For those of you who have already gotten to get out there, mark me jealous. Texas’w rifle season doesn’t open until tomorrow, so I’m hopping up and down in my ergonomically designed office chair chewing on my lip and trolling Hank Shaw’s website for recipes. Hunting season starts in less than twenty-four hours and I’m like a kid on Christmas eve . . .
This year’s opener was not without some roadblocks. Normally, I take Friday off, head out to the ranch, and get all of my gear sorted out, walk around a bit, and usually sit in the blind that evening to see what comes in. We’ve had a lot more pigs this year and a decent amount of axis and black buck, so getting a non-whitetail animal the day before is never totally out of line. Unfortunately, I’m sitting in the office instead of the woods.
I’m sitting in the office because one of my friends had the audacity to get married on opening day, and my wife and I have to attend a welcome dinner halfway between San Antonio and Austin tonight. Try as I might, I was unable to wiggle my way out. Luckily, the wedding is a short ninety minute drive from the family land, and he at least had the forethought to get married in the afternoon. This will allow a good college buddy, similarly outraged about this scheduling travesty, and me to spend the morning getting our hunt on.
Further complicating the matter is the weather. I’m certain our Pacific Northwest readers will scoff at this, but the weather tomorrow is going to suck. It looks like we’ll have rain around sunrise and winds blowing steady ten to fifteen mph. The hopeful upside is that this weather will start this evening and go through the night which might keep the deer bedded down. In my experience, deer that spend the night bedded down are restless in the morning. Hopefully, the rain clears up around sunrise and the cool(ish) temperatures push them to get up and start foraging. Yes y’all, it is going to be 55 and wet. This is what passes for poor weather down here.
Meanwhile, I’m keeping my spirits up by reading up on corned venison and chipotle jerky. Hank Shaw is a big proponent of using every part of the animal, and this year, I’ve made a promise to do more with my kills. If we’re lucky enough to get a deer tomorrow, I’m planning on processing most of it myself, thanks to my one year old grinder, and my brand new sausage stuffer. I may or may not have ordered a large chest freezer as well to store the game that I kill. I’ve decided to get serious about eating more meat from the woods instead of the farm, and tomorrow marks the start of that commitment coming to fruition.
I’ve also found a company in Minnesota that will make me a set of gloves from my deer…. And a jacket if things go really well.