With only one class this semester that’s only once a week, I’ve suddenly found myself with an absurd amount of time on my hands. To add, my new job doesn’t start until February so I’ve had plenty of time to go hunt and fish. There is, however, one problem with that plan…
I don’t have my Jeep.
Thanks to so problems with my radiator, I got stranded halfway between Pensacola and Tallahassee. For those of you unfamiliar with the area, I couldn’t have planted myself any deeper in the middle of no-where if I’d tried. 3 hours later I was finally rescued by my parents and a tow truck, and I took my mom’s Ford Taurus the rest of the way to Gainesville.
A few days later, I found myself pacing the apartment in sheer boredom. The urge to get out and try hunting for hogs was too strong, and I finally loaded up the car with hunting gear and drove off to the woods.
I drove out to Goethe State Forest and found a place to park just off a paved road. Prior to driving out there, I searched google earth extensively to find what looked like good areas for hogs and I got as close as I could when I arrived.
I set off toward an area that accoording to satellite pictures was wet at least some parts of the year. Dragging the slug gun and my hunting pack, I meandered about a mile before I reached the area I was looking for. I came to a large clearing surrounded by cypresses. Unfortunately there was no water to be found, but since I was there, I decided to trudge out into the middle of the clearing to have a look. After stepping just a few yards through the tall grass, I was surprised at what I found: Acres and acres of rooting by hogs.
I gave the ground a little kick and watched as the dust rose. Even though I’d found sign, I was -way- behind the hogs. A few yards later, I came across a tree that confirmed there were hogs in the area (as if the rooting didn’t).
The marks are caused by hogs rubbing up against the tree. Apparently hogs have itchy butts…Who knew?
I followed a heavy game trail further into the woods in hopes of finding a wet area. The temperature was in the mid 70’s, so I knew the pigs wouldn’t be -too- far from a water source. After weaving my way through an area of cypresses, I came across something that made me chuckle.
|There -used- to be water nearby|
Posed ducks? I guess I’ve found weirder things in the woods, but I certainly wasn’t expecting these.
I followed the trail about another 1/2 mile before I sat down to take a break. I drank from my canteen and watched as 10-12 vultures circled around, looking for something that had died. They never landed, and never stayed over the same area for any length of time. Otherwise, I might have walked over to see what they’d found. After a few minutes, I looked at the trail I was following, and noticed that it started going up hill and away from the cypress clearing. From what I could tell, I was in the lowest spot within a square mile. Drenched in sweat, and with no water to be found, I packed up and headed back for the car.
Once back at the road, I was relatively thankful I hadn’t shot anything. Lord knows what I would have done with the thing. The trunk? Buckle him up in the front seat?
I start my new job next week and should be getting the Jeep back shortly thereafter. To add, I’ve been given permission to shoot any and all hogs I see at this job. So hopefully, my hog hunting for 2012 isn’t quite over.