I hope you have recovered from the big hurricane. We lost shingles and siding, and had water in the house in several places. I didn’t bother to turn the damage in on my insurance. I was able to fix it myself. I’ll save the insurance for the big one. We only lost power for about 24 hours, so, all in all, considering the devastation on the Jersey Shore, we had nothing to complain about. I still feel for those folks.
If you hear gunshots every once in a while, remember this is still Rappahannock County and it is deer season. I remember when you had to take your deer to a game checking station and get a tag for it. Now we just call them in or do it online. The Rappahannock News would print the reports from all the game checking stations, and print pictures of the hunters with their deer. I used to read those reports like they were the Wall Street tickers and I had a million dollars riding on the outcome.
I can see it now: Game Checking Station, Bradford’s Store, Flint Hill: Frank Huff, 10 pt.; Larry Welch, 9 pt.; Charles Foster, 8 pt.; . . . and on and on it would read, listing all the lucky hunters who had checked in their deer since last weeks’ report.
I also noted a week or two ago the picture and caption of the blessing of the foxhounds, and read with some interest a letter to the editor the following week lamenting that no one was praying for the foxes. That may be true, but don’t worry about someone praying for the deer. I have that covered. I pray regularly that they will be plentiful, healthy, fat and tasty.
Funny thing about the gunshots I hear. Since there isn’t a lot of hunting around close to my house, the shots I hear usually come a day or two after the start of deer season, and I smile when I hear them. They are rather regular in pattern, and only last for 10 or 15 minutes. I smile because I am guessing that someone has missed a deer and they are grumbling to themselves that this blasted gun isn’t shooting like it used to, and they have set up a target to line up their rifle. Again.
Some of my deer hunting friends are telling me that they are not seeing as many yearlings in the deer herd this year. I had the same feeling. I am getting anecdotal reports from several different sources about the effects the coyote population is having on the deer herd. One report was from near Amissville, where some hunters set up a number of trail cameras and captured multiple shots of coyotes killing, dragging and eating fawns. Another report from the Catlett area was that a landowner, last spring, set up a camera on an active coyote den and had pictures of more than 50 carcasses of fawns being brought to the den. Maybe the game commission will weigh in on this one. Maybe we need a bounty on coyotes. I sent one to coyote heaven during black powder season.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and were able to gather with your family and give thanks for all your blessings. That’s what we did. As a good childhood friend put on his dear wife’s grave marker, “We have so much to thank Him for.”