Of Hog Hunting and Ants

Greetings all. Sorry for the delay between entries into the diaries. Life keeps on a movin’ and if you don’t take time to jot things down, it doesn’t get done.

Today I am gonna talk about a hunt and a good friend from the Army and I took several years back. The hunt is an archery hunt for feral hogs on public land. I don’t recall the name of the place, but I do recall the lovely warmth of the Texas summer.

Dudeman and I became quick friends while being assigned to the same unit. Both loved to hunt, especially bow hunt. We put this little hunt together on the fly. Split the gas, I packed in lunch and we were ready.

Dudeman drove, and on arrival, we found a parking area near a some really hot locations. At least the folks Dudeman had spoken to said they were hot. This intel came from a guy who on his first ever bow hunt, parked, walked a few hundred yards and shot a pig. Going off this we just knew this pig hunting thing would be a cake walk.

Dudeman and I walked around the immediate area. We then walked further, and further, and further. Darn near around the entire hunting area. Nary a sight, sound or impression pigs lived in the area were found. Never discouraged, we sat down briefly for some water and lunch.

Nothing is better on a super hot Texas summer day than some warm bologna sandwiches, and stale chips. Man they missed the spot in our stomachs. After consuming our body weight in water, we started to grab our gear for the second half of the day. I was checking out an area across the lake for any pig sign, when I noticed Dudeman dancing around. Knowing him, and knowing Tequila was not consumed during our break, I instantly became concerned.

He danced, screamed and yelled like a white man on hot coals, dancing to the latest hip hop song. I listened closely but did not hear any music from anywhere. Then he threw off his back pack, dropped his bow and jumped into the lake. Holding back a gut busting laugh, I politely asked him if he was OK. He quickly told me, in very short terms, he had sat his pack on a fire ant hill while we ate. I questioned the intelligence of doing so, and Dudeman quickly questioned if I like my face the way it was.

Once the humor, or pain (depending on your viewpoint), of the situation was over. I helped Dudeman get the little critters of hell off his gear. Our adventure led us back to the parking area. Since we had not seen anything stalking together, we decided it would be best to try and split up and make our way to the truck.

I worked and area along the lake shore, that was a thick mess of tangled heaven. As I approached the base of a point that jutted out into the lake, I heard the tell tale sound of a pig rooting at the other end of the point. I knew what a rooting pig sounded like because, who doesn’t know what a rooting pig sounds like?

It was game on. I pulled on the game face and began a slow meticulous approach to the last 75 yards. About a minute later, I was with in 20 yards of the rooting pig noise. The ground cover in between us was so thick, I still could not see the beast. Not wanting to leave Dudeman at the truck too long, I decided to make a final approach with the wind at my back. As I crept around the last bush between me and the beast, I came to full draw. I move slowly around the bush… then came face to face with the beast of beasts.

Growing up in Michigan, I am accustom to certain things in the woods. Squirrels, rabbits, an occasional grouse taking flight under your foot. But none of that prepared me for what I was facing at about 8 yards, at full draw, in the unbearable Texas sun.

There are times in life where you have to make split second decisions. Decisions that can be life or death, or embarrassment or heroism. This was one of them. Facing the beast at spitting distance created a few set of problems I needed to solve and right now. First and foremost was whether I should wet my pants or hold it in. Then I had to decide if what I was looking at was legal game for me to take with the licenses I had in my pocket.

In hindsight, I think I made good decisions in the spur of the moment. I did not wet myself, so the ride home in Dudemans truck was not at all a problem. And I decided the beast was not legal game for me to take. So I thanked God for letting me experience such a close encounter with one of the Texas road bumps, aka armadillo. I am just glad the beast didn’t decide to run me over like a tank.

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