Wilderness meets desktop

A Texas white-tailed buck in mating season. Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

I've been a hunter for the last 25 years. Even so, I'd never consider myself an expert in this pastime, but I have learned much about hunting over the course of my experience.

I've learned that all wildlife live in both competition and cooperation with one another. In a sense, these animals can serve as examples for mankind as to how to make common-sense decisions in preserving life and livelihood.

They seek shelter from inclement weather, rarely travel far from their pack, herd, or flock, and only take what they need, and when they need it the most.

Overall and above all, I've learned that one can never truly know what to expect when they place themselves deep into the wilderness. Many times over, personal experience has proven that it's best to prepare for the unexpected.

I've stumbled upon some of the best opportunities to harvest wild game while making too much noise or after giving up on an outing. I've accidentally made a rare pheasant sighting while on a trek to a deer blind. I've watched as a family of bobcats crossed in front of me in the woods. In this case, the little one was left behind and meowed much like a young kitten until its mother returned to lead it back to the family's path through the underbrush.

Along with poisonous snakes, I've also learned that feral hogs are arguably the most dangerous animals that can be encountered in the deep country of Central Texas. Based on personal encounters, I can attest they are virtually fearless and very territorial. When an area of secluded ground ranging on average from 20-100 feet can be observed to have its grass, and even small trees, pressed down flat against the wooded perimeter of a clearing, you've likely just found a spot where these feral hogs bed down in their native environment.

My mind often travels back to times as a young kid when I would naively run through the woods, unarmed, and without a care in the world. My experience since then has caused me to wonder how I never found myself at odds with nature and its unpredictable wildlife. I can only credit this good fortune to good timing and divine intervention.

These days, I practice what I preach. Never wander too far into the country without some sort of weaponry (knife, bow, firearm, etc.) This preparedness should not only be reserved for hunting trips, but also for self-protection in the wild. 

I have a passion for writing about a growing variety of topics and have enjoyed pursuing this passion through personal projects, various blogs, and as a correspondent covering Coryell County for Killeen Daily Herald.

(7) comments


Great read. I remember a time when my grandfather took us camping in the mountains. My brother decided to wonder off. My grandfather panicked because of mountain lions that were seen in the area. We always had some form of protection we went went hiking or camping. Looking forward to more blogs.

Shawn Paul

Thanks for your comment, awilson. Different areas and landscapes hold some different predators, but there are always animals out there that we can potentially and unintentionally threaten with out presence. That's when we can become threatened, ourselves. In the country, we have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.




I have heard about the feral hog problem in central Texas. Heard about a phenomenon concerning their effect on rattle snakes. I have heard that the rattle snakes have been adapting to the presence of so many hogs, by not rattling any more. If this is true, we could see many instances where people and livestock are bitten. This would be an interesting topic to explore.

Shawn Paul

Thanks for your comment, crios! I've heard of the feral hog/rattlesnake phenomenon, myself. I'll have to investigate that further to form a complete opinion on the subject, but if it's true, you're very right about the implications it brings with it.


Very well written, I will be looking forward to future pieces

Shawn Paul

Thank you for your comment and kind words, bigtruck88! I'll aim to please with my future posts.

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