Ditch the see-throughs because they make you change your hold, which can make for inconsistent shooting. Worse yet, to look through the scope, you have to raise your face up off the cheek piece. The cheek piece helps to hold your head steady while you aim. On a see-through, your head is not braced and it is much easier to get parallax, especially if you are using a low- to mid-priced scope. If you want to be able to see up close, get a variable that will go down to 2.5X and use a regular mounting system.
The XS ghost ring is similar to a peep sight, but with a much larger aperture. Large enough, in fact, that you can fairly easily lead your target and still keep the thoracic cavity within the aperture.
The only difference between my Marlin and the one pictured here
is that mine is a full-sized 1895, not the guide gun. The sight in this picture is the same as mine. They're not cheap, but they're pretty easy to install. About the only complaint (which is the same complaint for installation of any rear sight) I have is that they aren't the easiest to sight in. There are left- and right-windage screws, which makes it kind of tricky to get on the center line of the gun. After that, it's straight-forward. But, that's better than having to use a drift pin and brass hammer to get on the center line, like lots of other aperture systems.
Snakes can be a problem, especially around here. I am a nurse now, and we probably get two or three snake bite victims in the ER a week in our little community/rural 51 bed hospital. The worst are the cane brake rattlers (AKA timber rattlers), but we have cotton mouths and copperheads aplenty. Most of our snakebites are copperheads. Other than some pain and swelling and a possible secondary infection from a puncture wound, they aren't too bad. Cane brakes and cotton mouths can get big, and envenomations by them can lead to extensive soft tissue injury. This time of year, you'd be smart to wear greaves/shin guards of some sort. You'll also see the occasional coral snake. Their venom is horribly toxic, but bites are rare, and envenomations are rarer still. They're elapids (as opposed to vipers), meaning they have fixed fangs, and their fangs are kind of far back in their mouth. As a frame of reference, cobras, kraits, and mambas are elapids also.
You can hunt pigs from a tree stand, but it is more fun from the ground. If you want meat, just throw out a bunch of sour mash (dump some corn into a bucket of water and let it sit out in the sun a few days) within 40 or 50 yards of where your stand will be. It may take them 2 or 3 days to show up, but they will if there are any in the area. Then, just take your pick of what you want to harvest. Since they're not game animals, there are no restrictions on baiting them, either. IF you want a wall-hanger, you'll need to get out on the ground. Not always an easy thing with the kind of vegetation we have around here.
Ticks can be a problem, but usually where there are fire ants, you don't see very many ticks. Ticks are a much bigger problem in the Hill Country and West Texas than around here (too dry out there for fire ants), though we do have them. Red bugs (chiggers) can be absolutely HELLATIOUS when it's warm out, and I probably don't need to tell you much about the mosquitoes. A hog has an insanely sensitive nose, so repellant use is a coin toss. I wear it, but mostly for the red bugs. Mosquitoes are an annoyance, but getting covered in red bugs is a week of total misery. The worst thing about red bugs is you won't know you've picked any up until a day or two later.
There are loads of offshore outfits located in Galveston. I've been out on the TexSun II
a few times. Good captain, good crew. You can book 4, 8, and 12 hour trips. If you don't have sea legs, take some dramamine, scopolomine, or benadryl an hour or two before you go out. The 4 hour (1 hour out, 2 hours of fishing, and 1 hr back) trips go for as little as about $35 or $40, and the 12-hour (4 out, 4 fishing, and 4 back) is something like $80-$100 if you go during the week. They supply the tackle and the bait (usually chopped squid, though you can buy sardines or shad if you like). If you're skittish about not being able to see land, avoid the 12 hour trip, at least at first. You'll be about 50 or 60 miles off shore.
Never hunted for gators, so I can't tell you anything about it. There is a gator farm in Anahuac (about an hour east of Houston on I-10). They do airboat rides and stuff like that, too. Check the TPWD web site to get info on gators.