My muscles are still stiff from this past weekend. Nothing like slinging a chainsaw and clearing that wonderful South Texas brush on a beautiful Spring day. I met up with a couple of other hunters on the lease to clear trees and scrub brush around a stock tank. Our plan is to open it up for the upcoming Dove season. Plenty of cover and a great spot to sit and watch the world go by. That is the great thing about South Texas, no matter where you look, there is always a beautiful view. That beauty is tempered by the harsh environment we now live in.
This is the first deer lease I have been on where personal safety is a MAJOR concern. On my first trip down last year, we stopped for dinner at a little cafe in Freer. We came for the enchilada plate and iced tea, but stayed longer for the gossip. This is one of those small town diners that caters to everyone in the area. I walked in and saw hunters, ranchers and a couple of Border Agents as well. I walked out of that chat-n-chew with a full belly and an aching head. It is an often overlooked fact that the food served at small town diners is directly related to the quality of gossip.
Since we have no information regarding this region, we struck up conversation with several of the other patrons. I gained valuable intel about the hunting and weather patterns, but I digress. The real juice came from the Border Agents whom I'll call Macho Man #1 and Macho Man #2. These guys were yoked. One look at them and Barry Bonds is on the phone to BALCO asking for more. If someone were to poke there shirts with a needle, one pectoral muscle would clear the room.
Amidst the squeaks of their gun belts (one of the most common sounds associated with LEOs) and the smell of sizzling fajitas we learned the dangers of living so close to the border. These guys did not pull any punches. MM#1 gave us the low down on illegal immigration through the area. Mind you, the Mexican border is only 50-60 miles from our deer lease. I did not think we would have problems, but they put the fear of JEEZUS in me. Apparently, Freer is part of a major immigration route up from the Laredo area to San Antonio. Macho Man #1 & #2 work this area pretty hard and actually set up a rolling checkpoint just down the road from our front gate.
One of the most chilling points they made in thier little chat with us was the amount of increasing violence among the people coming up from the border. I did not think this was right. Back when I was younger, we had a place up the road in Goliad, TX. Illegals used to run across our camp all the time. Never once did I fear they would try something stupid. They usually stayed clear while we hunted down there, but in the off-season, they would come into camp and occasionally scavenge through our trailers. Every single time that happened, our trailers were cleaner than when we left them. Go figure.
MM#2 told us about a local TPWD Game Warden who just got out of the hospital after being brutally attacked in his own home. The warden never had a chance to put up a fight. An illegal broke into his home and bludgeoned him with a stick. Six weeks later, the warden is back on solid food. They told us that the situation is getting worse. Illegal immigrants from Mexico and points south generally know the rules of the game and abide by them. Macho 1 and 2 agree that these are the easiest to deal with. It gets to be a problem when you have immigrants from the Middle East, Asia and everywhere in-between flood our borders. They don't quite know how to play the game.
These guys were hesitant to answer the already obvious, but my hunting buddies pressed the issue regarding the other illegal immigrants. MM1 and MM2 swore up and down they would deny, deny, deny what they were gonna tell us, but they informed our group that people on the terror watch list were already being picked up at our nation's southern border. The decision was made right then and there that I was not going to be without my Roscoe while at the lease.
It amazes me that the rest of my group is content to stuff a 'snake charmer' pistol (usu. .22 cal) into the depths of their backpack and remain blissfully unaware. A hunting rifle is not the best tool when you walk across the path of a potential threat. The tack driver I use is great for targets out to 400 yards, but I don't plan on getting into a running gun battle with it. The Border Agents chilled the room when they told us about the increase in weapon usage among the immigrants. Something tells me that I am NOT suffering from 'Chicken Little Syndrome' when I strap that pistol to my leg. I am used to shooting coyotes everytime I visit the lease. Heck, I even dropped one that wandered into camp last Sunday. Now, I am scared that the 'coyotes' are going to shoot back.
This obviously begs the question: "Why stay at that lease with all the danger from illegals?"
For us, it is a matter of the almighty $$$ and the fact that this place is flush with game. The price was right and the hunting is excellent. My dad asked me after that first weekend if I wanted to get off that lease. "Hell no!" I said to him. The benefits to us far outweigh the risks. We are in a good lease with wonderful friends. The region is flush with trophy whitetails and great wing shooting. We just have to be a bit more careful when we're out on the hunt.
I am not happy with the flood of illegal immigrants coming over our borders. I wish there was something that could be done to immediately solve the situation. It is too bad that politics are involved. I agree that more needs to be done. Get the National Guard out there, increase the INS budget and place more agents at the border. Don't give me this feel happy rhetoric B***S***. The Minutemen have the right idea. Get down there and report on the problem. All it takes is a phone call to have the authorities pick up the migrants. Call it a national neighborhood watch if you will. Don't blow smoke up my skirt and tell me it is windy. The powers that be are doing nothing to save us from the veritable onslaught of illegal immigrants. Our elected officials will stand in front of the cameras and tell us that they are doing what they can to alleviate the problem. Everyone knows that they don't want to have to fire their yard man and the special interests who's very income is derived from cheap day labor will throw money at the politicos just so they can only pay lip service to the rest of America.
It tears me up to see these people come into this country and drain our resources without the benefit of having earned the right. My wife is a European national and came over here on a student visa. She is now a Permanent Resident after having worked her tail off for near ten years. I should get her to post her thoughts on illegal immigration. YIKES!
I fear that we are going to see some huge problems in the near future if illegal immigration is not addressed soon. It is like a friend of mine at Clear Channel once said when a local Houston Rock station went Tejano, "They're takin' over America. One radio station at a time." Spin the dial and you'll see what I mean.