My Favorite Time of Year

Male and female Mule deer
Image via Wikipedia
Fall and early winter are my favorite times of the year. The weather cools down, you get to see some of the most breathtaking colors, and hunting season starts.  Down here, deer season runs from the first weekend in November to the last weekend in December.  Now I’m sorry if I shocked some of my readers, but yes I do hunt, and enjoy it very much.  It gives me that communion with the outdoors that I do so fervently miss .  It also gets me away from the city, and lets me feel like a country boy again.  I suppose this qualifies for Redneck status, which is fine by me.

I just got home from the deer lease.  Where my boss J.J. who also happens to be my closest friend, his son, and I spent the day cleaning things up and getting everything ready for the season.  Down here it is common for hunters to lease property from ranchers specifically for hunting.  This prevents situations where there are too many hunters in one area, and all the mishaps that can be the result.  We had plenty to do, cleaning up the campers and making sure everything around camp worked.  Then going to each blind to clean them up and make sure they were secure, and no damage had been done over the off season. 

Three of our blinds had some very interesting surprises for us.  Owl’s had decided they made perfect dwellings for delivering and hatching their young.  There was not much we could do about them, because all three had young chick’s.  We did not want to evict the Owls at this critical stage, because the baby Owls had not gotten their wings, and could not fly.  There was no way we were going to tamper with them, or disturb them in fear of the mother abandoning them.  So we just left the blinds open, and made sure they would stay open to allow the mother Owl to come and go as she pleased.

One of the disadvantages of having Owls move in and claim homestead rights on your blind is, they are incredibly nasty messy birds.   For something so beautiful, they sure leave a horrendous mess.  All three blinds had about two inches of Owl excrement, and discarded remains of small victims.   We will not be able to clean these blinds out until after deer season starts.  Hopefully by then the chick’s will be flying, and able to leave the nest.  Next time we go, I’ll have to take the cameras so I can get pictures of them to show everybody.  I can tell you the adult Owl is a beautiful bird, but those babies, ugly ugly ugly.

For the most part the day went pretty good.  We got everything done that needed to be done except for cleaning out those three blinds.  We got to spend some wonderful time in the country, far from the troubles of city life.  Now we just have to wait for season to open, and then enjoy the great outdoors.
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Liara Covert said...

When you set your mind to do something, you make it happen. I love the glimpses of scenery on your blog.

confused said...

I agree with liara. I love the scenery I have never been a hunter but I can appreciate the love of the outdoors and consrvation..I never had a chance to participate with a life on the road..but it's on my bucket list..:)))

Eric S. said...

@ Liara Croft, thank you very much. and yes if you make up tour mind, and think positive, you can accomplish just about anything.

@ Confused, Thanks, hunting is not for everybody. You have it right, it is about conservation, and enjoyment of the outdoors and all it has to offer. Hunting, also provides a large portion of my food for the year. A bucket list, he he, I just seem to keep adding things to mine version.

Many of the scenery photos are provided through Zumatra, a Windows Live Writer add on. You write 300 words, and it suggests possible pictures to match what your writing about. It also shows a series of possible related article from all over.

redchair said...

I love this blog story. Big tough hunter worried about the Owl and her babies. Says it all right there- Eric.

You sound just like my Dad used to. My Dad would meet up with his flight crew for a week every year in South Dakota to go pheasant hunting. (He did that up to the last year of his life. And my mother had a recipe for pheasant that anyone would love.) The hunting trips were Dad’s time and he always came back renewed. He also went deer hunting and he loved to fish. And of course, I was his main fishing partner. He taught me how to shoot a rifle as soon as I was big enough to hold on to it.

Lilly's Life said...

Hunting is something that I am used to as well having come from the country with grandparents who owned farms. Although I have always been a spectator and not joined in. I love the outdoors and open spaces and your post made me want to be out there enjoying it all. Have a great season. And I would love to see photos in your future posts. Great post Eric.

soulMerlin said...

People have grown away from the land and don't understand...yet unlike animals and hunters, they inflict torture, both mental and physical.


Eric S. said...

@ Vikki, *shrugs shoulders* You got me, what can I say, I have a soft spot for anything young. Your father sounds like he was a good man. Two years ago, I took my niece who I had raised for 12 of her 16 years, hunting. She got her first buck, and I still am not sure who was happier, her or I. I have done a little quail and pheasant hunting also. It's all a lot of fun, and rewarding in its own way.

