Sunday, January 23, 2011
Mr. Hunting Expert Bites Back
(World Renowned and Recognized Mr. Hunting Expert takes a break from his two-week Arctic Walrus Safari to answer fan mail. Each day he does not harvest the walrus of his dreams, he punishes himself by removing one article of clothing. Still, it’s not as painful as some of your questions.)
Q. My 2011 New Years hunting resolution is to hunt gators this year. It is a sport that seems to be catching on quickly. I have a 14 ft john boat and most people I’ve talked to say that is about the minimum sized boat they’d want. Friends state with reasonable caution and respect for the game, it’s a relatively safe activity, but what should I be most prepared for?
- Jason Jaws, Estill, SC
A. Easy. Game wardens. While I hunt gators by wading into a lake at night with a mask, snorkel and a catfish stringer to secure my catch, most of you lightweights prefer to hunt from a boat. So, not only must you comply with the standard game rules – bag limits, proper tags and equipment, etc. – you must also make sure that little john boat of yours is water-friendly. Life jackets, throw cushions, flares, and proper running lights. Lesser hunting associates of mine tend to get busted every year on a little oversight. They report game officers are none too friendly at 3 am and awfully unforgiving after spending the night dealing with rednecks such as you. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
PS. New Years resolutions are for the weak.
Q. The sandhill crane population is booming here in Florida. I know they hunt them out West, but do you think they will open up a season in the Sunshine State? Also, what species of bird do you think should be open to hunting? Why?
- Clem Jones, Kissimmee, FL
A. Let my word spread across the land – no more multi-part questions!!! I will answer them no more. I doubt the sandhill will have an open season in Florida. Known as a “Ribeye in the Sky” in certain western states that allow sandhill hunting, the Florida bird is non-migratory and highly protected. It has been taxonomically designated as a unique subspecies much like other Florida natives, the Key Deer and Sunkissed Beach Babe, neither of which you will possess either.
The roseate spoonbill. The reasons are mine and personal.
Q. The time to apply for Western Big Game hunts is nearing. I want to hunt mule deer. This will be my first trip out yonder in pursuit of game. Any tips for me?
- Sea Level Louis, Biloxi, MS
A. Get in shape. Generally speaking, this style of hunting is more physically demanding that your average treestand sit for whitetail, Dough Boy. You’re gonna walk. If you’re in the hills, you’re going to climb. And you’re probably going to ache. The thin air is no joke. You’re going to wheeze, at first. If you smoke, you’re screwed. So peel yourself away from Sportscenter for a little bit and go for a walk, at the very least. Otherwise, enjoy Yellowstone with the rest of the tourists.
Enough for today! I must ready my walrus decoys, chalk my walrus whistle and settle in for my meal of narwhal blubber and snow.