One day in 1979 while hunting wild boars with Jack Douglas along the Ogeechee river near Savannah, Ga., we had a really funny experience, at that time rural TV antennas was out of question. Jack Douglas owns a well known outfit known as "Hall Brothers." He has the best known wild boar hunt in the Eastern U.S.On the morning of the hunt, my companion Layne Simpson and I woke up to the aroma of fresh hot coffee. By the time we got dressed, Nathan, his cook had a great breakfast prepared — fresh salt cured country ham, bacon, grits, eggs and a generous supply of fresh hot biscuits. After breakfast, we embarked on our hunt. Layne was hunting with a black-powder pistol and I with my bow and arrows. It wasn’t long into the hunt when Layne connected with a very fine black boar. His hunt being finished, we proceeded to hunt a nice boar for me.
We located several boars, but none were what I was looking for. We played a catch and release game until we found the one I wanted. Jack had wire muzzles on his dogs so they could not catch the hogs. If the dogs bayed a boar that you did not want, you had to catch the hog, and put your dogs on leashes so you could release the hog into the wild. This was very dangerous and it took a team effort. While the dogs had the boar’s attention, Jack would sneak up behind the boar and grab him by the tail and one hind leg, then throw him on his side and hold him there while the hunters rounded up the dogs.
On one occasion, the dogs bayed a sow (female hog), with shoats (young pigs). Being a mother, she was charging toward us with violent charges since she was defending her young pigs. She managed to cut some of the dogs. With her we had a real problem!
Jack made several attempts to get behind her. She has chased him up a tree more often than I can remember. Finally, he managed to get her by the tail and one hind leg and threw her over. During all this time we were laughing at Jack, but he wasn’t too amused.Layne, one of Jack’s helpers, and I finally got the dogs into the boat. Layne decided to get out in front of the boat to act as a decoy to attract the sow away from Jack when he would turn her loose.
The piglets were squealing for their mom, and she was furious!
Jack turned the sow loose and ran for the boat. The sow was much quicker than we had figured that she would be. In desperation Layne had to get up on a Persimmons tree. This tree was a bit small for Layne’s weight and started bending. The sow was trying to bite Layne in the backside, and each time she would lunge, Layne would pull his backside up. While laughing at Layne’s predicament, we noticed a large hornets’ nest in the tree just above Layne’s head.
There were swarms of highly agitated hornets buzzing all around Layne.
With the piglets squealing around in the bushes, the sow finally went off to collect them. She left us with a final warning grunt. Layne dropped from the tree and ran for the boat and made good his escape from both the sow and the hornets, s told by Jack Newsome.
I visited Jack a few days ago, and after exchanging pleasantries, the conversation turned to fishing and hunting dogs. I could tell that Jack had a story for me, the gleam in his eyes is easy to recognize.
"I’ve had some good hunting dogs in my days, but three come to mind that were exceptional.." Jack started off.
"One was a Beagle, he was so good that he could run two rabbits running in two different directions. Then later I had a Pointer" he added. " I took the pointer quail hunting one day, and we just couldn't find any coveys. Tired and disappointed we began our walk back to the house, and as we walked by a farm pond, the dog came to a full stop and pointed right at the edge of the water! I walked up to him to see what he was pointing at, and saw a big Bass on a bed. I had my shotgun ready, since pointers will sometimes point at snakes, I aimed down and shot the Bass. After we arrived home I cleaned that 5 pound bass. In it’s stomach it had two quail!!"
Then Jack proceeded to tell me about his Grandpa’s coon hound. In those days coon pelts brought good money, the skins were dried on racks and treated for sale. Ole Blue was so good at coon hunting that before Grandpa would take him hunting, he would show Blue the size of the drying rack that didn’t have a skin on it. Blue would go find and tree a coon that the pelt would fit on the empty rack.
One day that Grandpa was to take Blue for some coon hunting, someone had left an ironing board leaning against the wall of the shed where the racks were. After taking a good look, Blue went off into the woods. Grandpa hasn’t seen the dog since.
Another anecdote, as told by Jim Warren...
