Hunting,  Hunting Stories,  Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

Farm Adventures

Christmas vacation is here already and I can’t believe it. If there is any month I wish would slow down, it is December. The festive lights, the delicious food, the beautiful decorations, my mom and my birthdays, and the smell of pine needles in the house–so much to enjoy and so little time.

Brandon and I kicked off Christmas week by seeing the Nutcracker on Friday and spending the rest of the weekend at the farm. Going down to the farm always entails an adventure, but this weekend was especially adventuresome.

When we arrived, Gloria, our helper who was mowing the lawn, came rushing up holding a .22 rifle.

“I shot a snake! On the porch! On the PORCH!” she reported, waving her finger violently in the direction of the house. Low and behold, laying on the porch was–shiver–a two foot rattlesnake. “He got caught up in the mower and it chopped off his tail,” she reported.

I smiled and nodded and pretended like it didn’t bother me, and we threw his writhing body on a brush pile.


That evening, Brandon and I had in mind that we would go deer hunting. We love having the venison to cook with. However, by the time our contractor left and we got loaded up, it was nearly 5pm–a little late to be arriving stealthily in the blind. We were racing down the road when coming across our path was an old man in a pickup truck. I got out to find out what this stranger was doing on our property and before I could get a word in, he said, “You must be Al Klopek’s granddaughter…”

“Yes sir, I am,” I replied, at which point he leaned back on his truck and settled in. He began telling me stories about his time as a buddy of my grandfather’s. While I love a good story, I was thinking Come on man! The daylight is dwindling!


By the time we got to the blind, the deer feeder had already gone off and only about 30 minutes of daylight were left. Fortunately, the deer were nonchalant about our presence and stuck around.

Later, on the way home, Brandon slammed on the breaks and exclaimed, “WOW! Look at that. A coiled up rattlesnake!”

DSC_0671 - Smaller (13)

As he pulled up, the “rattlesnake” took flight into a nearby tree.

DSC_0671 - Smaller (16)

Turns out it was not a rattlesnake, after all, but a baby hawk.

The next morning we were in the deer blind by 5:30am and I got two deer: a doe and a spike. I had to field dress them out in the open with no tool to string them up, and I won’t lie, it was tough and a work out.

DSC_0671 - Smaller (39)

But worth it for the venison.

My brother and mom came later that morning and we went for a ride. Trooper was at his post on the console, barking at the cows.

DSC_0671 - Smaller (58)

We saw this coyote, working on a den or a new route under the fence.

DSC_0671 - Smaller (46)

A little farther down the road, we stopped in at a barn and found this owl on the ground, dead as a doornail.


Strangely, he was untouched–no bullet wound, no fire ants, no evidence of a predator. All feathers intact.


Maybe he had a heart attack mid-air? Maybe he flew into something and got knocked out? Maybe he got hit with the avada kadavra curse while protecting Harry? Not sure the cause of his sad fate, but I loved seeing his exquisite feathers and talons up close.

We ended the weekend by picking fruit off my grandfather’s kumquat and orange trees. Even though we haven’t touched the trees in years, they produce fruit like it’s going out of style.



We have some juicing to do.

Merry Christmas to all of you, hope you have a great week.