Monday, September 12, 2005
I used to go hunting with my buds, Greer and Kevin when I was in high school.That's Kevin in the blue jeans, I have known him since first grade and he is still a best friend. That's me in the camo...and yes, I have a nerdy piece of tape where my glasses broke that day.
Most of these "hunting" trips boiled down to talking about girls, shooting a tree stump or two, talking about girls, driving around in our father's trucks, getting stuck, talking about girls, and never seeing any game.
On this particular afternoon, I went hunting in a wildlife management area called Guana.The guys were busy, so I went by myself. At the time Guana was owned by a large company, but the state had negotiated hunting and fishing rights for the public. Today it is actually a full-fledged state park...thank God for that. It is some of the most beautiful coastal property in the state and would be covered in houses by now if it was not a park.
Anyway, I drove my Dad's International Scout until the dirt road ran out and then I hiked out an old fire trail. The fire break ended out in the salt marsh near a clump of trees with one downed oak. It seemed like a good spot to sit and wait, and so I did.
Without my pals, there was a considerable lack of conversation...although I distinctly remember thinking about girls as I sat on the oak trunk. It did seem unusually quiet...Greer wasn't around to tell some hilarious tale and without Kevin there was none of the superfluous shooting at inanimate objects that usually punctuated our hunting conversations. Yup, it was pretty quiet.
Then I heard a splash. Then splash,splash, splash. It was coming from the now flooded fire trail...I was way out in the marsh and the tide had crept in along the ditchlike trail. The splashing was definitely coming my way.
I put the girl thoughts on hold and raised my 16 guage.
Around the needle rush came two wild hogs, one brown and one larger black one. No way...this never happens when we go hunting. Game? I am hunting and seeing game?
It was then that the hogs noticed me and began running down the trail. I aimed, fired, ...the black boar dropped dead in the flooded fire trail. The brown hog ran directly beneath my oak.
It took me a minute to absorb the thought that not only had I seen game while hunting, but I had actually killed game while hunting. Some sort of precedent had been set.
You may have heard the term "dead weight". This hog was 200 lbs of dead weight, in soft mud, a couple hundred yards from the Scout. It took a while to get him back to the vehicle...I was feeling like dead weight myself when it was done.
Back at the house, I called Kevin and told him that I went hunting and actually killed something. I had to repeat this several times as he was a bit dubious at first. He did finally believe me and being a good friend, he came over to have his picture taken with the beast...and help butcher it.
As I recall, we had a party at my house a few weeks later and barbecued the hog. It was good and somehow we all avoided trichinosis, which would have really put a damper on our senior year.
My dad still has the cleaned and varnished skull of this hog. He uses it to scare trick or treaters every halloween.
I don't hunt anymore, which is really ironic to me since I could take deer from the porch swing if I wanted to.
Maybe if I could get Greer and Kevin over here, we could talk about girls, get stuck, shoot a stump...maybe then I could get in the mood.
Posted by R.Powers at 5:50 AM