Day one bled into day two for some of us. Thankful that the Strut & Rut and adrenaline running through our systems got us through the night…the next 4 hours were going to be tough. This morning I was going out with Charmen McAlpine to sit on the spot where I had seen the hogs from the lodge the night before. I had a good feeling about this spot, but more a good feeling for an afternoon hunt than a morning hunt.

The rest of the ladies were up and ready to head to their stands and as the trucks headed out, Charmen and I loaded up on Hank and crept down to the our hunting spot. Terry was going to put up a blind during lunch today, but this morning we were going to be tucked away on Hank; this has actually been my most successful way of hunting. Because of the L shaped fence corner, I just couldn’t figure out which way to park to give Charmen her best advantage. We decided her best bet was to sit on the back of Hank facing the direction I actually seen the hogs in.

On Saturday morning, Charmen McAlpine and I sat in the location where I had seen the hogs Friday afternoon.

After getting set up and still, I felt sleep deprivation sinking in. I tried every trick I knew short of taking a Strut & Rut; only because I did not have one. It finally won and I fell asleep–I only hope I didn’t snore loudly! Oh yeah, I snore–like a man…you think I am going to let some man out-do me…LOL!! Charmen told me I wasn’t loud, but she might have just been trying to be polite. Anyways, we both decided after several hours that this spot was going to be a good afternoon spot and I really had a good feeling about it. So we packed up and headed back to the lodge.

I didn’t get a text all morning so I knew there wasn’t much going on in the woods. Morning hunting has never been good for me so I had not expected differently. Finally, the ladies started trickling in from the woods. Many of us went to take a nap to be rested up for the afternoon hunt. It felt good to lay down and stretch out, I had not been to bed in over 30 hours. I only slept a couple of hours because I heard some commotion going on downstairs and I sure didn’t want to miss anything.

I came down just in time for lunch. Most of the ladies were already filling their plates with leftovers from the wonderful dinner from the previous night. We sat at the table laughing about our excursion the night before and telling hunting stories; everyone contributed. Most of the afternoon was spent visiting.

There is NO TELLING what these three ladies are up to...no good, I am sure!!

Some time during the day Shannon and Richard went to the cornfield and walked the entire length of the cornfield trying to jump a hog. No luck. Before we knew it, it was time to take some group photos before eating supper and heading back out to the stands.

Our fun photo from the Ladies in Camo Hog Hunt at Rack Nine Outdoors, Barbour County, Alabama http://www.racknineoutdoors.com

Saturday night’s supper consisted of baked chicken, cube steak, green beans w/potatoes, baked beans and rolls. The sweet tea at Rack Nine is the best!! I think Terry made about 6 gallons while we were there we drank so much of it. Sweet Tea tastes different in the South, so you Northerners may not understand the quantities we consumed. Good stuff!!

Saturday afternoon was another slow hunt…a few hogs were seen but no shots were taken. I had a really great feeling about several of the stands but none of them produced; not even Charmen’s new stand where I had seen hogs the Friday afternoon. A few ladies stayed on stand an hour or two after dark.

Terry made Ghirardhelli chocolate caramel swirled brownies that made the lodge smell delicious. I pulled them out of the oven right before the first ladies cracked the back door upon their return. The ladies came in the back door heading for the kitchen. Michelle Harmes joked about feeding women chocolate brownies on a full moon.

It was nearly 10:30 pm when nearly all of us decided to go mud riding. Charmen decided to stay behind to get her sleep for the morning’s hunt. The rest of us loaded up in Jennifer’s Jeep, Ruger and 4 of us loaded up in Hank. Terry and Doug stayed behind and the last thing Terry said was to let Hank pull Ruger out before we call them. I just laughed wickedly as I shut the front door.

JUST IN CASE we ran up on some hogs, every woman was armed…we looked like the mafia: an AK, a rifle, several revolvers and a Glock. We rode around the road system headed for the river trying to find Jennifer a mud-hole. When we got to the lakes we saw several alligators and watched as one hit the water after sliding off the bank.

