Now that deer season is in

Published 2:33 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The weather forecasters were right for once this year and maybe more than once, we did have cool weather for the opening weekend of the firearms deer season.

And it got downright cold for a couple of those nights and would qualify as a cold front as we had four nights of extremely cool weather before it started its upswing and let us know that we still live of the deep south where it never stays cold for long. If that front had come along in January, it might have been a bark buster.

The drop in the temperature did cause the deer to move. I saw eight deer, all does, on Fort Benning last week along the roadside, but right by the campground at Uchee Creek. Their campground is a multi-million operation there on post and still the deer feel comfortable running around that close to it. That was in broad daylight on the Alabama side where the season is not in. They don’t have as many either-sex days as we do, so most of these little fellows would have been safe, at least for a while.

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Also last week I made my way down to the Panhandle of Florida for a day. There were six gates up at the dam in Chattahoochee when I went by. They are not flooding there, but have plenty of water, just as we have.

Even in Blountstown, and really all the way to the coast, there was plenty of water. Almost too much to fish in.

It will change, and folks will be wishing for more rain and higher water. I took a left in Grand Ridge on Highway 69 south to the coast and on the way back turned off onto Highway 73 and came into Marianna from the south. On that road, I saw four deer, all slick heads. The hunting season is not in there either. That is Jackson County, however, and come bow season the does are legal and they will be fair game. They taste good and eat much better than an old buck.

I hardly saw any deer along the road side the last several years and have probably seen as many this year as all of last year. We have had rain this year and rain when we needed it rather than all at one time.

When it rains heavily during a couple of months, the stats may look OK for the year, but what we need is a little rain along all during the year. It helps keep things green and the browse tender for the deer most of the year. It is when the frost kills the browse in the woods that the deer have to move in to the fields and try to scoop up what the farming equipment left behind during the harvest. There won’t be much as most of the equipment the farmers use today does a good job. If it leaves much it is replaced.

In Decatur County, there is usually enough grain left in the fields after the harvest to put a good spot of fat on any deer than you clean. Some fat in the deer will make the meat a little more tender and taste mighty good. We certainly don’t want them overly fat as the deer meat is something we enjoy with having to consider the fat content.

To make hamburger or sausage with deer meat, we have to add fat to the meat, but we can control just how much fat goes into the meat and you know we may have some that has less fat than some other packages in the freezer.

It is certainly on my diet and can be on yours if you get out there and be still, quiet and aim true.

The firearms season has not been in that many days, but there has been a goodly number taken thus far. The biggest that I heard of during the opening weekend was a nice nine point. I am also told that it was a heavy deer. The rascal must have not gotten the memo that gun season had come in. He was far enough out in a field that an arrow would not have reached him, but the hot lead from the rifle did the trick.

You know it is a pleasure to see a deer, any deer, drop straight to the ground when you pull the trigger, and I think everyone should strive to be a good enough shot that each shot is an instant kill.