Hogs....down in the bog!

Hogs....down in the bog!

March 29, 2011

Turkey Checklist

So Josh and I were talking last night about the upcoming turkey season. For those of you who are unaware, it opens April 30th. I have been hunting turkeys for the last two seasons and still have not gotten one. Ugh! Those silly birds drive me nuts every single year, so in order to have myself as prepared as possible, I have done a little research. If you have never checked out the National Wild Turkey Federation website, I suggest it. While I was on the website, I found a checklist (I do love a good list) for turkey hunting. Click on the link below to check it out. WARNING: this may result in an extremely large Cabela's bill.

Josh and I the first time I ever hunted (turkey season).

March 25, 2011

Top 10 Weekend: Fashion

Alright ladies, spring is officially here, and that means time for some new spring clothes! Gentlemen, feel free to take some notes for gifts. Last spring Michael Kors did a line of camouflage clothing, shoes, purses and accessories. Even though I couldn't afford it, I thought it was brilliant! Don't shy away non-hunters. Pair some of these with a white t-shirt and cute flip flops for an adorable look. Here are some great camouflage options, all found at Cabela's (most clothing items are She Safari).
These camo pants are from She Safari and are a great for women.
Great shirt for turkey hunting or hunting anywhere that is a little warmer. Great for layering!
These gloves are great because they have the mitten over top for added warmth, but you are sacrificing finger coverage.
I actually own these pants, thanks Jarrid, and LOVE them. Super comfy and great for shed hunting because they are so lightweight.
Great belt to go with those pants. 

This is another jacket that is cut for women. Love it!
Super cute vest from She Safari. Perfect for layering or for when it is a little warmer.
I probably have a million flannel/plaid shirts, but the button detail on this one is adorable.
Summer is coming!!
All I can say is I am ready for my honeymoon :o)

March 20, 2011

Hog Wild Weekend

Josh and I just finished up an amazing weekend with friends and family. My sister was in town from Mississippi and we had a great family dinner on Friday night. I am working on a trip to visit her and possibly get in some hog hunting while I am there. Saturday was spent celebrating Tim's 30th birthday and graduation from Rutgers University's turf management program. It was a great party! I dug out a spectacular pair of wedges that I bought at the end of last summer. For everyone who thinks camo is not fashionable...check out these!
Steve Madden Camo Wedges=Girl Hunter Love
Before we headed to the party, Josh surprised me with a gift! It was the thing at the top of my wish list, and I'll give you one guess. Give up?

I am SUPER excited to practice with these. I have been obsessed with hog calls since I saw them in a hunting magazine. I cannot wait to get back down to South Carolina to see what the hogs think of them. As soon as I quit sounding like a dying squirrel and sound like an actual hog I'll post some videos.

March 18, 2011

Top 10 Weekend: Reflection

Reflection. We all need it in our lives, though may of us never do it. Sometimes we need it at work, with family, or to help us through a difficult time. This week’s Top 10 list is centered on reflection when hunting. We have all had those times in a blind or a tree stand where nothing is moving and we may feel like our time has been wasted. This also relates to you non-hunters because I have found the list below to be true when I am running.

You may or may not agree with me on these, but this is what I take away from time in the woods.

1. Enjoy the quiet. Life is too busy, noisy and chaotic 99% of the time. Take this time to really look at the world around you and appreciate what you have and what has been created for you. Josh’s Blackberry is going off non-stop, and mine isn’t much better. I always enjoy a few hours on a Saturday morning when we are forced into quiet.

“The best thing about animals is that they don’t talk much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. Be thankful. Especially for the important people in your life. If you are hunting with a parent, child, spouse or even a friend take this time to reconnect with them. Some of Josh and my best conversations have happened when we were sitting in a stand waiting for pigs to come out. I usually find myself counting my blessings when I am outside.

“Write your worries in the sand, then carve your blessings in stone. “

3. Listen.  I am guilty of this one. I often do more talking than listening, and it is something I am trying to work on. Listen to the sounds around you; the birds, squirrels, wind and even the thoughts in your head. Nature has a lot to tell you if you just listen to it.

4. Gratitude. Take a minute to be grateful for the opportunity to be out in the woods. Other people may be working, dealing with hardship, or taking care of a sick child or parent. Be grateful that you have the resources to go hunting and outfit yourself for it. I am always grateful that I get to spend time alone with Josh when we are in the woods together…I am also grateful for the green apple licorice that I get to bring with me.

