My Handy Man and I were discussing the upcoming deer season. Neither one of us can contain our excitement over the prospect of what may happen next Fall. We are basically two grown children waiting with unabashed glee at the coming of Christmas day. Only, our Christmas starts the last weekend of September which ushers in Fall bow season in Texas. We cannot wait and I can tell you that there are exactly 176 days until bow season is upon us!
With all the dreams of the upcoming season, there comes the practicality of good planning. What would we like to accomplish before opening day? How do we plan to accomplish these goals? Where would we like our Deer Management Program to take us? Yes, I capitalized it. It needed an “official name”. It is imperative that it is capitalized.
The hallmark of any good management program has to be adequate food and water sources. We have 2300 acres of hunting land in South Texas. On that land, we have 9 ponds and multiple stock tanks. The tanks are filled with well water. So drought withstanding, we tend to be able to keep up with the hydration demands of our wildlife.
We have decided that in addition to the normal spring browse, we will fill our protein feeders a total of five times this year. We have four 1000 pound feeders. That will equate to about 20,000 pounds of protein. Last year, I believe we filled them four times for a total of 16,000 pounds and it really affected the look of our deer. They just seemed to exude health. Their coats were shiny and full, the antler growth was great, and the healthy look was straight across the board from does to fawns to bucks.
In addition to protein, we plan to fill our corn feeders starting in August and ending in February. We have a total of 10 corn feeders on our property. And we generally have to fill them about 4 times each year. Last year, we converted the last 7 of 10 corn feeders to a solar panel so we no longer have to worry about dead batteries. Also at all the corn feeders, we plan to put out mineral/salt licks to ensure that the deer get a good amount of minerals as well.
Last year, we built two permanent bow blinds. Well, one of them was a kid’s fort turned into a gun stand turned into a bow blind. There was this tornado. Long story. Anyway, we recycle. More on that in a later post.
They are double bow box blinds because My Handy Man and I like to hunt together and film each other’s hunts. And let me just say that I have mad filming skills. Just kidding, I do not. I am terrible. I am inept when it comes to electronics and I will say that gracefulness is not my strong suit either. It amazes me that My Handy Man lets me near him with weapons. One of my goals this year, besides not falling and breaking anything, is to become more proficient with the camera and to do a good job filming his hunts. He does a wonderful job filming mine, it is only right to return the favor!
Back to the blinds and the ones we built last year, one of them is for a north wind and one is for a south wind. We did not put metal roofs on them and we have decided that this is a must for where we hunt, so we will be doing that to both old blinds and new alike. This year our plan is to build two more permanent bow blinds. We will probably build them one north and one south again and cozy enough for two bow hunters. That is how we like it.
We have been talking about picking up two pop-up blinds and setting them off the beaten path. We would like to get a couple more game cameras and set them off in the woods somewhere. The idea of getting the cameras that send pictures directly to your phone really appeals to us. And the wallet keeps getting skinnier. We will see.
Last year, we also built a two person rifle stand. We built it ten feet off the ground and it is very nice as well. I do not think we will be building any rifle stands this year. Neither of us really likes to rifle hunt. Our son does like hunting hogs that way though. So we may build more yet. Plus there are a couple of guys on our property that like to hunt the rifle stands.
I will say that I do like the comfort of rifle stands especially when it is cold outside. The problem is that I fall asleep in a rifle stand when I am all warm and snuggled up to My Handy Man. I cannot help it and I cannot change it. Plus, I don’t really want to. It is how God made me. So I better stick to the cold bow blinds. I have talked to a lot of female hunters and it seems that being cold is a common problem. I am always looking for ways to get warmer. Maybe I can get a Heater Body Suit. Yes I think that is what I will do. Alas, the wallet gets lighter.
I would be interested in hearing about other’s plans for the upcoming hunting season.