Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Joshua's First Hunter's Extravaganza

It wouldn't be fair not to share the cuteness of Joshua's first hunting show. He was about a month old in the pictures. I can't believe the boys were ever this tiny. Now they can ride the four wheeler with Daddy and sit quietly in a stand observing deer. Crazy how fast they grow!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Jacob's First Hunter's Extravaganza

Every year Houston has a huge Hunter's Extravaganza at the convention center. Jacob has gone every year starting in 2003 (see pictures). He loves to go and get up in the stands and look at all the taxidermy that surrounds the center. He drew a lot of attention his first show when he was only two months old and such a little guy. The amazing thing is he still draws attention at the shows because he's so enthusiastic and always goes dressed in his best camo. I always enjoy watching the big burly guys come up to us and ask us questions about the kids. They are really enthusiastic about the family being involved and how much the boys enjoy the surroundings of the show. It makes me proud to have two boys that are already enjoying the sport, even if they haven't gotten to harvest anything yet. Their time is coming! They grow too fast.

Friday, January 25, 2008

My Little Hunters

Jacob: He was born June 18, 2003. We had tried for three and a half years to have him. We were actually getting ready to pay a fee to an adoption agency because we had just had our third failed IVF cycle. I took a pregnancy test in October and I almost fell over. He's been the best surprise of my life. He's a sweet little boy with a kind, compassionate heart. He has a love for the outdoors like his father and I even at the age of four. He's smart and very handsome, of course.
Joshua: He was born on July 5, 2005. We decided we'd try again soon after Jacob turned a year and were pleasantly surprised that we conceived a lot more quickly than with Jacob. Joshua has really been a joy. He is the opposite of his brother. He's my spit fire and the one that will give me nightmares in his teen years. He's a lot more daring and a lot more rambunctious. He's also go a very sweet, innocent side to him that I love about him. We are so glad to have him in our family!
We hope to have another child one day. We've been letting nature take it's course and hopefully one day soon we'll have some good news. Three is our limit though so don't think we're going to have seven children. Yea, that won't happen! Ha!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Husband

My husband is one of the nicest people I've ever met in my life. I'm not just saying that because I'm married to him and in love with him, but because he truly is one of the most caring and understanding people I've ever met. He treats me with kindness and tenderness. He's always there for me when I need an ear and he's always there to listen to me ramble when it probably never makes sense to him. He's funny and has a great sense of humor. We laugh and joke around a lot which really makes life fun. We share the same values and the same beliefs. He's the ying to my yang.

He introduced me to hunting when we first met. I remember early on during our dating days when he'd travel over to Louisiana to hunt. I never grasped the excitement of it back in those early days. All I could think about was the fact he was away from me and we couldn't spend time together. I should have known early on that hunting would always be a part of our history. Not that that's a bad thing, no, it's a wonderful thing!

I know that there are other wonderful guys out there in this country, but I'm so glad that I found mine and that we enjoy doing some of the same things together. Here we are together this year posing by a Bob cat shot by my husband. I was sitting in a stand not too far from his that morning and heard him shoot. I sat in the stand wondering what he'd gotten. When we reunited after the morning hunt he showed me the Bob Cat. I hadn't seen a deer that morning so I have to admit that I was glad it was just a Bob Cat. Don't tell him that!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

7 am-Executive Stand

This year I started off buck hunting, but eventually decided that I wanted to just harvest a doe and be happy with myself. The men had been seeing some older spikes that they wanted harvested and I had been instructed to shoot one if I saw him. Unfortunately, the weather was warmer this year and the beginning of the season was slow for me. I hunted in the "Executive Stand" a few times which is in the woods where all the natural forage is. We had a great acorn crop this year and the deer were really holding up in the woods and not traveling out to the food plots.
I love the wood stands and watching not only the deer, but the squirrels and birds as they meander through the woods in their natural habitat. I love to listen to the branches rustle as the wind blows through the trees. It's so calm and serene back in the woods.
This picture was taken by myself at around 7 am. All my non-hunting girlfriends made fun of this picture saying that they never look this awake at 7 am in the morning. I replied and said that if they were sitting in a deer stand they would. They laugh at me and quite frankly don't understand my need for hunting. I laugh at them and tell them that they don't know what they are missing!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Place (Our Property)

We have 667 acres right outside of Delhi Louisiana that we hunt on. It is family owned property owned by two brothers, my father in law and uncle in law. The property was originally used for farm land and timber. The land was taken out of farm land right about the time I met my husband and put into the CRP program. The deer were unmanaged up until that time and there were no rules against hunters harvesting specific deer. Changes were made and we've seen great changes in the quality of deer we see on the property. My FIL suggested we stop shooting all the bucks and go to the rule of only shooting 8 points or higher with horns outside the ears or better. We let most bucks walk for about three years and it really paid off. We started harvesting more doe in different age classes to manage the buck to doe ratio as well. We planted food plots and added more box stands throughout the property to hunt. We've added two protein feeders in areas that aren't hunted much with little pressure. The quality of deer has really catapulted and gotten everyone excited.

I'll post some pictures of the property sometime so you can see the beauty that I get to enjoy. We have a bayou on one side that makes for nice scenery. We also have a natural slough on our place that brings in wood ducks. They also dug out a duck hole a couple years back that they dam up during duck season. We have really good hunting on this place and the best part is it's essentially "free" for us as a family because it is family owned. We pay for gas from Texas and that's about it. We stay at an old house in Delhi that was owned by the Grandparents of my husband. The family decided to keep it after they passed for a deer camp. It's located in town about 7 miles from the property, but it's got all the amenities of home. We hope to put a camp down on "The Place" one day. Our dream is a log home that we can enjoy and treasure during hunting season. For now we are enjoying what we have and we're blessed to share it together as a family.

Starting Point...

When I met my husband back in 1998 I had no idea about hunting or the outdoors. I grew up in a regular suburban home with parents that were non-hunters. I was pretty much ignorant to the great sport of hunting and fishing. Things changed for me the first time I experienced fried back strap with rice and gravy. My husband was so proud to share his love of the sport with me and I was a quick study soon falling in love with his sport as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first time he took me down to the family property in Louisiana and we rode the four wheelers exploring the woods. He showed me so many things on that trip that I couldn't believe I had never gotten to experience this growing up. He had so many fun stories of his adventures as a kid hunting with his family. I have to admit I was envious of those stories. I became very excited about our life together and the possibilities that were endless on this beautiful piece of property he shared with me that day.

This blog is here for me to share those experiences as we have been married for 8 years now and have two handsome boys together that now fit into our equation. We hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors together. I hope as we grow older and our life settles down some we'll have even more stories of our hunting and fishing adventures. This is where I begin to chronicle our stories.