More on Hunting Javelina and Wild Hogs

Javelinas weigh between 30 and 50 lbs., while feral hogs average about 130 lbs. Some feral hogs have weighed as much as 465 lbs!

Yesterday’s story about hunting javelina and wild hogs ran too long.  So today, I’m finishing the tips on hunting the collared peccary and feral pigs.

Successful Hunters Know the Animal’s Habits

The wild swine have well-developed senses, while the javelina has poor eyesight, average hearing and an excellent sense of smell.

Neither of these animal groups have quiet table manners.

Use These Facts While Hunting

You will be able to hear the collared peccary while they are dining.  Coupled with their pungent smell, it’s rather easy to find them.

If you are using a handgun, muzzle loader or archery equipment, you will need to get close to the javelina … which is usually not much of a problem because of their poor eyesight.

Never forget, however, that these are wild animals with a poor sense of humor.  If injured instead of killed outright, these beasts are potentially very dangerous!

Hunting Methods

Because most javelina are shot while hunting for deer, the most common method of hunting is stand hunting.  However, wild swine and peccaries are also hunted by:

  • stalking,
  • hog drives,
  • still hunting,
  • safari-style hunting and
  • calling
  • setting out corn and other foodstuffs,
  • using “hog dogs.”

Differences in Habitat

Feral hogs are, unfortunately, all over Texas.  These wild animals were once domesticated pigs that reverted to the wild;  this process may have occurred as far back as when the Spaniards brought them to the New World!

Where the Wild Things Are! 

As I mentioned in a previous article, Texas has more than 2 million of these wild  hogs — and their numbers are increasing!  There is no season on these wild hogs — and no upper limit to the number available in a year.

On the other side of the coin, the javelina is a game animal in Texas and there is a limit of 2/year.  The collared peccary lives in 2 large zoned areas.

This year, the season for the Northern Zone (43 counties, roughly the arid counties around San Antonio) is between October 1, 2011 and February 26, 2012.

The 50 counties of the Southern Zone, are the south and southwestern Texas counties along the Rio Grande River (the natural border between Texas and Mexico).  Their season is from September 1, 2010-August 31, 2011!

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FYI:   For the Next Few Days, I’m Traveling to a Reunion & Doing Some Genealogy Work in Their Local Library!

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Come Back for Saturday’s Joke and Sunday’s Special Graphics! 

(They’re already written and scheduled for distribution)

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on June 1, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments Off on More on Hunting Javelina and Wild Hogs  
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A Hunter’s Dilema: To Bone or Not to Bone?

These Deer are Alert and Watching!

The Boning Process

After bringing your game down, you must decide whether or not to bone.  Boning simply means removing all the meat from the bones — usually in the field.

Some folks swear by it while others swear at it!  Here are some of the pros and cons of boning.

The Downside of Boning

Why would it be a bad idea to bone out your game?

  • It dries out the meat,
  • The meat can get that ‘gamey taste’ or even spoil,
  • Dirt and other contaminants can affect the meat.
  • If you are boning, you aren’t hunting.
  • State regulations may require you to remove the animal in a particular way, so it can still be identified.*

As you cut the meat away from the bones, it exposes that meat to the air, which dries out the flesh.  When you are ready to prepare your game for processing, you may have to throw away overly dried, shriveled meat.

When you are out in the field, sanitation conditions are dicey.  The chances of the meat spoiling — or adding that gamey taste — increase the longer the meat is exposed to the elements.

Another issue is the fact that if you are busy boning, you are not hunting!  Some hunters see this as a terrible waste of their limited hunting hours.

Finally, nothing else matters if your  state requires you to remove game from the field in a certain way, so it can still be identified!

The Advantages of Boning

There are a couple of reasons you might want to bone out your animal in the field:

  • You are only moving meat, thus reducing the weight of your pack back to camp.
  • If  you had to bring ice to keep the meat safe, you won’t need nearly as much to cover the meat, instead of the carcass.

Finally

The rule of thumb among seasoned hunters is:  Only bone out an animal as a last resort when the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Of course, if your state specifies how an animal is to be transported from the field, all other considerations are immaterial!

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* The state of Texas requires that deer be removed from the field in quarters, so the animal can still be identified.

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‘Early Snowfall’ Rear Window Graphic used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics.

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

 

 

Published in: on December 8, 2010 at 10:29 am  Comments Off on A Hunter’s Dilema: To Bone or Not to Bone?  
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Using Camo and a Blind When the Deer Aren’t

Article first published as Using Camo and a Blind When the Deer Aren’t on Technorati.

