Our friends Linda and Tommy Sexton are avid hunters. They belong to a hunting club and between them and their family they have a god zillion hunting stands in that land. They hunt for wild boar, deer and who knows what else when its in season. Tommy talked us into going hunting with him and Linda when we were in the area and we agreed to go, I albeit a bit reluctantly but excited nonetheless. I had never held a weapon other than my tongue and a few kitchen knives that thankfully I’ve never had to use for other than maybe chopping some onions and a few tomatoes. So shooting a rifle was just totally out of my mindset. I am not opposed to hunting in the least, it’s just that it’s never been in my bucket list, nor had I ever considered it or even had a fleeting thought about even going hunting myself. I do ALL my hunting in Publix and don’t give it any further thought.
Anyway, we drove from Charleston to the middle of, I mean nowhere, and Tommy meets us all dressed up in camouflage on his ATV, which of course is a motorized vehicle that this city girl has never ridden in either. So off we turn, (thank goodness we have a dually truck) on this dirt road for a while and soon enough signs of life begin to appear. A camper here, another there, shanties everywhere. They do have running water and 30 amp electricity so they are not totally cut off but definitely removed. But remember you can’t run your a/c and your hair dryer on at the same time. I probably would not fare very well if I had to stay there for a long period of time.
We took Jackson with us and boy he was in doggie heaven. Sniff, sniff was all he did and he was smiling so wide that his doggie jaws had to be hurting.
We grilled dinner and off we went. The doggies stayed behind because they would have barked and scared off the hogs. Sorry about that Jackson!
Tommy took John for a ride on the ATV and I rode with Tommy to the stands. That was a thrill in and of itself. Dirt roads, air on your face, clean smells, what an awesome experience, but there was more to come. He made a right, then a left, then who knows where else he went, but I’ll tell you, if I angered that man, I would NEVER make it back to civilization and would certainly become part of the food chain. Since we were so deep in the swamp and I have yet to become a grammy, I promised myself to behave (as best I could).
John and Linda followed us on the our truck, as four people on the ATV would have been rather challenging. We arrived at our destination, which was a dirt road in the middle of two huge forest areas around 6 p.m. We parked the ATV and the truck between Tommy’s stand and Linda’s stand and separated, each to their own stand. Tommy and I walked to his stand and John and Linda walked to hers.
When we arrived at Tommy’s stand, which again, is something I had never seen other than on TV, was pretty interesting. All built by hand and pretty sturdily as well, I may say. It’s who knows how tall, probably around 25-30 feet or so, right at the tree height and amazingly they erected it on their own using very interesting (non-OSHA approved) methods may I say. They built all their stands at home and erected them in the hunting land, then covered them with (I forget the proper name) brown camouflage nets. They also have feeders that are on a timer, and sure enough once the feeders go off,
15-20 minutes later the hogs arrive.
I was so excited when they started to show up. It is just amazing how you can train even a wild animal to do what you want them to do and when.
Tommy was giving me lessons on how to hold his rifle (a 30 0 6) against my shoulder blade, how much pressure to apply when holding it, where to look through the scope, how to squeeze the trigger, etc., all with the safety on of course. But…at the time of the Mohicans it’s a bit different. Having never ever fired a rifle or anything for that matter, looking at a live, moving creature through the crosshairs of a scope, just like a sniper would, as I’ve seen many times on TV, was kind of thought provoking. I now believe that squeezing the trigger slowly is more an art than a skill, and if I were to do this again, I would really need to perfect it. The trigger was very sensitive and slow MEANS SLOW! I now think that I more clearly understand the term trigger happy.
I know I hit one hog for sure because I have bone fragments to prove it, but I sure wish I would have killed it, because now it’s injured and walking around somewhere in misery. I know it probably will become part of the food chain, but I really hate that it was on my shift.
I saw yet another potential and this time I really tried to focus. However that darn trigger did me in. I squeezed too fast and it obviously wasn’t aimed right. It’s the darn gun’s fault! LOL
We went looking for it and had to walk through disgusting muck and swampy water all they way up to my shins. The funny part is that Tommy was in cammouflage and I was wearing jeans – can you believe – a coral Columbia shirt and tennis shoes. You know a city girl’s outdoors hiking outfit (the best I could do without going shopping). Thank goodness I was with Tommy the entire time, otherwise, I might have been a walking target. At least I proved to myself that I wasn’t such as girly girl and could get down and dirty with the best of them.
John, on the other hand, was not quite as fortunate in this experience. They saw NOTHING from their stand, but the conversation, at least, was stimulating.
After a few hours, it got dark and we returned to the hunting camp. What a fun experience. I really wished that the outcome would have been different, but as Tommy told me that is why it’s called hunting not killing.
Now, we are just waiting for Camden!!!