My Dad and our mutual hunting buddy John W. (you can see his picture in my photos) were hunting a new spot up in Perry, Fl. Now Perry, Fl. is the name of the town. The hunting management areas have changed names over the years, but at one time it was Aucila, and the main part of the unit is now called Hickory Mound.
All of the area is near the coast so most of the land is very muddy, and has a lot of free standing water. It is known for having a good amount of deer, and a lot of hogs. It has always been good hunting land since it has a lot of water, and plenty of food for the animals.
So Dad and John W. had set their tree stands up about 200 yards from each other, and where both facing the same direction. After an hour they both heard a lot of noise coming their way. My Dad said he was doing his best to hold still, and not let "buck fever" get him too excited. He said that John was ducking back and forth trying to see what all the noise was about. But I can't be too hard on John. Even I have a lot of trouble holding still, especially with that much noise coming my way. Anyway, my Dad said it sounded like 20 hogs were making a racket coming through the bushes. So both him and John got their guns at the ready to try and get a shot at a hog.
Then my Dad saw it. Or should I say them. They were making enough racket that anyone could hear them within half a mile. Armadillos. That's right, armadillos. Not just a few or a dozen, no. It was 200 armadillos. An army of armadillos in a huge group went right in-between the two tree stands. Now, my Dad had never heard of armadillos running together in the woods, much less than 200 of them. However, right in front of his and John's eyes were a huge pack of 200 armadillos. What 200 armadillos were doing walking together like a small army we'll never know.
What makes this story funny is the armadillo itself. You see, every hunter knows just how much noise armadillos make. Since they have no natural predators except for Ford F-150's, they don't have to be quite. One armadillo makes a shitload of noise. They agravate hunters by how noisy they are. You can definately hear them before you see them. Imagine you are hunting, and you think a hog is coming through the woods. You get ready, get set, and wait for the hog to appear. After 5, 10, or maybe 15 minutes, it finally appears..... but it's an armadillo. Really, it's hard to explain just how noisy those things are. Especially for being such a small animal.
But it's one of those moments in your (or should I say my Dad's life) that stand out in just how weird they are. But it's good to have moments like that in your life. So here's to having 200 armadillos run in front of you in your front yard. Consider it lucky.