Deer Hunting: Deep South Style
I was working on a program at the picnic table today when the rain kicked up again. It’s been raining here for about a day and a half and is expected continue for a few more. We had a break in the rain and I figured that I would get out of the van for a bit, but got caught outside.
We recently bought a tarp and some poles for our camping gear. The tarp is mostly to let people know that there is someone already camped in this site when we are in town. Today it kept my computer and me mostly dry.
You can’t really tell from the photo, but the rain was coming down in buckets. I was really surprised to see the deer hunters out in this kind of weather. I suppose they were probably surprised to see some guy working at a computer in it. I felt sorry for the dogs the most though. The hunting dogs that is.
This little girl had about had enough of it and was more interested in sniffing the grease drippings in my fire pit.
One of the things that greatly surprised me was how deer hunting in the deep south was so much different than how we do it in the midwest. Firstly, they almost completely hunt from their pickup trucks. It isn’t illegal to shoot across a road down here or to have a loaded gun in the vehicle. Heck, about half the pickups I see down here have a seat mounted in the bed of the truck to sit on and shoot from. They look like some kinda 4×4 bass boat or something. Oh, and everyone uses a high-power rifle.
The other thing they do is use dogs to run the deer. Some of the more responsible hunters put radio collars on the dogs and track them. You’ll see them with what look like old TV antenna’s, waiving them around the outside of their pickup trucks trying to track the dogs. This is the same stuff we used to watch Jim put on a lion in Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.
Some guys don’t use the radio collars. There are these cages about every other corner on the gravel roads that say “Lost Dogs” in them. If you find a dog, you’re supposed to put it in the box and hope someone comes along and claims it.
The other thing I found surprising was how small the deer are here. I hear that if you get one over 100lbs, you got a good one. Maybe hunting small deer with dogs, pickups, and high-power rifles is more common than I knew about. It was all new to me and I found it all a little strange.