5. Remember. Think about why you started hunting. Was it a passion for being outdoors? Was it to spend more time with a parent? Get back to the real reason you love the outdoors. Harvesting a massive 10-point is great, but I doubt that is what got you hooked in the beginning. I began because I was curious about what Josh was doing for all those hours in the woods, and because I wanted to spend more time with him.

6. Recharge. Your phone is on silent, your children and spouse are at home and work is a million miles away. Enjoy what you love.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu

7. Sort out life. This relates to recharging and enjoying the quiet. Sometimes problems seem too big to tackle. Sometimes you have a difficult choice to make or you are faced with a situation that seems intolerable. I have been known to use my time hunting to try and find a path through a difficult time. I don’t always find an answer to my problems, but I am able to clearly sort through my thoughts.

The best remedy for those who are afraid,
lonely or unhappy is to go outside,
somewhere where they can be quiet,
alone with the heavens, nature and God.
Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be
and that God wishes to see people happy,
amidst the simple beauty of nature.
I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
-Anne Frank

8. Be inspired. Some of my most creative ideas have come to me when hunting or walking through the woods. This blog was one of them, as were some of the creative elements of our wedding.

“Look deep into nature, then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein

9. Document. Josh and I are passionate about documenting our experiences in the woods. We videotape almost everything, and I take tons of pictures. Last Christmas, I made a scrapbook for Josh from hunting pictures of when he was younger. I want to continue documenting our adventures, not only for the blog, but to show our children and grandchildren one day.

10. Educate. I have learned so much about nature, myself, my relationships and probably a million other things when I have been out in the woods. Josh has been an amazing teacher to me. I was the girl who had no idea what she was holding when she found her first shed. Now I am able to read deer trails, scrapes and rubs in the woods without help (most of the time). Use your time to teach your child, spouse, or parent something you know about nature/life. Hunting is working on teaching me patience, though I may need a few repeats on that lesson.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

March 16, 2011


This past weekend Josh was at a pheasant hunt, which brought back memories of my last encounter with a pheasant.....

I like to think that I am a pretty good cook. I mean, I can make Martha Stewart’s macaroni and cheese from scratch using all the fancy cheeses that I can’t even pronounce. To me, mastering one of Martha’s recipes is a major life accomplishment. I wouldn’t say that I make the fanciest meals, Josh is rather picky, but I have added my own touch to many well known dinners. In fact, earlier that month we had made pumpkin waffles in my fancy new Williams-Sonoma mini waffle pan. Delicious.

The pheasants had been harvested when we were at Martz’s pheasant hunt back in the spring, and they had been sitting in the freezer since then. I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t getting sick of seeing them there. Josh was away at the cabin for Buck Hawk Week (the boy’s annual trek to the cabin for a week of Mohawks, hunting, and whatever else boy's do at hunting camps) and I was feeling brave. I knew that Josh would be home briefly on Wednesday night for dinner, so that seemed like the perfect time to roast up a pheasant. I had never made pheasant before, but I had made roast chicken so I figured I could handle it. I got out my game cookbook and selected a delicious looking apple and cinnamon roasted pheasant recipe. I took the pheasant out of the freezer and let it thaw out. The next morning I placed it in the fridge to stay cool until I got home from work. According to my recipe, the pheasant should only take 30-45 minutes to cook. I went to my friend Courtney’s after work to visit her and her baby, and as I was sitting there talking to her I began to panic. I hadn’t taken the pheasant out of it’s bag so I was assuming that it was ready to be cooked. I mean I knew that it had been plucked and cleaned at Martz’s, so they had taken the insides out….right? I raced home from Courtney’s and grabbed the pheasant out of the freezer.

It was clean all right, except for about a million teeny-tiny hairs sticking out of random points on its carcass. How in the world was I supposed to get these out? I sat there picking them one-by-one, cursing myself for ever deciding to cook this silly bird. I flipped the bird around trying to see if it still had organs, but I couldn’t see up the cavity. In a panic I called my friend, Stephanie, for her advice. Her family had hunted for years, so I figured she would know what to do. She didn’t, but she did call her mom.

“Well honey, just stick your hand up there and see.”
“I am NOT sticking my hand up this bird! That’s gross!”
“I’m pretty sure that they would have taken all of that out.”
“Well I’m not going to take any chances. Hold on I found a butcher knife. I’ll just stick this up there.”

