FOUR BIG UNS
Recent rains and snow in northeast Texas gave us much needed three inches of moisture, making the pastures susceptible for hog rooting. It had been dry so long the hogs were ready to do some excavation. Several people told me during the dry weather they didn't think we had as many hogs as a year ago. I told them to wait until after a rain to decide. A few days after the rain Scott and Cade Larkin came from Picayune, Mississippi on their annual duck hunting pilgrimage. As I guided them to ducks we noticed fresh rooting and I made a note to come back with dogs soon.
A hunt was set for Wednesday, January 2, and five of us met at Kensing at 10:00 a.m., hoping by then the day would be warmer. On the hunt were Dakota Click, Clint Harrington, Clayton Harrington, Casey Williams, and me. A small creek was dammed up years ago to form a lake of several acres. Two hunters went south along one side of the little creek and two along the other. I waited on the pool dam with my four wheeler and small trailer to go pick them up at the far end. The dogs zigzagged back and forth through the woods along the creek and soon were baying. They caught a hundred ninety pound sow, I drove around the edge of the woods, and we loaded the live hog in a cage on the trailer.
Using the tracking system we saw some of the dogs had gone over two miles east and were staying in the same spot. Must be baying another hog. There had been several more with the sow, and the dogs chased one that far before it tired and came to bay. Loading on the little trailer we drove around on a road and into a pasture where we parked at a fence. Mark Owen, Dylan Owen, and Cooper Crowell came late and joined us in chasing this second hog. The dogs were baying in very thick weeds and the bulldogs were turned loose when we got close. This boar weighed two fifty and was seven hundred yards from the trailer. No way we could drag it that far so we killed it to help the area ranchers.
As we drove back out to the road to continue our hunt we were joined by Junior Larkin. The young guys took the dogs and walked along an old river, the county line between Delta and Lamar Counties. Two miles later we picked them up and they had not seen any more hogs. Mark, Dylan, and Cooper had to leave but the rest of us drove around a huge field. Traveling west across the north side the dogs winded a hog and bayed a two hundred pound boar which was soon caught by the bulldogs. It was pretty tricky getting the big boar in the small cage with the sow. She wanted to come out while the guillotine type door was raised. To keep her from biting us we finally got her to turn around and were able to push on her rear, holding her inside while the boar was squeezed in.
As darkness neared, we saw another big hog out in the edge of the field two hundred yards away. The dogs saw the hog and we turned them loose. The chase began with the hog planning to run south across the wide field but the bay dogs nipped his rear and he decided to head back to the brush around the outside. Not realizing we were around, the boar ran toward us and was met by two bulldogs which locked on his ears. Now we had three live hogs, the latest about two hundred twenty pounds. No way to get it in the cage so we tied its feet and lay it on the trailer. What a hunt! Hogs are their own worst enemy. They have to root to survive but that leaves proof they are in the area, causing hunters to get after them. Normally we don't hunt during deer season but we knew no one was hunting in this area.
Some of my earliest memories are of getting ready for school in the Fifties while listening to The Cooper Hour on KPLT radio station in Paris. Julia Simpson was the disc jockey and played favorite songs of the day. Ones I remember the most were songs by Red Foley, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Blackwood Brothers, Stamps Quartet, and Martha Carson. What a voice that Martha Carson had! For years I thought the title to one of her best songs was "Got That Old Time Religion" but found out it was simply, "Satisfied." Another popular song we heard almost daily was "This Old House." Recently I got on the internet and listened to Martha sing "Satisfied." It sure brought some memories back. Ms. Carson was born Irene Amburgey in Kentucky in 1921. She and her two sisters, Minnie and Mattie, sang in old barn dance type programs. They joined the Atlantic Barn Dance in 1938 and sang on the recording, "Too Old to Cut the Mustard Anymore." In 1951 she recorded her most famous, "Satisfied." The great entertainer passed away in 2004.
A young man was talking to his girl friend about math. He kissed her and after a few seconds kissed her again, explaining that was addition. One plus one made two. She gave him the two kisses back and said that was subtraction. Next they kissed each other several times and said it was multiplication. The girl's daddy walked by, saw what was going on, kicked the boy half way down the block, and said, "Now that's long division."