LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - For Chris Ward, when the coolers start stacking up that's when he knows deer season is here.
"Special-managed leases started bringing them in the middle, late October and up until now," Ward, who owns Massingill Meat Market, said.
"The cool weather and you see four-wheelers behind everyone's vehicle, you know, so I'm 44 years old and hunted my whole life and there's no day like opening day," hunter Melvin Linton.
"It goes from everything fine and dandy to three weeks behind, it's just an absolute overflow," Ward said.
Massingill Meat Market will see hundreds of deer before it's all over.
"We're double what we had this time last year," Ward said. "I get to see the big ones and I get to see the kids faces and Saturday morning will be like a rock concert with guns out here."
While ward is working seven days a week from dark to dark, bow hunter Jamie Johnson has already shot a 9-point buck.
"Yeah, we field dress it, skin it, weigh it, take the jawbone out, thank the Lord that let him walk by us," Johnson said.
Game wardens say hunters need to remember this is the second year they've had the 13-inch antler restriction which means a legal buck has to have at least one unbranched antler or a minimum spread of 13 inches.
For George Woods, hunting season means good business.
"We do a lot of feeders, we do a lot of corn, obviously, food plots, so that's become a very large part of our business year to year now," said Woods, manager of Lufkin Farm Supply & Nursery. "Today is kind of last minute stuff, they're getting last-minute corn to take with them."
He's hoping to fill up his wall of fame, Ward is processing the wall of fame.
"It's really a family thing, you get in East Texas, everybody loves to hunt," Ward said. "You give them a license to go out in the woods and shoot something you're going to take advantage of it."