Hunting season is nearly upon us and that means ammo, camo, and corn. From what I’ve seen on everybody’s deer cams there should be a few trophies to hang on the wall. I picked up a few things that I’m going to try like a natural hunter’s soap. The ingredients include avocado oil, hemp seed butter and charcoal. It sounds more like a luxury soap than something you’d wash up with before heading into the woods. On second thought, I might keep that for special occasions.
I’ll be on the lookout for wild hogs this year. In 2014, Gail Keirn, USDA APHIS Public Affairs Specialist wrote about pig management. The title of her piece included “We can’t barbecue our way out.” That made me chuckle, but I also understand the seriousness of the destructive and invasive species.
Feral swine are not native to the Americas. They were first brought to the United States in the 1500s by early explorers and settlers as a source of food. According to Clemson’s Wild Hog Task Force, wild hogs have been reported in every county in the state and the population is estimated to number approximately 138,000 animals. Their population in the 35 states they are recorded is estimated at over 6 million and is rapidly expanding.
Hogs damage crops and destroy watering holes for livestock. They are efficient predators and are hosts to feet and mouth disease, cholera, and swine brucellosis, and other diseases that can be transmitted to livestock. In ideal conditions, a population of wild pigs can double in just a few months. Did you know there are more than 24 diseases that people can get from wild hogs? Most of which make you sick when you eat the undercooked meat. I may think twice about eating one.
September 2, is opening day of dove season. There are countless ammo choices for us wing shooters but for me this dove season, it’s 1 1/8 oz, 7 1/2 shot. The shell offers plenty of knockdown power and is inexpensive, which is a good thing, considering I shoot a lot - at them. In fact, to up my odds, I might make the SGTMAJ pull out the robo dove or two. Considering how so many fields are being planted for birds nowadays, the odds of bagging your limit could be diminished.
Don’t have a place to hunt? You can beg, badger, and besiege like I have been known to do or you can go the less shameful route. The DNR offers public dove fields on wildlife management areas. A list of sites as well as information on all hunting resources can be found at www.dnr.so.gov.
And when you’re ready to enjoy your harvest I have a simple treat geared just for the dark meat game bird. Lightly dust a pile of de-boned dove breasts with Zatarain’s Blackened seasoning. Char a jalapeno then slice it in strips. Place a strip next to a single dove breast then wrap it in a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Cook at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes turning halfway. So good your tongue will slap your brains out. Good luck and have a safe hunting season.
Editor’s Note: Michele’s column is adapted from a 2015 column. Your feedback is always welcome. Readers are encouraged to email us at email@example.com or write with your feedback, ideas, or questions.