Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wednesday December 28, 2016-Inks Lake State Park

So much to tell...

I missed last week's deer hunt because we had to go back to Texas City. Kim lost her Dad over the weekend and she, unfortunately, had to deal with all the details after he passed. She needed her Momma, so Stella agreed to drive down to help her. I didn't want Stella to have to drive all the way down there by herself, so I took off to drive her down.

We stayed (again) at the terrible Motel 6 in Texas City because it is the only motel that allows pets without a high fee. They are slowly remodeling this place but I hope that we are done with staying there. I won't go into the details of the place, but take my word for it, THE MOTEL 6 IN TEXAS CITY IS A DUMP!!

We made the 6 hour drive back here to Inks Lake on Wednesday without issues, although we did stop by to see our friend Joe French at the Ron Hoover RV dealership in Katy to look at a new model Landmark. No, we didn't buy, but it's a very nice trailer and would be a consideration if we were looking.

On Saturday, Christmas eve, we had a very nice Christmas celebration with friends John and Becky, Barry and Vanny and Don and Linda at the Big Chief RV Park. We all fixed some boiled lobster tails, which were found on sale at the HEB stores in the area, along with some veggie dishes that were shared, and had a great time visiting with our friends.

On Sunday we had another good time with the park hosts that stayed here for Christmas. We had some delicious ham and shared assorted vegetable dishes, followed by card and dice games. A good time was had by all.

There is no deer hunt scheduled for this week, so we are taking some time off, doing odd jobs around the park to earn our keep. The hunters return next week, so more reports and photos will follow.

We continued the Christmas celebration by driving to New Braunfels to visit Grandma Willie Mae, my step-mom. We had a nice visit with her and took her out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, Cooper's Barbecue where we had the usual delicious meal, enjoying more good conversation with her. We returned here to the park where we met with old friends Mike and Linda who had returned to visit for a few days. They have park hosted here in the past but were just passing through on their way to Mission Tx where we will see them again. 

Out stay at Inks has not been without controversy and issues which I won't go into right now, but we've been having a good time with the many friends that we have here. Time will tell how things work out here. 

So long.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Thursday December 15, 2016-Inks Lake state park

Today was the final day of the new novice hunt here at the Inks Lake state park. this hunt was for adults who have never gotten a deer before. It was both a fun and educational hunt for everyone.

Here is a picture of all of the novice hunters. My hunter, Barham, is the second from the left, wearing the solid green shirt.

Here are the hunters with their mentors, who went into the blind with them to help them. David was Barham's mentor.

Here is the campfire, where most of us spent our time. It was cold all week and we kept the fire burning all day. This really adds to the "deer camp" feel.

Here is Ranger Chris Hall, preparing to begin the processing of the deer that Barham got.

I don't know why this picture is rotated, but you can see that this was a donated buck that was used to demonstrate deer skinning and later the butchering of the meat.

One of my fellow park hosts Chip in the foreground. TPWD Director of Public Hunts, Justin, preparing to begin skinning this deer.

Justin was making good progress in removing the hide from the deer. Some folks actually tan the deer hide which than can then be used like leather to make clothing, belts and shoes etc.

Justin enlisted the help of one of the hunters, Mo, in skinning out the deer. The vital organs of the deer were removed and processed and Chef Jesse came down from his restaurant in Austin to demonstrate the butchering process. I took photos of this process but didn't include them here but if you are interested in seeing them and I will share them with you.

The novice hunt was a big hit and there were a lot of hunters that were interested in it, so I'm confident that it will return next year. I know it was fun for us, but it's a tight fit for two people in the small deer blinds.

So long.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thursday December 8, 2016-Inks Lake state park

We have finished our second ADA hunt and everything went  very well. 

This is our new site, right across the street from the maintenance area where we work out of. 

We like this site because we are near our friends that I work with and since it is so close to work and I can just walk across the street to get to work. 

This is our second group of disabled hunters. My hunter, Michael, is second from the left and is the only hunter who came alone. His wife didn't want to come along with him this time but perhaps she will change her mind.

This is Michael's 8 point buck that he took on Tuesday night. It is a beautiful animal, approximately 5 years old and very symmetrical. I think he decided to have a full shoulder mount done with his trophy. 
Good job Michael!

More to come in future hunts.

So long.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday December 1, 2016-Inks Lake state park

Well, our first deer hunt went very well. This was the first of two ADA hunts and by that I mean Americans with Disabilities Act hunts. 

Inks Lake state park has had deer hunts for many years. It is a lottery/draw type hunt that has always been very popular. I worked on the hunt crew for two of these hunts. 

We started these disabled-hunters three years ago when we had an inquiry from a woman named Charli, about hosting a disabled person to hunt. Charli had been an avid hunter but had sustained an injury in an ATV accident that left her a quadriplegic. Our boss, Chris Hall, the Lead Ranger here at Inks got the idea and was allowed to run with it. He got Roger, one of the park volunteers and an accomplished craftsman and builder, to build the first ADA compliant deer blind and within a very short time, it was ready to go. Charli's first hunt was a success and her Dad, Robert was so impressed with the program and he got together with several of his friends to further support the program. The next year we got two more blinds built, had state of the art deer feeders donated and enough deer corn to support us for the entire season. Another huge success! This year, through more funding, we got funding for four more deer blinds that were built by another park volunteer, Chip and his wife Bunky. I'll take some photos of the blinds before the season is over. 

I was lucky enough to get a hunter this year that I had for last year's hunt. Danny is a retired Deputy Sheriff in Burnet who lost one of his legs and is now confined to a wheel chair. It was good to see him and his wife again and catch up with them. Unfortunately, he didn't see a deer this year, but promised to return next year to try again. The rest of the hunters were successful and we ended up with 7 deer taken by 7 hunters, giving us a 100% average. We hope for a continued successful hunts for the rest of the season.

The hours are long on the hunt days, but we enjoy it and I expect to continue for many more years. We will have one more ADA hunt next week, so I'm looking forward to that.

Stella and I have volunteered to do site checks on Friday, Saturday and Sundays. We did it last Sunday and it wasn't too bad, so we'll see how it goes from here on.

So long.