Sunday, November 2, 2008

Texas Deer Hunting Surprises

This last weekend was the traditional opening weekend of deer season in the Texas Hill Country. My family was gathered in Lampasas county to share the opening weekend and fellowship. No great deer were taken but a good time was had by all and each has another memory to file away or pass to future generations. Saturday afternoon was really unique and will amuse my brother's and my thoughts for years to come.

My brother and I have reached the age where we no longer kill just any legal buck. It must be a really unique or special animal otherwise we will kill a cull deer or barren doe for meat and most of the time we shoot with a camera. Yesterday was one of those days when we should have had the camera but did not. We had chose to sit in the truck visiting while watching a ranch road that went by an oat patch into a heavy oak mott. On the other side of the road was a large cedar break that was so thick you can not walk through it.

We spent the afternoon watching butterflies and unique birds pass through our field of view. Later we watched some small bucks starting to feel their hormones kicking in and trying to act tough just like a bunch of teenage boys. As the sun started to sink towards the horizon an animal crossed the road about 150 yards down the hill and my brother immediately spoke that is was a feral cat. I started lip squeaking and the animal emerged on the road running towards the truck. It was a grey fox. As the fox ran to see what small animal or bird was in distress another fox came running from a brush pile in the oak mott. We we surprised to see two grey foxes within feet of the truck, but all of a sudden a third grey fox burst from the cedar thicket and challenged the other foxes. One went back to the oak mott brush pile while the other two arched their backs and circled each other like large cats. Finally one of the foxes urinated on a rock and moved off as if he had marked the boundary of his territory or drawn a line in the sand. As it disappeared in the thicket the other fox then went to the rock and urinated in the same spot. After sitting there awhile it went into the cedar thicket and disappeared down the same trail as the other fox. That was the last my brother and I would see of the grey foxes but not the end of the story.

My uncle was sitting on the other side of the cedar break in a blind maybe a quarter mile from where we sat in the truck. He was watching a few small bucks and a group of does in the oat patch when a snarling pair of foxes burst from the cedars only steps from his blind. The foxes ran into the field and starting fighting running the deer out of the oat patch. They stood up on their hind legs almost boxing while biting at each other and making weird cries. One of the foxes broke away and ran into a brush pile with other in hot pursuit. My uncle said that after all sorts of growls, cries and strange sounds one of the foxes came out of the brush pile, crossed the field and went back into the cedar breaks. The other never came out of the brush pile. I hope it survived. Learn every time you go into the outdoors, Wild Ed
I do not know who took the following photo but in my opinion it is one of the best shots I have ever seen taken of a female bobcat and her kittens. I just thought you guys would like to see it. Congrats to the photographer for a great shot. Wild Ed

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