I delicately shoved the butcher knife into the cavity and wiggled it around. It didn’t meet any resistance and it came out clean, so I figured I was safe. I gathered the apples and stuffed it, basted it, and placed it in the oven. Feeling proud of myself for cooking a delicious dinner for my fiancĂ©, I roasted potatoes and sautĂ©ed peas. Josh walked through the door just as I was lifting the bird out of the oven. Its skin had a delicious, crispy, golden color to it. The aroma wafting through the house was mouth-watering. I proudly handed Josh the carving set.

The bird disappeared into dust. Poof. Gone.

Well not exactly, but if any of you have seen A Christmas Story, that is how I felt. There was nothing on it! No breast meat, nothing. All I had to feed my family were two drumsticks and two wings. Not quite a bounty of meat.

“I don’t know what happened?! I cooked it exactly the way the recipe told me to! I’ve
never ruined dinner before!”
“You didn’t ruin dinner. I’m sure it is delicious, I mean, it smells good. It just doesn’t
have any meat on it. That’s not your fault.”

I stormed into the garage to our large freezer and yanked two frozen pizzas out. Cursing the pheasant I reheated the oven and tossed the bird into the trash.
...Josh has returned again this year with more of these birds, and I am once again feeling inspired to cook with them. Apparently I did not learn my lesson the first time. I'll be trying out a recipe next week, so stay tuned!

March 11, 2011

Top 10 Weekend: Gadgets

This week's Top 10 list is dedicated to the variety of hunting gadgets that I have either acquired over the past few years or wish to acquire immediately. My birthday is coming up this summer if anyone is interested...

1. Camouflage Duck Tape. I have no idea why you would need this, but I feel the need to use it on everything.

2. Range finder. Pretty obvious, but just make sure you know how to use it. :o) This will tell you the distance you are from the animal you want to hunt. When you are bored in your stand, you can also check how far the various trees, birds, squirrels, and flowers are from you.

3. Butt Out. I am obsessed with this, although I have technically not used it yet. I got Josh one for Christmas and we always seem to forget to grab it when it comes time to clean out the deer/hog. Disgusting, yes, but also pretty awesome. I would explain this for the non-hunters, but I'm pretty sure you can figure it out on your own.

4. ThermaCell. This will save your life when you are turkey hunting. This nifty little device has a card with bug repellent on it that you slide behind the screen. Then you ignite the heater and it dispenses the repellent into the air around you to keep the bugs off you.

5. Cough silencer. Yes, they make something so that you can cough with no noise. This is not only useful for hunting, but any situation where silence is golden. (Ali, you should have had this in SC last weekend).

6. Night vision. Not legal to hunt with obviously, but SUPER cool to play with! Just don't turn on any lights when you are using it or expect to go blind.

7. Earth scent wafers. They actually make a little disc that smells like dirt. Very weird, but very cool. For those of you who are unfamiliar with hunting, you want to use scent eliminating spray to take away the "human" smell. Then you want to make yourself smell like either dirt, or animal pee. Gross, but necessary if you want to be successful. Just don't do what Josh does and store real deer pee in our freezer. (Maybe I shouldn't have admitted that, now no one will be accepting any dinner invites).

8. Windicator. Nothing more than baby powder in a squeeze bottle, it will tell you what way the wind is blowing. Ingenious.

9. Gum-o-flage. Make your breath pine tree fresh. Perfect for your next date with a deer.

10. Snake Fence. I have just found out that these exist, and will be purchasing one for turkey season. They claim that snakes "can't and won't" cross it. I wonder if I can make a bubble out of it to walk around in when I'm in the woods...

Everything on my list can be found at your nearest Cabela's, or online!

March 9, 2011

Pictures from the weekend!

Here are some pictures from our weekend trip down south!
You would never guess we are master hunters!
Show me the pigs!

Pig down!

Evening Gowns and Camouflage

As my eyes grazed across the collection of bags I was about to throw into that Tahoe, I realized that to the untrained eye I looked like a nut. The collection of clothes and other items in front of me could not be categorized in any other way than chaos. Evening gowns and camouflage-two of my favorite things. The evening gown, nothing more than a brand new dress ready to party in, was for Josh's cousin's wedding in Savannah. The camouflage,  carefully wrapped so that it was impossible for any rogue specks of dirt to get on the dress, was tucked safely beside it. Stilettos and Muck Boots went in next. My Mucks were wrapped in plastic trash bags to preserve the newness of my brand new Simply Vera nude colored platform pumps (heaven!). Don't even get me started on the accessories which were equally as eclectic-diamonds and my new 308. Okay, well the 308 is "technically" Josh's, but I had claimed it for this trip. Either way you slice it, it made no sense. Unless you are Ali or I, and in that case it was a normal trip with the boys. We decided that since we were going to be in Savannah anyway, we might as well make a quick trip to the property in South Carolina to get some much anticipated hog hunting in. I was itching to let that new 308 tear into some pigs.

