Which is the better sport?
We, who are fortunate enough to live in this tropical wonderland we call Florida are not twice, but triple blessed. We have weather that most cannot even dream of, we are recognized as the fishing capital of the world, and we have some of the best hunting imaginable. So, Which is the better sport, fishing or hunting? Talk about a win-win situation, a situation requiring a great deal of study, on the water, in the field, detailed study. A very time consuming task, guess I will volunteer.
Where better to start our investigation than the fabulous Florida Middle Grounds, the Grounds, recognized as a natural aquarium for hundreds of species of fish, hungry fish. Our study began Friday afternoon April 6. The Florida Fisherman, Hubbard's Marina, has been visiting the area for decades. The Florida Fisherman attracts sportsmen/women from all over the country. Just last week, seven anglers joined a crew of regulars to attack, 'study' the Middle Grounds. It did not take long for these Northerners, these sportsmen/women from Maryland my Maryland to see, first hand, why Florida is indeed recognized as the fishing capital of the world.
Florida is known for grouper. Grouper like these will demand the attentions of any sportsman:
OK! so Florida has great fishing. But what about hunting?
Florida has a very strong, healthy, deer & turkey population. And, in addition, some of the best wild boar hunting imaginable. The Florida wild boar, cunning, smart, dangerous. The adversary with a nose. Is it even possible to 'fool' this beast, this nose? Well! hogs do have a major weakness, their stomach. Often electric corn feeders are used to attract the attention of this eating machine. But what about that nose, if he smells you, corn or no corn, this brute will disappear faster than could ever be imagined. Cover scents work well, but most are messy and expensive. Fresh earth & natural pine cover scent wafers, by Hunters, are inexpensive solutions that, along with corn feeders, will give the serious hunter a better chance of success.
We have seen what the Florida Middle Grounds can produce, but what about the hard to harvest hogs. For over a year now I have been hunting the Florida wild boar at Tiger Island Outfitters, Cedar Key, Florida. We hunt over corn feeders, however, that 'nose' has been a problem. Will fresh earth & pine wafers really help? Only one way to find out. Wednesday morning April 11, study time! But first, nap time, nap time in the cutest little cabin imaginable. Five P.M. time to visit my home for the next few hours, hope the hogs are obliging, surely they must be hungry! After attaching the cover scent wafers to my cap, I am ready. Finally, after a couple of hours, signs of life, hogs, hungry hogs. The bigger ones are staying off at a distance. Please, please come in. Just smell that delicious corn, but don't get even a whiff of me. Well, those wafers are working, closer, closer, they come. Now, the corn & wafers have done their jobs. It's up to me and my lever action 45/70 Guide gun. Slowly I put the cross-hairs of my 3X9 Nikon scope just under that monsters ear. BAM! what a shot. Hog down, hog down and on film. Joey, my guide, to the rescue. My trophy will be cleaned even before I get back to camp. It's still early, Joey says there is a good chance those hogs will be back. OK! let's see. Tiger Island donates hundreds of pounds of fresh hog meat to the needy. They sure could use a couple. I can shoot that Marlin pretty darn fast, but hogs can take off like a bat our of .... well let's just say they are speedy! Given the chance, I will try. As the sun makes its last appearance of the day, I see them, they are headed my way. Will I get a shot, or shots, before dark? Only a few minutes left. Well! It's now or never. I pick out two porkers, two boars. BAM, BAM! I did it, in less than a heart beat, two boars down. What a hunt. A wonderful time, and we helped the needy.
Home away from home:
Cover scent wafers:
What a shot:
Joey, Tiger island master guide:
Joey & Crichton Allen, owner of Tiger Island Outfiters:
Tiger Island Outfitters...the video:
Which is the better sport, fishing or hunting?
After doing both for over five decades I have decided that the better sport is the one that we are lucky enough to be enjoying at any given time. Indeed, we are triple blessed.
Bob Harbison Native Florida Sportsman, member Florida Outdoor Writers Association, (FOWA).