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August 25, 2011 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Hunt Hogzilla or Greet the gators.

Open season, but not on politicians this time. A chance to redirect that heat-addled energy towards acceptable outlets: Hunt for Hogzilla or get Gatorwise.

Pig-out at the First Annual Hunt for Hogzilla Wild Hog Hunt and IBCA sanctioned cook-off on Sept. 17th in Robstown, Texas. Backed by Time Warner Cable Media, they are going whole hog over this event. Need an excuse so the office staff won’t look at you funny? This event is a solution for two serious problems: step up to slim down the feral hog population that’s wreaking havoc in suburban yards as well as farms, and help food banks feed hungry kids and families. Hey, I saw that nose wrinkle up. You are sophisticated enough to know wild boar is quite considered a delicacy in Europe? OK, then. Besides, hunger is what got hunting started – so kinda back to the roots thing.

Hunters will be wild about the $28K cash prizes which will be awarded along with boar hunting knives. Divisions include: Rifle, Night Vision Rifle, Dog & Knife, and Bow. Plus there’s that belt buckle for the largest hog, for the Hogzilla title. Helicopter hunting will not be permitted in this contest, but wild/feral hogs can be chased down in any Texas county during the contest period from 5:00 p.m. Sept 15, 2011(Thurs) to 11:59 a.m. on Sept 17, 2011. They are serious about the rules – including the picture requirements. Hogs must come in field dressed and in edible condition or entry will be disqualified. (And Mr. Hogzilla out there is laughing knowing how hard it is to lug out a heavy a feral hog carcass. Muscles guys certainly needed. Check out the all the rules and entry info. Honorable hog hunters will surely avoid being like those fishy tournament guys. You know, catching them ahead of time or lying about stuff. (Don’t need any opportunity for Texas legislature to write any more laws) Just be warned. Polygraphs are mandated for entries. And no points for running over hogs with a vehicle.(Anyway, it’s not an effective method. Hogs may just get up and be really really angry. The wild ones can really dent things) As always, field dressing hogs requires caution even once the swine gives it up. (Why? Read related post “Dinner? Don’t Pass me the Squirrel”). So watch out little piggy guys. The drought may be making you wily, and wilder than ever, but there’s a serious challenge in your future.

BBQ cooks are getting also serious for a serving of that $7,800 cook-off contest cash. The International Barbeque Cookers Association, IBCA, had signed on to supervise judging. Interested? Just check out the website for info. and registration.

Even the general pubic should go hog wild and support this event as it will benefit local charities. Mindful how many hungry children and families there are at this time in Texas, all hogs will be processed by a company called All Creatures Great and Small with meat going to the food banks. Can goods collected as admission will also go to food banks and local charities. Hunter support staff and friends will have plenty to keep them amused and entertained at this South Texas event. Pack up the horseshoes and washers for tournaments. Watch the archery contest (Tejas Bowmen Archery Club). Tote the kids along for free pony rides and petting zoo. After shopping the vendors, relax by listening to the bands.

Not into outwitting wild hogs? Wishing for something with just a bit of bite, and a shorter drive from Houston?

Go greet the gators. Brazos Bend State Park is celebrating Gatorwise Weekend (Aug 27-28) with a babe fest. With watering holes reduced by the drought, some park alligators have been pushed out of their comfort zone. It’s hard to condemn one gator mom for just sayin’ “enough is enough” and walking off from her nest. (Every species has some party moms.) Park staff rescued a nest full of alligator eggs and has been fostering them. All 21 eggs hatched and the babies are about ready to be release into the wild. Currently, the alligator babes are still a safe size for kids to get to know them close-up. You can also learn what to do if you meet a large adult alligator in a less supervised site such as a park hike or in your own backyard. (Something useful this year with alligators on the move) Check the Brazos Bend State Park website / video for info about hours, fishing, biking, horse trails, and the night experience with hikes or stargazing programs at the George Observatory within the park. The 5000 acre park normally has six lakes for fishing (some rain recently) with a stretch of Brazos River frontage. Take your horses, bikes, or comfy shoes, but no free-range dogs. Fluffy/Brutus need to be kept on a six-foot or shorter leash because of the hungry and cranky alligators (drought has reduced small prey). Camping available for the brave. (Native Americans did live in the area). Less brave will probably enjoy the live native snake exhibits (So you can find out what that snake you saw in the backyard actually was) or the hands-on meet the alligators area. What more could you ask for? Coastal prairie areas, river flood plains, fresh water marshes, large trees lining Big Creek and the river. It’s all there: bobcats, deer, raccoons, 300 species of birds, 39 species of dragonflies, more butterflies than you can count, and of course, alligators -all to safely view from towers and observation platforms. OK. there’s a gift shop, too. Grab the fun at this park all year round. It’s only is 28 miles from Houston on the southeast border of Fort Bend County. Just keep your eyes open and don’t let the gators grab you! (No, seriously, it’s safe. They have nice bathrooms – even showers. Go.)

(For related posts, click sidebar tags “wild hogs”, “alligators”, or “Texas” 

Gettin’ ready to go

Phil, the philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

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