2016 Florida Rifle season opener

Living in Leon County gives me the opportunity to hunt three different management zones which gives me a longer hunting season. The day before the season opener I threw a venison flank steak onto the grill, the last of my venison, so it worked out great that does were legal game that weekend since it was time to restock the freezer.

Opening morning was warmer than I was expecting so the mosquitoes were my companions throughout the sunrise but let up as the fog cleared. I watched a few young deer cross the old logging road I was sitting on but let them grow for another day. A couple hours into my sit a mature doe without any fawns skirted the trees along the edge of the opening, once she presented me with a shot I took it and the bullet I am testing for a friend of mine performed flawlessly. After a quick butchering job I had the meat in the cooler and was even able to make it to my wife's charity bake sale, not a bad way to start the season.

The next morning found me on the same property sitting on a power line and as I got settled in I raised my binoculars in the predawn twighlight and spotted a deer about 75 yards away, It had a large body but it was too dark to see what was on top of its head. I watched through my rifle scope for about 20 minutes as this deer fed up and down the powerline but could not tell for certain whether it was a doe or not. For it to be a legal deer it must either be a doe or a buck with at least two tines on one side of its antlers and I try not to shoot young bucks. In fact last year on this same property I was in a similar situation and took the shot, resulting in a fat young five point that I wish I had not taken out of the herd. However although that particular deer got away a couple hours later I saw movement down at the other end of the opening. I got on my rifle in time to see a couple deer slip through the narrow opening about 150 yards away. I flipped the safety off and got ready on the trigger hoping their were more in the group, at that moment I saw the long snout of a mature doe clear the brush line and as her shoulder came into view I squeezed off a shot and it dropped immediately,

My initial field test of these bullets has been a great one, once I finished using my Outdoor Edge Slingblade knife to do the butchering I washed up, changed cloths and made it to church in time. This opening weekend has been a success at both collecting venison and building up much needed brownie points with the wife. Lunch that day consisted of fresh venison tenderloin and veggies from the garden, there is nothing quite like enjoying a meal you harvested yourself.

That afternoon my brother in law and I headed up to our favorite processor to get some of our venison turned into the most amazing jalapeno cheddar sausage you can imagine. Jone's Meats is hard to beat and well worth the scenic drive up to Climax, Ga. The hog that has been showing up on my camera is next on my list since I'm running low on pork.