Preparing for the Deer Hunt




Here it is November and in this part of the country that means getting ready for deer season.  The deer hunters are complaining that it’s too warm for hunting and they are watching the weather, hoping for a drop in temperature.


For the folks around here there is, of course, the  pre-hunt ritual that occurs every year.  At least that is the case for our family.  First of all, they go out with the brush hog (or is it bush hog?)  It’s some kind of hog that you pull with the tractor.  (Oh yes,  we had to trade tractors this year.  Why?  I don’t really know but I was told that it was of great necessity.)  As I write, they are out mowing brush to make it easy to get to the hunting places on the farm. 


The next step is to check all the “No Hunting” signs placed on the fences all around the farm to be sure they are all still there and readable.  We do this  to make sure strange people don’t get over on our land.  We hear about these strange people every year…people who don’t know the difference between a cow and a deer.  Most of the folks around here prefer that these  people stay off of our farms.  We don’t have time to put orange vests on all of our animals.  Maybe pictures and names of various animals should be posted in the public hunting campgrounds.  You know, flash cards depicting:  “Cow”, “Horse”, “Goat”, “DEER” etc.  They should probably be especially sure there is a picture of a human too, with an emphasis caption:  “Do Not Shoot!”


 Another pre-hunting season preparation is that you spray purple paint on gate posts and strategic places around the farm.  For those of you who don’t know, this is not some kind of voodoo ritual.  In Missouri anyway, purple paint means “no trespassing”.  Next, we get out the garlic….no, just kidding. 


All the deer stands must be checked to be sure all is in order.  A few days before season, guns are tested, knives sharpened, orange hats and vests located.  Of course, one of the big things you can’t forget is “Food”.  There is more than one purpose for all those pockets in those hunting jackets and Mama usually keeps a crock pot of chili or stew back at the house. 


If you plan to hunt, here are a few hunting tips from our family:


1.    Remember to look behind you occasionally while on your stand.          

     Deer have been known to sneak up on you.


2.    While sitting on that log, never assume that the pretty vine brushing against your face is harmless.  (Can you say, “poison ivy”?)


3.    If you have to go to the bathroom, be sure to refer back to tip number  2.


4.    Also, concerning bathroom,  be sure your rifle is within reach as deer seem to show up at the most inopportune times.


5.    Never assume you “missed” the deer until you go look.


6.    If you have a weak stomach, or have never field dressed a deer before, do not eat a big meal before you hunt.


7.    Be especially careful before deer season begins…people have been known to get so excited about the hunt that they fall and break bones and ruin their deer hunting season.


8.    If you get lost in the woods and make your way back to the truck, do not honk your horn unless it’s an emergency.  (The running was hard on Grandpa after recent surgery that year)


9.    Never straddle a deer when you are getting ready to field dress him unless you are prepared to ride.  (Yes, this really happened to someone we all know and love)


Well, I’m off to the store for more food and purple paint.


Happy hunting!



By Pamela R. Blaine

© November 4, 2000