One of the year's biggest regional "holidays" starts today!

Real Estate Agent with Ozarks' Independent Realty
    Yep, it is now deer season! Okay, archery season started on October 1st, but today starts firearms season, and this is when it gets really interesting...

   I moved from the Chicago area to Thayer, Missouri when I was 15. talk about culture shock! Thayer had about 2000 people then and 67 in my graduating class compared to the 280+ that graduated in my 8th grade class in Illinois. I started school there in January, so it was a long time before my first experience with deer season rolled around. And when it did, I thought there was some sort of contagious illness running rampant, because about half the school was not present. That included most of the boys and a large number of girls. When I asked what was going on and got the answer, I was sickened. to think all those people, all those kids,  were running around, trying to kill poor, helpless animals, and got excused absences for it! I wrote a short-short story, from a different perspective, about the horror of shooting a deer, because i was so outraged by it all...

   Fast forward to about 4 years later. married, living in Texas with an Army husband, a friend invited us for dinner and cards. Dinner was simple- a huge pot of stew and biscuits. this was the best stew I have ever had, so I asked what was in it. Of course, it was venison. before the night was out, they sent us home with several packages of venison, as her husband had gone to Colorado and had an elk in processing, so they were running out of freezer space. It took awhile for me to try to cook any of the deer meat, but once I did, we were all hooked. I still thought hunting was barbaric, but others who hunted always saw fit to give or sell us some of the extra meat they ended up with. Life was good!

    The first time I went hunting, it was one of those desperate times. I had a new baby, money was tight, my husband's job was going down-hill (commission-based), expenses were going uphill. I am sure many of you can understand those times. deer season rolled around, and we were nearly out of food. well, I knew my husband was going to hunt, but, bless his heart, he isn't the best shot around. I knew we NEEDED the food, so i got my license and went with. I am an excellent shot, but when the deer was in my sights, I guess I trembled. I missed, and off she ran. We didn't even see another deer the whole season. It was such a blessing that his grandfather's church saw fit to provide us with 2 small deer!

     Now, I hunt regularly. In Missouri, if you own more than 5 contiguous acres, you can get a permit to hunt on your own land for free. If you live out of state, you must own 75 acres in Missouri to get a lfree andowner's permit.  So my husband, each of my sons, and myself can each take any deer on our property. Since I recently won a new gun (Savage .243), I am eager to get out there! But my boys beat me to it and are now in my favorite spot, so I will wait and head out there this afternoon, while they are sleeping off the big hunter's lunch I plan on feeding them! Yeah, Mama knows a trick or two...

    So, besides the wonderful-tasting, healthy meat, why do I now think it's okay to hunt? Population control. In our family alone, over the last 10 years, there have been 2 deer-caused car accidents adding up to over $5000 in vehicle damage. There have been at least 2 dozen near misses (one of which caused us to slide off the wet road and tear up a tire). People die or get seriously injured from deer-related accidents, or swerving to miss deer fairly regularly around here. Deer, when the population is not controlled, cause a lot of damage to gardens and crops. Deer spread ticks and fleas that may can carry illnesses that humans can contract. As a mother who spent most of October taking care of a very sick child who turned out to have an animal-borne disease, I want that risk as low as possible! And during rutting season, bucks get very territorial and have been known to attack humans who were out walking through the woods. WE own 40 acres and love to hike it- it's bad enough we have to watch out for the local Mountain Lion, I don't want to have to worry about a deer with attitude (and too much testosterone) coming in to attack, as well!

    Yes, there are valid reasons to hunt and keep the deer population in check. Yes, I enjoy the meat and there's nothing that can beat a big pot of Hunter's stew when the snow starts falling. I look forward to filling the freezer with venison every year, and if we get enough, we share it with others. We don't hunt just for the "fun" of it, and I cry over every deer we have to process, but in those same tears, I am saying thanks to God for providing for us again...

    So, what's the down-side to this regional "holiday?" For the next 10 days, unless someone comes in from another area, the real estate market is dead. I guess that's okay, since I will be out in the woods for a good portion of that time anyway!


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Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County
I can understand. Years ago I did a little hunting. Here in Florida they have alligator hunts. For me, I do most of my hunting at the grocery store now except for one type of prey I do hunt - Buyers!
Nov 10, 2007 01:04 AM #1
Amber Bourland
Ozarks' Independent Realty - West Plains, MO
Well then, Gary, here's wishing you a very productive "hunt"!!!
Nov 10, 2007 01:18 AM #2
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Have fun, sis....I do not think I could kill another animal unless it was on the verge of attacking me....or my family or friends.... that's just me....

