Woofda. Usually I am consistent in what I do. The blog thing is new to me, I think I will add it to my 2013 goals (which ARE written down!) to help me become more consistent.
If you read my previous blog let me begin by stating that we had an addition to our crew. Mitch Hubbard, who attended high school with Drew.
Our trip began as Brad, Bergy and I flew from Milwaukee to Detroit “Rock” City where we were welcomed by a fluffy but prolific snowfall. The last thing we desired was a flight delay in the Motor City. Thankfully the snow removal crew did a great job and we ended up landing in Fort Lauderdale around midnight EST. Mitch arrived 15 minutes later on a separate flight.
Around 1:00 AM our stomach’s were delighted by The Floridian’s wonderful food. If you have not been to Ft. Lauderdale you may not be aware, The Floridian is a very well known diner to the natives. It is open 24 hours, 365 days a year. And yes, if you paid attention to the news; the windows of this fantastic restaurant took some bullets intended for Rick Ross early Monday morning while he was cruising in his Rolls Royce, but that’s another story.
Since we had to be up and headed to Duck Key by 4:45 AM the next morning we decided to pull an all nighter. Drew, bless his heart, drove, while Bergy, Brad and Mitch laid passed out in the backseat-heads and drool resting on each others shoulder’s. I did my best to keep Drew company but found my head bobbing quite often.
If you like fish, we caught some. The creatures of the ocean are amazing, and what a thrill it is to reel in a 100 plus pound beast. Bergy had the catch of the day, in regards to size and trophy, with an estimated 8 foot 200 pound Nurse Shark and a nearly 40 pound Cobia. The most unique fish of the day belonged to Mitch, a Hog fish the culprit.
Our 8 hour day ranging from 19 and 22 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico also featured 2 Grouper (which we estimated were roughly 120 and 100 pounds!) Mackerel, more Cobia, another Nurse shark. We also caught various fish which was used as bait, sorry little fellas, but you’re found to be so tasty by your counterparts! 🙂 To finish our fishing trip, Captain Lee toyed a cut up Cobia in the 5′ deep canal. Within minutes a 400 pound bull shark and his buddy came to play. The power and explosiveness of these sharks is amazing and was incredible to see from 10 feet away!
After an interesting drive back north to Ft. Lauderdale, we did some laundry, hot tubing, showering and after 42 hours with no sleep, we called it a night. Alarms set for 4:30 AM.
The alarm seemed to come just we laid our heads upon the pillow. With the car already packed we took off north to Lake Okeechobee, a two hour ride.
Have you ever seen a swamp buggy? 6 leather seats (we had 8 people and 3 dogs) taken from a vehicle, 22 feet in the air, resting on a carpeted covered platform supported by steel with a decent sized engine and some big a** tires! That’s it. And yes, it seems to be able to run over a sequoia tree, through the deepest Everglade muck, and it’s fast!!! When Justin, our guide saw our main prey of the day, Boar, he floored it to 30-35 miles an hour.
Remember that we are hunting from this swamp buggy. Bergy and Brad were first up, sitting in the left and right front corners of the buggy. Within 10 minutes we saw our first two boars and probably the biggest of the day. Within 15 seconds and 20 miss-fires later they were gone, never to be seen again. Yes, 20 shots in 15 seconds. Bergy hunts a lot, he’s an okay shot, we are still unsure of Brad. With the unfamiliarity of the buggy throwing Bergy all over the place, it seemed as if he had never shot a gun in his life.
All in all we saw 20, 21 or 22 boars (we lost count) and did not come away with a kill. Those animals are might undoubtedly be the toughest mammals to walk the earth. We hit numerous boar but if you do not hit them right behind the head or upper neck, you have no chance as their thick layers of fat and muscle protects its vital organs beyond believability. There was one point, between the 8 of us, we were in sight of 3 boars. With guns popping, sounding like the mountains of Afghanistan, no boars were taken down. Most of that scenario, no matter how tough a boar, is a lack of talent, experience.
After an open fire lunch and some good food (good thing we didn’t rely on our hunting to eat) it was onto Snipe and Quail hunting. So we load the majority of our guns with bird shot, and what do you know? We come across two more boars. Bergy was able to switch out his gun for the buck shot, but Brad decided he could kill one with bird shot. Pop, pop, pop…or he thought he could kill one with bird shot, but yes, another fail.
As the day went on Snipe and Quail went down. (In honor of Wedding Crasher fans out there-“I don’t even know what the f*** a quail is.) We were able to kill enough to have a good meal the next day before our departure, even getting ourselves a rabbit on the way back in on the swamp buggy.
After much debate it is still not conclusive as to how many rounds we went through. There was much discussion and I think we will call it anywhere from 400 to 600 rounds fired. Lots of shootin’ for the amount of killin’.
After another road-trip back to Ft. Lauderdale and some clean up we all dozed off in the hot tub.
Waking up around 8 am we were starting to realize that we had to leave the beautiful 80 degree and breezy weather. With our flights scheduled to leave at 5:00 PM we cooked up our hunted prey and hung out as we began to discuss the next group adventure.
Time will tell, hopefully we can be more on the ball and get a more inclusive look for you all!!!