Still Kicking At The Hog Blog
October 13, 2016
And despite appearances to the contrary, neither is the Hog Blog.
True, I’ve been quiet for quite some time. No gear reviews. No hog hunting reports. No pithy commentary on life, the universe, and everything. Not even a lambasting of some truly deserving television hunting program. If current posts are the pulse of a blog, then I’d say death is a pretty fair diagnosis because the heart of this thing has been awful still.
But it’s not dead. Not yet.
A couple of updates…
In September, I finally moved into the new house. Right now, Kat and I are just calling it, “the Farm.” We wanted to do something clever, like name the long driveway Bagshot Row, and the house would be #1 (aka Bag End). But apparently, to have a street name in the county, there have to be at least three homes on the street. That was disappointing. So, it’s The Farm. For now… which, with me, means probably forever.
At any rate, the point there is that the trials of getting the place built are behind me. That was a lot more stressful than I’d ever want to deal with again. I like to think this is my last house (hmm… in keeping with the Tolkein thread, I could call it “the Last Homely House”), but I’ve thought that before and see what happened? But it’s pretty much done. Still work to be done on the pasture and setting up for horses, and of course the never-ending maintenance that comes with a piece of land, but I feel like a load has been lifted. The Hog Blog has a new base camp.
Of course, we’re barely settled in and along comes Hurricane Matthew. I was among the fortunate ones here, and weathered that storm with nominal issues. I’m high enough that the flooding hasn’t been an immediate problem, and the wind didn’t cause appreciable property damage. For the most part, we sat in the living room and watched TV all evening, as the power and satellite remained largely uninterrupted.
Sadly, many of the neighboring areas didn’t fare nearly so well. If you’re feeling charitable, there are a lot of folks in this area who are recently homeless… some probably for the long haul. The American Red Cross and other worthy organizations are going to be stepping in to try and help, so a few bucks here and there would probably help. And, of course, that’s not to mention the devastation down in Haiti… destruction and loss on a scale that most Americans can’t even imagine. If nothing else, spare a positive thought and count your blessings.
What about hunting?
Yeah, I’ve been at it. All the work here on the new house sort of scotched the deer activity in the usual places (although they’re coming back now), and I didn’t get around to moving stands to more productive areas. I’m reaping the rewards of my inactivity now, as the one stand I had high hopes for has turned out to be a dud.
But rifle season opens Saturday, and that will give me a couple of options I didn’t have with the bow. Those little suckers thought they were safe, hanging out there at 100 yards or more…
Of course, rifle season also brings out the dog hunters… the houndsmen. I’d like to think they’ll be respectful of private property holders this year… maybe a little more than last year… but I’m not holding out high hopes. I really have no problem with hunting over hounds, but I do have a problem with running the damned animals across any piece of open ground and the No Tresspassing signs be damned. The law was fairly recently updated so that running hounds on posted property is now illegal, but enforcement is utterly impractical, especially in such a rural area where dog hunting is such an ingrained activity. It’s pretty frustrating, especially after spending most of the off-season working on habitat, food plots, and setting stands.
The thing is, I’m probably more tolerant of it than my immediate neighbors. They’re pissed, and you can bet that if a ban on hunting with hounds comes to the table, these folks will be helping to push it into law. I recognize what a tradition it is, but the houndsmen are their own worst enemies here.
Besides deer, I’ve been getting pretty excited about the upcoming waterfowl season. Given the current weather patterns, I don’t think we’re going to see a good, cold season. That’s a drag, because it means the migration will be slow to arrive again. But this year, so far, we don’t have nearly as much water around (once the Matthew floods recede). That means the birds will concentrate more along the normal waterways instead of scattering into inaccessible swamps. That’s what I’m hoping for, anyway.
Kat and I also drew tags for tundra swans this season. I have never hunted the big birds, but I’ve eaten them and I’m tickled pink at the opportunity to put a couple on the table. I’m also looking forward to meeting up with a couple of blog friends I’ve chatted with for years, but never met in person. This will be a late season hunt, so the story will be a while in the offing. But stay tuned.
What about hogs?
The raison d’etre of this blog has pretty much been a no-show this entire year. Between work and the house, I’ve had neither the time nor the money to go out and try to find some Carolina wild pork. I had a trip planned to South Carolina, but had to bag it for the aforementioned reasons. Still, I’ve been doing some research and working on connections. At this point, it looks like 2017 will have to be the big year, but I’ve found some promising leads and I can’t wait.
In the meantime, I’ve really been jonesing for a CA hog hunt again. I know I can’t pull it off any time soon, but I keep looking for that winning lottery ticket to blow up onto my front porch.
That’s enough for now… I’ll have to try a little harder to keep this blog thing on top of the daisies instead of under them.