Note: All photos come from ranches hunted by Adobe Lodge Also: Click on an image to enlarge it.
9-16-18 After posting this week's batch of photos from the over-achiever Max Sanders, low and behold he sends even more to post. So his latest submissions are below, and this week's regular report is below those photos.
Whew. I'm weary. I think I'll have a beer on the back porch and rest a spell.
9-16-18 Time marches on. We are only about 40 days away from the arrival of our first hunters. If you are the outfitter with a long list of chores to get done, time flies. If you are a hunter waiting to finally depart on your adventure, time seems to drag. Funny how that happens.
The collection of photos submitted this week by Max Sanders has a variety of critters, but Max noted that he was unsuccessful in collecting images of any large bucks. Gosh. That's almost like hunting, isn't it? How many of us have sat for hours without seeing anything worthwhile? Actually, Max did get a blurred image of a ten pointer, so he did not strike out after all.
But from any of Max's photos, there are always things to learn. There is a small, one-horned deer. Maybe we've seen him before. There are numerous small bucks still "in the velvet" as we get a good, close look at their headgear. Wonder how much longer we will see velvet?
Max had his camera set up near a likely hole on the side of a large bank of dirt in hopes of getting a photo of the homeowner. Finally, he would get a good image of a badger. So far, all he finds there are raccoons. Have they encroached on the neighborhood? Surely they did not do the dirt work on the cavern. Raccoons are supposed to live in hollow trees. But the good news is that Max has moved his "badger" camera to a fresh site with plenty of new dirt. Wait till next week. (But isn't that was the football teams always say?)
Looks like in addition to javelinas and raccoons now stealing corn from our deer, we have a new perp - a crow. Max got this one dead-to-rights while the helpless victim is in the background. He is forced to share his meal with this interloper.
9-9-18 Most all of Texas has been praying for rain for months. Finally it came. Most of us got enough to do some good. Some of us (not here) had flooding.
Early September rains are just the ticket to germinate our winter weeds. Speaking of winter weeds: when they are good, there is no better nutrition for our wildlife and even our livestock. And there is plenty of time for the winter forbs to make themselves into useable forage before the cold weather gets here after Thanksgiving. Around here, December through February brings dormancy to all the winter plants.
We just have to hope this week-long wet spell won't be the last one for several months. That is the very condition we have faced the past couple of years. But while things are wet, everyone is in a good mood. And we'll join everyone in our thanksgiving for the blessings of good rains.
This week's collection of photos accumulated by the ever-busy Max Sanders shows most of the antlers now gaining their full size. Some of the late-bloomers are still wearing visible velvet which is covering horns that are not even close to being done. But most are, although they still appear to be covered by fuzz. Tree rubbing is right around the corner.
When Max sets a camera near a water point, he will usually wind up with a photo showing a "Mexican Standoff" between a raccoon and a deer. There is a good one to check-out below. So far, anyway, Max has sent no photos showing any kind of physical contact between the two combatants. It is a game of some kind of bluff, seems like. But the question arises: if motion causes a trail cameras to snap a photo, what could be the cause of a deer/coon photo since no motion is involved?
As has been our experience with trail cameras, more questions are raised than are answered.
Faithful readers will see images of both a javelina and bobcat below. Max hasn't collected either in a while, so it is good to know he hasn't lost his touch. Max regretted not being closer to the cat because he is such a colorful feline. All his spots are super-distinct.
9-2-18 Dove season opened yesterday, and at daylight, you would have thought a battle was being fought on the edge of town.
Our town of San Angelo is loaded with doves - mourning doves, white wing doves, Inca doves, and a few Asian or ring-necked doves. Leave your vehicle parked under a tree for a while and it will be covered with their droppings in just a few hours.
To the north, east and south of the city, numerous milo fields can be found. The town-living doves migrate to these fields like teenagers converge on a mall. Many of the recently-harvest fields attract scads of dove hunters from all over the state. Indeed, our Home Camp lodge is leased to a dove outfitter who is hosting 15-20 hunters over the three-day weekend.
Max Sanders, our good-buddy who is addicted to trail cameras, has been busy collecting and reviewing images from 7-8 cameras. It is a time consuming job, and we're thankful for Max and his work.
From his latest offering, the photos below were selected from the dozens he sent. Not shown are numerous photos of does and fawns. Some of the babies are not all that large for this time of year which reminds us that last fall, the rut seemed to extend beyond its normal range. Hence the late-born fawns.
Also not shown often are the several photos of one-antlered young bucks. They appear to have never had that second antler, for whatever reason. There seems to be an unusual number of them, but perhaps we are seeing the same few over and over. It's difficult to tell.
There is a nice family photo of our enemy. Yep, a mother raccoon and her precious little ones are at a water trough. No doubt, she is instructing her babies on tactics to destroy corn feeders. She will cover the basics of corn sack demolition, too. Just leave a pickup overnight with a ton of corn in the bed. Next morning, every exposed sack will suffer a giant hole where the eager coons tear open the paper. You would gladly provide the varmints with an entire sack of their own if they would just leave the rest alone. Lesson: never leave anything in the back of a pickup that would be of interest to these bandits.
For those of you who are booked to hunt with us this fall, you can expect your packet of pre-hunt information to arrive early this coming week. It takes several days of office work to get it all together, and an armed guard must be hired to keep his pistol cocked and pointed at me to finally get it all done.