Written In Stone
FULL CRY – Greetings from South Georgia. The drought continues to impact hog hunting here. Of course, the lack of rainfall affects the farm in more ways than just hog hunting. There are 25 irrigation lines on this farm which results in a monthly fuel bill of $70,000. Now that’s just for this 10,000 acre tract. The same farm operation leases an additional 32,000 acres and the fuel bill for the entire operation exceeds $200,000 a month. That’s why every feral hog that is eradicated puts money back in the pockets of the farmer.
Our hog hunts this month have resulted in feast or famine type numbers. Some hunts have produced multiple hogs while others produced nothing. The only thing that has been predictable about hogs is that they are totally unpredictable. We have enjoyed the company of a wide range of guests this month. Their names escape me, but one man was from North Carolina; one was a Marine from Maryland; and there was a falconer from Metter, GA; and a Baptist preacher from the hills of Tennessee.
Time has been well spent this month working with a Redbone/Cur pup and also with my pair of Airedales. Any time spent with this duo is time well spent. In general, they have an enthusiasm for all of life’s outdoor pursuits that is downright infectious. Whether they want to go hunt or just go play, their zeal for the game will bring you along. Both are all-around hunters. They are not great at any one thing, but they are good at many things. To come out of the backwoods with game in my bag, my dad’s pappy’s .22 Winchester in my hand and one of my Airedales at my side is a great pleasure in my life.
In and of itself the harvested game and the old Winchester rifle are worthless without the company of one of these dogs. I am and I say this with some pride a “dog person,” I make no excuse for how much I like them, even those little Jagds that make sport out of biting me. I have always had dogs and hope to continue to do so. I think they are wonderful and I think mandatory for decent human life.
Lately, I have written about “hunters” who have shot people while hunting game. I guess this has been happening since way back when Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett were sporting coonskin hats and firing muskets. I am no longer amazed by what I read or hear about these “accidents” – such as a shooting that happened in Flagler County, FL last week. It has been reported that a 52 year old Florida man took his girlfriend camping. At some point, he decided to go hunting and his soon to be ex-gal friend decided to go pick some oranges. He mistook his gal for a hog and blasted her through the legs with a .30 caliber bullet. She was airlifted to the nearby Halifax Medical Center where she was listed in stable condition. This may result in some future relationship issues in light of the fact that he mistook his gal for a wild feral hog and followed that thought up by shooting her.
Maybe she will forgive him. The “woman who bears my last name” would probably hold a grudge about it though. She just forgave me recently for the anniversary present I gave her. I had a local artist paint a picture based on a photo of my wife standing on the front porch in her wedding gown; a great memory that I wanted on canvas. And to be honest, the artist did an outstanding job. The “woman who bears my last name” was slightly miffed that I had the artist paint my Airedale, Fred, sitting next to her though.
Take time to share and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ with someone. Until next month, safe hunting, keep reading Full Cry and God bless each of you.
By Richard McCorkle