.

As we got about 20 yards from the stand, slipping along quietly, I whispered to her, “I see a buck” and we crouched down to watch him. It was a young, but good sized 6 point buck and he was working a scrape about 35 yards out in front of the stand and hooking some branches above the scrape had just been pawing in. I chambered a round in my 30-06 and handed the gun to her. I then showed he how to use the oak tree we were hiding behind as a rest aim and told her to “fire when ready”.

Bang! she took his feet off the ground and he laid there kicking while she was letting her “girl side ” show by squealing and high fiving me. I told her “Anna Faye, I need to put another shot in him to finish him off or he might get away”. “Don’t you shoot my deer pop-pop! I want him to be 100% taken by me! I said “OK” and about then he jumped up and lurched out of the lane into the thick undergrowth of the swamp.

Convinced she had made a good shot and the buck had been knocked totally down and stayed on the ground a couple of minutes, I told her we needed to sit and give him time to bleed out and expire in peace. After 45 minutes in the blind, she was figiting so much, and wanting to “go see him”, that I agreed. Where he hit the ground there was plenty of blood and his trail was easily trackable with lots of big splotches to follow. We trailed him about 250 yards out through the swamp and the trail was showing almost no blood. I took the time to teach her about taking a good shot and making a followup as needed and about the way to track a wounded deer as my dad has taught me. I was having more fun than I should have since she was in tears and sick that her buck might get away. But I knew it was a very teacheable moment..She would get encouraged when we would spot another mark of blood on the trail and when we lost any signs of him, she would start to whine again and get angry.

I felt like I would be able to trail him up and make a “finish shot” but, knew the time was getting late  so I told her to stand at the last blood sign and I would be back in a few minutes. I walked down the path I had a hunch he had taken and in about 50 more yards, I spotted him slowly hobbling away through a patch of small canes where he had good cover heading toward a small creek bank. I was able to pick a spot  with just enough clearance to make the shot when he stepped through it and dropped him.

About that time, I heard a sound that I first thought was the siren of an ambulance on the other side of the river, It started light in volume but steady and increased in volume and tone for almost 30 seconds until it was a loud whoooooooooo!!! Then I thought no, It must be a coyote howling! Then Anna Faye screamed, POP_POP! did you get him?!?! and I knew it was her shrieking as she stood out on the blood trail where I had left her!

Then, I just lost it! I laughed so hard as I walked back to her and she was standing there crying and looking like she had lost her best friend and looking at me with that “did you get him!” look that it was priceless! I hugged her and told her I just finished him off for her but he was 100% her deer. She was crying and laughing at the same time and I just realized I had experienced a very special hunt that would be a memory for both of us forever! That is a special hunt! Take a child or grandchild hunting! It just might be one of your best days, EVER! 

~postoak~

Plenty of Deer Harvests Reported and Some Big Pigs Too !

 

A 13 pointer loading up.. for next year, We are not shooting bucks this year ~postoak~

Deer season is well underway and lots of folks are sending me photos of some nice bucks being taken around central Alabama! Hope they are all remembering to use the new game check system from the department of conservation for a link to the site, just click here-http://www.outdooralabama.com/gamecheck/  The buck in the photo above is a resident of our farm and we have decided to only shoot does this year since they have gotten out of hand in the population. I have yet to get my venison so, I have got to get started. My freezer is getting low!

I plan to head out in the morning and go sit in a shooting hut if it is raining which is what it looks like. It is not my favorite way to hunt, but on a rainy day, I will take it. The rut activity north of Montgomery is picking up with hunters reporting rut activity in the northern blackbelt and points north. The reports I have gotten from Hunters south of Montgomery are pretty much that no rut signs yet, Although a North Crenshaw hunter showed me a great phopt of a drop tine buck he said was chasing does. Anybody got hunting photos or comments they want to share, just send them to me, postoakman@gmail.com  and I will post them for you.

Anyway, enjoy the photos and hope you get a chance to enjoy the hunting this week!

