No More Poachers

Hunting season, especially dear season is an event for my family. It’s such a big deal, my Dad changed our calving season around to accommodate it better. Most cattle ranchers don’t take vacations – they go hunting.

My Uncle and cousin - family.

My Uncle and cousin. This was a cold, rainy, good time!

Since I have a fall birthday, I cannot tell you how many “birthday parties” have been opening day hunting trips on the ranch. And, honestly I like it. I love to see how excited my Dad and Uncle become – they are like little boys on Christmas morning. Getting to share that excitement with their daughters is one of those experiences that makes life worth living for them and me.

My Dad, my Dog and a memory that will last me a lifetime. Plus dinner for a few weeks.

My Dad, my Dog and a memory that will last me a lifetime. Plus dinner for a few weeks.

One of the huge benefits of owning land is having a private place to hunt. The best places to hunt on the ranches have been passed down through generations, like a deathbed secret. We cherish this knowledge and the fact we are custodians of our land and wildlife. Cattle People love to be self-sufficient and hunting is another skill that let’s us feel that way. Seriously though, if zombie apocalypse happens, you want me on your side!

This is why we get so very upset when our little fairytale of family bonding and environmental stewardship is thwarted. Who, you ask, would do such a thing?

Poachers.

Today's first hunters. They were "neighbors" that got confused where the fence line was. I guess I was born yesterday.

Today’s first hunters. They were “neighbors” that got confused where the fence line was. I may be a simple, ranch girl but I sure as hell know where the property lines are.

The past couple years, poachers have been a major problem on the ranch I live on. I’ve been harassed, threatened, and shot over. Our deer population has plummeted. Our friends and neighbors that earn the right to hunt here, by donating their labor to us, no longer get to hunt here. We simply don’t want to stress the habitat anymore than it already is. I didn’t even hunt this year.

My second set of hunters. They couldn't read their map, so they were let off with a stern warning. That won't happen next time.

My second set of hunters. They couldn’t read their map, so they were let off with a stern warning. That won’t happen next time.

This ends now. The past two weeks have been the worst I’ve ever seen. This morning we caught two different pairs hunting on this ranch. I was ripped out of a rare, sleep-in morning to deal them. I was not pleased. I’m tired of excuses like ‘we don’t know how to read our map’ or my favorite – ‘we have permission’ (from a family member that died 30 years ago). Either know the rules and boundaries or don’t hunt – it’s that simple and your responsibility as a hunter.

From now on, I will be taking pictures  and names to publish on my social media (public shaming is one of my favorite things), calling the California Department of Fish and Game (I have a private cell phone number now!), and the sheriff. Charges will be pressed. In short I am going to be a screaming mimi, pain-in-the-ass, something I excel at.

The heads of past poachers will grace certain fence posts as a warning, lol.

The heads of past poachers will grace certain fence posts as a warning, lol.

Here is your notice poachers of D3. I’m waiting for you.

3 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, food, meat, photos, Ranch life, Rants, Uncategorized

3 Responses to No More Poachers

  1. Yes, poachers are a problem. But all the pot grows have also contributed to the drop in the deer population. If you have a million dollar grow, you don’t want deer around to possibly eat it. Plus some of them use the deer for meat too. I can’t tell you how many gunshots I hear at night. More deer dead. That’s why I am voting Yes on A; No on B to stop the destruction of the foothills from all these MJ grows.

  2. Dallis Basel

    I agree that poachers are and can be a problem. Deer hunting is a family event to be cherished. But, I do have mixed feelings that only the wealth can enjoy the experience of the deer hunt. Even here in western South Dakota there are places where there are deer that only can be hunted for $1000 a day. Eastern South Dakota is noted for its pheasant hunting. Hunter fly in from all over and spend thousands of dollars to eat and drink and maybe get a pheasant. I hate to see big money take over hunting. But, I do have difficulty sharing.

    • I agree. That is why we make it a point to take people that normally wouldn’t get the experience. I try to take at least one person a year that has never been and usually that is a woman or kid. My Dad tries to take people on their last hunt – their bucketlist hunt if you will. And our “cowboys” get to hunt. That’s why I get so mad! We work hard to share and keep a healthy deer herd.

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