Deer season started this past weekend as the first three shots echoed through the End of the Rainbow Valley a good hour later than most years. I was late doing chores and was leaving the coop after feeding the girls when that first shot broke the quiet of the morning at 8:16 followed a couple minutes later by a second and after 10 minutes, the third.

It’s always difficult to decipher from which direction the shots come. If I had to guess, I would say from my western neighbor’s field. Today I learned one of my northern neighbor’s hunting party only shot one doe in the last 2 days. It has been relatively quiet. Sunday’s rain probably also had those deer hunkered down even more.

As hunters donned their blaze orange and headed to their stands early in the a.m., most of the females of their families decked themselves out for a different type of hunting, Christmas shopping and headed to one/more of the numerous holiday gift shows around our region. The largest being the Holiday Faire held at the La Crosse Convention City where Christmas shopping begins in earnest.

I personally started my shopping a day earlier at a smaller sale in the Bluffs at a private residence’s jewelry show where I would look for gifts for the 8 of the females in our family. I should have said 9 because there’s always something which I end up keeping and give myself. I can’t ruin the surprise with pics and I might even forget which one I’ll end up keeping. En route home I also stopped at the small town next to us Stoddard’s holiday open houses at the American Legion and Gracie’s Hutch.

I headed eastward Saturday afternoon with the sun shining to Viroqua stopping in Coon Valley along the way where their Christmas Open Houses had been the previous weekend. The shops were still bustling and the local diner was packed with a big banner with the words WELCOME HUNTERS. Their parking lot was packed with hunters of both the gun toting and purse toting kind.

A common sight was seeing women placing their finds in their car trunks while truck beds were filled with deer.

Two of these three were picked off by a woman. Instead of being caught in the headlights you could say they are now caught in the tail lights…

‘Don’t know if I’ll ever get used to this hunting culture. The Wisconsin DNR sold ~ 539,000 deer hunting licenses with 3600+ going to children under 9 years old… I don’t know about you but I think shopping is a hell of a lot safer…

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