Finally, Jennifer found her a mud hole. Shannon, Andrea, Michele and I all sat back from the hole on Hank watching as Ruger plunged into the mud hole, we all whooped loudly. The Jeep started spinning, got stuck, got un-stuck; the night erupted in whoops and cheers. Ruger got stuck again, spun 45 degrees, and as it crept up an embankment a loud clinking sound came from underneath the Jeep. Jennifer was able to get Ruger up the hill and that was the extent of the Jeep’s “GO”. Those of us on Hank didn’t realize it because we were too busy whooping and passing around high-fives.

Jennifer finally found her a mud hole. Hang on ladies.

The brake lights were on, the Jeep was still rolling. The brake lights went off, the engine revved and the Jeep did not accelerate forward. It was clear to me then that something was wrong…really wrong.

Ruger was not rolling at this point...Michelle Harmes saved the night with her "MacGyver" skills.

We found out, through the MacGyver-like abilities of Michelle Harmes’ knowledge, that a gasket or O-ring had broken or come off. She was having a problem locating it on this particular model. In the meantime, I called Terry back at the lodge. He had just laid down to sleep.

Me: Hey!
Terry: Hey.
Me: Um, we went riding around on the road system, toward the river.
Terry: Yeah.
Me: Well, we didn’t find any mud holes on the road.
Terry: Yeah.
Me: So we came past the area where they clear-cut recently. We know it was recently cut because we could smell the fresh pine.
Terry: Yeah.
Me: Well, we came to this field that has a shooting house on stilts on it.
Terry: Yeah.
Me: Well, we found a mud hole.
{Uncomfortably short pause.}
Terry: Yeah.
Me: Jennifer didn’t get stuck…she almost got stuck.
Terry: Yeah.
Me: Well, we kind of tore up something on the Jeep.
Terry: Hmmm….deep breath….do you need me to come get y’all?
Me: Uh, yeah. I think so.

Whew…that was a painfully long drawn out call to have not said much more than I did. I sure hated to have someone come after us.

In just a few short minutes, Michelle announced that she thought she found the gasket. In about two minutes, Jennifer was in Ruger starting up the engine, engaging the transmission into drive. IT WORKED!! The whole group erupted in whoops and hollers. High-fives went around and I quickly called Terry.

I told him to call off the tow truck, we were back in business. He asked me, “what do you want me to do? Go back?” I told him to meet us at the lakes just in case Ruger was limping back to the lodge. That is where we finally met up with him.

Hank led the way back to the lodge, splashing through mud holes, dodging limbs, leaping bumps in the road…all the while all of us whooping and hollering like children on a roller coaster. A mere 15 miles an hour is just fast enough to make it exciting but slow enough to feel safe. What fun!!

As we approached the road headed back to the lodge, someone (we won’t ever disclose) decided to play a trick on Terry. I stopped Hank at the edge of the field, Terry drove up and asked “What are y’all doing now?” I said, “We are going hunting.” He just rolled his eyes and said, “call me if you need me” as he drove off. As the ladies drove up in the Jeep we quickly assembled everyone on the edge of the field aiming their weapons toward a big brush pile. Michelle was standing on the back of the Jeep to see when Terry pulled in the driveway a quarter-mile away–timing his descent from his truck just right.

When she figured she had timed it right, I told the ladies to fire. It was like a grand finale at a Fourth of July fireworks show. When all the ladies had cleaned out their clips, Andrea stepped to the line with her rifle and fired the last shot. We all yelled out in joy as if we shot some hogs. Cameryn said “Your phone is going to ring any second.” AND that it did. I handed the phone to Cameryn because I knew I was not going to be able to lie to Terry.

