Outdoor Corner: The Wacky World of the Outdoors

Lyle Johnson
Arnold Sheets and his grandsons Kolby and Tyson Sheets caught these nice bass at Paradise Bayou Lake at B&J Ranch south of Alexandria on a black trick worm.

Sunday night I was watching a funny video show (AFV) that has lots of humor, usually at the expense of others. It brought some memories of some “wild” adventures in the outdoors. I won’t mention any names, but all the stories are about people in Ascension Parish.

A good friend of mine left out on a trip to Bayou Dularge area for some marsh fishing. He and a friend were fishing near a runout when they noticed some action behind a camp in the marsh. Like most good marsh fishermen they got out of the boat on the pier to fish where the action was happening.

After securing the boat with what he thought was a good knot they proceeded to fish. Needing to get another bait he returned to find the boat had come untied and floated out into a lake due to a very hard tide. It looked like a speck in middle of the lake. He had to flag a crab fisherman to help him retrieve his boat.

Most people like to have squirrels running around their yards, feed them and enjoy their antics as backyard clowns. But sometimes their antics are not funny if it involves humans.

A friend of mine has more than his share of them that harass him and his family on a regular basis. Once they built a nest in his boat and bit all of the wires in his wiring harness in two. They seem to know when they’ve gotten under his skin, because they make fun of him by barking at him unmercifully.

Then one day as he was making a trip into town when he tried to bring his van to a stop. But when he took his foot off the accelerator, the van’s engine kept going at the same speed.

He finally turned the key off and got the van to a shop. After a few minutes, the mechanic asked if he could have all the pecans under the hood. You see, the varmints had stored their winter feed next to the accelerator cable and jammed it in the open position. Fun, huh!

As humans encroach, wildlife has an uncanny ability to adapt. Most times they have to change their feeding habits and lose some of their fear of people.

We have some squirrels that come to our back door and get pecans out of buckets we store them in. It is very cute, but things don’t always turn out that good.

Another local went out to the back porch for some fresh air and there was a raccoon with a peanut butter jar stuck on his head. He was probably digging in a garbage can as he regularly did and he just couldn’t resist getting in the jar.

The people who saw him didn’t know what to do, so they went inside to decide whether or not to call some emergency personnel or not. After a while they went back outside and there was the raccoon with the jar still on his head.

The animal must have figured out that it was doomed without getting any help in removing it, so he went to the porch and let them take the jar off his head. He’ll probably be back to eat out of the garbage can.

One of the funniest outdoor mishaps happened on a rabbit hunt way back in the day when I was very young. Three young boys were hunting with one of our dads in Livingston Parish with a pack of beagles.

We weren’t hunting very long when a big gray and white hog came running our way. Not knowing any better, I pulled my trusty .410 to my shoulder to try and bag us a lot of meat.

The friend who brought me quickly hollered to me not to shoot the animal. I wondered why, then he informed me that folks had their domestic hogs running free range and we’d be shooting someone’s livestock. (Like I was gonna hit it any way!)

After a few hours of hunting without a lot of success, the hunt was called. Like sometimes at the end of a rabbit hunt, one of the dogs wouldn’t come when called. My friend gave his gun to his dad and volunteered to go get the dog while we waited.

After a few minutes we hear loud screaming, “Daddy, daddy, help me!” We run to where the screams are coming from and there was that big hog at the bottom of an 8-foot high pine tree stump and he was sitting on top of it.

We ran the hog off and he climbed down the tree and we headed home. We were laughing. He didn’t think it was very funny. I was wondering if he’d wished I had shot that hog earlier.

Yes, I have one of my own. Squirrel hunting is one of my favorite outdoors activities. I was enjoying one of those hunts when I spotted a big fox squirrel. Taking a steady aim, I pulled the trigger and the squirrel hit the ground and put it in my hunting vest.

I continued on with the hunt and began looking for another squirrel when about 5 minutes later I thought I felt a branch rub my back. It was no branch; it was the squirrel come back to life.

I had a dilemma on my hands. A live squirrel, even wounded, could bite very hard. I didn’t want to lose the squirrel, so I hurriedly got my hand around its neck to get it before it got me.

Hey, look folks, the catfish are really biting in the Diversion canal and surrounding areas. Crawfish, shad and the old faithful night crawlers have been the bait that has worked very well lately.

With not much else we can do right at the moment, the outdoors is a pretty good option. So until next time, remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard, be safe in the outdoors and may God truly bless you!!