It’s hunting season and I’ve been doing a bit of hunting lately. I hunt with guides and I hunt alone. Hunting with guides is always much better, but it can be expensive. The price depends on what you’d like to kill, when and how many people you have with you. Duck hunting can range from $75-150 per day. For instance, it’s cheaper to hunt during the week and if you’ve got two friends to go along. I’ve recently started duck hunting and hog hunting on our family land near Brenham, TX. It’s free, but there’s no guides to go scout for you to let you know if the game is there.
I went duck hunting on Christmas day and scouted my spot. It was a small pond at the front of the land. I noticed someone had built a duck blind there and while it was pouring down rain I threw out a few decoys in preparation for the next day. A truck pulled up with two younger guys in it and they said they were going to hunt the next day as well, so we decided to hunt together. We all arrived around 6:30 AM and set up. The ducks came in but kept flaring (seeing something they didn’t like and taking off) so we didn’t get off a shot. Eventually the two guys left and it was just me in the blind alone. I was sitting there quietly messing with my shotgun when I looked to my right and saw a small deer a few inches from me. It had snuck up on me and scared the shit out of me. I jumped up and ran out of the blind as I didn’t know what it wanted. I’d seen YouTube videos of wild deer attacking people and didn’t want this to happen to me. The deer was very curious of me and kept following me around. I threw a rock at it and hit it on the shoulder and it still didn’t leave. Eventually the deer just started walking around and eating some grass, then it went into the water and started sniffing around my duck decoys. I knew ducks wouldn’t come with this deer running around the pond so I decided to walk across the barbed wire fence to another pond close by. The deer followed me and soon started running circles around me at full speed. Then it started sprinting directly at me and at the last minute it would turn and sideswipe me. This annoyed me, scared me and confused me. It was also spooking ducks on every pond, everywhere I’d go. I couldn’t understand why some wild deer was doing this to me. I called my brother out to where I was hunting so he could witness this truly weird situation and the deer did the same thing to him. Neither of us could scare the deer off so we decided to get in the truck and leave.
Later we found out that this deer was someone’s pet and it was known to roam the nearby lands. That was disappointing as it had succeeded in ruining any semblance of a hunt.
The next trip I took to hunt our family land was to kill hogs. Me, my brother and another guy went down for a night hunt. Hogs are a real problem in Texas and season is open all year around to help rid the infestation. They also tear up farm land so most people are happy when anyone wants to kill them. You can also eat the hogs, but it’s best to kill one under 100 lbs. and then bring it to a processor where they’ll mix the meat half wild / half domestic. We set up in the woods around 9pm. My brother used an iron sighted AK-47, C—- used a .308 and I used my 30-30. The latter with scopes. Coyotes howled, squirrels and rabbits and cats passed us unknowingly and then the large white donkey that roams the land spotted us. This donkey is notoriously evil, but I scared it off with a spotlight and some rocks. After several hours and a few beers we decided that if the hogs wouldn’t come to us then we’d go to them so we loaded up in my brother’s truck and C—- and I sat in the back with guns and spotlight ready. We trekked through pastures, along tree lines, through creeks across every corner of the 200 acres and saw everything you could see except hogs. The spotlight was good up to 200 yards as were the scopes and we were searching for glowing eyes. Coyote eyes turn red in the spotlight, deer and most other animals show up green. The moon was helping at 3/4 full so we could sight in something 200 yards out, but only the .308 had the capacity to shoot that far accurately. We saw a cat and a rabbit playing in the hay field and my brother pulled out a 9mm as to shoot at them, but didn’t. No reason to scare off everything, if anything, in the area. It was now 3am and my brother turned in for the night. C—- and I had a couple of beers and decided to walk back over to our spot. It was 4am by now and once there we decided to just sleep there for a few hours until 7am when they were most likely to come our way. There’s a corn feeder there and they are used to the feeder going off at 4pm and 7am so we decided to wait. We dug into our spots and slept off and on until 6:30 when first light crept up.
At 7am the feeder went off and we were ready. Quickly, 7 deer came out of the woods and started eating the corn. We sighed and packed it up. While the experience was fun in that you’re out in the woods, having some beers with the guys not seeing a single thing is pretty disappointing. Being 0 for 2 on a property leaves me feeling like it’s worth the money to pay for a guide who does the hard part for you. Which is making sure you are in the right spot to at least see whatever it is you’re hunting for.
I go through phases in my pursuit of hobbies and I imagine this is simply another one. Of course hunting season ends at the end of January for everything except for hogs. Deer season is already over so there is limited time for this hobby, but it’s always fun. The unexpected parts of someone’s pet deer messing with you, or a donkey creeping up on you, or the rustling in the woods behind you when are you camouflaged and quiet knowing that a pack of coyotes could be hunting the same spot for the same things as you are all very exotic feelings. I enjoy being outdoors even though my last two hunts have brought home nothing but a couple of half interesting tales.