It was a different kind of start to the deer season this year. We packed up wednesday night and headed out to our hill country hunting ranch after work on thursday. The drive up was nice as we missed most of the traffic and arrived with plenty of daylight left to get the truck unloaded and our hunting gear loaded into the deer blinds. After we got all the groceries put away it was time to settle in for dinner.
Grilled brats, chile, onions, and ranch style beans. Easy to prepare and just the perfect dinner after a long day of work and driving. Following the glutenous assault on dinner, we spent just a little while chatting at the table before things got interesting. Full on relaxation mode was starting to work it’s magic when one of the younger members of the Armadillo Times crew jumped up from the dinner table screaming “Oh My God… It’s a Rattlesnake!” Sure enough, there was a snake in the cabin and he was doing his best to get himself a seat at the table. There were bodies flying around, implements of destruction being hurled about, and just general pandemonium until we were able to get the foot and a half snake cornered and put to a permanent rest. I’ve been sleeping in that cabin since 1998 and this was the first time we had a slithering dinner guest, and that’s how the weekend got started.
Thursday night it got down to 25°F which is pretty cold for early November in the Texas hill country, but the cold weather sure got the hogs moving. We woke friday morning to a couple of hogs in the trap so we had to get right to work, not bad though… opening morning was still a day away and we already had meat in the ice chests. Friday afternoon we did some light chores and visited with some neighbors before heading out to the deer blinds for a sneak peek. All of us saw some deer, nothing much too impressive though and no hogs. What was unusual was that none of us saw a single yearling, even though we all had multiple does come into our feeders. More evidence of just how bad this drought is.
Saturday morning… opening day! We were up and in the blinds just before sunrise, and it was a pretty morning for sure. As I suspected, the deer were regularly coming to the feeders what with the lack of available forage and we even saw a few nice ones. We didn’t shoot anything opening morning, or that afternoon or sunday morning. Lots of deer, just not what we were looking to harvest.
The last hunt of the weekend I finally saw a yearling, a single female yearling hanging with one of the better does. Of course we had a great time, had lots of laughs, and experienced a weekend full of “firsts”… First snake in the hunting cabin and I hope that never happens again. First opening weekend with no deer taken by anyone on our ranch. First porcupine sighting and first time a bird ever flew into my deer blind… while I was hunting out of it… but then again it was just that kind of a weekend.