Thursday, April 24, 2014
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GUEST COLUMN • Mark Magnan |Only a few weeks until Christmas

Oh no, not someone reminding us that the Christmas Holiday is coming soon. No, not really. But football season has started and we all know what that means. Hunting season is here again. I know the temperature is not typical football or Christmas weather. But that is Texas. Just remember on Christmas day when it is a perfect 75 degrees and the New England states are snowed in, how lucky we are to be here.
Hunting season in Texas, and most of the south, is a major event for most sportsmen (and sports... girls.. or whatever they want to be called). It is a time when boys learn to be men and men dress up in all sorts of camo gear... well, like boys. We take our place in the generations of men that have done this same routine for many years, hunting for food and for sport.


There are two main game animals here in this part of Texas. We have the mourning dove, which is now in season, and the upcoming whitetail deer season. There are some lesser known hunting seasons here in Texas as well. There is a very short Grizzly Bear season that is only open for a few days. Probably because we have a very small grizzly bear population down here. I was fortunate enough to take part in hunting the reclusive Texas grizzly gears a while back. I was lucky and bagged a small one. The Game Warden told me it was just a common raccoon and not a grizzly bear. I disagree, I believe he was too young and inexperienced to properly identify the animal correctly. Besides my bear hunting guide assured me that this was prime bear country. For some reason he had to leave quickly when the Game Warden showed up, some emergency phone call. The Game Warden did have a valid point about the fluffy striped tail, but I am certain that this was just a breeding condition known only to very southern versions of the grizzly bear.
Well back to the deer and the antelope, I mean dove. Between the dove and the deer I don’t think there are any more nervous and scared animals on the planet. They are totally convinced that anything that moves is something that wants to eat them. I realize that both are fairly low on the food chain, but what a way to go through life. They can’t stop and enjoy a bite to eat without hearing the sound of rustling leaves and fleeing for their lives. I see both of these animals around my home. I see how they are constantly looking out for something they hear or believe might be sneaking up on them. Sometimes they even scare themselves. Their heart rate and blood pressure must be the highest among all animals. Even the impalas in Africa seem to relax at times, even in the presence of their main enemy, the lions. They have developed the sense to realize when the lion is hunting or when they are just walking around enjoying the African scenery.
But our game animals here (bears excluded) never seem to relax. They position themselves in such a way that they can see or hear anything that could cause them harm, and have a way to escape. I am glad I am further up the food chain and don’t have to live with that kind of stress. But we all probably know people that live life always worrying about this or that. In a way they are so similar to the deer, afraid something is sneaking up on them. Some sickness or catastrophe is just around the corner and they are crippling their lives with these false beliefs.
I think we should all take a deep breath, relax for a moment. Look around to see what we have that makes our lives whole, and not something coming to get us. Enjoy what we have right now, indulge ourselves in the things that make us happy, look for something new and interesting. Be thankful that we have none of these false fears in our daily lives. After all we have plenty of normal things to stress about, the Dallas Cowboys have an entire season ahead of them, and that leaves them plenty of time to mess something.