Garrett Pugh with a nice Blackbelt buck! ~postoak~

 

Bucks in Early Morning breakfast mode ~postoak~

 

Brandon Parker with a huge hog -345 lbs on a certified cotton scale! ~postoak~

 Hope you find that big buck or boar you are looking for this season in our great central Alabama Outdoors. Send me a picture when you do!

~Postoak~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hunting for the Holidays, The Action is Improving!

Carey Cox recently bagged this nice 8 pointer in Lee County ~postoak~

The holiday season of Christmas and New Year’s day has always meant time off from the work or school routine and time ON to be in the woods. I spent this morning gathering my hunting gear and getting ready to head to the woods of west Alabama for a three day hunt.

My granddaughter is twice as excited as I am, and I sure miss that “better than Christmas” feeling I used to have before any hunting trip! Now, I still get a bit of anticipation excitement for the hunt. And like most everyone, I hope to see a monster buck that I can get the chance to shoot or for my granddaughter to take. We were supposed to be in the woods this afternoon and my nephew called to see when we going to be there since we planned a 1:00 rendevous to sign out for stands and get ready for the afternoon hunt. However, due to the bad weather on the horizon for this evening, I decided to wait for tomorrow so we would not be out in the rain.

Will Gibson's Nice 8 pointer from Tuscaloosa County taken last year ~postoak~

We will head out early in the morning and have plenty of time to spend in the woods, plus the weather will be a good bit cooler and that always makes me believe our chances will be better to bag that big buck, or a nice mature doe to start my freezer restocking. The pre-rut has started in our area and Travis, my nephew informed me that he took a nice 205 lb 8 pointer this morning who was making a rub line and he was worn out after dragging the big buck out of some thick cover and hauling him back to the cleaning shed. He laughed about how he used to think nothing of cleaning 5 or 6 deer after a successful group hunt on the farm and now that one buck had him exhausted! I told him welcome to middle age and that it only gets “better” as the arthur brothers attack aging joints and gravity is less friendly. It sure makes a fellow hunt a little less but, value it a whole lot more!

Another related hobby to my hunting is my gun trading hobby. I used to say I was a gun collector, and I do have a good many of them, but it is more fun to buy, sell, trade than it is to collect and I meet lots of other hunters who do the same. I am a member of the Alabama Gun Collectors association http://www.algca.org/ and I rarely miss one of their awesome shows in Birmingham at the BJCC. Even if you don’t buy or sell, which you can do both, It makes a great day of looking at thousands of guns and talking with other gun enthusuasts and hunters, It is great fun and I have found a great buy from time to time as well as made some profitable sales and trades for many of the guns I have or have had.

The internet and facebook have proved to be wonderful venues for gun trading and there are literally dozens of these sites for groups all around the state. A few of my favorites are the ones in Elmore, Tallapoosa, and other counties in the central part of the state. If you are a FB member and have not visited these sites you will be pleased at all the guns and hunting gear you can buy, sell and trade with others.

Hope your hunting season is going well and that you have a very joy-filled Christmas and holiday season! And of course, good luck in the deer woods! It is starting to look a lot like… the rut! Go to the woods!

PHOTOS-The two bucks shown here are both nice 8 pointers. One taken in Lee County by my good friend, Carey Cox of Millbrook. The other taken by Will Gibson, a great young man who I had the pleasure of taking hunting for his first deer 2 seasons ago on our farm in Tuscaloosa county and this past season he took this nice buck from the same stand!  A Lee County Buck and A Tuscaloosa County Buck, no competition in the woods though, we are just fellow hunters!

Merry Christmas!

~Postoak~

Lots of Kids Want to Hunt for Christmas!

My Granddaughter and me with a nice buck she took over Last Christmas Holidays

I have to admit that I have not found time to hunt as much this fall as I would like. I had a serious illness in October that put me in the hospital for several weeks and I have just not gone as much as I normally do. My grandaughter, who has become my favorite hunting partner is not too happy about it so I have got to “fix” that with a hunting trip soon!

