This weekend is Opening Day Deer Season in Texas. It's like a national holiday. Think Christmas for men, except instead of decorating in red and green, the world is colored in camouflage. Like wildebeests migrating across the Serengeti, men in pickup trucks move in great herds across Texas. And mine are no exception.
We have already established however, that I'm not a big hunter myself.
I tend to think of deer like this:
It's not that I have anything against hunting, it's just I don't care to hunt deer when feral hogs are just as tasty, and are causing me a lot more problems. The boys went hunting this week while the guards dogs and I stayed home - the guard dogs, and the First String Cow Dog.
Other Half took his cow dogs with him. Good thing too, because he just called to inform me that the hogs have torn the creek fence gap out again and we have cows all over the county - again. This means they'll have to spend hours and hours gathering cattle and repairing fences. Been there. Done that. Still have the blood stains on my t-shirt.
Other Half has almost everything he needs for the job. He has 4-Wheelers, wire and fence tools. He has a big strapping son. He has one half-cocked, know-it-all troll dog, and one earnest worker with a bad back. What he doesn't have is a first rate 'listens-to-you-pushes-forward-and-backs-off-when-she's-told' First String Cowdog.
Can the Second String do it?
Yeah, I think so. Hopefully. It might not be as pretty, but it'll still get done. The older Troll Dog gets, the better he gets. Control is still not his forte, but when your cows are out, you use whatever tools you have available, and he isn't gonna get any better if he doesn't get practice. Besides, experience has shown that in his case, running a quarter mile through rough brush to get to the cows does a lot to knock the edge off an excited pup. And it works to his advantage that Other Half has so much faith in Trace. I'm quick to reach for Lily in most situations, but Other Half is happy to work through the problem with his little troll dog.
Cowboy's back won't allow him to do much rough work before he's benched and spends the rest of the game riding in the truck.
I look at this and realize that sometime down the road we're gonna have to add another Border Collie to help Lily and Trace. Eeegaads. It seems like just yesterday I brought Baby Lily home.
We have too many dogs as it is, but the primary purpose of these Border Collies is stock dog work, and one or two dogs isn't enough when we've split them between farms like they are this week.
So although the men planned a lovely hunting trip blasting Bambi, after they spend several days repairing the damage to the fences done by the hogs, I think that perhaps Porky Pig will look better and better when seen through the crosshairs of a rifle scope.
This hogzilla was on our place Christmas Eve a couple years ago. Although I detest "man poses with dead animal" pictures, I think this perfectly illustrates the size of the hogs that are running through my fences like army tanks. So for every Bambi shot on our ranch, I expect the boys to shoot a hog or two.