Water World 2
“missed was the call.” “Watch out Rimfire, headed your way” I had seen Brag tense up and throw his shotgun to his shoulder. Watching the thick mid knee high swamp grass that grew in clumps for some movement, I heard some light splashing in the ankle deep water.
But first I would be remiss to not add a “Happy __th Birthday to GF” I would have posted it Friday, on her birthday, but I was busy getting her a set of “do it yourself” rabbit fur gloves. I suggested that she just put the meat in the freezer when she finished.
But back to GF’s Birthday hunt.
Before to many of you womenfolk’s get upset, I may as well as have hunted, she had to work.
The hunt was a little bit of a surprise though.
We didn’t think we would be hunting until, at least till the first of December. The call came in from Cuz rather late on Thanksgiving. “Did we want to go out to Charlie the Bugmans place?” A quick call lined up Plunker and Brag. Djmed decided to sleep in because of the rain and hunt “trash” later in the day.
I had posted about a hunt at Charlie, the Bugmans”. It was titled “WaterWorld” and was, as most hunts on that property, a pretty good hunt.
Not so this time.
We didn’t see a single pill all morning. Even worse, the puppies ran a deer. Even worser, they were following Katie. Katie is Brag and my warning bell. If she stays out of a race, watch out. It’s probably trash.
I do think they started out on a rabbit, but lost the scent about the time a deer jumped up in front of them.
Penny was the sole dog who didn’t go, but she tried my patience a bit later as we walked rather dejectedly towards the parked vehicles. Allen the birddog man, said look there’s a buck. Sure enough he hopped up from a briar patch where he had been bedded down. I casually walked towards his trail. Penny hit his scent and let loose with a excited bay that I shut down with a quick zap of the electric pine limb.
We made a quick circuit of another nearby area and didn’t see so much as a pill. We even went up on the dry hillsides where the longleaf pines were. They are fairly unusual around here since they are slower growing than the loblolly that the paper mills preferred. The longleaf are easy to identify when they are in their distinctive bush like stage
Discouraged, we decided to hunt the old clay pits on 80 down the road from Cuz’s. Cuz didn’t make the hunt. Family matters he said. Cuz hasn’t made a hunt this year, the same as Rye. At least Rye has the excuse of some medical problems.
I’ve wrote of the clay pits before. That was a hunt where Uncle NoPass was determined that a rabbit wasn’t going to get away from him by crawling into a crevasse in a clay mesa.
The first race was frustrating because the area was crisscrossed by hogwire. Everytime the Girls (and Sammy) got close, he squirmed through the wire.
The rabbit was seen three times. The first by Brag who gave his signature call for the dogs. The second time by either “the white dirt man” or his dad. The third time by plunker who called my attention to the big buck as he sneaked down the edge of a retaining pond. We never got him. He avoided us by staying in the thick briars that grew to the edge of the ponds.
The first kill came when Brag jumped a rabbit who ran in front of one of the hunters before the race was 30 seconds old.
The second kill was in a narrow head by “the white dirt man“. These heads were only twenty yards wide by fifty yards long. The rabbits didn’t have a lot of maneuver room.
By the way, you do know what “white dirt” is, don’t you?
Kaolin. You know like in Kaopectate. It’s been a favorite home remedy among country folks for a long time.
The third rabbit had a lot of cover and is where we started this post.
“Watch out Rimfire, headed your way” I had seen Brag tense up and throw his shotgun to his shoulder. Watching the thick mid knee high swamp grass that grew in clumps for some movement, I heard some light splashing in the ankle deep water.
The grass started moving off to my left and I began seeing the rabbit like in a strobe as he passed through the gaps between the clumps of swamp grass.
I tossed the Fox to my shoulder and snapped off a shot with the left barrel.
Water and mud flew.
“You get him?”
I heard a lot of splashing, but it wasn’t moving.
I waded over and saw the rabbit laying in the water. The puppies cheated and came to the shot, while Lucy, Katie and Penny followed the trail.
Let the season get underway good and me hit my usual rhythm of missing and they’ll start ignoring the shots.
But for right now, I’m having a perfect season at a 100%. Of course, it’s only two shots at two rabbits, but let me brag while I can.
The next race was short and we couldn’t hem him up before the girls (and Sammie) lost him.
We were on our way back to the vehicles, closing out the hunt before the rain arrived when the boys on the gator called out that a rabbit had just crossed the trail in front of them.
And the race was on.
The best race of the day.
And Brag and I were as proud of Lucy, Penny and Katie (even to point of pardoning her unpardonable sin earlier in the day) as we’ve been in a long time.
The race was in a swamp where the water often had little short legged Lucy, dogpaddling to keep up. The race went on for close to two hours.
The big buck came out of the swamp but once. Even then, he stayed close to the water. The only shot fired was that one time and it was missed.
I take that back. There were two shots fired.
I was standing in water that was close to the top of my boots. Water and little humps all around me when a shot rang out a few yards away.
“Yeah, it’s a water moccasin”
I was in briar britches. I had put up my snake chaps after the series of frosts we had over the last week. Looks like I was a tad early.
The rain began to pour from the heavens and still the hounds stayed on the trail with the puppies joining in and breaking off. But Lucy, Penny and Katie were determined.
Finally the action slowed for a while and the dogs went back to cold trailing. We tried to call them off.
Slowly they came in
First was Sammy and his sister, Sissy. Then Sally Mae.
Not long after her was Penny and following a few minutes later was Katie.
Lucy just wouldn’t give up. She was insistant that the rabbit was still in the area and she was going to find her.
After fifteen minutes of calling and her continued cold trail bark, Brag beeped her.
When we got to the fields to walk out, we could see her, sullen look on her face at having to quit.
The rain poured down harder.
It was a good hunt.
Only three rabbits all day, but sometimes a good hunt doesn’t depend on a heavy game bag.
White dirt man 1