It had been almost two years since we had been on a trip with Ali and Jarrid, so we were all looking forward to a relaxing and crazy weekend. By the looks of my pack job, we were off to a good start. It was a fairly typical trip down: four different conversations happening at once with everyone talking over each other, Chick-fil-A stop in Maryland, and one bag of licorice for the road (though I made an all time record by not even opening it until 12AM-BUT it only survived for about ten minutes). We arrived in Savannah around 4AM and managed to get a few hours sleep before sight seeing bright and early the next morning. If you have never been to Savannah, you need to go and you must do the trolley tour. After a beautiful wedding, we loaded ourselves back into the car for the quick trip to South Carolina.

South Carolina started off with a trip around the property on the ranger and a lunch stop at Lester's. Heaven! Then we were in the stands for the first hunt of the weekend. Josh and I sat in the Ditch Stand while Jarrid and Ali headed to the Graveyard Stand on the other side of the road. It was a perfect day for hog hunting, 70 degrees and slightly overcast, and I must have jinxed us by saying that so much. Jarrid and Ali saw zero hogs, but they did see fifteen deer. Josh and I saw about ten deer and our hogs came out right at the last light. Two sows and a bunch of piglets popped out to our right. I got my sights on the larger ones and waited to get a shot. Finally one pulled away from the group and I got my shot. Shaking, I handed the gun to Josh and told him to get on it. After my last experience I was a little nervous about possibly having to shoot twice. As I was handing Josh and 308 I looked behind his shoulder and saw another pig wandering through the field behind us. Josh turned to get a shot, but the sneaky pig made it into the woods unscathed. Luckily, I had dropped her with one shot and we didn't have to wait too long before Jarrid and Ali pulled up in the ranger.

We got the hog back to the camper and cleaned up for the gentleman we were giving it to. We have more than enough hog meat and he was in need of some, so it worked out well. All in all it was a successful trip and I can't wait to get back down there for turkey season!
Josh and I with my harvest!

March 7, 2011

Sneak Preview!

I'll be posting the stories later this week, but here is a sneak peak of how this past weekend in Georgia and South Carolina went. You'll have to wait and see if we got anything!
Me, Josh, Ali, and Jarrid in Georgia

Ali and I about to head off for some much anticipated hog hunting!

March 3, 2011

Top 10 Weekend: Hunting Down South

This weekend's Top 10 list encompasses my love for hunting down South.

1. Lester's BBQ. If you ever manage to stumble across this unassuming restaurant, EAT THERE! It is the most delicious food that I have ever eaten in my entire life. Nothing is labeled, but just trust that whatever it is is incredible. Not to mention the fact that you cannot beat a buffet for less than $10. Recommendation: skip the salad and have extra helpings of the sweet potato bread-it is life changing.

2. HOGS! I know they destroy crops and are horribly mean creatures, but they are also super cool looking and delicious. They are my number one favorite animal to hunt. I am hoping to return on my next trip with an Oreo hog (black and white speckled). If you are interested in hog hunting, or just love hunting shows, you MUST check out Hogs Gone Wild on the Discovery Channel. This is one of the craziest shows I have ever seen.

3. Platform stands. I am super psyched about not having to climb twenty feet in the air to sit on a 2x2 seat with only a rope keeping me from falling to my death. No sir, I could lay down and nap (or tap dance) in these stands if I wanted to.

4. No cell phone service for Josh. This is the only time when that stinking Blackberry of his is not going off constantly. I do understand that work is important, but it is nice to sleep through the night without having people yelling through direct connect. Thank you Nextel for having zero towers near the property.

5. Warm weather. It is generally warmer down there than in PA, so I feel like I am headed somewhere tropical when we hunt down there. So go ahead and leave the heavy hunting boots, pants, jackets, and layers of Under Armor at home. If you are sitting in direct sunlight in the afternoon, put a pair of shorts on underneath your pants in case you need to strip down. Just trust me on this one.

6. Green apple licorice. Those that know me, and hunt with me, know that no trip is complete with out a few bags of green apple licorice. South Carolina is no exception. I have been known to go through five bags on a four day hunt.

