Hunting: The Itch Begins

If I can be frank, I’m sick of writing holster reviews. I’m sick of shooting my pistols and I’m getting kind of sick of shooting rifles for five-shot groups and plugging them into OnTarget. The spring and summer here in Texas afford precious few opportunities to take to the wild, gun in hand, with hunting on my mind . . .


Late winter and early spring actually aren’t so bad. By that time, my truck is filled mostly with road trip foods, spent casings, bloody rubber gloves, and there’s a distinct smell that’s started to hover around me. My wife has also reached the end of her patience when it comes to having an absentee husband, and my boss is starting to wonder just how many times “the moon will be just right.” There’s that old saying about dog owners starting to look like their dogs. And by early January, I start to look a bit like a late season buck. I’m a little hollow in the eyes, my shop is a mess, my truck is too, and I’m doing what I can to get by.

As such, late winter and early spring are times of repair. Relationship repairs, truck repairs, and gear repairs. But by mid spring, I’m starting to feel the itch a little bit. And if the weather is right, there’s still some hunting that can be done for exotics like Axis or nuisance animals like pigs. Scratch that. Pig killing knows no season.

Through the summer, its too hot here in Texas to do much outside except swim in a pool, drink cold beers, and sweat. If it’s anything like the summer of 2011, you start to have serious and very real debates over compression underwear vs. boxers. And forget about concealment garments. Nope. I won’t put any more shirt on my body than I need to. And then it happens.

There’s a morning when you walk outside and it isn’t oppressive. It’s merely hot, and there’s 20% less humidity in the air. Around that time, the hunting gods start smiling and you’ll finally spot whitetail bucks with velvet covered antlers. And as it goes, there will be doves so thick they blot out the sky as long as you don’t have a gun in your hand. Early dove season scratches the itch a little bit. But it’s still usually too hot to move much so you sit on a bucket in shorts, a t-shirt and you hydrate and bullshit with your buddies and wait for a double or triple to fly overhead.

This year has been especially painful as one of my favorite bands, The Turnpike Troubadours, released “The Bird Hunters” to the public a few days before the dove opener. Give it a listen. Hell, give it forty listens. It opens on a day we’ll all hopefully be blessed enough to experience in our lives. An evening hunt with a chill coming in, hands wrapped around a long gun that just feels right. Maybe some casual banter about your buddy’s shooting, and the occasion for conversation to turn a bit more serious. A time for introspection. And a time for being lost in your thoughts.

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By Tyler Kee –

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