A bit of humor from bygone days

With the sweltering heat the past week, I’ve taken a cue from the fish and wildlife I write about, I’ve been stirring during the ‘cooler’ morning hours and again with the setting of the sun. My outdoor adventures have been a bit limited.

Oh, I did join my friend Brandon Sargent with Lead Slinger’s Guide Service for a couple hours of early morning white bass ‘catching’. The fish were on an aggressive bite and it didn’t take long using half ounce lead slabs to put a couple limits on ice. Don’t think I’ve ever seen more fish on sonar, the bottom 10 feet of the water column in 22 feet of water was literally stacked with aggressively biting fish that later became the centerpiece of a big fish late afternoon fish fry.

I did venture forth about 8 pm. one evening to set by one of my corn feeders near home, waiting for a hog and almost hoping none would show up. It would have been mighty hot to be quartering a porker! I gave up the hunt about 9:30, about thirty minutes after dark. It’s a good bet that had I stayed out a bit longer, I could have put more fresh pork I the freezer but between the mosquitoes and sweat, I began to wonder if a sane man would be doing what I was doing and headed home for some AC!

With few real outdoor activities to share this week, I thought I might relate a couple of humorous occurrences from my past.

WILD HOGS WITH GATORS - There was the time about thirty years ago, just about this time of year, when I decided to go on a solo hog hunt up in Jack County.

I was shooting a single shot Contender Handgun chambered in 7-30 Waters. The ranch owner was leaving on vacation that afternoon and turned the place over to me. We drove to a pond where hogs had been coming in to water just before dark, there was a tree stand about 80 yards from the water’s edge.

There were three alligators inhabiting the pond and my friend regularly fed them the ‘trimmings’ from animals taken on his place. As he began tossing the animal remains into the water, I noticed three gators swimming near the surface toward their lunch.

It doesn’t take a 10 foot gator long to eat and in short order, the gators disappeared into the murky depths. My friend said adios and headed back to the ranch house to load up his family and hit the road for his vacation.

I had the whole place to myself and did a bit of fishing in the pond to kill a couple hours before I would take up vigil in the treestand. Not a sign of a gator. I assumed they were digesting back in the shoreline reeds somewhere.

About 45 minutes before dark, a little 100 pound boar came out of the brush to water and walked to water’s edge at the exact spot my friend fed the gators. There was a flat rock there that sloped sharply into the water.

At the shot the hog was down but he kicked his way into the water’s edge. When I climbed out of the stand and made it to the rock, bubbles were coming up about 6 feet out from shore. I used a stick and determined the water was no more than 3 feet deep. What to do? I was all about the meat and had a barbeque planned for the pork. I didn’t have a change of clothes and decided to strip down and wade out to retrieve my pork.

I still remember stepping with trepidation into that pond, no sign of approaching gators but that was little comfort. My big toe contacted the hog first, actually his snout with tusk. I reached down and grabbed the hog by a front leg and removed him from the pond with lightning speed.

Not a sign of a gator and all turned out very well. I’ve told this story many times around hunting camps and those that believed I was telling the truth questioned my sanity. I just tell them that was back then when I was young and had a forthcoming wild pork barbeque planned the following weekend!

OWL ON A FLY ROD Way back in about 1959 when I was 9 years old back in very rural Red River County I was witnessed a sight I remember vividly to this day.

My uncle was an accomplished fly fisherman and when he came down from Tennessee to visit, I served as his ‘guide’, taking him to all the fishing ponds we had access to. In the waning minutes of daylight, I remember Uncle Luke doubling hauling his fly line onto which was attached a small popping bug, lethal bait for bream and smaller bass in the pond.

The line make a high arc and at the height of the cast, I heard line ripping off my Uncle’s fly reel at a rapid rate. A barred owl had swooped down and picked up the bug, intentionally I assume, and was flapping his wings and attempting to dislodge whatever it was that was dragging him back to earth.

My Uncle was a gentleman and I don’t ever remember his cursing but he did then. “Boy, what kind of fish do yall have down here in Texas.” He managed to toss a shirt or something over the owl and took it home (probably illegal even back then). My dad fashioned a leather tether and built a perch for the bird adjacent a low limb in a pine tree in the yard.

I remember the owl attempting to scalp me every time I walked under his perch. After a day or two, he was released. I have thought many times that this particular owl probably had an adversity the remainder of his life for catching bugs on the wing!

If you have been kicking around the outdoors as long as me, chances are pretty good you have some comical occurrences in your past also. It’s fun to reminiscent and makes for and ‘off beat’ top when an old outdoor writer has been spending too much time inside under the AC. Email Luke via his website www.catfishradio.org.

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