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Used properly, camouflage can significantly improve your chances of getting close enough to a deer to shoot.  However, camouflage doesn’t cure all problems — all the time.

Face Paint, Face Veils & Head Coverings Disguise the Human Form!

How Camo Helps

Whether you use face paint, head veils/coverings or other camouflage materials, they usually do a great job of breaking up your outline.

They also help you blend in with your surroundings, thus forcing deer to use his other senses to find you.

Ground blinds in camo patterns extend your ability to hide while offering you visibility of your surroundings.  Here are a few hints about camo and ground blinds:

  • Bowhunters should locate their blinds about 15 – 20 yards away from trails made by game.
  • Use curved edges when covering your hiding spot, rather than squared edges.  It looks more natural.
  • Set your ground blind at a higher elevation than you expect to see game.  This takes you out of his direct line-of-sight and usually gives you a wider view.
  • Cover yourself completely; your skin, watch and weapons must be matte.  If a deer sees the sun reflecting off  the face of your watch — you are toast!

Other Considerations While Hunting

Safety is your first consideration — for yourself and other hunters.  Here are a few tips so you don’t become accidental prey or hurt others!

  • A bright orange vest/jacket/hat should be worn on your way to your hunting spot.
  • Don’t wear or carry anything that is the color of the game you are seeking.
  • Hang a tag of bright tape on the animal when you are field dressing or carrying game to your vehicle.
  • When you hear another hunter approaching, call out in a normal voice to alert others.  Do not shout, use a whistle or use an animal caller.
  • Be extremely careful of using an animal caller when other hunters are in your hunting area.
  • Be sure that you will have a clear shot and that you can see on the other side of the animal — before you shoot.

Remember: Safety takes a few extra seconds, but regret lasts for a very long time!

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Come Back Sunday for a Look at 5 Dynamite Firefighter Graphics!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 11:15 am  Comments Off on Using Camo and a Blind When the Deer Aren’t  
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What’s So Great About the New Camouflage?

This Ghillie Suit Jacket is 'Leafy Green' Pattern.

If you have been in a hunting goods store lately, you have seen a dizzying array of camouflage patterns.

Three or 4 years ago, I was sure there were a ridiculous number of camo patterns and that the market was saturated!

Hah!  Boy was I wrong!  High-definition and other ‘new generation’ camo patterns have really become popular.

Who would have thought?

Back to the Basics

Camo has become as much a fashion statement as a way to hide from game.  If you looked at the vintage photos I ran a few weeks ago, none of those hunters had camo.

Some hunters today, however, seem to think that camo clothing makes them invisible.  Thus, today I’m sharing a cautionary tale.

Game Outsmarting Hunters

Deer, and other wild game, use their senses to detect trouble (Psst:  All hunters = trouble).

They use these 3 senses to stay away from trouble:

  • eyes
  • nose
  • ears

Camo helps protect you from game’s prying eyes.  By wearing a camo pattern that blends in with your surroundings, you become harder to see — but not invisible!

Blending in is very important!  If you are wearing the camo pattern in the photo above while hunting in an area of dead brush and dry river beds, you will not blend in.  You might as well be wearing neon!

Eyes and Movement

There’s a second factor in what deer (and other game) are watching for — movement.  The more you blend into the background, the more movement you can get away with — without being discovered.

That is where these ‘new generation’ camo patterns are so useful.  High-definition (or hi-def) fabrics are much more 3 dimensional than previous patterns.

This RealTree Hardwood Green Pattern Seems to Have Leaves Layered on Top of Twigs & Branches of Trees!

The vertical lines of the branches are like woody areas.

However, the best camo in the world will not protect you from the keen senses of your prey, if you are:

  • moving while game is gazing directly at you, {eyes}
  • walking and making noise like a human (instead of other game), {ears}
  • wiggling too much while in your tree stand, {eyes}
  • smelling like a human, {nose}
  • having nicotine, alcohol and gasoline/oil odors on your person, {nose}
  • allowing sunlight to strike shiny surfaces near you (your watch, your weapon, etc.), {eyes}

Finally

Camo is a wonderful tool; combine its use with good woodsmanship skills  for a successful hunt!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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Published in: on November 11, 2010 at 9:24 am  Comments Off on What’s So Great About the New Camouflage?  
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More Interesting Facts about Whitetailed Deer

A few days ago, I wrote the first part of this article (with the very snappy title) — Interesting Facts About Whitetail Deer.

