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Growing up in Bandera

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I was sitting on my front porch here in town recently and just taking in all that surrounds me every day of my retired life.

My little dog was on my lap, and the two big dogs were stretched out on the cool concrete next to my chair. Several squirrels were doing their best to gobble up the bird seed before the birds got their share. I gave up on the squirrel battle several years ago.

Two whitetail fawns were bedded down right outside the front gate while their momma was in the yard grazing under another one of our bird feeders.

My big dogs no longer make any effort to be watchdogs, although they are excellent at watching. They watch everything going on in the yard, but the deer put them in their place long ago.

Our Red Heeler, Daisy, is like me. She is getting rounder as she is getting older. Princess, the German Shepherd, will chase the deer only when I have spooked them into running through the yard. The chase ends as soon as the deer stops and turns on her.

Herds of Axis deer, numbering close to 100, are seen frequently around our neighborhood. They aren’t quite as social as the whitetail population yet, but they all have become quite a tourist attraction.

You better believe I am just like the tourists, because I keep my camera handy at all times during the whitetail fawn season.

It is often said that Bandera is a tourist town and with good reason. We have events throughout the year designed to bring in the tourist dollars to boost our economy.

I wonder how many people realize just how big the impact of the deer hunting season is for our county. I have been told by a few business owners that it is what carries them over the rest of the year.

If you are an old-time native to the area, then you probably remember what an important time of the year it was back in the day too. If you go back to when the opening day was always Nov. 15 and you were in school, you probably enjoyed a day off, if it hit during the week.

It was a time of bumper to bumper traffic on Main Street before that became an everyday event like we have today.

My “Growing Up in Bandera” years have gone from no deer in town and not many in the pasture to herds of deer in town and well managed populations in the county.

It was and is something very important to our community, and I’m content to watch it from my front porch now - along with my dogs, of course!