As we departed Struttin’ Time last week I had just put my 325-pound wild boar on the swamp buggy and turned the hunt over to Felber. I learned a lesson on this hunt: Anytime someone from the North does anything for you, it comes at a price. Felber, being from Wisconsin, is a prime example.
Last week I told you Felber let me shoot the first boar, and man am I glad he did, because through the magic of our friends at The Mountain Eagle they shared a picture of my boar with everyone. I found later that the reason Felber wanted me to shoot first was so he could get a crack at the first gator, and he mentioned it several times. “Now Steve, you’ve got to shoot first at a boar,” he would say.
As we pushed farther into the swamp, I was starting to have my doubts about the outfitter finding Felber anything to shoot, as we had gone about five more miles deep and not even a whimper from the hounds. But after about two hours they hit again. By this time it was almost 100 degrees and the bug-infested swamp had come alive with man-eating insects. The dogs finally bayed and the pit bulls were turned loose. Felber was in the lead, the dogs a close second, and the rest of us were lagging far behind. I guess Felber didn’t know to let the dogs go first.
I saw Felber, firearm in hand, go down on one knee, rifle at the ready. The palmetto was so thick it was hard to see anything from more than a couple of feet. Felber lowered his rifle, turned and looked at us and said, “They have bayed a skunk, right there it is,” just as the boar exited the palmetto with Felber dead in his sights. You need to take time here to remember Felber is deft, so he never heard the boar as it charged. He looked back and the boar was within 10 feet of him, coming at full charge with tusk gleaming like ivory in the sun.
I have never seen anyone move as fast as Felber in all my life. He was what we call, moving on. His rifle went one way, Felber another and the boar in between. The dogs stepped in and did their job, just in time. Felber put the 200-pound boar down and then went behind some pines to clean himself up. The outfitter asked Felber why he thought it was a skunk. Felber said he saw the black hair, but now he realized the white was the boar’s tusk.
Why do I fool with Felber? I have had several hunters ask me where this hunt took place. Four have even expressed that they want to go with me the next time. We will try to get a date and go in the near future. For information, visit the website godscountryoutfitters.com and look for yourselves.
Next week we will talk about the reason I was in Florida hunting in the first place. Also, the gator hunt begins.