Sunday, November 18, 2007

Outdoors with Big Mike

Well, this is the opening weekend of gun deer season here in Alabama. Saturday morning, my son David his friend Bill and I all went to the family land we call "The Swamp". However with the current drought that we are going through, it hardly resembles a swamp. David was going with what we call "blood in his eye", meaning he was wanting to kill at least a doe so that he could have some of the back strap to cook. However, someone must have sent out a memo to the deer, because they were not moving at all. David was the only one to see a deer and he saw three, but none presented a good shot.

I went to a big pasture that is on the land and was sitting on the edge of the woods. I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and saw a coyote moving out in the pasture. Well, I have a personal rule that says that I will always shoot any coyote or hog that I see first, even if that means that I will not kill anything else. Both of these are what we consider varmints and pest. I did manage to kill the coyote, but I missed a second one and he was a black coyote that I really want to kill. If I do, I will have him mounted just because of his color. After I shot the coyote, I moved further down the wood line to just get away from where I had just shot. I shot the coyote around 6:30- a.m.. I sat at this new position for about 30 minutes and them decided that I would change my style from sitting to walking to see if I could slip up on a deer. I had not walked 50 yards when I came up on a group of wild hogs. ( Let me stop here to lament our wild hog problem. In the last few years, wild hogs have become a real pest. I like to plant chufa for the turkeys and grain sorghum, and corn for the deer. However, as soon as the hogs find it, you can write it off. I have bought hog traps to catch them, and since there is no closed season, I have hunted them basically all summer. I have killed around 20 this year and it does not seem to make much difference in their numbers.This year the chufa seed which is not cheap, never got a chance to come up, as the hogs rooted them up before they had time to germinate.) Anyway, back to the hunt, when I saw these hogs, I picked out the largest one and shot it. It turned out to be a big sow. Now I had complied with my rule of killing the pest first then see if I could see a deer. As I said earlier, someone must have sent the deer word that we were coming as I never saw a deer.

I sent some photos of me cleaning the hog to show a method that makes cleaning hogs much easier. That is to split the hide both on the top of the back and on the belly. This make skinning them much easier. Yes, we do eat the wild hogs, actually we call this organic pork. They make great bar-b-q and since they have not been fed supplements, they have little fat and taste great.

After cleaning the hog, we all got back together and made sure our rifles were sighted in. I was hunting with a Merkel K1 in 30-06 which is my favorite caliber. I was glad to see that every one's gun was sighted in, but we always do this the first weekend to make sure that over the summer they did not get off of target.

Then very unlike me, I decided not to hunt Saturday afternoon, as I wanted to go back to Hattiesburg Ms. to shop at a liquidation store that is selling hunting and fishing supplies at real bargains. In fact, I was there Thursday and purchased a new Knight Revolution in camo for $184.00. I did not even need it,but at this price, I could not resist. This trip was to take my father, Laura's Paw Paw. Even though he is 78 years old, he still loves to fish and fish he does. I would say he averages fishing at least once per week all year long, and he is very good at fishing. I have a photo of his with a recent red fish catch. He is the man!!. Anyway, he and I went to the store and had a really great day shopping there. They have a ton of Berkley Gulp Alive in salt water for a price of $2.80 per pack when it is normally $6- 7.00 per pack. I should be stocked with fishing stuff now for quite some time. If anyone reads this and lives anywhere near Hattiesburg, it would be worth your time to go there if you like to fish. This was a sporting goods warehouse that had a fire, and they took the salvage out to an old Albertsons store in the Colonial Mall, and set this up. Real bargains galore.

Until next time, I hope your outdoor experiences will be good ones, and safe ones.



Julie said...

That is very interesting!

grizaham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grizaham said...

Great story! I could totally see that in my head even though i have yet to see a live hog! But something tells me i will soon... :)

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