@ Lilly, growing up on or around farms is a great way to learn those important lessons in life. Country life somehow requires a passion for the outdoors. Hunting is just a part of that, weather you are an active participant, or spectator. I am glad I could remind you of those times. Thanks, and we'll see about more pictures.

@ Henry, you have a very insightful statement there. I think people would be better off if they spent more time out enjoying the land and learning from it. Hunting is not about killing, but about enjoying the nature around you and practicing good conservationist ideals. Thank you.

ShawnD said...

Yeah those owls sure are beautiful, I remember seeing one ont the electric pole to the left of my yard and man they are huge birds when they fly.

Kel said...

I never have supported "sport" hunting, but I've no qualms about hunting/fishing my dinner. I am an unapologetic omnivore, capable of hunting, and skinning, and cooking up the food.

But I have not gone hunting in ages, I don't need to, not hungry.

Have been fishing though, while camping, and appreciated the fresh fish in my fry pan along with the wild greens and wild garlic.

If you send me some venison I'll send you home-canned venison mince meat in return.

Eric S. said...

Hey Kel, minced meat, wow I have not had that since Grandma Clarke used to make it. I still remember the time she sent the pie home for dad that had bad meat. He ate the first half, and got sick. Thought he better eat the second half the next day to be sure it was the pie.

Kel said...

LOL! Yeah, Dad did love his mince meat. I've done up a batch a few times now. The recipe is from Grandma Ethel's old book and takes four of the largest pots I own to craft it as it starts the ingredient's list with a "bushel of apples." A bushel! I've tried to quarter the recipe, but it doesn't turn out right unless I do the whole bloody thing.

And then you can imagine how long it takes to get it all canned. Whew! But I love mince meat too, despite the fact that it was a Clarkian thing.

My favorite breakfast during the holidays is a slice of rich mince meat pie with a thick triangle of cheddar cheese melted across the top. Yum!!!

Kel said...

P.S. I set this site up as a "favorite" on mother's machine, and showed her how to navigate around the site and how to click into the comments and post a note.

Not sure if she'll give it a try, but she sure is proud of what a fine writer you are.

rocksnowhite said...

I envy you so much for the scenery you have to "deal with" and for the life spent in the middle of beautiful uplifting nature. nice post.

LceeL said...

Wow, man. Two inches of owl poop. EEWWW. Those critters are nasty. And they hack up those ball thingies that are full of victim bones and stuff. Yuck. As much as I love the land, there are aspects of country living that make me glad I am an urbanite.

Eric S. said...

@ Rocksnowhite, Thanks, I do so enjoy it. It's nice to be able to go out and commune with nature.

@ Lou, Yea they leave behind a real mess, but are very beautiful up close. You can still visit the country, and enjoy all it has to offer.

Green Business Ideas said...

it make your mind positive

Dr. Ron said...

Hi Eric,
I saw you visited my blog. Thought I would return the visit. I too grew up in a small one stop light town in Nevada. I grew up fishin' this time of year in the Sierra's. I've been so busy raising two little boys who aren't quite fishing age yet and working so much that I haven't really appreciated fall yet. Your photos and insight were refreshing... thanks.

Eric S. said...

@ Green Business Ideas, a positive mind can accomplish miraculous things.

@ Dr. Ron, Thanks for coming by. Growing up in a small town gives you a unique perspective of the hustle and bustle of the big city life. I live for those time I can get out in the country to enjoy all it has to offer.

Being busy is good, but as your boys get older don't forget to share the wonders of nature with them.

tashabud said...

Hi Eric,
Sorry to be so late here. I've read your posts a few days ago, but just haven't had time to sit down to comment. Been to busy with other stuff.

Anyway, I truly enjoyed reading this post. My hubby likes the same seasons as you for the same reasons. I, on the other hand, like spring, early summer, and early fall seasons.

You really are a softie, aren't you? That's good because it's a very admirable personal trait, especially in a man. As you have learned from my latest post, hunting is also a big part of our family. And I have talked about it more in my response to your comment there. I think that I might post something more about hunting from a hunters's wife's prospective. Eric, I don't envy you one bit about cleaning all that owl poop. No Sirrie!

Those mountain picture do make anybody want to be out there with them, don't they?


Eric S. said...

Tasha, yeah I'm a softy, shh don't tell anyone Most of all, I like getting away from the city and spending some time out in the wilds. There is a quite homelike feeling to it.

Yea I'm not going to enjoy cleaning all the mess up. It can be pretty nasty.

You should do a post about hunting from the perspective of a spouse. Do you ever go hunting with your hubby.


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