Friday, December 30, 2011

What a Show!

This morning the deer were all having a party on Dewberry Lands.  The group consisted of three deer with spike size racks, a small eight pointer a big nine pointer and numerous does.  The does would just run around like crazy.  The big buck and the little one in the picture came up first, then two small bucks and the small eight pointer came down the hill.  The small deer with the big one met them coming down the hill.  He began pawing the ground, throwing leaves and the small eight ran up to him and they began fighting.  The eight knocked him out of the way.  By then the large buck quit eating and started walking over to the commotion. The eight decided he was going to stay at least 15 feet from him, then the chase was on.  The large buck pawed the ground at three different places and would hit the trees with his rack.  While this was going on one of the spikes pawed the ground then walked over to a four inch oak and started rubbing his antlers on that tree.  After the large buck chased all the does off he came back and finished his meal.  What a show!

Yesterday at another place on our property I took out a 130 pound doe.  On this tract of land we have too many does and we need to work on getting our numbers corrected.  I saw ten deer yesterday and one was a small buck.
I also shot at another coyote.  We have killed four and shot at two more and seen another.  They are bad news for the fawns but we are helping that situation.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Backyard Visitor

This morning I had a grinning visitor that had fiddled around and got into the coyote trap I have set in the backyard.  We have coyotes that wake us up nearly every week howling in our front yard.  I have not set it yet for the coyotes but I have put it out to get the scent off of the trap and Mr. Opossum got in it.  
He was sure glad to be set free!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Forest Products

This weekend I used some forest products in non-conventional ways.  The first one was not as odd as the second one but it seems fewer and fewer people are using wood to heat their homes.  I cut down a red oak that was in a young pine stand to allow the pines to grow better in this area.  We use firewood as a supplement to heat our home in cold weather.  There is nothing warmer than a good fire burning in the fireplace to help you break the chill after coming in from hunting.

Next, I made mother some deer.  She had seen some that Nathan and Liz had received as a gift and said she wanted some.  So Friday I cut legs neck and head from small sweetgum trees on the property.  I was out of fuel for my saw so I had to wait till Saturday to finish cutting the rest of the deer.  I cut another larger sweetgum tree to use as the body of the deer.  I did some trimming on the deer to make them look more live-like and I added plastic eyes and a plastic nose to each deer. 

 The forest produces so much for us in our lives that we take for granted.  Just walk down the cereal isle in the grocery store and see how many paper boxes you see.  The forest provides a home to wildlife, clean air that we breathe and it helps keep our water clean, just to name a few.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Tuesday night I met with the Clay County Poultry and Egg Association.  They had a special speaker and sponsor for the meal.  I was there to talk to the speaker representing a company that I hope might locate in Clay County and provide some jobs for the local people and a place to sell some wood! How this will go I don't know but I do know if we do nothing, nothing will happen.

Yesterday, I had a meeting at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Science Building at Auburn University.  The meeting was for the the Forestry, Wildlife & Natural Resources Extension Advisory Council.  We listen to the strategic plans for the School of Forestry and The Forestry, Wildlife & Natural Resources part of Extension.  I had lunch with Dr. James Shepard, Dean of the School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences and the new Director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Dr, Gary Lemme.  Dr. Lemme is from South Dakota and it was hilarious hearing him tell about his dogs after he moved to Auburn.  He said there were two trees on their property in South Dakota that his dogs used and when he turned them out at their new home in Alabama they ran into the woods then turned around and came back to him.  They didn't know what to do with so many trees.

When Dr. Lemme spoke he said something about extension I had never thought of.  He made the comment that money comes in for education(the university, research & extension) and education(extension) goes out to help the economy of our state.

After lunch we met in three small groups and then came back together to make a report and recommendations for the group.

I was the only landowner in the group that was not attached to the extension service, education or another group such as Alabama Wildlife Federation, Alabama Landowners Association, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or Alabama Forestry Commission.  It was a privileged for me to serve in such a capacity.

After the meeting I walked around waiting on Lisa to come back from shopping.  I thought about how that part of campus had changed since I was there.  Across the street was the old crop rotation plot that started in 1896, and next to it was the spot where we grew crops in Vegetable Crops Class, for the most part it looked the same.  I thought, while reminiscing about when I was a student at Auburn....."I am not a part of Auburn but Auburn is a part of me."  I thank GOD for that part of my journey through life.  
As the sun went down over Auburn last night!  WAR EAGLE!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Farmers Federation Annual Meeting

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we were at the annual meeting of the Alabama Farmers Federation.  It was one of the best annual meetings I have been to.  On Sunday night our Congressman, Mike Rogers, was presented the Service to Agriculture Award.  He saw us after the meeting and called us over, we got to congratulate him for his award.  He has always been a friend to Agriculture in Alabama.  
The program and the exhibitors at the meeting were top notch.  The business meeting was interesting with lots of debate. 
At the end of the business session Mr. Jerry Newby announced he would not seek re-election.  He has been president of the organization since I became a county board member.  He will be missed but that opened up the position and the competition has begun. 
The highlight of the meeting was Gov. Mike Huckabee speaking.  He did a great job!  One comment he made was if the rest of the Nation voted like the good people of Alabama, then Obama would not be our President today.  He talked about how we as a nation to remain strong had to be able to grow our own food, produce our own fuel and fight our own wars....So true!
Next year the Federation takes on another first since I have been involved, we will be meeting in Montgomery.  We will miss Mobile but that will cut down on our travel time.
On the way home we stopped in Montgomery at Nelson Paint and got paint needed for painting boundary lines and paint for marking timber to be thinned.