Notes From The Hill Country – The Local Press

August 3, 2012

It’s the end of another week, and blog posts have been a little erratic… to say the least.  Sorry about that.  It probably won’t change much for a while.

But I was sitting here just now, avoiding work, and thinking about what I might write as a weekending post.  I haven’t been hunting in, well, damned near forever, so nothing much there.  The deer are hot and heavy around my place right now, but that’s not really news.  The deer are hot and heavy all over the Hill Country.  This place is, almost literally, lousy with deer.  You can’t travel a mile in any direction without seeing one, and it doesn’t seem to matter what time of day.  Seriously, I thought we had a bunch of deer in North Carolina… but I’ve never seen anything like this.

All that aside, what stood out to me this week?  I guess if it didn’t have to do with how the various systems and software in our network communicate, I didn’t really notice too much.  The Olympics are going on, and it looks like some of our shotgunners did pretty well again.  Huge congrats to Kim Rhode and Vincent Hathcock (both people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet in person… and great representatives of our country)!  But in my opinion, anyone good enough to make it to the Olympics is pretty impressive… so congrats to all the athletes simply for being there.  You are, truly, the best in the world!

On the lead ban front, it’s annoying to see that the Center for Biological Diversity (Center for Misleading Propaganda) is still hard at it.  Apparently the NRA entered a brief in favor of lead ammunition (hell of a surprise, huh?), and the CBD took outraged issue with it (‘nuther big surprise?).  In a press release, the organization wrote:

“Just moments ago the National Rifle Association took legal action to block the EPA from protecting wildlife and people from being poisoned by lead hunting ammunition left in the wild.

Today’s legal action challenges the Center for Biological Diversity’s suit, filed last month with allies, to get the EPA to finally regulate toxic lead in hunting ammunition.

These outrageous attacks need to stop. Please make an emergency gift today and help us stand up to the NRA’s assault on wildlife. [hyperlink disabled-ed.]”

Can we say, “hyperbole?”

Even better, can we say, “pot calling the kettle black?”

Politics makes me tired.  Misdirection, innuendo, and blatant disregard for the truth, exhaust me.  Why do I feel the need to point these out to people who should be able to see it for themselves?  Why isn’t the rank and file standing up and raising hell against all of this?  Am I just pissing in the wind?  I dunno… but with all the other political B.S. going on right now I’m beginning to have a hard time maintaining my composure.  My general faith in humanity, always strained, is at its lowest ebb.  I know, it’s an election year, but I swear it’s starting to feel like every year is an election year.

But then, there must be positive to balance the negative, and here it is… down here in the Hill Country, hunting is mainstream.  It’s not a dirty little secret you have to sneak out to the truck in the pre-dawn hours and smuggle back in again after dark.  While standing in line at the local grocery store, you can browse the covers of all the standard tabloids, or see what the latest, hottest sex tips are in the women’s mags.  Or, you can browse a hunting magazine.  Yupp, sure enough hook-n-bullet, horn-porn periodicals! There’s Texas Hunt&Fish, Texas Trophy Hunters, and a handful of national mags as well.  From now on, when some lady in front of me decides to separate her groceries by coupon, and insists on reviewing the receipt before handwriting a check and counting out the exact change (so as not to mess up her even checking account balance), I’ll no longer steam in my own juices or lose myself in a piece about how Martian spiders commandeered the rover and brought it back to Earth, where they’re being housed in a top secret facility at the base of Mount Umunhum (it’s a real place… look it up).  I can read something I give a damn about… more or less.

And it’s not just on the magazine racks!  While perusing the web version of local newspapers, I found that has a hunting and fishing blog, Racksnreels!  That’s right, this isn’t some thinly veiled, urban-friendly, hiking-and-camping-with-a little-fishing-thrown-in, sort of “outdoors” column (respects to Tom Stienstra and all… but really, what could one expect from the San Francisco Chronicle?).  It’s a sure enough blog for hunting and fishing.  To be sure, it’s largely composed of press releases from various sources, but there is a dedicated editor/writer, and they run syndicated pieces from other hook-n-bullet writers, like Dave Hurteau.

It’s not much, but there are times when you need all the silver lining you can get.  At least until hunting season starts.



8 Responses to “Notes From The Hill Country – The Local Press”

  1. David on August 3rd, 2012 14:54

    Looking again for my jealous button. When does deer season start where you are? Are you allowed to take does as well as bucks?

  2. Phillip on August 3rd, 2012 15:11

    David, the season starts Sept 29 (archery) and runs in one form or another through January 20. It’s either sex (last two weeks are antlerless and spikes only) with a limit of five deer, of which only two may be bucks. I’ll have to re-read the regs when I go get my license. Either way, I should be able to keep the freezer full.

  3. David on August 3rd, 2012 20:08

    5 deer????? That is AWESOME! I have been fortunate this past year to have two deer in the freezer (my daughter got one and I got a small buck), 2 hogs, a turkey (thanks to the kid again) and lots of fish.

    I haven’t had to buy meat from the store in a while. It has been a while (2003) that I have been fortunate enough to live almost entirely off of meat from the wild.

    I wish you lots of luck and lots of good clean shots this year.

    5 deer…that is simply awesome.

  4. Phillip on August 3rd, 2012 20:38

    Yeah, and from the looks of things, I doubt I’ll have trouble shooting that many if I really want to. I’ve been real lucky in the past years, and I still have a pretty well-stocked freezer (mostly wild pork and exotics). I seldom buy red meat except at restaurants, but I do buy the occasional yard bird (I didn’t do any pheasant hunting last year). Fortunately, while there’s not much in this little town, there’s an awesome smokehouse/butcher shop with a good, fresh meat selection. Now, if all goes well, I’ll get a reasonable kitchen garden going next year and I can cut back on my store-bought produce too… not that total self-sufficiency is on my agenda. I just love homegrown veggies.

    Good luck with your hunts this season too. I hated leaving just as the A zone was cranking up… but after I’ve settled here a while, I hope to come back for the occasional CA deer and/or hog hunt.

  5. Notes From The Hill Country – The Local Press : Hog Blog | Hunting Reviews on August 3rd, 2012 20:19

    […] the latest, hottest sex tips are in the women's mags. … Go here to see the original: Notes From The Hill Country – The Local Press : Hog Blog ← OUTDOORS: Pesticide Used on Corn, Soybeans Harming Bees […]

  6. David on August 4th, 2012 11:21

    +1 on the home garden. I have a good one too. I grow mostly things that I can preserve in jars. I do A LOT of tomatoes, jalapenos, beets, carrots and corn.

    I did a little pheasant hunting last year but my gun shy dog makes it difficult. He is good for one bird then he walks on heal after that.

  7. R. Gabe Davis on August 13th, 2012 14:38

    even here in Tennessee no hunting section in newspaper. the only outdoor writer is Bob Hodge. he usually writes one article a week this week it was about UT’s quarterback Tyler Brey being arrested by the TWRA (Tennessee Wildlife Resources agency) for what he did on a watercraft. see article here Quite a stretch for a outdoor article. I need to move. Your Pal the Envirocapitalist.

  8. Phillip on August 16th, 2012 18:29

    Heya, Gabe. It’s true. Even in some fairly rural, hunter-friendly places, hunting doesn’t get much press coverage. On the other hand, there are at least a couple of papers in CA that do have that coverage. Most notable is the Redding Searchlight. But overall… I’m really happy with my decision to move down here to TX. It just feels “right” down here.