Happy hunting!!


Nov 10, 2007 09:41 AM #3
Judith Reppert
United Country Countryside Realty - Mount Vernon, MO

Hi Amber, great post, I didn't get by to see this until now.  This is our first deer season in Missouri, and we really weren't prepared to hunt.  We're not against it, we both shoot, but just weren't prepared with gear, freezer space, understanding how to dress out the meat, etc.  Next year we should be getting out there.  We have 40 acres too, and it is set up to hunt, with stands and all.

It is definitely a budget thing and a food thing for most around here, not a "trophy" type hunt. 

By the way, thanks for setting up the Ozarks group, I had been looking for one and keep forgetting to thank you for doing it.  Now we just need more members!

Nov 19, 2007 08:26 AM #4
Amber Bourland
Ozarks' Independent Realty - West Plains, MO

Hey Judith! Don't worry, you'll get the hang of hunting! I haven't had to field dress any by myself yet- I know I could, but with my hubby and boys around, why would I want to?  WE don't trophy hunt- just try to get the extra, lean meat in the freezer and, as my girls say, "jerkyfied..."

yeah, we need more members here! I have found a few here on AR from this general area, so I guess I need to invite them and see what happens...

Nov 19, 2007 11:39 AM #5
Amber Bourland
Ozarks' Independent Realty - West Plains, MO

Well, this deer season passed, and the only way we got any meat was by the generosity of one of my hubby's customers. Sad to say, I didn't get out once this year. My sons did, but no luck.

We did have some problems for the first time ever, with other hunters. One group kept going up our road, around a curve past our house, and shooting. My husband caught them once and they said they had shot a cotton-mouth on the road. well, I walked the whole road and no sign of anything being shot on the road. They did the same thing to my neighbor. Apparently they were hunting on adjoining land and while some of the guyswere positioned near the fencelines, the others would go shoooting into our properties to scare the deer in the direction where the friends were waiting. Talk about dirty! So, of course, the deer were scared off our land, and they all got their limits. They also shot at one of my dogs (who was tied up on our property), and missed him, thankfully for the shooter's sake. We have never had trouble like this before.  Those kind of people, besides being dangerous, ruin the hunting experience for the rest of us. It's a shame that people can be so selfish!

Nov 29, 2007 07:37 AM #6
Jason Smith
DreamDirt Auction - Mondamin, IA
Great post Amber and some great responses.  Hope you'll excuse me hijacking your post but would love to see some like minded people come join the hunting and fishing group here on AR
Dec 27, 2007 02:54 PM #7
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic
Well i dont hunt but i've tasted the meat. Venison burgers are great. maybe i'll try a steak one day.
Dec 28, 2007 12:24 AM #8
Amber Bourland
Ozarks' Independent Realty - West Plains, MO

Jason, I didn't even realize there was a hunting and fishing group here. You bet I'll be there!

Robert- If you want something good, you need to make a beef stew with about half beef, half venison- best you'll ever taste! Or summer sausage made from venison. If I can find the recipe, I will post it. It comes out WAY better than anything you'll ever find in a store.

What's really bad is I only get 10 days to hunt. I never mastered archery, and we sold 2 muzzle-loaders that we won several years ago. Archery and muzzle-loader seasons are longer. My son is practicing with my bow, so hopefully he'll get the hang of it and our season will be extended for 2008 and beyond...

Dec 28, 2007 01:52 AM #9
Leslie Helm
Tennessee Recreational Properties - Jamestown, TN
Real Estate For Trail Riders

Hi, Amber.

I had a similar experience when I moved to Vermont. My Thoroughbred had lost a shoe and I called my new farrier to make an appointment. It is common practice for farriers to come as soon as they can when a customer calls about a lost shoe. In this case, his wife queried, "Do you know what day it is? I hope you have plenty of duct tape!!" I had no idea what she was talking about but someone soon clued me in: it was the opening day of deer season and he would be out of commission for TWO WEEKS while he was hunting. She meant that I needed to wrap the hoof myself and protect the foot as best I could until Jim came out of the woods!

Aug 16, 2009 11:50 PM #10
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