Sunday, November 16, 2008


These are some pics from my new little honeyhole. One of the things I was most looking forward to about moving down here was having hundreds of thousands of acres and two new rivers to learn and explore. After living near Redlands WMA and the Oconee National Forest for so many years, I knew most every river bend, ridge, beaver pond, and pine thicket on the place. I don't, and learning new country is a blast. While known woods are a comfort, like an old friend, sometimes meeting new woods is pretty entertaining in its own right. It's really just getting to explore and run around wild-eyed like I did as a kid. Like I guess I never really quit doing. The only thing missing is a BB-gun, belt hatchet, and a little white dog named Sugar.
These are pics of the island I've been hunting. So far I haven't seen a soul, and really don't expect to. It's a river island....accessible only by boat, and maybe 300 acres in size. Though its fresh water, its still influenced by the tide which can make for an easy paddle if you time it right. Because I could find no name for the island on any map, I'm calling it Turtle Shell Island for a yellowbelly slider shell I found at the base of a big Tupelo. And also just because I can.

Paddling in.....
The view from the kayak
A water oak and palmetto flat. The majority of the island is wet and covered with Tupelo, Ogeechee lime, and cypress. However, a slight one or two foot increase in elevation completely changes the species assemblage and you get oaks, a few hickories, palmetto, and switch cane. Every critter in the area uses these areas heavily.
In search of deer and pigs
Several creek channels cut their way through...this is one near an area I frequently hunt. The wood ducks pile in here.....
This cypress is hollow and inhabited by some lucky critter, probably a coon. The inside base of the tree was worn down to bare dirt. The pictures don't help with scale, but that opening is over 4 feet tall!

I was slip-hunting along the ground one morning and eased up on these pigs. I stopped at 25 yards to keep from spooking them. I didn't want to kill one, because I had just taken a nice one a few days earlier and really wanted a deer. And also because dragging a pig out is, well...a drag. They kept feeding my way so I eased the phone out for a pic at 10 yards or so. Then another pic at 3 feet or so....then I forgot about pics. The porker was just about sniffing my boot when he finally decided I wasn't a tree. Pigs aren't known for graceful exits, and he was certainly not fluid in taking his leave. There were two cypress knees growing about a foot apart and about three feet tall. In his "haste" he ran between them and got stuck. So I'm standing there in shock while a 50 lb. wild hog is stuck between two roots 3 feet from my boot. The other hogs were a wee bit confused as well. Kilgo wrote that dragging a pig is good therapy. Watching them act the fool is pretty good, too. :-)

This ones a wee bit fuzzier. And closer.