Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Good Deer Year

Every year when fall approaches we start to check out the oak trees to see how many acorns they are putting on. The more acorns and the earlier they fall, the better it will be for deer hunters - deer thrive on acorns and put on weight rapidly when eating them.

This year is a good deer year as far as acorns are concerned.

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 The narrow snouts and nimble tongues of the white-tailed deer are perfect for picking up the acorns scattered under the broad live oak trees.  Because they can so rapidly gather the acorns from the usually sandy ground, they gain weight and go into the winter with a healthy store of fat, though in South Texas some kinds of greenery are almost always growing because winter usually lasts about two days in February.

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It is not such a good year in South Texas for cows though. With their broad snouts and thick tongues, the cows pick up more dirt than acorn and end up going into the winter rail thin. Ranchers dread the years when cows start chasing acorns because it leads to financial losses for them. The less a cow weighs, the less it is worth at market. The shade from the evergreen live oak tree tends to keep the ground underneath sparsely grown with grass, so there is much dirt for the cows to lick up.

Just like everything else in life. What works for one does not work for another - and so it is with acorns. What is not a good year for ranchers, is a good year for hunters.

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