Monday, October 1, 2007

Deer Feeders Feed More Than Deer

My brother and our wives made a trip to our place in Lampasas County this weekend to work on the girl’s deer stands and feeders. We cleared brush and shooting lanes, set up a pop up blind and did general clean up around the stands. In one of the wood box blinds we found a cotton rat that was not amused by our cleaning. It stood on the window edge and watched us for about 30 seconds before jumping and heading for a brush pile.
At one of the feeders I have an old tire in the feeder pen that I use to hold a mineral block for the deer. I have reached down and moved that tire around a hundred times and never given it a thought. I learned a lesson this trip, as a four foot Texas Rat snake has made the tire his home. I was fortunate it was not a copperhead or rattlesnake. Lesson learned, and you can bet I will look before moving old tires for the rest of my life. The Old Rat Snake was taking advantage of all the rodents and birds that come to the deer feeder.

The deer are not coming in to the corn feeders or blocks as there is an abundance of browse and acorns. There was ample sign that squirrels, rabbits and coons have all found the corn. The feeders have become a hangout for a large number of songbirds and the predators that feed on them. The grass and vegetation at the ranch is as lush as I can remember in my lifetime. There is some surface water but it is going away rapidly. After a record year for rain the ground is getting hard and dry again.
Also seen yesterday were passage red tailed hawks and the seasons first Kestrels. A lone Great Horned Owl flew from one of the large oaks when we were filling a feeder. There is an assortment of wildlife to be seen on every trip is one just pays attention to the world around them. There are still mosquitoes and chiggers out so prepare accordingly. Good hunting, Wild Ed

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