The photos are of the skull of a wild hog killed in the Big Bend region of Florida during the 2015 muzzleloader season. What was the hog eating or rooting in that caused the black staining on his tusks?
He was large and Paul and I were a good distance from where we parked and completely off trail so we packed out the hams and shoulders by lashing them to a sapling that Paul cut with his survival knife. That meant we had to leave the carcass behind. We went back a couple months later and I found the wild hog's skull. Even though his carcass has ben picked clean and bones scattered or carried off, his tusks were still as black as the day he was shot and remain so almost a year later.
....more Late August Archery Season Scouting in Florida's Big Bend...or why would anyone do such a thing?
With less than three weeks before our first quota hunt, there is no the to waste. Yes it is hot, the mosquitos thick, snakes and gators abundant, tropical storms brewing, but also the early acorns are maturing and the bucks are beginning to rub and patterns beginning to emerge. And this is is very valuable time for archery hunters, especially on public lands where there are no feeders, food plots or high fences to ensure game patterns and movement.
This is difficult scouting with no assurance of success, or as my grandfather would say, "if was easy, everybody would be doing it".
The first acorns are falling from the Post Oaks or Iron Oaks as they are also called. with the swamps filled there are clear "edges" and hogs and deer moving along them.
Bucks are beginning too mark there territory with rubs and scrapes.
And yearlings are loosing their spots.
Even the young bucks seen to be acting more deliberate these days.
When you are hunting, camping, paddling, fishing, hiking in the backcountry what navigation tools do you take.....compass, handheld GPS unit, mobile phone, nothing??
My typical navigation gear set up is an old Silva compass, small Garmin handheld GPS unit and now an app on my mobile phone. Overkill...perhaps at least until you are in a dense fog, blown off course in a storm or needing to spend a moonless night making your way out.
I downloaded Gaia GPS for the iPhone and so far I have been satisfied.
One of the strengths of the app is the ability to sync waypoints and routs across devices such as an iPad and iPhone as well as accessing your maps and data on your desktop. This makes the app is a real field and scouting tool.
Below is a screen shot from my iPad with the USGS map layer turned on and with a couple waypoints I set.
When a waypoint is places a photo, and description / notes can be added.
So far my limited use in the field is positive. So far for me it looks like it is worth the $19.99 price tag. I will use the app through the fall hunting season and provide an update. There is both an android and iPhone app. Learn more at iTines.
Fred Bear (1902-1988) is an American legend and considered the father of bow hunting and founder of Bear Archery.
Bear Archery's manufacturing facility has a great archery range for those of us, like Hoginator and I that need lots of practice, enjoy shooting on a professionally set up range and having the occasional conversation with other archers.
We sincerely thank Bear Archery for allowing us to practice at their proving grounds range in Gainesville, Florida and encourage bow hunters and competition shooters to check out the high quality bows that Bear produces. I own a Bear long bow that is great quality and a pleasure to shoot.
Although Fred Bear didn't start bow hunting until he was in his late 20's he became an accomplshed archer and deadly bow hunter, killing small and big game including dangerous game around the world. Just about of us that bow hunt have been influenced by and benefitted from the talent and innovation that Fred Bear brought to our sport and industry.
One of the 40 yard shooting lanes at the Bear Archery Proving Grounds in Gainesville FL.
A weird grouping at the range...acceptable hunting group but I'm sure it can get tighter with more practice.
August is hot and the weather unpredictable but when you have an early AM rising tide, leave as early as possible and start working the backwater cuts and oyster bars with water flow over and around them.
Capt. Hoginator demonstrated how it was done. Bait used was Gulp or cut Mullet on a circle hook or 1/4 oz. jig head on 20 lb leader, under a popping cork or Cajun Thunder. Keeping the bait bouncing along the top pf the oysters or along the shell bottom will produce bites.