The White Fur is Obvious on these Deer in this 'Woodland Splendor' Scene! *

Fur Colors on Whitetails

Last time, I told you that whitetails are always dressed for the weather:  a reddish-brown coat in the spring & summer, and a gray-brown (heavier coat) for the fall and winter.

These coat colors help them hide in plain sight;  they are generally the same color as their surroundings.

We call these deer ‘whitetails’ because of the fur on the underside of their tails.  When they are ‘on alert,’ deer raise their tails.  They show alarm by twitching their tails and racing or bounding away from what scares them.

Whitetails have other white details on their bodies.  There is a ring of white fur around their eyes and a line of white hair between the nose and the face.

They also have touches of white fur in their large ears, under their chin and on the throat.  Deer have white fur bellies and on the inside of their upper legs.

Deer shed their fur twice per year, but grow new antlers each year.  Obviously, good nutrition is critical to do this important work (shedding and growing new fur and antlers).

Antlers by the Season

It is hard to imagine that a buck grows and sheds his antler ‘rack’ each year.  The antlers start as two beams upon which tines (or points) grow.

Looking at the buck above, I believe there are 8 points (3 on the left side and 5 on the right rack).

Deer shed their antlers in the winter (after the rut), and regrow them in the spring.  Thin skin, called velvet, cover the new, tender tines/points.  This velvet is shed before autumn.

Before the Rut

Antlers are an important part of buck’s behavior used in the weeks before the rut (deer mating season). Deer are herding animals and  dominance is determined by fighting.

By looking at these racks, you can imagine that buck fights can become rough.  The winning buck is the dominant animal of the herd and he mates with the most does (when they come into season).

Finally

Generally, most states set hunting season around the time of the rut.  This helps hunters because most bucks have other things on their minds and are not as careful!

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Woodland Splendor‘ used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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Published in: on November 2, 2010 at 12:18 am  Comments Off on More Interesting Facts about Whitetailed Deer  
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Tips for Finding and Using a Tree Stand

Choosing the wrong tree for a deer stand can make or break your hunting experience.  Here are a few hints for the newbie hunter.

Deer Hunter at Sunset **

Advantages of a Tree Stand

There are several advantages to using a tree as your shooting spot, whether you are bowhunting or using a gun.

  • You will be above the deer’s range of vision
  • Your scent will be above the deer’s head (less likely to smell you)
  • Trees generally offer a wider range of view than ground blinds
  • Animals shot from above and exiting lower offer a better blood trail for finding a wounded animal
  • Trees are safer for hunters; you are less likely to be taken for game

Factors for a Great Tree Stand

You have found a likely place to hunt deer.  Since you have decided to hunt in a tree, look around your site. Avoid trees that are dead, leaning with a serious tilt, having a wide base (cypress comes to mind), or one having too many low limbs. One experienced hunter told me that the most comfortable tree stand he ever used had a tilt away from the spot he wanted to face.  Why? He was able to lean against the tree during long waiting periods in relative comfort.

Take Your Tree Stand Along

While scouting for a likely spot, bring an axe (or a small saw) and your stand.  If you are like me, the next idea will be the hard part. Imagine yourself in the tree stand.  Can you move around as you like?  Can you see far enough down the trail, path, whatever — as you need to? Adapting a hunting position is easier now, before you have a gun and other equipment to handle.

Other Factors to Consider

As if the  previous ideas weren’t enough trouble, here are 3 more to think about while selecting your tree.

  • If you are a bowhunter, consider removing overhead branches that might interfere with your bow action.
  • Try to choose a site that will stay in shadows so sunlight won’t give your site away to wary animals *
  • Think about prevailing winds; you don’t want the wind to blow past you toward the game you are watching

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*  Remove watches and other bling.  Is your gun matte?  Sunlight (striking shiny surfaces) will give your location away.

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‘Sunset Stand’ used by permission of ClearVue Graphics

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

 

Published in: on October 20, 2010 at 10:16 am  Comments Off on Tips for Finding and Using a Tree Stand  
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5 Quick Tips for Newbie Hunters

These 5 tips come from experienced hunters.

Waiting for Hunting Season to start? So is he! *

Smelling ‘Right’

After washing  your hunting clothes and drying them in open air,* add your boots to a large plastic bag, along with the crushed leaves and other vegetation from your hunting site.  Seal it closed and allow to ‘steep.’

