Monday, November 28, 2011

Redneck Realization

"Dad, are you a redneck?"

The words flowed from the mouth of my 10 year old as if she was asking me to pass the ketchup or change the radio channel.  Distant and somewhat emotionless.

Well, I never really thought about it.  We discussed what would be a proper definition of a "redneck".  If she meant a guy who tends to work outside, gets sunburned quite a bit... then the answer would be "no".  If she meant a guy who thoroughly enjoys being outside in the woods or on the water and takes intense pleasure in the simpler things in life.... I guess the answer would have to be a qualified "yes".

Keep in mind, we were driving to the woods in a beat-up 12 year old red 4x4 pickup truck (my daily driver is a Volvo but I try to not talk about it much) with 173,000 miles on it and more body damage than Kenny Rogers,  wearing our "crabbing" shoes and 7 layers of clothing, going to the woods on an unplanned trip to off-load 200lbs of corn, fix a broken deer feeder, de-wasp a back-up deer blind and check out a new location for a tree stand.

I'm still perplexed as to why the subject came up in the first place.

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A Man in the Woods

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crazed Wild Man Seen in the Texas Medical Center

Confessions of a Hunting Addict:  Food Sources

While it may come as a shock to readers of A Man in the Woods, I have what would best be described as a white-collar job.  I work in the medical center in the 4th largest city in the US.  Nearly ever person I interact with has at least one advanced degree as documented with things like Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M, L.O.L, and P.D.F.

Given the environment, the generally "citified" nature of most people around work along with the fact I'm the only hunter in my building (to the best of my knowledge), I've learned there are some behaviors which tend to stick out like a sore thumb.

I recently experienced the penetrating, awkward stares of several strangers as I grubbed around on the ground picking up, of all things, persimmons.

To me, this made perfect sense.  There are 3 nice sized persimmon trees outside the building.  Each Fall, RIGHT AS DEER SEASON STARTS, they drop gobs of ripe, sticky, sweet fruit all over a sidewalk and bicycle rack which results in a rotting mess.  I wanted the persimmons for 2 reasons:  (i) to collect the seeds to plant my own crop of trees near two deer stands and (ii) to use the fruit this year as an attractant around the same stands.

The general line of strategic thinking was:  I like deer.  Deer like persimmons.  I have access to persimmons...  I'll plant a persimmon oasis in the middle of a persimmon desert and have to fight my way to the stand each Fall wading through a sea of gigantic bucks which have been lulled into a persimmon-gorging induced stupor.  It would almost be unfair to the other guys on the lease!!!

At first I picked up the nice, ripe, most recently dropped fruit (thanks to a Northern that blew in the night before).  The first observers probably thought I was just some odd guy who was going to make preserves or something.  Odd but plausible.  But considering I wanted bulk fruit and was going to be pulling out the seeds anyway, I started to pick up less-than-fresh fruit with squirrel bite marks, dirt, split skins, bruises, etc.  It didn't matter to me, I was not going to eat these.

It was not until I graduated to prying up semi-dried, stepped upon fruit with Nike footprints, hair, dirt, mold and bicycle tread marks in them did I notice that NOW people were looking at me like an unstable vagrant or worst, an Occupy Wall Street participant.  Their eyes would dart away.  They pulled their coats a bit tighter and forced their children to pick up the pace to get past the local "crazy".

Luckily, about the time I noticed the strangers, my ziploc bag was full enough and I scurried inside the building to hide my loot in the community fridge with a note that it contained "Sheep Testicles - Please do not eat" to keep the 'fridge police at bay until I could transport them safely home.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Man in the Woods Most Popular Hunting Blog with at least 9 Hunters

For a very brief moment in history, stories from A Man in the Woods blog were the top 5 items being viewed at Alltop.com's hunting section.  http://hunting.alltop.com/