Deer Season (Firearms) Eve

October 15, 2015

Well, actually, that’s tomorrow (Friday), but since tomorrow promises to be pretty busy, I figured I’d better write this now.

I had, honestly, expected to be writing about my success with the bow, or at least with the new Barnett RAZR at this point, but it just hasn’t panned out.  It’s my own fault for passing up some “sure things” in favor of waiting on that big buck, but in my defense, I’ve still got a freezer full of meat and the season runs until New Year’s Day, so there’s no real urgency on my part.  I’m just enjoying sitting the stand and watching the critters.

Saturday morning will bring the firearm opener in this area, and I’m a bit anxious as to what that’s really going to mean around here.  As I’ve alluded a time or two, running deer with dogs is still a big tradition down in this area.  I don’t have a general issue with the practice, and truth-be-told, it’s how I started out as a deer hunter.  I made some pretty great memories listening to the hounds run

Still, the tradition has lost some of its discipline over the years and there’s an apparent (is perception reality?) uptick in the number of houndsmen who tend to disregard courtesy and respect for their neighbors.  Trespassing is far too frequent, and it’s often conducted under the guise of, “well, I’m just collecting my dogs.”

What really happens, at least in some cases, is that less scrupulous houndsmen will drop their dogs at the edge of a private parcel, in hopes that the dogs will run through (they can’t read the signs) and push the deer to standers on legal property.  Some of the more brazen of these guys will go onto the private land, and if uncontested, will shoot the deer there.  If they’re caught, they claim to be chasing dogs.

They used to have the law on their side, technically.  Under the antiquated livestock laws, you couldn’t stop someone from coming on your property to claim their animals.  Although they couldn’t legally hunt in the process, it was always a grey area and a lot of deer were killed on private land this way.  The law has changed now, though, and it favors the landowner.  Still, it’s an unwelcome conflict with a lot of the onus on the landowner.  It’s also potentially dangerous, as any conflict with armed individuals can go bad.  There have been several shootings over the years.

Not that I’m trying to make this out to be more than it is, but I am waiting for Saturday with a little trepidation.  Outweighing that, however, is the excitement that maybe I’ll get my shot on that big 8-point!  Sure, I’d prefer to take him with archery tackle, but it will be pretty awesome to put the crosshairs on him too.

And who knows?  Maybe I’ll watch him for a minute, and let the gun back down.  There’s still plenty of time to get him into bow range.

Yeah… that’s unlikely.



5 Responses to “Deer Season (Firearms) Eve”

  1. Deer Season (Firearms) Eve | on October 15th, 2015 19:13

    […] Deer Season (Firearms) Eve […]

  2. hodgeman on October 15th, 2015 21:45

    Go get him Phillip!

  3. Joshua Stark on October 16th, 2015 22:40

    Good luck, and we’ll be praying that you have “neighbors” who are respectful, courteous and in all ways neighborly!

    Tag soup out here, but my nephew got two pronghorns and a whitetail doe on a trip out to Wyoming! I’ll ask his mom if I can pass along the pics, and perhaps give you something to post up, if you get a free space.

  4. Phillip on October 17th, 2015 15:05

    Well, so far it’s one for three (I only shot at one). Dogs definitely cared nothing for the property line, and ran deer all over my field… but at least I didn’t have anyone bombing through the pasture in quads. The doe I shot ran right under my stand, then turned around and stood there at about four or five yards. All I could see through the scope was fur, and shot her in the top of the head.

    Heading back out in a little bit to see if Kat can get one too. Dogs should (hopefully) be done for the day, although who knows. It’d be cool if she can get a whack at that big 8-point.

  5. Joshua Stark on October 18th, 2015 12:12

    Congratulations! Good luck for Kat tonight.

    By the way, send me an image or two you’d like to see stylized and on the sporran I’m building.