Craig's Deer Lease

A few weeks ago--Craig --my Son-In-Law invited me to go with him and my Grandson, Brant, to their deer lease up by LLano Tx.  Drove up to Spring Branch Friday mornin--abt a 3-1/2 hr drive from Dickinson---loaded up--and headed to the lease. About 1-1/2 hrs n we were there---drove up to an old house used as their camp.

 MAN---never seen so many grass hoppers---thot Brant was gonna have a runaway---they were everywhere---chickins wud a gone crazy. 

Unloaded the gear--the Polaris--groceries --and Craig had to build a bed frame for he and Brant to sleep on--jumped to it--while we were working on that we were constantly seein deer down toward a creek below the house. LLano county used to be noted for the most deer killed in any county in Texas. Didn't take long and the frame was built---the mattress installed--and we headed out to check out the lease---saw deer all along the way---went to where he had his feeder and could see that deer had been coming in---we were gonna put up a fence the next day --hopefully to keep the wild hawgs and cows out.

We went back to camp---got the chain saw and gathered some wood for the fire pit----gonna have steaks cooked out on the new grill.

Beer thirty----fire in the pit-----rancher, wife and daughter came over for a visit---talked abt the hawg problem---where to kill some dove--and just visiting---when they left---steaks on the grill--man I was in hawg heaven. While waitin on the steaks---a little history on the ranch--the owner--- a young guy had been given the ranch  by his Mom and the ranch has been in the family for several generations. The house that we were stayin in had been built in the late '30's or early '40's. His dad with several other brothers and sisters had been raised in the old house. There has been several modern convienences added by either the owner or by Craig's nephew and friends who have been hunting there for several years---  even though, the old house still holds the rustic charm-- the old fireplace--still working, a plate on the wall where the old wood burner had been, wood floors--and real thick walls---keeps the place cool in the  summer and warm in the winter probably with just the fireplace goin--and mysteries of family and how they lived back when. ----old sheds---tools--and the porch where you could see the creek and a big rocky hill---just beautiful--when the sun came up over it.

Steaks, sausage links,  ranch style beans--and can't remember what else---full belly-- I know that. Craig takes pride in his cookin and he can getter dun.

No TV---very little phone service--it was quiet--settin around the fire pit---drinkin a cold beer--things I miss about a deer camp--

Ok hittin the sack--got an early day tomorrow---got to get the fence up, the blind spotted and then dove  huntin.

Early mornin---watchin the deer close to the house--Craig told me the rancher fed deer close to the  house because he hunted for meat not for sport. He has a walk-in cooler with all the equipment to process and store the meat. Coffee---eggs--refried bean n cheeze---tortillas--for breakfast---and away we went. Seein deer all the  way--pounding t-post around the feeder---stretchin and tyin the hog wire to the post---hot--man was it hot---went thru about a case of water---took us til afternoon but we gotter done---only had one break---lunch time and I didn't think Craig was gonna even quit then---he is a workin machine--has an A/C business---does most of it himself, hires some partime help when he  needs it. Just about  everything he does is 90 miles an hour.

While we were there at camp for lunch another couple of guys came in that were on the lease---one was a newbie and was gonna look around and decide where he wanted to  put his blind. He had two young boys about Brants age and thot they would hook up.  We went back to the fence---put up the rest of the hawg wire, built a gate and while finishin up the  newbie and his sons came by---helped us finish up--load up--unload the deer blind and back to camp---

A little break and visitin--- loaded up the chain saw--my 12 gauge sngl shot---hopin I mite get a shot at a dove---lots flyin around-- and went to get more firewood for the evenin. Got a couple of shots after pickin up more wood--and surprised myself---been at least a year since I shot and got one outa 2 shots---well the one was in a tree---HA!. Anyway back to camp--unloaded the fire wood got Craig and Brant's shotguns and headed out for the dove field---man the dove were as thick as the grass hoppers---the other guy and his son were on one end and we were on the side---thot that mite keep the dove movin---wrong they ain't dummies ---stayed in the middle--some would come close enuff to shoot at.  Wouldn't u know it ---murphys law---my old faithful sngl shot broke---birds flyin everywhere ---finally used Brant's lil 4-10 and killed a couple---Craig got 8 so we wound up with 11 birds---the guy limited out-- if my gun had not broken---who knows. Anyway back to camp-- dark thirty and we decided to head back  out to see if we could find some hawgs--now as I said Craig goes 90 miles an hr and thats what we were doin in the polaris--thot we were goin to a fire---forgot to tell about Brant and the grass hoppers--they were flyin into the polaris as we sped thru the lease and Brant was curled up in a ball with his shirt over his head to keep the grasshoppers from hittin him in the head---every once in a while one would hit him and he would go into a tizzy---love that funny lil guy. 

Anyway we were cruisin along at Mach 1 when we came upon some hogs---shoot ,shoot---man I was trying to hold on--LOL--they of course took off and here we go ---rite after em---we saw them one more time and coming to a skiddin stop had a chance but wouldn't you  know it the gun was on safety--cruised around some more and back to camp--more campfire sittin---ranchers wife and daughter came over---the guy and his sons and we all visited for a while---forgot about the rancher's dogs---lookin for a handout from the pit I'm sure. Hamburgers cooked over an open fire----delicious---more visitin--n cold  beer---bed---supposed to  get up early to go dove huntin agin but we all slept late---cleaned up the camp house--loaded up and headed to LLano for a store bought breakfast---it was good --but not as good as camp food. Back to Spring Branch and the drive home.

Had a great time and am looking forward to goin back-- Craig and Brant---thanks for the memories.

Papaw