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MOORE JR COLUMN: A different kind of season

Deer season is just around the corner.
The archery-only season opens Sat. Oct. 3, kicking off a three month whitetail season throughout Texas.
Oct. 3 is my birthday and it was my father’s birthday as well.
He passed away last December while on a deer hunt in South Texas at our friend Robert Scherer’s ranch. We were skinning the second biggest buck he had ever taken when he fell back holding his chest.
A few minutes later as I stood praying with him, Dad went on to be with the Lord.
Since that day I have thought several times about not simply deer hunting any more. Every single deer season of my life dating back more than 35 years was spent with my Dad.
It was trekking through the cottonmouth-infested Gilbert Woods in Fannett, still hunting on a creek bottom in the old South Newton County Hunting Club, taking trips to the Winkle Ranch day lease in Llano, hunting season leases in Menard and Brady or at our friend’s beautiful spread, we loved deer hunting together.
Dad loved it more than I did.
I have always enjoyed deer hunting, especially getting venison to eat, but Dad reveled in it. The whitetail was the be all, end all of game animals for him and I am glad in the last four years of his life, he was able to take his two biggest bucks. Thank you Robert Scherer for the opportunity you gave Dad to hunt your place.
Which brings me back to this season.
Should I deer hunt?
It’s not that I can’t handle the emotional memories. After all, there are other things that bring back more amazing memories even than deer hunting. Flounder and crappie fishing are two examples.
It’s that it just won’t be the same but that doesn’t have to mean it can’t be good.
My friend Josh Slone lost his son last year and I have watched he and his family soldier on like no other. They have had super tough times but have never given up and are providing an amazing life for their son Jaxon who has become one of my best buddies.
They inspire me and a big reason I am hunting this year is because of him.
He took the next to last hunting road trip with me and Dad last year to our friend Thompson Temple’s ranch and we had such an amazing time. I got on his deer lease and look forward to hunting with he and his family only 20 minutes from my home in Orange.
You see deer hunting is about deer of course and I plan on there being backstrap in my near future but it is also about friends and family.
Josh and the Slone family represent that for me as do my friends Lewis Hogan and Lou Marullo who I plan on spending time in the field with this fall.
If you have lost one of your hunting partners, honor them this season but taking to the field. I know Dad would certainly want that for me and your loved ones would certainly not want you to lose the heritage they helped bring to life in you.
We are one month away from the pursuit of the craftiest game animal in North America and that alone is worth celebrating.
Whitetails are special animals and it is important we experience them with the special people in our life. If they are living, embrace the good times and make this the best season ever.
If they have passed away, dedicate this season to them and honor their memory be venturing beyond the pavement and embracing the beauty, peace and excitement of the deer woods.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at chester@kingdomzoo.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com.)