PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

January 25, 2014

Chester Moore column: Funny and scary do collide in great outdoors

PORT ARTHUR —  One of the funniest things that has ever happened to me in the field was during the opening day of the 2000 season. Outdoor writer Larry Bozka and I were hunting with Will Beaty’s Central Flyway Outfitters near Winnie and we had a big wad of teal show up right at first shooting light.

 There were 10 hunters in pit blinds along the levee we were hunting on and the 20 or so birds didn’t have much of a chance if we were even half good at shooting.

 Bozka and I fired away at three birds that were on our end of the setup and after dispensing all six of our rounds, the birds fell.

 The last one we shot at must have decided it was going to go out in a blaze of glory and take out a hunter because it started spiraling toward us at an intense speed.

 Larry and I looked on in horror as this teal headed straight for is with the last bit of strength it had. When you are in a pit blind like this there is no real way to retreat or even duck for that matter.

 I knew it wouldn’t kill us but a duck traveling at the speed it was could easily break a nose or crack a bit and that would be hard to explain back home.

 “Honey, I need to go to the hospital, a green-winged teal gave me one heck of a rib shot this morning.”

 That would not fly in most households. Actually, it would in mine as my wife is used to that kind of thing by now but the prospects of getting hit by a kamikaze teal were not very thrilling.

 Larry and I looked at each other with that ‘oh well’ look and watched as the seemingly angry teal hit the ground, literally lodging itself in the four or five inch gap between our blinds.

 We got revenge by our group bagging about 40 of its relative that morning and putting that one in a gumbo back at camp.

 Looking back, another funny encounter that started off as scary involved bees.

 Nothing frightens me more in the wilds of Texas than bees, particularly the deadly Africanized “killer” bees. These bees are spreading and have firmly established populations in the Brush Country and part of the Trans-Pecos and Hill Country.

 The sting of one bee might only cause some pain (unless you’re allergic) but the wrath of a swarm could spell death.

 In the spring of 2003, I had a truly frightening bee experience. While using a box call to lure in a lonely gobbler, I heard what I literally thought was a low-flying plane in the distance. All of a sudden, a shadow passed overhead and I looked up to see a massive swarm of bees less than 30 feet up. I remained calm, said a little prayer, and watched the huge swarm pass by.

 After talking with ranch officials, I learned the Africanized kind is present in the area, and thanked God the swarm did not sense how frightened I was. In fact, I was filming a segment for Keith Warren’s television program and once the bees moved a great distance, I told the cameraman to hit record.

 “They see bees can smell fear,” I said.

 “That’s not true! I was just more frightened than I have ever been and about 10,000 bees flew over our heads.”

  I can laugh now but back then I was shaking in my boots.

  We will have a full report on the TPWD Commission meeting in Austin in our Thursday Outdoor Update section including new regulations and the lack of action taken on speckled trout.

 (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can watch him on "God's Outdoors with Chester Moore" Saturdays on GETV.org at 10 a.m. and listen to "Moore Outdoors" Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI.)

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