My brother joined me and Barry Estes, owner of Alabama Hog Control, for a little hunting and feral hog eradication last weekend down in central Alabama.
The property we were on was a giant cattle farm that’s leased for deer and turkey hunting. A main creek with some smaller creeks, all in hardwoods, wend through a portion of the property. Most of the rest is pasture. Gorgeous land, typical for the area, with some oaks probably a few hundred years old, limbs dripping with Spanish moss, and stifling humidity taken apparently from a corner of hell.
I’m used to it, though. Living in the Southeast, you grow up with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Last year we had a cold winter — for us — and I haven’t heard as much griping about ice and snow and such in years. “When is it eeeeevvvver going to warm up!?” and now that it’s hot, folks are complaining about the heat. Buncha whiners!
We survived the evening and morning stalks through the woods looking for dastardly piggies. Man, they’re bad on crops. I know some of y’all in the upper Midwest think it would be cool to have them and hunt them, but trust me when I say you don’t want them. They are fun to hunt, no doubt. I love it. But feral hogs are indiscriminate about the food sources they can ravage, they compete with deer for food, they multiply prolifically and they can destroy a field.
Back to the hunting, though. We pounded the water and Powerade Zero from our well-iced coolers. I try to avoid sugary drinks, sodas or the athletic drinks, because sugar in your stomach makes your body think something needs to be digested. That internal body energy is directed at your stomach, when there’s nothing there but fluid, and it’s not helpful. Replenish your body with plenty of water and non-sugary drinks.
One other thing I learned about the energy-sapping humidity in this good story from Runner’s World is that high humidity helps shut down your body’s ability to get rid of sweat. When you sweat, it evaporates if the humidity is low enough. A breeze helps, too. That helps keep you cooler. If the humidity’s too high then it doesn’t evaporate and your body doesn’t cool down as easily.
So … stay hydrated, wear performance clothing like Under Armour’s ColdBlack gear or new ArmourVent gear that wicks away moisture, take water and an extra shirt with you, take rest breaks, don’t overdo it, and be smart. Use your brain if you’re out and about this summer at deer camp, checking cameras, chasing hogs or exercising to get into shape for the deer season.
Oh, and we killed some hogs. More on that later.
— Alan Clemons, Southern Managing Editor
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