Outdoorsmen speak the same language – North Texas e-News

Do you ever meet someone that you instantly connect with and after visiting a few minutes, it seems as though you have known each other for a lifetime? I’ve found the older I get the more frequently this occurs.  I can spent a minute visiting with a total stranger and usually determine if he or she is a lover of the great outdoors. When I do ‘connect’ with a like-minded person, the talk and stories of past outings usually come fast and furious!
Such was the case last week as I sat in one of these fast-service oil change places waiting for my wife’s car to get serviced.  A gentleman about my age was sitting across from me and our chit chat started with just how much these synthetic oil changes cost but soon turned to outdoor talk. My new found friend has the look and demeanor of a person that had spent a lifetime enjoying the outdoors and I’m pretty sure he had the same opinion of me. Don’t ask me how I can almost instantly identify fellow sportsmen, but I usually can. 
Come to find out, he had followed my writing career for several decades. It took little time for our visit to turn to the outdoors, he quizzed me a bit about my long career writing about the outdoors and discovered I also now do outdoor radio shows and even a weekly TV show with a couple of good friends.
He informed me that he was a devout waterfowler for many years and raised and trained some fine Chesapeake retrievers. These days he enjoys fishing and especially crappie fishing. He loves to toss small jigs around the bridge columns at area lakes and usually brings home plenty of tasty crappie for his fish fryer. I told him I was fortunate to have a neighbor that owns a good size tract of land just down the road from where I live and he lets me hunt deer and hogs and fish in his stock tanks.

Outdoorsmen speak the same language - North Texas e-News

Luke and many deer hunters are getting fired up about the opener of bow season. In this week’s column, Luke tells about a new friend he met and some new hunting opportunities. photo by Luke Clayton

My newfound friend said he no longer hunts but his place is overrun with deer.  Come to find out, his property is smack dab in the middle of some of the best big-buck country of Hunt County, an area I had long known about but never had the opportunity to hunt. I was soon informed my vehicle was ready and after I paid the bill, my new friend stopped me and asked if I would like to hunt deer on his property. I’m sure he already knew the answer would be a resounding YES and we exchanged contact information and make plans for me to visit him the following Saturday.
When I drove through a winding road leading into the middle of his property, it was very obvious I was in great deer country. I had “Googled” the property and noted it was joined on either side with wooded tracts. A creek meandered through the rear of the tract which created a natural travel route for all wildlife. Off the beaten path in an area with a few homes and large tracts, this just had to be deer heaven!
As I parked my truck and was greeted by my buddy sitting in his golf cart, I noted a large pear tree. Several pears lying on the ground had been nibbled on by deer!
“I have a couple of spots to show you, Luke, that will be perfect for bow hunting deer, one is near the back of the property along the creek and the other is on a ridge just behind my pond,” he says as we eased along on the electric cart.
Our first stop was in a spot where the woods narrowed into a ‘pinch point’. After a bit of exploring, I noted several saplings and one larger cedar tree that had been rubbed in past years and a well-used deer trail with fresh tracks paralleling the creek. There was a perfect spot about 25 yards from the trail to set up a pop-up ground blind. It would be easy to slip into and out of the spot without disturbing deer that might be bedded in the thick cover nearby.
The next spot I explored was the ridge behind the pond. It’s didn’t take a veteran deer hunter to decipher what was on the ground. Two trails leading out of heavy cover converged into one and the ground was heavily marked with deer tracks. Most every sapling near the trail had been rubbed by bucks in past years and a couple were very fresh, obviously made a few weeks ago by bucks rubbing velvet from their antlers. I marked a spot back in the brush to set up a blind and hung a trail camera at the junction of the two trails.
My plan is to monitor each spot for a week or so before setting my blind in preparation of the opener of bow season. The pear trees with plenty of ripe fruit on the ground will obviously be a big attractant for deer the next month or so and my friend is tossing freshly dropped pears at both places. Deer can smell ripe fruit a county mile away and I expect there are already hitting the baited areas.  I can hardly wait until next week to review the footage on the trail cameras. 
I’m excited about having a new ‘prime’ spot to hunt but more excited about making a new friend. We are already talking about doing some crappie and catfishing together. I’m hoping to bring my Coleman stove and prepare us a lunch of very fresh chicken-fried venison this fall. He has a spot with a covered awning near the pond that is prime for outdoor cooking. Much more to come!
Email outdoors writer Luke Clayton through his website www.catfishradio.org.


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