Josh and I ventured down to South Carolina a week or so ago, so that we could check feeders, set up trail cams, and do some general maintenance on the property. Josh's cousin, Nicholas, and our friend, Kyle, headed down with us. We were fortunate enough to leave early Friday morning, so we made it to SC by dinner time. I'll give you one guess as to where I forced everyone to eat dinner.....Lester's!!!!!! After a delicious dinner, we headed on to the property to hop on the ranger and check everything out. It had just finished raining, so all the critters were out and about: deer, turkeys, armadillos and even a black coyote! Unfortunately for us, deer season opened on Monday and we had to leave Sunday. Major bummer!
I'll spare you the details of the event, but let's just say that Josh was feeling less than fabulous the next morning. It figures that a stomach bug (he blames Lester's but I disagree) would hit him when we are on vacation. The next morning we headed out to fill feeders and do a few other things on the property, with poor Josh still feeling sick. I was in charge of scraping the yucky clumps out of the gravity feeders, while Nicholas checked to see how full they were (I am too short for this job). We were on the last feeder and I was scooping away, talking to Nick while I used a stick to break up the crusty feed. Suddenly, I realize that the feed is moving.... Now there had been ants at some of the other feeders, so initially I just assumed there were more ants.
"Eww...look at all of these.....OH MY GOD the feed is....EWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!
(Not ants, ladies and gentleman, but mealworm-maggoty looking things)
I froze. I am not afraid of bugs, spiders, or any other insect-but I do not do worms and snakes. I can just imagine the little mealworms wiggling their way up my sleeve. Gross. Nicholas starts laughing as I am completely grossed out by this, and kindly offers to take the gloves and finish cleaning this one out for me. I practically threw the gloves at him. He is a saint.
Next up on our chore list was to cut down one of the trees that had fallen across the road, and to trim up any branches that were in the way of our views from the various tree stands. The boys brought out the chainsaw, and I carried my anti-snake device. The Judge. Josh taught me how to use the chainsaw (video will be posted later), and Nick was able to use The Judge to save me from yet another snake. Ironically it was in the exact same place I saw the last one, right underneath my favorite tree stand. This one however was not a copperhead, but some thin, striped, extremely venomous looking snake. Fairly certain it could kill you by just looking at you. Nick had The Judge out and the world had one less snake before I could even blink. The boys then proceeded to pick it up with a stick and play with it while I had a panic attack (screaming and banging on the windshield of the ranger included) until they put it in the woods away from me. Nick said that the ditch of water nearby is what keeps them there. Awesome. I am not one of those people who prefers one stand over another. I don't really care where Josh and I sit most times. In fact normally my only concern is height. But in SC I do have a favorite stand, the ditch stand. It is where I have harvested two of my hogs, and it was the first stand that I ever hunted out of solo. I know my markers for distance well, and I know how the animals move around that stand. The sun is always behind you, so it is never blistering hot and there is a lot of coverage so I can move as needed. It is perfect...until I found out it was snake infested. Needless to say, I will be finding a new favorite stand. We finished out our chores and headed back to shower and visit a family friend who lives in the area. He is building the most amazing wood home and we had to see it for ourselves.
All, in all, it was a great (although way too short) trip. I can't wait to get back down for hunting season!!