Friday, July 19, 2013

New Product Plug

Just when you though that feelings of inadequacy would ruin your date for opening day:  Introducing the Cornholer, a handy package for delivering a salty treat that will stay like a rock even after hours of licking.  This is obviously for the hunter who feels he's being shafted by deer who pull out of his shooting zone prematurely, leaving him frustrated and unfulfilled.  You can find this fabulous new product right next to the Donkey Juice at your local Wallyworld.

Better than corn, ya'll!

Screw it.
Yeah.  But I'm the gay one, right?

One of my friend's comments  included "What's next, the Dil-Doe?" to "I knew hunting had the same marketing strategies as porn, but I didn't realize it was gay porn."

This pic also sent another typically even-keeled hunting budding into as close as I've heard him come to a tirade about how marketing for instant gratification has gone too far and he can barely stand to look at all these products pushing the idea of chumming animals to your location instead of actually, well, hunting them.

Look, I know there's a long, long gradation of styles in the spectrum of "hunting", from those that think the Timucua were too advanced to those that would happily pay the cost of a Cadillac to punch a keyboard in Miami and pop a elephant on the Serengeti (yes I made that last example up, but its not that far removed from things that have been proposed).  Somewhere on that spectrum is where the game laws kick in that have made conservation function, so far.   On the legal side of that line we have to make our own judgement calls about what is meaningful and real.  Should we constantly push the letter of the law and use all the advantages we can, or should we say the spirit is enough and find our fulfillment there?  I posted some of my thoughts topic before.  However, there's no doubt it is human nature to tinker and improve.

But these choices do have consequences.  Lately I've seen more and more stickers on vehicles with some mix of human bones and hunting iconography, that ubiquitous Bone Collector crap being the best example.  I guess if you really think of yourself as some angel of death in your hunting endeavors, sure, whatever gets you off.  However, if I find it questionable, who the hell knows what someone unacquainted with hunting thinks, someone who may have thought more favorably of hunting with the right message?  You certainly don't have to give a rat's ass what that person thinks, but then again that person may one day have their hand poised to cast a vote that would take hunting away from the bone-wrapped camo crowd.  Who knows?

Done now, that soap box was getting rickety and sort of slippery anyhow.  I'm sure everyone will agree with me, right?  Who's up for something fun and non-controversial?  Ice cream? Puppies?  Puppies eating ice cream?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Blueberry Flatwoods

(Author's note:  This is post number 75 for Eating My Deer.  Not exactly a record but longer than I ever thought this blog would hold my occasional attention.  My original deer are long since eaten, and what started mostly as a feeble cooking blog has morphed into more of a record of my hunting and occasional outdoor ventures, most of which involve entirely no harm to any animals other than myself.)

There isn't a lot of story to this one, just some photos.  There is a bit of good news though.  Even after last year's attempt to acquire a hunting lease ended in frustrating failure, we weren't dissuaded from the desire for a place of our own.   My friend and I kept our eyes and ears open, and last month I got a call from him on a Saturday morning about a parcel that had come up on a timber company website.  It was within an OK driving distance and at an OK price, so he placed a bid and, surprisingly, we managed to get it.  Later his brother joined up as well, and we decided to split the parcel three ways.

My share of it is roughly rectangular, about 40-45 acres, fairly mature pine flatwoods in the east and a basin swamp in the west (the deer aren't thirsty here, unlike the old situation in 40 Acre Pines).  I'm still exploring it, but it's surprisingly high-quality for timber land.  The pine has an intact understory that is absolutely loaded in places with the blueberry bushes that inspired my informal name for it:  Blueberry Flatwoods.

A bit more after the photo tour: 

Road that divides the parcel, my part is on the right.

Tar-Flower, Bejaria racemosa

Marshy area

Lots of blueberries

Even more blueberries

Hooded pitcher plants Sarracenia minor (I think)

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Cool twisting grass(?)

Hopefully my killing field one day (that's probably about the most aggressive thing you'll hear me say)

Old turpentine pine in the swamp

Sublime, yet spooky.  Perfect.
I placed a game cam on the outskirts of the swamp last week, I'm going to try to head up soon to check it and move it to an even better trail I discovered.  So far I've spotted two does, one of which was very near my truck when I returned from a circuit.

There are some issues on the horizon though, later this decade an extension of a major highway is going to be built almost adjacent to the west boundary of the property.  We aren't sure how that might change things, it may not even be that big of a deal, and we can even think of a couple of ways it could work out in our favor.

But that's years from now.  For now, I'm looking forward, hopefully, to this September.