Cameryn: Hello! In an exciting voice.
Terry: Was that y’all?
Cameryn: Yes! Yes! Hogs! Pigs!! We just shot about 7 of them. Yes!
Terry: You are kidding.
Cameryn: No! No! They came through… Okay!

Cameryn hung up, handed me my phone and said, “he is on his way down.” Some of the group started giggling, some of us said “Ut-oh!”. Within a few minutes we decided to start driving toward the lodge. Terry’s headlights were coming across the field. The Jeep was ahead of me so I reached up and shut my headlights and pulled over into the edge of the corn. We were going to watch and see how this unfolded. We couldn’t listen very well because of both truck engines and all of us giggling.

The Jeep pulled off and Terry rolled forward in his truck. It was clear that they had pulled it off…he seem to think we really did shoot some hogs. When he rolled up beside me, he had the biggest grin on his face. I hated to let him down so I did my best to follow along with the story.

Terry: How many did y’all shoot?
Me: We shot at 7.
Terry: How many did you think you shot?
{Uncomfortable pause. A couple of giggles from the back seat.}
Me: I only said we shot at 7. {I am definitely not a good liar so I was not going to attempt it now.}
Terry: DID y’all shoot any hogs or not?

I started rolling off with a huge smile on my face and I said, “I only said we shot at hogs.” He shook his head and laughed and said “Y’all got me on this one but remember about PAYBACKS.” He pointed at us and said ALL OF YOU!

When we got up to the lodge we all we still laughing about it as we headed off to bed…you could faintly hear Terry say, “Paybacks are hell!” Which made us all erupt in giggles again. We all retired for the night around 2:45 a.m.

Ruger's new paint jog...Alabama mud has never looked any finer than on this Tennessee truck.

Sunday morning was our last hunt and one or two hunters saw hogs. Cameryn and her Father Mike saw about 5 hogs but couldn’t get a shot off at them. Charmen seen a piglet’s butt slipping into the cornfield. At the end of the morning’s hunt no hogs were shot.

Amber Markley was trying to catch up on her beauty sleep...we thought she was sleeping during all the fun!! So we dogpiled her bed.

When everyone returned to the lodge we ate lunch of leftovers; which were fantastic. We visited, talking about upcoming hunts. These weekends always end so soon.

Shooting the breeze at the lodge. Michelle Harmes, Michele Branning and Jennifer McKinney.

As I helped some of the ladies load up, Shannon called me over to Terry’s truck and said, “Amber wants to drive Terry’s truck.” I asked, “Are the keys in it?” Amber nodded her head hard and affirmatively. I said, “Well, let’s go for a ride.” We jumped in the truck and Amber turned the key over, Shannon took a quick picture and then we started backing up.

Terry's truck that Amber had been scheming all weekend to drive. She got her wish.

Shannon took off for the back porch. About that same time Terry walked out the front door and started walking across the lawn. He glanced at us and started to look away when it dawned on him that it was his truck rolling in the driveway. He stopped and stared in disbelief for a minute.

Amber and I busted out laughing as she backed out and I turned on the radio and cranked it up…we took a ride out through the cornfield. The only thing that would have made that trip any better is if we had been tuning, out loud, to Colt Ford’s Ride Through the Country.

…Down the road where the black top ends, you can find “Nancy Jo” with all “her” friends, we’re used to gravel roads, and fishin’ with cane poles, wasn’t no swimmin’ pools, jus swimmin’ holes…

Busted!! Amber Markley stole Terry Garrett's truck and took it for a ride in the corn fields.

mber driving back out of the cornfields after stealing Terry's truck. I remotely remember her saying...I am going to park and get out running.

We may not have harvested a hog this weekend but we sure made memories, let our hair down, acted like teenagers again and had an awesome time at Rack Nine Outdoors. Our next hog hunt will be scheduled in May 2012. {Thank you to Andrea Main for contributing pictures for this blog entry.}

Strut & Rut and Dr. Pepper with Peanuts got many of us through the weekend.

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