Like her, there are many kids that would love a hunting trip, or two, as a Christmas present! As a youngster, My older brother, two first cousins and me could always count on my dad taking us down to Sumter or Marengo county for hunting trips over the two weeks of Christmas holidays when we were out of school. Those hunts were the stuff of magic! And the gray, cold days we have had lately reminds me of those days we spent in the woods enjoying each other’s company, watching the deer from our stands and getting to shoot a nice buck every now and then.

Does were not legal in the late sixties and early seventiesso we had to be sure of the bucks’s legal status before squeezing the trigger. We all hunted with shotguns and had no scopes, so we could not get that confirmation of “horns” too easy sometimes and we had to pass on the shot in the late afternoons and early mornings so we did not break the law. Our joke amongst our selves, (we never let daddy hear it) was that we were not too worried about a game warden, it was daddy who would be the problem if we “messed up” and took an illegal deer.

Christmas Holiday success is a great Christmas present for a young hunter! ~postoak~

He was good friends with a couple of the local wardens and he was a strictly lawful hunter for deer and turkey. On a deer hunt down in Greene county one winter, just before Christmas, my brother shot a hen turkey he flushed out in a flock  in a “mix up” thinking he was shooting a gobbler. Even though he was in college, daddy gave him a pretty good ”verbal” lashing about how he was a poor hunter and if he “did not know what he was doing he should just stay home”. He told my brother he was setting a poor example of sportsmanship for us kids and he was too old to be making such a poor decision. Daddy threathened to take his gun away for the rest of the year but, he calmed down after we got back home and mom told him she was happy to have the turkey to prepare in a pan of dressing for Christmas.

I remember mom just bragging over and over about how happy she was to have the hen for dressing as she washed it in the kitchen sink and later as she de-boned it to use in the dressing. She knew how to make daddy forget his anger and was a master at smoothing things over for us kids. Wow! I miss my mom every year during the holidays even more than the rest of the year! During those Christmas vacation holiday hunts we made some great hunting memories! Duck hunting down on the Tombigbee river, Camping at the Demopolis WMA and deer hunting over in east Mississippi with family friends on some huge soybean fields and our favorite hunt, using dogs to drive deer around in the swamps along the black warrior river.

Dad took several days of his vacation each witer and gave us kids what we wanted for Christmas! His time and time spent in the winter woods! Christmas memories were the best gifts we ever got and were some of the few things he could afford! Yes, I grew up rich!

Take a kid on a few hunts for Christmas presents or just to make some good memories and you might just start them on a life time past time in our great Central Alabama Outdoors!

~postoak~

 

Rain and Warm Temps = Slow Hunting Success

This young Hunter found early season success in the Black Belt!

The recent warm and wet weather has slowed down the deer movement according to the recent reports from many of my fellow hunters. Not sure if it is just the weather or the fact that many of us don’t go out in the woods or stay as long when the weather is not conducive to deer activity.

A hunting buddy of mine in Tuscaloosa, who has access to some of the top hunting in the black belt regions of Greene and Sumter counties, said he had hunted very hard since he was on vacation all of Thanksgiving and it was a poor period compared to years past. I have not gone but, two afternoons and only saw a few does. We have been given a mandate to harvest between 75 to 100 does from this particular peice of property that is high- fenced but, I just could not bring myself to start the season off dragging does out of the woods so I let them all pass. Besides, the manager has granted permits to some local hunters to come in and shoot does only, so that works for me. I am still giving away deer meat from last season in order to get my freezer emptied. Also having fried deer steaks for supper and looking forward to that!

