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.