|DEER ARE EVERYWHERE UNTIL THE GUNS CRACK - Killin' A Deer Wasn't Always Easy|
By Bob Weaver
Cars are flocking to Sunny Cal this weekend, and supplies on grocery shelves will likely run low.
Deer camps will be crowded with men, boys, girls, guns, food, and basic essentials, like beer.
Refined hunters will take to their tree stands or tree shacks, while others will hit the woods on their ATVs.
Yes, deer season starts Monday.
Most of last century, Calhoun men would load up in a car and drive through deep snow or blizzard conditions to the higher mountains of West Virginia to hunt deer.
Few deer existed in Sunny Cal.
That has changed.
Some of my relatives, maybe yours too, had an old flat-bed International or Ford truck on which they built wooden shacks, some resembling extended outhouses with stove pipes sticking from the roof.
Poor man's campers, back then.
The distribution of deer into the smaller mountains commenced in force in the 1950's, and more and more hunters stayed back to kill the local buck.
During the early 1950s you could hunt from daylight to dark, all week, without spotting a single deer.
Sighting tracks before the season was a preoccupation.
When you did sight a track, it was almost as gratifying as killing the animal, giving you bragging rights 'till next season.
By the early 1960s the deer kill rose to a hundred or so in the county. Now they're thick, except when the guns start banging.
Before season starts, a dozen or more come in my yard, eating the grass, shrubs, flowers and herbs in the planters.
I knew it was over when our cat Callie would be spotted rubbing noses with the critters.
School is closed for the week (Thanksgiving holiday included), the education system giving up on maintaining attendance.
And if you need work done, repairs, services, etc., don't bother to call. They're in the woods.
Let the hunt begin.