Deer Stand Story - Part III - A First
…..After I cleared out of the deer stand I checked it 5-minutes later and there were only several wasps flying around. Another check several minutes after that and they were gone so I climbed back in. It wasn’t long before a wasp showed up. Then another and a third. I promised myself I would leave the stand and hunt from the ground if a fourth hornet showed up. I had no more made that promise to myself when a fourth wasp returned. I was out of there. Grabbing my gear and rifle I set up the chair I had thrown out of the stand earlier sans any wasp nest and took a position at the edge of the treeline. It was about 20-minutes later a doe came out of the woods to my right. She knew something was up and kept looking at me as she crossed from one treeline to another but never quite figured me out. It was about another 20-minutes when I spotted a tawny colored animal crossing the meadow that I first took for a deer. But I noticed it was slunk low and I could see its shoulder blades working as it walked just like a cat. Well it was a cat - at first I thought it was a big bobcat but the color was wrong and the tail was too long as was the body. I glassed it with my binoculars and made a clear determination that it was the elusive Florida panther. While I had seen one other panther on the side of the road looking to cross the road I was driving on two years earlier this was the first panther I had ever seen in the field while hunting. It did give me pause for thought that I was on the same ground as the panther but it was crossing in front of me and heading to same tree line the doe had disappeared into minutes before and opposite of where I was so I wasn’t overly concerned. The cat never noticed me and I took some comfort that it was now in front of me and not behind in the woods I was using as cover. The End.
Deer Stand Story - Part II - What Went Wrong
So the only night we got to spend hunting pigs this past weekend I decided to hunt the stand in the photo above. I climbed in at about 4:00 pm moved the plastic chairs around to my liking and took a seat. I was there about 30-minutes thoroughly enjoying myself as I watched the afternoon go by when a wasp started flying in my face. I attempted to shoo it away with my hat several times hoping it would get the message Once when tried to hit it with my hat it stung me on my middle left finger. Boy, did that smart!! I hadn’t been stung by a hornet since I was a kid. I worried about an allergic reaction but none came. The wasp still kept bothering me and getting closer - I attempted to shoo it away again and this time it flew into my chest and stung me for a second time on my right pectoral. I couldn’t believe it. I soon killed said wasp by grabbing it in my hat and crushing it. Problem solved - or so I thought. It wasn’t long before I had another wasp flying around my head. I killed it too by grabbing and crushing it in my hat. Peace at last I thought until two wasps flew up between my legs and started to pester me. At this point I came to the suspicion there must be a nest under my seat. I stood up but not all the way up because of the low ceiling and delicately lifted the seat of my chair. Sure, enough there was wasp nest about the size of a small dinner plate with 20 wasps tending it. I quickly deduced the solution would be to throw the chair out of the stand to the ground 20-feet below. I gingerly picked up the chair but couldn’t fit it out the small door of the stand. I had to un-Velcro the siding and once I had an opening large enough for the chair I tossed it out of the stand. The chair hit the ground and the wasps erupted from the nest which dislodged from the chair on impact and fell to the ground. The wasps buzzed the chair for a few seconds and I thought problem solved but then like flying demons ascending from Hell they flew back into the stand. Now I had 20-angry hornets buzzing me in a tight enclosure with all the intent of doing me great harm. I am no small man at 6’5” at 280-lbs so getting out of the stand through a small door and down the ladder was quite a feat. By the grace of God I didn’t get stung again even though wasps were inches from my face and trying to land on me. I made it to the ground safely and unharmed…..end of part II…the remainder of the story to be continued tomorrow…..
Photo by Jody Moore - all rights reserved.
Deer Stand Story - Part l - What Didn’t Go Right
Sometimes the real hunting or fishing story is not what went right but what went wrong. This past weekend I had a chance to take my college aged son on a weekend hog hunt. The hogs, it seems, weren’t interested in being hunted. While we saw many signs of them, such as fresh ruts, (As pictured above) and day old tracks, (it had rained the day before,) it was obvious that there were lots of pigs around and they were feeding at night. Our pig bombs disappeared during night and it was pigs that ate it based on the many hoof prints around the bomb. Maybe it was too close to the last weekends full moon or it is just too hot for them to feed at any other time than during the dark of night. The only pig I saw was just after dusk as I was stalking the forest next to my stand. I spotted a large black pig walking in the same direction I was as it as it meandered between two trees and then behind the bush. As it emerged from behind the bush I unshouldered my rifle and as I raised the scope to my eye the pig turned toward me but disappeared before I could find it in my scope. This is part one of a three part story of what took place that evening - what didn’t go right, what went wrong and a first. To be continued tomorrow……
Photo by Jody Moore - all rights reserved
Feral Hog Hunting
I made a pig bomb for this hog hunting trip I took last weekend. The recipe for a pig bomb includes, feed corn, beer, water, sugar and yeast. I mix all the ingredients in a 5-gallon bucket and let it ferment several weeks before the hunt. When I do get out into the field I first detect the direction of the wind, then I look at where I want to put the fermented corn so that the scent will waft into an area where pigs are mostly likely to hold up. Then I pick a hiding spot that will be to the side of the scent so that my human scent isn’t detected. Doing all this to my satisfaction is a bit trickier than it may sound.
Photo by Jody Moore - all rights reserved
Feral Hog Hunting
Hogs don’t have great eyesight but they have an incredible sense of smell. Staying up wind of them both when stalking or while waiting in a blind or tree stand is critical. Unlike a deer, you can get fairly close to pigs and sneak up on them providing you are up wind of them. I really enjoy stalking pigs and have found the experience of that form of hunting much more fun and interesting. I look for pigs in hammocks like the one shown above where they will find shade, shelter and food. I also stay close to water as in low swampy areas, creeks and ponds. They tend to like areas where the ground has some moisture for rooting up roots, worms, grubs and insects.
Photo by Jody Moore - All rights reserved