Jim tells us that his wife Linda likes the outdoors, is a fairly good shotgunner but has never been turkey hunting. After much persuasion she decided to give it a try. Some years back you couldn’t buy camouflage outfits for small women, so Jim lent her some of his camouflage clothing, which of course were bulky and too big for her. Nevertheless, they waddled into the woods one cold morning. Linda was bundled up head-to-toe, with the slacks being about six inches too long.. You can imagine her tripping and stumbling to where they were to hunt... Finally they arrived. Jim and Linda sat at the trunk of a large tree facing in opposite directions. Jim proceeded to start his turkey calling sequences, while Linda peered through the darkness and the bushes, waiting for Mr. Tom to show up.
After a while Linda whispered, "look Jim, is that a legal turkey?",
"Where?" he asked..
"There by the tree.." she whispered.
"What tree?", he asked impatiently.
"That oak tree, there" came the reply. "The big oak tree.." she added.
Of course they were surrounded by oak trees and by now Jim was getting a little frustrated.
Needless to say, after all that conversation the turkey had moved out of the area, and so ended the potential initiation of Linda as the turkey hunter.
Looking back to those "Good Old Days," when I was just a young sprout, some of my fondest memories revolve around those weekends spent with my Grandparents. The chores weren’t all that bad and the food from Granny’s ole wood cook stove was marvelous. I recall one particular Saturday morning; we hitched up Grandpa’s ole mules to the wagon and headed off to the woods to cut firewood for the winter. It was unusually hot that early November morning, but by noon we had sawed down several oak trees with an old cross-cut saw and had split all the wood with home made mallets and wedges. Soon we had that wagon loaded (overloaded Grandpa said), anyhow, we hitched up Kate and Elmer, his old gray mules; as you all know back in those days all the harnesses and trace lines were made of leather. Well Sir, them ole mules started pullin’ and pullin and pullin’, but that ole wagon wouldn’t budge. All of a sudden, those leather harnesses started to stretch and stretch and stretch and before we knew it, we were back at the house and that ole wagon was still sittin down there in the woods. Grandpa said, "Tie those harnesses to that big old oak tree there and go put Kate and Elmer back in the barn; those ole mules must be tired after all that work. Not long after that, it started to come up a cloud, lightning was a flashing, Thunder was a rumblin’, and the wind started blowin’. Grandpa hallered to me, "quick, put those baby chicks and that ole hen in the coop, it’s fixin to rain, an they’ll drown for sure, then head fer the house." Just about the time I hit the porch, the bottom fell out; it was porin rain hard, and starting to cool off quick.
‘Bout then grandpaw said,..."Look-a yonder Sprout," and lo and behold, those ole leather harnesses had started to draw up and there came the wagon up thru the woods to the house. It was rollin so fast when it hit that big ole oak, it knocked all that wood up in the air and when it landed it fell in a neat stack right up against the chimney just where we wanted it. Then that ole wagon bounced backwards off that tree and rolled right across the yard and under the shelter on the side of the barn where we kept it.After the storm was over, Grandpa wanted me to go down to the creek to see if the cow gap had washed away. We knew that ole creek must a got purty high. He said, "Here, take my 22 rifle with you, I only got one bullet, so don’t waste it. Hurry up now, it’ll be supper afore long." I grabbed his old rubber knee boots and as I flew out the door, I hollered for ole Snoop, Grandpa’s old hunting dog, and down through the pasture toward the creek we went.Suddenly I saw 6 doves sitting on a dead limb. Not wanting to waste my bullet, I got lined up so I could see all 6 birds in a row. When I cracked down, that bullet split the limb they was siting on and pinched all 6 birds toes in that limb, so I just broke off the limb and had all 6 birds caught by their feet. Rite about then, Ole Snoop jumped a big ole deer, he was hot after him when all of a sudden he came running straight at me. I jumped one way, that ole Buck jumped the other and then came this big THUD, when I looked up I saw that deer with his 12 point rack stickin in a holler tree. I grabbed my ole barlow knife outta my pocket and skinned out that deer right then and there. As I looked up, I noticed something inside that holler tree. Would You believe it? It was a honey tree. I stood there and cut out 14 pounds of the purtyest honey you ever saw.
Well it was gittin’ late, so I headed straight fer the creek.
Sure enough the rain had broken the bottom 2 strands of wire of the cow gap. As I started to wade in, I stepped in a hole plum up to my Wow! was that water cold! So I just waded on in and fixed the fence. When I started to crawel back up on the bank, I felt something in my boots. I pulled ‘em off to pour the water out. Guess what! I poured out 8 catfish, 4 in each boot.