7. Chick-fil-A on the way. Every trip down South starts with a Chick-fil-A stop in Maryland. Yummmm! I recommend taking an order of their chicken nuggets to go, so that as you get hungry on your drive you have a snack. They are just as delicious cold as they are hot.

8. Waffle House on the way home. I can usually convince Josh to stop at my all time favorite breakfast place on our way home. Especially if it is my turn to drive. Special thank you to the Big Man for giving me a gift certificate at Christmas two years ago. It went to good use!

(If you couldn't tell, I love food)

9. Deer season is open from August through January. Much longer than in PA, and who doesn't love a longer season? My day job allows me to have time off during August, so it is great that I can take advantage of a deer season that opens early.

10. The amazing memories we have made down there. South Carolina was the first hunting trip I ever went on, it was where I harvested my first hog and it was where I shot my first buck. The memories that you make at a place are often times the best part of a trip. On any given day you are not guaranteed that you will even see the animal you are after, let alone be able to harvest it, but you are guaranteed that you will make some amazing memories with the people you love.
This was the first hog from SC!

March 2, 2011

Old Hog Pictures

Here are some pictures to accompany the hog story. I am very proud of my first hog taken in South Carolina!

Flashback: First South Carolina Hunting Trip

As spring draws near, here is a little flashback story about my first hog hunting trip in South Carolina.

Josh and I had been planning our trip to South Carolina for months. I had a countdown going and would email him almost daily with the amount of days we had left. About two weeks before our hunt we went to Cabela’s to make sure that we had everything that we would need for our trip. For Josh that included things like turkey calls and anti-scent spray; for me it was five bags of green apple licorice.  We were primarily hunting turkey, but there were some hogs that had not left the area yet that I was particularly excited to see. My philosophy was that I can hunt turkeys at home, but this was my only chance to harvest a hog.

I am normally one of those people who five minutes into a car ride I am fast asleep, catching flies, as Josh kindly puts it.  I did not sleep at all during the twelve-hour drive. I was so excited that Josh agreed to play the ABC game with me to keep me quiet. For those of you who don’t know, the ABC game is where you try to find signs that begin with the letters in the alphabet in order. After we finished our game (I won) and we made our way into North Carolina, Josh finally agreed to let me drive for a little bit. We stopped at a rest stop for a quick break, and then I got behind the wheel with strict instructions to get back onto the highway and just go straight. It was about 2AM at this point and I hate driving in the dark, but somehow I managed to pull it off. We pulled into the property at around 3AM and lay down to catch a quick catnap.

Before I knew it we were getting back up and heading out to hunt. Our plan was to hunt turkeys in the morning and hogs at night. The tricky thing about South Carolina was that it would be 40 degrees before the sun comes up and quickly turn to 80 degrees once the sun came out. This lead to lots of layers to start out with and a “quick change” behind a tree once the sun came up. Josh had bought me new snake boots before our trip and I eagerly strapped them on that first morning. The fact that they even have to make a boot specifically to protect you against snakes makes me incredibly nervous, but if they were going to save my life then I was going to wear them. The boots were great, but one tip for people everywhere: DO NOT BREAK IN NEW BOOTS ON A HUNT. Plan ahead, because after about three hours my feet were killing me. I was pretty sure that the boots had severed my foot from my ankle, but I didn’t dare say anything to Josh. I was bound and determined to never be a woman hunter who complains to the man she is with while they are in the woods. I sucked it up and tried to focus on anything else to get my mind of my poor feet. We heard a few turkeys that morning, but nothing that Josh was able to call in. Exhausted, we headed back to the cabin for a nap. (This is my absolute favorite part of any hunting trip…well it is definitely a close second to my licorice).

That night we headed out in search of hogs. Josh told me that we were going to be sitting in stands, but that I would not need my safety harness. I was doubtful and petrified that I was going to fall out of a tree, but I decided to trust him. (If this isn't foreshadowing then I don't know what is). He took me to the stand and I began the slow climb to the top. This stand was different then the stands we had at home. It was a platform stand, which is much roomier and not dependent on a tree to support it.

