Friday, November 19, 2010

"It Either Sticks, Stings, or Bites - Hunting South Texas Rios"

They say that in deep, South Texas, if it don't sting you, stick you, or bite you that it ain't from South Texas. After a few days down there, I agree:

South Texas Landscape

South Texas Fence Line

Even the flowers carry a certain bite about them:

Prickly Pear Flower

My good friend Busky Goodwin, his friend Wayne and I arrived at camp early Tuesday afternoon, and within five minutes of our introduction to the ranch manager and his ranch hand Doug, I knew this was going to be a very interesting trip.

After our initial introductions we received the "camp instructions". They went something like this.

"Boys, down here it's been extremely dry, so if you smoke watch your cigarette butts. Oh, and be careful where you sit because the mesquite and prickly pear will tear you up. Also, boys, ya'll be VERY careful when you step. The country is flat eat up with rattle snakes - Nacho, bring that photo of that snake over here - yep, flat eat up with em. Good thing is, they'll generally let you know where they are before you get there...generally. Hogs generally keep them beat down, but be careful all the same. While I'm thinking about it, if you see lil pigs, there's a momma around that'll peel your skull and if you choose to mess with a Javelina, make sure you got a tree to climb close by. Well, that's about it, we just need ya'll to communicate with us so we know when ya'll are on the ranch and when you're not. The wetbacks are on the move boys, so we need to be able to keep up w/ you and your whereabouts...had thirty Border Patrol at my front door this morning. Oh, don't worry, most of em aren't armed except if you see a couple carrying back backs. That's drugs and they'll have some heavy guns with em. If you run up on them, let your camo work for you but for God's sake, defend yourself any way possible. Any questions?"

Snakes......cactus and thorns.......dry conditions....Hogs.......Mexicans with guns and drugs......

And, I'm suppose to hunt???

But, I did:

Rio Feathers

And, was successful at it:

Me and Rio in front of Prickly Pear

About the only thing more interesting than the terrain down there is the little hole in the wall eateries:

Yomi's restaurant

Well, maybe the signs. This may well be the most interesting sign I've ever come across. Truly, one stop shopping:

One Stop Shopping

Coming back yesterday we all had many stories to tell, but the one thing I kept seeing in my mind was the strutting Rio Grande turkey coming through the mesquite. Our Easterns are monsters with booming gobbles, but their Western cousins (the Rio's and the Merriams) with their frosty tips can really get under your skin:

Rio On Rock

Time to start researching the Osceola and finish this.

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