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Ready for opening weekend?

The general season for whitetail deer opens Saturday.
No other event in the outdoors world garners more attention, excites more individuals and is a legitimate big time event the way the opening of deer season does.
Many small towns like Llano put up huge banners saying “Welcome Hunters” as the positive economic impact of the outdoors lifestyle gives their communities a boost.
There are many things rushing through my mind right now as I ready to go out and do some last minute checking and scouting before my own opening weekend experience.
They are as follows…
• I have done literally zero scouting on my new lease. A good friend has an area he showed me so I will be hunting there. Between the time I write this column on Monday morning and publication I will get a look but that is cutting it too close. When the schedule is too busy to scout you’re too busy. I am just happy for a chance to be in the woods Saturday.
• Make sure you guns are sighted in. Do not rely on last year’s sighting to be good because simply moving guns around in cases can potentially knock them off. You owe it to the deer to make a clean kill.
• Acorns are abundant in East Texas. Finding a good acorn flat, especially for those of you hunting on national forest land, might be the ticket.
• Expect to see hogs. A good year for deer production means an amazing year for hogs. The question is do you want to shoot a hog that comes to your stand? You could risk scaring off deer. Then again, you would collect pork.
It’s a dilemma many hunters will face opening weekend. If you do think you would shoot a pig, make sure and bring latex gloves for cleaning. You should for deer anyway but hogs carry several diseases transferrable to humans by blood contact.
• Safety is everything. Please wear blaze orange to, from and in the stand if you are exposed on a tripod or in a ground blind. Hunter shootings have declined dramatically in recent years due to hunter education classes taught by dedicated individuals dedicate so much of their time to the cause.
• If you plan to shoot a doe, do not pass on one opening weekend. Many hunters decide to wait until the end of the season to take does and end up being skunked. The reason is all deer get warier as the season goes so if you want some meat, take it early. After all, as much as we all love the antlers, you cannot eat them.
• Take time to bring young people and new hunters in the field this year and try as hard as you can to put them on some action. If someone has a chance to at least see some deer, the chance of them wanting to return to the deer woods are high. This is especially true with kids of the video game/computer generation who quite often have an extremely low attention span.
• Embrace the experience of deer hunting and the great outdoors in general. It is a gift that dates backs to the dawn of Creation and one that has inspired man since he was making etchings on the wall of caves. The pursuit of game and the majesty of wildlife is something we are truly blessed to have an opportunity to do in this great country and state that we live in.
Hunting is a lifestyle, not just a sport.
It certainly has sporting elements as does fishing but both are something so imbedded in our spirit that we live it 365 days of the year. Every time we pass a highline on the edge of a forest or scan an open field we look for deer and other creatures that might prowl there.
In our minds every pond could hold a lunker bass, every marsh a flock of pintails and schools of redfish and that is what drives us to venture beyond the pavement and into the wild.
It is a good thing to take part in a lifestyle that spawns reverence for the wild things and good times with family and friends.
(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 atwww.klvi.com.)