By now, it was gittin dark, so I gathered up my fish, my doves, my deer, and my honey and headed for the house. After all, the firewood was already stacked by the chimney, the wagon was parked in the barn and I knew Granny was sure to have supper on the table. This had been a purty good day, for a young Sprout anyway.....
"Not all that rattles is a rattlesnake..."
"Our deer hunting outing was cut short by an unusual accident..:" said Bubba, while trying to contain his laughter.
After umpteen cups of coffee his friend John had his stomach churning in a big way. He had gotten off of his tree stand in a big hurry and ran down towards the creek to take care of an immediate burning need!!
He was undoing his belt and pulled down his pants with frantic zest. While in a compromising position, he heard a rattlin’ sound just next to him! He got up, without pulling up his pants, and proceeded to hightail it out of there... "John didn’t make it far, with his pants down to his knees, he took a spill and broke his arm, and I had to take him to the hospital" said Bubba. It was a Black Racer shaking it’s tail in the dry leaves that caused the scare, not a rattlesnake, as John had feared.
Many years ago subsistence hunting and fishing was practiced in ways, which by today’s standards are considered highly unethical and unsportsmanlike.
It seems that Jack’s grandfather and his friend Mr. Jones, from down towards the coast, had found a small cove in the river where a big bass was fanning a bed close to the shore. They decided that Jack’s grandfather would climb up a tree close to the shore, go out on a limb a little ways, and when the bass was to come back to the bed, he would shoot the bass with his old .22 rifle. Mr. Jones’ job was to sneak up as close as possible to the edge of the water, and as soon as the fish was shot, he had to reach in the water with both arms and scoop the fish out before the current would wash the fish away.
Grandpa climbed up on the tree, got settled in on the branch and said "Alright Jonsie, on the count of three I’ll shoot, at the same count of three you need to scoop in real quick and get the fish.."
There they were, poised for action, waiting for the fish to get back to her bed. Grandpa counted slowly "one, two,...three..click". The gun had misfired, and Jonsie at the count of three scooped in real quick and came up with an 8 pound bass in his arms...
Another good one told by Jack Newsome...
When Jack was a young man there weren’t any fancy fishing boats available, he had to build his own flat-bottom rig out of plywood, which he would paddle around in the farm pond where he liked to fish. He had built a live-well in the front of the boat to keep the fish alive until it was time to go home. He had caught a few brim and two small bass, which he put in the well. It was getting late and just about time to go home, but he casted just one last time..
He never saw the the fish take the lure, he just felt a tug that was about to jerk him out of his trousers. He had to stand up in to boat to fight that creature. The fish had pulled the boat all over the pond. The vicious fight lasted for a good fifteen minutes, as Jack was unable to gain on the fish, he resigned himself to be towed around until the monster would get tired. Eventually the boat was being towed towards some stumps at the shallow end of the pond. As the boat hit a stump, the sudden stop broke off the line on Jack’s fishing rod.
When Jack finally caught his breath after the ordeal, he noticed that the boat was taking in water.
It seems that there were a few small holes in the bottom and water was squirting in at a good rate. Jack got his paddle and started back towards the shore. When he arrived to where his truck was parked, he unloaded the boat and out of curiosity, he turned over the boat to look at the damage to the bottom. It seems that during the fight, the friction with the water had scorched the bottom of the boat, and in some places it actually burned through!
But the good thing is that when he unloaded the fish from the well, they were all scaled from the violent sloshing going on during the fight...
THE CATFISH THAT DIDN’T WANT TO GET CAUGHT..
Mitch had taken a friend catfishing to lake Hartwell some years back. They were sitting at the edge of the water waiting for a bite, when all of a sudden a good size fish had taken the hook. The tug-of-war carried on for a while.
When the line stopped moving Mitch thought that the fish may have wrapped the line around a log. Looking down into the water he noticed the top of an old VW bug that someone had dumped in the lake. It appeared as if the fish had wrapped the line around something inside the car. Mitch tied his end of the line around a tree and followed the line down to the bug. After a couple of attempts he came back up. "Did you get him?" asked the friend. "No, I can’t get to him" explained Mitch, "When I tried to reach into the car, he rolled up the window!".