 

Macks From Sumter County took this nice buck over Thanksgiving ~postoak~

 

All is not bad for some of the hunters who send me photos of recent deer harvests!
I have several folks who have sent some nice photos of deer taken by youth deer hunters and I always love to see the wide smiles of those luck young hunters! If you have a photo of any young deer hunters, send them to me and I will be sure to post them on an upcoming edition of Post Oak’s Gobbles and Grunts! Just email to me along with permission notice to post and the names, if you want to add them. My email address is postoak@gmail.com

Has your hunting been improved or not affected by the changes in the law regarding feeding deer? I have not heard anyone say it has helped or has not affected the number of deer they are seeing or finding on trail cam results. Just got a photo of some eating at a cornpile but, not much other info other than it came from Greene county. How about your results? Email me with the details and if you prefer to keep any of your information private, just let me know and I will not publish your name or location of the photo.. postoakman@gmail.com

Bucks at the cornpile -how is feeding affecting your deer hunting? ~postoak~

Hopefully, your season and mine will be better as we near the rut. Until next week, good luck in the (wet) deer woods of our great Central Alabama Outdoors.

~postoak~

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Deer Hunts, A Great Tradition for Many Across Alabama

Thanksgiving Holiday is a great time to make some Hunting memories! ~postoak~

Another Thanksgiving holiday is near and as much as I enjoy the turkey, cranberry sauce and pecan pie, The most enjoyable part is our traditions away from the table of the feast.

We enjoy the fellowship, the handshakes and hugs, comments and jokes about our everchanging waistlines and hair lines. Seeing the children’s growth and the young adults, some with new spouses or atleast new friends. We speak about how the time has flown, we cry about those who have “passed on” and each year the bittersweet reflections that are just memories are shared again with tears and with grins.

A big part of our “after the turkey” fellowship is a discussion of our past Thanksgiving holiday hunts. We generally find a spot near the fireplace at my father in law’s home after the mid day meal and the old stories begin. The women are off in the kitchen around the table swapping recipes, gossip and shopping strategies for black Friday. We are talking hunting, hunting trips we recall and of course, gear and ammo we use hunting. We used to discuss football and the Iron Bowl but, now it is another “pot strirrer” topic since some of the new inlaws are Auburn grads or fans.

One thing we all have in common and can join in  discussions of, is our love of the Winter woods and the majesty of the cold, gray days we enjoy watching the creatures of the woods go about their lives, mostly oblivious to ours. In the 60′s, 70′s and early 80′s we still had our annual Thanksgiving day dog drive hunts and they were so exciting! The unpredictability of the chase was so much fun, the shared experience of hunting and the satisfaction of the kill were all makers of a wonderful sport and we thought we would always hunt that way. However, in the mid 80′s a dog hunter was somehow viewed by some as a lesser hunter than the guys who hunted from stands our stalking. When the land owner we had leased from for more than 20 years, passed away over the summer that year, his estate was divided and sold by his heirs, our dog hunting days came to an abrupt end.

We took it in stride and got a small lease but, dog hunting was disallowed. The lease was too small for a practical dog hunt anyway so I gave my four hounds away to a trusted acquantance who was a member of a dog club over in another county. We all had lots of experience in stalk and stand hunting so we learned to enjoy it as well. We would draw for stands and help each other when a deer was taken to drag it to the truck. Three wheelers were just getting some notoriety as a hunting tool but, they were not much good at hauling out a big buck up the hills on our lease. Muscle power was still the only way to get a buck to the truck and it was one of our cliches’ about who was man enough to get the buck to the truck!

The older guys, My dad, father in law and several uncles would chide us with tales of how they when they were young and strong they could carry a buck for miles swinging from a “gambling pole” and that we were just not men, just boys! This would always incite us to action while they smiled and laughed all the way out. I remember when my dad killed a nice 10 pointer one thanksgiving hunt, we hauled him around on the hood of our old army surplus jeep and showed him off until dark that day! It was 1967, a cold and raw day. We were poor, dad and mom worked hard, but that night when that big buck was hoisted in our front yard, neighbors cames from miles around, some even took pictures with old brownie cameras and my mom made a movie on our old 8mm camera that we saw a dozen times later at Thanksgiving, Christmas and such, blessed financially with so little and blessed with richness so much!

