by: Eddie Trapp
Exactly one week after Denton Humphrey and I got rid of the three pasture rooting hogs near Kensing, four guys from Minnesota and I were back after more. The visitors were Byron Byker, Phil Vedders, Greg Vedders, and Bernie Boldt. The day was very warm for February as we drove around a pasture looking for fresh rooting. All we found was crusted over and dried out. Soon we found where hogs had been just a few hours earlier. There were no leaves blown in the depression and no drying had occurred. The hogs were probably in some nearby woods so we sent the dogs in to check. T Garth, Eighty, and Zack were soon baying in a thick brush pile. We surrounded the brush pile but couldn't shoot until the dogs moved out of the way. A bad boar was backed up to the thickest part to protect his rear end. T Garth and Eighty got too close and couldn’t escape for the briars. Both were both badly cut. The boar busted out in a dead run and got away, with his big teeth shining in the sunlight.
When Eighty was seventeen days old he had a big lump on his throat. The vet opened and fixed it. The bill was eighty dollars so I named the pup Eighty. But back to today’s hunt. Eighty had a cut on his side that in one place went through the ribs. I stapled the skin back to prevent drying and put him in the dog box. T Garth had been cut at the lower part of one “ham.” His foot was flopping and turned backward so the top of his foot drug the ground. I knew he was also seriously injured. Neither of the wounds was life threatening so the two dogs were tied in the shade while we made another quick hunt in another patch of woods. As we walked a few yards apart Byron yelled and ran backwards. A five foot long rattlesnake lay stretched out beside an armadillo hole. He was enjoying the warm temperature but ready to go back in the hole when the air cooled at night. I caught the snake behind the head and held it while the others filmed. Said they were putting it on You Tube. Mark Owen was also on the hunt and agreed to make another little round with our guests while I took the dogs to the vet. The estimate for T Garth was $200 and $300 for Eighty. Now his name has been changed to Three Eighty. The vet seems confident Three Eighty will recover but we will have to wait and see if T Garth’s foot works right after staying in a cast for a few weeks. (Saying T Garth is like saying Garth Jr. In Louisiana many people have the T in front of the main name. Like T Mike on one of the swamp programs. He is named after his dad, Mike. T Garth is the same as “Little Garth” or “Garth Jr.” Garth’s grandpa was my Garth of years ago. The T comes from the French “petite” which means “little.”)
After the hunt we talked about land prices “up north.” Byron told of a record price recently set in Iowa for a yearly lease. A little over five hundred dollars an acre. This really seems extreme to some of us but remember, the land produces around two hundred bushels of corn per acre. If you have ever caught a wild hog and tried to fatten it you know it is a slow process. Byron raises purebred Hampshire hogs and due to selective breeding they really grow fast. He puts forty pound pigs on a high protein diet and they will reach 280 pounds in three and a half months. Wow. I believe if you watched real close you could see them growing. The visitors were here for three days and loved Texas. Carried over a hundred pounds of pork home. As they started their seventeen hour drive Saturday our temperature was about sixty. Folks in Minnesota told them it was seventeen there.
Friday I saw a caracara, sometimes called a Mexican eagle. That’s the bird on Mexican money. Has very long legs. Looks like a cross between a hawk and a buzzard. They do associate with buzzards at feeding time. Fairly rare in our area but I see one or more about every month or so.
During March notice two bright objects in the west as darkness arrives. It is Venus and Jupiter with Venus the brighter of the two. As March begins, the two are eleven degrees apart which is about a fist width apart at arm’s length. March 12, 13, and 14 they move closer and pass by each other at a distance of three degrees which is about two finger widths at arm’s length. During the first week of March look below the two planets and to the right to see Mercury in the dim fading light of sunset. Brightest star, Sirius, continues to dominate the night sky as it shines in the south and southwest.
Bubba was sprawled out across three seats at the movie. The manager came and fussed at him. Told him he couldn’t take up three seats. Bubba just lay there. After telling him a few times with no results, the manager went to find a policeman. The policeman had no luck getting Bubba to move. Finally the policeman asked Bubba his name and Bubba told him. Next he asked Bubba where he came from and Bubba said, “The balcony.”