As we were getting dressed and gathering our things, I was dreading putting my snake boots back on. The battle wounds I had gotten that morning were still raw and I couldn’t bear the thought of putting them back on. Josh must have sensed my reluctance and asked me what was wrong. Through tear-filled eyes, I told him how badly my feet hurt. He said it was fine and told me to put on my Ariats. They were well worn in and easily my favorite pair of boots. Do you think I brought them with me to South Carolina? Nope, all I had were a pair of pink plaid Muck boots that his dad had gotten me for Christmas that year. Yep, pink plaid. Bless Josh’s heart, he let me wear them explaining that with the netting around the base of the stand nothing would be able to see my feet.

Anyway, we got settled in the stand, and I loaded my gun. Josh showed me the different points where the hogs might come from. We were sitting in front of a large field. There were woods behind us and to our left and right. There were small patches of trees with two small lanes in front of us. Josh said that the hogs would probably come from the woods to the left of us. Now it was time to sit and wait. I had heard stories from his dad and stepmother about seeing up to thirty hogs in one night, and I was hoping that I would see just as many. One of the things that I love about hunting is having uninterrupted time with Josh.  We spent the next couple of hours enjoying the nature around us. We were talking about life, friends, and family when suddenly a small little body emerged from the woods to my left.

HOGS! Millions and millions of hogs!!!!!! (ok well maybe only 20)

They poured out of the woods like ants out of an anthill. Piglets, boars, and sows all clumped together and munching on their dinner. Trembling with excitement and nerves, I slowly pulled my gun up and rested it on the bar in front of me. I was relying on Josh to help me choose which one to shoot. As he would describe one for me I tried to get my sights on them. It was very difficult because they kept moving all over the place and continuously stepping in front of one another.  (Side note: the piglets are adorable and I wanted to take one home. Josh refused.) Finally a large black sow emerged from the group. I lined up my crosshairs right behind her ear and steadied my hand to shoot. All the while Josh is sitting next to me videotaping the hogs and whispering things like:
“That one! Wait! Now, she stepped out! Take the shot! Shoot! Shoot!Whenever you’re ready! She’s clear! When that one steps out from the group take it!”

I tried to block him out, but it is a little difficult when he is literally in my ear, whispering this. The sow stepped forward, and with Josh whispering loudly in my ear, I pulled the trigger. BOOM! I quickly kicked the shell out of the chamber and loaded another bullet. Josh had warned me that hogs were tough and if the first shot doesn’t take them down you may need to shoot again. Josh had just shot a monster hog (over 300 pounds) on an earlier trip and it had needed another, and another, and yet another shot.  I was also fearful of it running into the thicket, which would make it nearly impossible to track. As I lined up my scope for the second shot, I realized that my hog was on the ground! OH MY GOD I GOT MY FIRST HOG!

I was ecstatic!  Josh turned the camera on me so that I could talk about the shot. I don’t remember what I said, but I know that the excitement was written all over my face. If it was possible, I believe I was more excited about getting my hog then my first deer. I have such a passion for hog hunting, not to mention how tasty they are!

As the sun started to set, Josh went loaded up his things to go and grab the ranger so that we could take my hog back to camp. He placed his foot on the steps of the stand and as he was throwing his bag over his shoulder, he lost his balance and fell out of the stand. The whole thing happened in slow motion and I was paralyzed holding two rifles to do anything to help him. In that split second I realized that if anything happened to him I had no clue what to do. We were twelve hours away from home and family, I had not idea where I even was in the state of South Carolina, I had no clue where I was on the property to give anyone directions on where to find us, I couldn’t remember where we parked the ranger, there was no way I could drag him or lift him into it to get help, cell phones do not work out here and it is getting dark. We would die out here in this field. I may be slightly melodramatic, but it was a frightening though to realize that I had absolutely no idea where I was.

There was silence.

I stared at Josh on the ground and waited for him to move, which thank God he did. To this day he claims that he “jumped” out of the stand, but I was there and there was no jumping happening.

We got the ranger, loaded my hog onto it, and went to take some pictures. She was a pretty good meat hog, weighing around 150 pounds. I would like to say that I helped him skin her out and get the meat, but really I watched and handed him things when needed. I was standing by my agreement that I needed a full year of hunting before I would be able to help skin anything. 

That night as we were getting into bed, I noticed that I was itchy. Not just bug bite itchy, really really itchy. Not on my leg, or arm, or back, on my bottom. I begged Josh to check and he confirmed my fear: poison ivy all over my upper thigh and bottom. It itched so badly that I barely slept that night. I tried not to scratch it, I really did, but have you ever had poison ivy? It is impossible to leave it alone. It also didn’t help that it was in a completely inappropriate place to be scratching. Very ladylike.