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“Seeing many fawns on your lease out west?” Questioned David Cotton. “Here in Northeast Texas we’ve thankfully seen a lot of them. And, we’re starting to see what looks like there is going to be some pretty nice bucks. Seems like all we’ve been doing with passing up younger bucks and limiting our overall buck harvest, shooting a few does, the food plots we’ve planted, the cottonseed we’ve kept out year around, and the Good Lord providing us with rain, is really starting to pay off with bigger bodied and bigger antlered deer.”

I nodded, “Y’all left some really nice promising bucks last year that were very decent 10-points. That extra year, plus excellent nutrition should really make a difference. And, I love hearing you’re seeing a lot of fawns. Means five years from now you should have an abundance of mature 5-year olds. So often hunters forget how important it is to have good fawn survival. Are you keeping record of the bucks, does and fawns you’re seeing as “incidental observation” data? This is an ideal way to get a realistic estimate of your fawn survival rate and also the buck to doe ratio.”

“Started doing that as soon as fawns started being seen with their mothers and we could determine bucks from does. We’ll keep that going until the bucks again drop their antlers and fawns are as big as does.” Responded David, fellow Life Member of DSC. “We again doing our spotlight deer census in late August?”

“Yes sir!” I replied thinking it too would an ideal time to fish for bluegill in some of the property’s ponds, and, do some serious scouting for the upcoming hunting season. “I’ll holler at Luke Clayton and ask him to help do the surveys. I’ll suggest he perform some of his culinary magic on few select cuts of wild hogs to keep us nourished for that fun task.”

“Since you mentioned hogs, if you’d like to hunt them while you’re on the ranch, you’re more than welcome to do so.” Said David, knowing I had at least a couple of guns, well maybe more than a couple, I wanted to use. “Bring that old Winchester Model 1895 .30Govt06 lever action. Know you’re anxious to shoot something with. I also think we need to see how Hornady’s 143-grain ELD-X Precision Hunter from your Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC does on hogs, plus no doubt you’ll have your .454 Casull Taurus Raging Hunter with you, as well that recently re-barreled Mossberg Patriot Predator 7mm PRC. You had it re-barreled with one the new Avient patented rapid heat releasing 20-inch barrels. Didn’t you?” I nodded affirmatively.

I liked how David was thinking. Actually I also had a couple of other Mossberg rifles and Taurus handguns I was anxious to spend time with on the ranch’s range. With whitetail season on MLDP properties starting in October it was proper to spend time on the range to determine exactly where the various rifles I hoped to use later in the year would be shooting regardless of the range.

My fall deer seasons will bring hunts to numerous areas in Texas, the Choctaw Hunting Lodge in Oklahoma as well as to Finland where whitetails were released about a hundred years ago. I am anxious to try my Texas style rattling and grunting on European whitetails.

I have often stated “A whitetail deer is a whitetail deer, no matter where they live!” Guess I’ll find out.

Summer indeed is ideal for spending whatever time you can in the “deer woods”, but also preparing guns, optics, and clothing. If you are going to move your deer stand or add another, now is the time to do so, giving deer the opportunity to get used to a change in their surroundings. Fall is merely a month or so away.

Now is also the time to start planning on attending the DSC Convention in January 2025, held in Atlanta, Georgia because the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center is being torn down and then rebuilt. Once that happens, scheduled to take five years, DSC Convention will again be held in Dallas. To learn more visit the website. I am truly excited about the temporary move because it will expose DSC to a whole new group of people who truly love the outdoors; hunting, fishing and the outdoor lifestyle.

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