Every Thanksgiving, a dozen or more great hunts come back to the forefront in my mind. Memories of fun hunts, some great in terms of deer taken, some not. But, the fellowship with each other, the sounds of our dogs, the calls of the drivers, the shouts from them when they jumped deer headed our way, always give me some great thanksgiving deer hunting memories. I have already picked out the old story I plan to talk about around Tony’s fireplace after turkey this week. It’s about a young man who made a 365 yard shot and took a really big 8 pointer before we even turned the dogs out of the box!

Be sure to make some great Thanksgiving deer hunting memories!

~postoak~

 

 

Gun Season for Deer Starts Saturday!

Deer Meat

Time to collect that venison for the freezer! It is the most expensive meat you CAN'T buy! ~postoak~

The time for preparation and practice is just about gone! Saturday is the day to get your hunt on! Deer season starts for gun hunters and the rest of us can choose to leave the sticks at home or continue hunting as many have been since the October bow season began. I plan to take out my 30-06 and start it with a bang!

However, I will not be “huntn’ horns”. I will be nannie knockn’, doe dusting,or just plain ole venison collecting. We got our summer report from the biologist regarding our population counts for the farm and it was not too good! Seems we are over-run with deer and more specifically “non-antlered” as the report stated.. Does, Does, Does, so some has got to go.  My nephew, who manages the farming and hunting decisions has called for a hundred does to be removed and zero bucks to be removed until the does are gone. This, we have mutually agreed, will be a lot of work and that we will not shoot a buck this deer season on the farm property. We do have some other locations of course where we can still shoot a buck, but our focus must be on doe control. I have gotten too old to drag out 20 or 30 does, so I have set a personal quota of 10 does. The biggest issue is proper use of that much deer meat and and the cost of having them processed.

I used to pride myself in handling the processing of all the deer I shot and the fact that I was eating “free meat”. As I got older, I realized the folly of my ways and came to realize that deer meat is never free. I spend thousands each year for club dues, gear, shells, archery equipment, new camo, tree stands and lord knows what else! It is as my wife likes to describe one of my last “vices”, but the enjoyment and health benefits I derive from my many trips to the woods is well worth the cost and time spent!

Recently, I read a report about a move to allow the selling venison. The sale of wild game is prohibited in Alabama and most other states and has been illegal for decades. Originally designed to curtail “market hunting” that caused the steep declines in, and near extinction of many game animals such as deer, ducks, and of course the wild turkey. Market hunting, poaching and year round killing of wild game animals was rampant in the late 1800s and early 1900s. My grandfather, who was born in 1886, told me they rarely saw a deer in his early years over in west Alabama. He said the wild turkey population was wide spread and they took advantage of that by killing turkeys, hens and gobblers alike, with no concern for the season. They were hungry and took advantage of all types of wild game to fill the need for protein along side the garden vegetables they raised. They called rabbits “hoover hogs” in deference to Herbert Hoover who many blamed for the great depression and squirrels were nicknamed “limb chickens”. They also ate raccons, opossums muskrats, nutria and even beaver! I admit to liking the taste of fried coon legs and BBQ’d beaver was not bad! The other animals did not provide an aroma that ever made me want to “chow down” but, I never got that hungry at my grandparents house.

In the 1950s and 60s when I was growing up in the same woods, we had plenty of deer but, not a single wild turkey was left in the area due to a number of factors, the two biggest being, desease and over harvesting. Now days, thanks to the great work of our state and federal conservation programs, Laws such as the Pittman-Robertson Act, private conservation organizations such as the AWF- Alabama Wildlife Federation, QDMA Quality Deer Management Association and the NWTF- National Wild Turkey Federation. Deer and turkey populations are in great numbers for us all to enjoy and it didn’t “just happen”. Think about that as you enter the woods for another great season in Alabama and do your part contributing to, and becoming a member of, these supporters of our great hunting heritage in Alabama.

There are some folks who would like to see hunting stopped all together and their “voices are getting louder”. Don’t let your right to hunt get drowned out.

Think about that as you enjoy our great Alabama outdoors this weekend for the start of another deer season!

~postoak outdoors~