One More For The Road
December 12, 2014
I put one last deer in the freezer today.
I’ve been watching this buck all season, and last year as well. I was calling him “Funkhorn,” but after reviewing some of the original photos of that odd-antlered buck from 2011 and 2012, I’m fairly certain this isn’t him unless he’s devolved significantly… and I don’t think this buck is that old.
And that sort of makes me happy, because I have very mixed feelings about killing the real Funkhorn… one of the first bucks I ever caught on camera during my very first year here at Hillside Manor. To be honest, I’m a little sad about killing this guy. I think that comes with watching them grow over the seasons. But I’ve had the crosshairs and the bowsight on this one all year. He squeaked by a time or two earlier in the season, and on Wednesday night, I’m pretty sure I had him in the scope but I didn’t shoot (uncertainty or sentiment?).
This morning though, it was pretty much all on the line. It’s the last opportunity of the season. The rut’s coming on strong and sudden. And I plan to take a pile of meat to Kat, which means I’d have a low spot in the freezer (not that low, since I’ll still be looking for hogs and axis when I get back from NC, but still… ).
Truthfully, I wasn’t even really “hunting”. With early meetings scheduled this morning, I only had about 45 minutes to sit and watch. I figured it would just be a nice way to spend the sunrise.
He’s not as big as the eight point I’ve been watching, but I think he’s a Boss. I watched him chase that eight point out of the woods and clean across the pasture the other evening. When he came back, he was definitely strutting a victorious strut. This morning, he had five does all to himself. And while I realize that I’ll have limited success managing the bucks around here, I think his odd conformation makes him a good choice for removal. I’ve already seen a young four-point wandering around that has similar structure in his beams.
So yeah, there’s sort of an empty feeling when I look up at the feeder now. I’m not sure who’s going to take his place as the rut kicks into full swing, but between the big eight, the tall six, and that new eight pointer that just showed up, I don’t think any of the does are going to be missing out. And with at least two spikes and a couple of young fork-horns, the next crop is already growing into their place in the hierarchy.
My brother has promised some shooting opportunity when I get to NC around Christmas, but with this one packed away, I’ll probably be a little more motivated to chase ducks than deer. Not too much duck hunting here in this part of the Texas Hill Country, so that should be a welcome relief.
By the way, just an FYI for anyone who actually cares to follow this closely… I’ll probably be posting sporadically for the next several weeks as I’m on the road and in NC. There’s some stuff I want to write about, and I hope to get to it, but there are a lot of things going on that may supersede blogging time.
Also, next week, look for my annual (more or less) Christmas Gift Guide as I take a look at a handful of nifty ideas for the hunter who’s managed to stay off the Naughty List this year.