The odors will seep into your clothes, making you fit into the smell of the area you plan to hunt.

Your Hunting Boots

Don’t wear your hunting clothes or boots when you are adding gasoline (or any other fuel) .   Experienced hunters also avoid wearing their clothes/boots in diners or ‘greasy spoons.’

These scents (gasoline, kerosene, cooked food odors) cling to clothing and boots.

Did You Know?

Your wrists, like your scalp, lose heat rapidly.  Blood flows close to the skin surface in both places, requiring covering to keep you comfortable while hunting.

As you can imagine, keeping your wrists covered is a challenge while shooting or using a bow.  Gloves are effective, but they might interfere with your shooting.

Lots of hunters have started using wrist bands (used by athletes, tennis players, etc.) — either without gloves or under gloves and/or mittens.

Playing it Safe in a Tree Stand

Every year,  several hunters die falling from their tree stand or when their gun discharges while climbing into  their stand.

A safety belt: It’s an important piece of gear  for anyone using a tree stand.  Safety isn’t it’s only value; it also helps steady your aim for distance shots.

A properly adjusted belt will end the fear of falling — thus adding to your enjoyment of the hunt!

Deer are Excellent Swimmers

When hunting for a suitable hunting spot, look for water!  Deer seem to consider water as a barrier to detection.  Deer do not hesitate to enter water.

They are known to swim beaver ponds and swamps, as well as wade creeks to escape from hunters and dogs.

When looking for deer, be sure to scan the banks for trails leading out of the water and up the bank.  As creatures of habit, they may come for water and/or cross the river or creek at the same place.

This is a great site for a hunting spot!

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* Your dryer has ‘dryer sheet residue’ (complete with fru-fru smells). Hang them out to dry instead.

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If you found this useful, please pass it on to a friend!  Thank you!

‘Great Eight’ rear window graphic is used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

 

A Great Hunting Forum: TalkHunting.com **

 

 

Although I’ve followed TalkHunting.com through their tweets, I recently spent time on the site and like what I see.   If you are into hunting – this is a very friendly place.

With All the Tips & Hints Flying Around on TalkHunting.com, These Turkeys Should Be Shaking in their Shoes!

TalkHunting.com

I’m not sure 400 words is enough room to explain this site!  A year ago, they decided to collect wild game recipes for a cookbook and recipes started to arrive.  Are you familiar with “Canned Venison/Elk?”  I wasn’t.

At the bottom of page one, Captain Dale offers the recipe as a pdf file.   Put raw slices of meat with some condiments in canning jars. By the time the pressure cooker has done its job, the meat is cooked and processed.

Forums for Various Types of Hunting

Although there are areas of general interest (Announcements & Events; Free Classified Ads, etc.), there are separate forums for specific hunting interests:  Deer, Turkey, Big Game,  Water Fowl & Game Birds, Other Critters (hogs, predators, etc.), and Hunting with Kids.

The thing that impressed me most was hunters helping hunters – with tips and suggestions.  An example in the “Turkey Hunter > New Turkey Hunter” Forum:  Someone new to hunting turkey asked how to get started. Seasoned hunters welcomed the newcomer and shared useful advice.

Free Hunting Products Given Away Monthly

An interesting aside to this site is the fact that hunting product sponsors offer a variety of items to be given away each month!  TalkHunting.com has devised a great way to distribute those prizes.

Members (yes, you must be a registered member to qualify) must promote the quality of the forum by participating in discussions.  You need to offer a minimum number of posts for your name to be added to the pot for the drawings.  Additional posts by members mean more chances of winning!

Why I Like This Site

I’m a native Houstonian and our family moved a great deal during my early years. Chatting with a stranger has never come naturally to me.  In fact, the entire concept of “social media” leaves me cold.

However, I’ve really enjoyed lurking (reading, but not commenting)* on this site.  I’ve learned quite a bit in the time I’ve spent there.

If you are looking for friendly folks, lots of support, interesting stories and photos, this is a great spot.   Say … lets lurk together!

On the site, I’m “marylouise22.”

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* Lurking is common for newcomers; you learn how things work, how to comment, etc.  Of course, the expectation is that before long, you will want to participate.  This is a easy site to get started.

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‘Proud Crowd’ is used by permission of ClearVue Graphics!

