As you have probably already suspected, Deputy Dave and I are not hunters. Well, Deputy Dave is a hunter of sorts...but not of wildlife. However, that might be changing. We've been talking about learning to hunt, but not with the gun below. These guns are city guns, suited for another purpose.
|A great pocket-sized buddy.|
My history with shooting began with my brother and I, as young kids, standing on the diving board to the swimming pool in the backyard of our city home...standing on the far end facing the yard. We stood on our shooting platform and gazed across the yard toward the pyramid of stacked empty soda cans laid on the top fence board, cans ready for us to shoot with a Daisy BB Gun.
Our parents had no idea that we had set up a shooting range in our backyard paradise, we were typical city kids up to no good. Even though it was only a BB gun, we are very fortunate to not have hurt any of the churchgoers in the church parking lot situated directly behind our house, on the other side of the fence --- the direction we were shooting. Of course, we'd wait until there were no people passing by before we'd emerge from the pool to shoot a few more rounds...so sweet of us to be attentive like that.
We were the hellions who lived next to the church and who had parents who so carelessly gave BB Guns to their kids without supervision. I look back and wonder...What exactly did our parents think we would be doing with a BB Gun in city limits?
|My brother and I, in a sweet moment of|
not wanting to kill one another but we're getting close to the BB Gun Age.
However, for those of you who are worried for our souls, we're both Christians --- my brother a youth minister --- and we recognize kids like we'd been, kids who didn't think too much about their actions. Well, perhaps we DID care about our actions...after all...we never did shoot anyone in the parking lot behind the fence because we actually did practice SOME amount of safety. We were pillars in our community I tell you.
|My brother and I standing next to each other,|
he's about 17 and I'm about 21 years old.
And he's about to join the Marines and be leaving for the Middle East.
Since then, I've grown up, somewhat. My point is...I could handle a BB Gun with precision, I could call out which soda can I would be shooting in the pyramid and take it out. Those were the days. Since then, things have changed.
On the other end of the spectrum, as for Deputy Dave's own shooting abilities, you would not want to be in his range. Prior to big city work as a Deputy Sheriff, he served in the military and became an expert marksman on certain weaponry. Regardless, he's never been a hunter of wildlife.
Of course, he passed on this natural ability to his youngest daughter, Stefie. She can shoot a bullet hole through a paper target bull's eye and then shoot a second bullet hole through the first one. She did this the very first time she shot a 9mm, starting in her teenage years.
Me, I take the shooting stance that my husband calls "spray and pray." It's messy and not very on target, but it often gets the job done. Unfortunately, my oldest, Heather, employs this same kind of shooting ability...if she is ever forced to "protect" people in her household, we're all ready to duck low so that she has a better chance at shooting the bad guy and missing all of us good guys.
So, with a family split evenly with on-target shooters and the other half as those who spray and pray, we are quite a team and can clear an area quite efficiently. However, we know that hunting will be interesting. Deputy Dave will surely hunt like a military machine, using a minimum of bullets while I am unloading the clip, hopefully after learning to shoot a "big gun" with open eyes.
Yes, I've got a long way to go.
|The firing pit on our property.|
Until the day when we learn to hunt ourselves, I hope we can keep the "foreign" hunters off of our property. It's a hard job to conquer when you have acreage in the country with fuzzy boundaries that will be made more clear once we've moved out there full-time. It will be better for everyone after we put up our fences and are living out there in our cabin.
As for country living, I learned as small child while visiting our weekender places in the woods near our acreage that if you don't like the sound of gun-fire, then do NOT go to East Texas. This part of the map will guarantee that you will hear a mixture of birds chirping, followed by sporadic gun-fire, and then a short spell of silence.
However, I must say that gun accidents out there are a rarity compared to city dwellers because people in the country actually know how to handle a gun. The feel of a gun in their hand is the same as the steering wheel of your car in yours --- both can be a deadly weapon if not handled properly, but each can provide a strong sense of independence when taken care of responsibly.
In Texas, especially East Texas, everybody and their brother owns at least one gun and they use them. Hunting is a favorite past-time in East Texas. You can even obtain hunting permits for The Big Thicket Preserve...yes...a government operated entity allows hunting on its premises in Texas.
Learning to hunt will also require me to broaden my food preferences. Since I do not currently eat venison, this will be a massive challenge for me to overcome. It will be another hurdle for me to conquer once I'm living in the country because we have lots of deer on our property. I am a city girl; I don't eat venison, but I do eat Sushi.
As for hunting, it's good that we can officially hunt across the street in The Big Thicket during seasonal allowances and this will keep our hunting costs to a minimum. But, there is no doubt, I will have to find a way to get past my Bambi issues with deer meat.
I'm determined to overcome my deer meat aversion. Maybe I will eventually get to the point to being able to eat a ground venison taco and almost convince myself that it is beef...so I'm told.
Regardless, as for gun-fire in East Texas, once the shotgun sounds begin to ricochet around us because of the echoes that occur in the woods, I lovingly say to Deputy Dave while dressed in my country finest, without make-up and with my wild, curly hair all over the place, "We've had so many ups and a few downs, but I hope you always remember that you have been THE love of my life."
And he gives me this lopsided confused expression while saying, "What's wrong with you? I'm just here to refill the tractor with gas."
I don't think he even hears the gunshots, heck, he goes to work every day with a gun on his hip. But for me, hearing guns firing around me has a tendency to make me feel a bit nostalgic.
If you decide to visit the heart of East Texas forest any time soon, be aware that you will hear multiple gun shots going off, especially on a holiday weekend. Every Bubba in town has visitors come over for some 4-wheeling, BBQing, and a shoot-out. And once we got back home to our house surrounded by city life we were missing the tranquil sounds of country living, but we also found it odd that the absence of gun-fire was not very comforting.
Around here, in the city, if people heard their neighbors firing off their weapons on a regular basis, there might be a few less burglaries and such because warnings of occupancy are made very clear on a good sunny day with a gun shot or two. That said, I do NOT think it's a good idea to start shooting our guns in the suburbs. It's just a Wild-West thought to ponder.
Even the most dense criminal can get the message of a gun firing off around the corner. Yes, it would be a great idea to love THAT neighbor.
I guess the bottom line about people hunting on our land, or rather, the thing about people trespassing on our land, is that in East Texas...people will avoid your property IF there is evidence of your habitation. However, IF the property appears vacated, then it is a free-for-all, with no ill harm intended.
And there you go...that's the unwritten rule of East Texas...stay away and you will be dismissed. Hang around and you will be remembered.