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This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

 

Turkey Hunting: Outsmarting Loners & Small Gobbler Groups

 

A Loner Needs Special Attention

A Loner Needs Special Attention

 

While hunting, you have to take the turkeys as they come. Two distinctly different types are:  loner gobblers and small groups of 2 or 3 youngish males. Their behaviors are quite different and call for unique actions by the hunter.

Loner Gobblers

Generally, loner males are older than the small groups of jakes or young turkeys.  Having considerable success with ‘the girls,’ these dominant loners are are used to hens coming to them.

They didn’t get to their age by taking foolish chances.  They require special techniques to entice them to your shotgun or bow and arrow.

Young Bachelor Groups

These youngsters are usually two-year olds with little breeding experience.  They are usually eager to respond to any calls from the hens.

Sometimes, a group  may have one mature gobbler; the 2 or 3 are buddies — and roost together — throughout the mating season. (If you recall, I mentioned that turkeys travelled together through the fall and winter months, but break up {along gender lines} at the time of mating. This is one unusual grouping that does not separate in the spring.)

These small groups of youngish males tend to interrupt each other and respond whenever the mood strikes. As the day wears on, these bachelors tend to increase their chatter.

This is the opposite of the mature loner; he gobbles less than the younger males. As the day advances, the loner tends to decrease his chattering more.  He’s more cautious than the youngsters.

How Are Your Turkey Calls Coming?

It almost seems as if the younger gobblers are trying to outdo each other. They seem to respond best to aggressive calling — loud yelps. Toss in a few cutts for good measure.

The bachelors also respond to gobblers. If you use a turkey tube, you may entice them to you.

Keep in mind: Gobbling is dangerous — unless you are hunting alone, you may attract another hunter.

The dominant loner isn’t buying any of these behaviors. You are most likely to catch him unawares by discovering his “strutting zone.” Daily, as the boys are “strutting their stuff,” they expect the hens to come watch the show.

The mature gobblers come to rely on the “strutting zone” as a great way to  find an eager female, especially when many of the hens have started nesting.

Next: Calling the Loner

This is getting long. I’ll finish this and talk about “setting up for a turkey hunt”  next time.

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Amazing Stories of 2008 – Published by (Gasp) Others!

 

What a Rack! What a Story!

What a Rack! 30 Points of "Oh, My Goodness!"

 

Yep, I hate to admit it. Others have produced some really great posts. Some were outrageously funny, some are just outrageous! All of these are worth your time….

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Most Important Choice

Probably the ‘YouTube’ show,  “What’s the Difference Between Assault Weapons & Sporting Rifles?” Leroy Pyle does more to dispel the emotion from these words than anyone else I’ve seen to date.

This video lasts less than 12 minutes and demonstrates the items under discussion.  His language is clear and low-key; just what is needed.

Most Useful

Without a doubt, learning how to clean a duck from a master hunter is wonderful. Don’t be put off by the fact this series (of 5 short videos) was produced with young hunters in mind.

Oh My Gosh!

Eat Your Heart Out: Amazing New MS State Archery Record!  is another jaw-dropper!  Congrats to Michael Burkley!

Good Grief! A 30 Point Deer! ** Update on 10/10/2010:

Snopes has an interesting story about the photo(s).  It seems the Amish community (and a few other hunters) were aware there was a huge deer in Adams County, Ohio.

John Schmucker, an Amish adult, killed the deer on the first day of bow hunting season. This deer is the largest ever taken by a crossbow in Ohio and the 2nd largest in the state — ever.

When measured, the final Boone & Crockett score was 291 and2/8 from a gross score of 300 and 6/8.

Click on the underlined Snopes for the whole story.

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The Year Isn’t Over

“Well, it ain’t over till it’s over,” sums up this latest story – just noticed it a few minutes ago on Rocky Mountain News.

Randy Goodman of Sedalia, Mo., reminds us all why Missouri is the “Show Me” State.  He went to collect the 240 lb. deer he’d just shot – twice.

Getting ready to pack his – obviously dead – 9 pointer back to camp, Goodman made a small mistake.  He forgot to make sure the deer was completely dead.

The deer took offense,*  jumped up and attacked the veteran hunter with his antlers and bulk.  The rest of the story is at: http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/081202-ap-deer-attack.html or @ http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/dec/02/wounded-deer-attacks-hunter-who-shot-him/

 

A Sadder & Wiser Good Man!

A Sadder & Wiser Good Man!

 

* The deer seems to have been offended that Mr. Goodman didn’t SHOW ME I’M DEAD!’ (Even the deer are into the “show me” mindset!) Sheesh!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com