Fauna Figgerin’ Facts

On The Back Page With Daryl Gay, March 2018

Daryl Gay | March 1, 2018

It must be a daunting task, this keeping tabs on all the flora and fauna in our big ol’ state. Why, they’s folks who dedicate their whole lives to running herd on deer and turkeys and quail and such. Get paid for it, too.

I have nothing but respect for the wildlife biologists, DNR rangers, college students and such who conduct all these studies that will ultimately help determine your seasons and bag limits. To that end, I have some advice for them, which we’ll get to along and along.

Can’t tell you much about flora, although I will eat a collard green or two seein’ it’s accompanied by the proper fauna.

Say, a pork chop.

But whoever heard of a professor who majored in collards, anyway? And if I happened to be introduced to one at some gathering, it’d be time to start scouting for the back door.

On the other hand, while I ain’t exactly no P, H or D, a half-century of my life has gone into keeping tabs on a whole heap of diverse fauna. And technically that would be faunas, I reckon.

And this is where my friend Larry comes in. Yo, fauna figgerers—you need to know about Larry. Count all you care to, but if he ain’t factored in, you’re gonna wind up with a skewed aggregate!

For starters, Larry is a catcher of things. What happens to the catchees is where your sums come in.

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that for 30 long nights, you’ve conducted feral hog analysis on a 500-acre tract. Research tallies reveal two distinct groups of swine, 18 in one, 22 in the other.

Go round your fingers and toes twice, and that’ll give you a nice round 40. And just as you’re conducting reviews for the final flow chart to determine whether or not these could be problem porker packs—they wander over to Larry’s, which yields pork chops, sausage links and a pair of Boston butts and flushes your dissertation neatly down the tubes and puts you back to Square One. Go ahead and haul out your erasers, boys.

Why? Simply because hogs on Larry’s land have very dim futures.

Their prospects for ever bettering themselves went right down with the trap door. Better said, ain’t no hog leaving Larry on its own four hooves.

Want a wild hog? Larry might just make you a present of one—with a condition, of course. Oh, you can take it, all right, but only one of two ways: dead or double dead!

I really like Larry. Larry really is a good friend, but I’m really glad I ain’t a hog when Larry is around.

And all you researchers out there should be grateful for the fact that I prevented Larry from looking you up.

Yeah, he called one morning, saying, “I need a game warden’s number. Or maybe a biologist.”


“Checked my hog trap. Bear in there.”

“So, turn it loose.”

“I can’t just do that. They’re gonna want to know all about the location, size, boy or girl, may even wanna tranquilize it and put a tag on it.”

“Boy or girl? Really? It’s a bear. Turn it loose.”

“You just want me to get in trouble! You ain’t going to give me a number of one of your game warden buddies?”

“No, because they ARE my buddies. Turn it loose.”

Eventually, he argued me down, so I instructed him to look on the DNR website for the proper person to call. (To whomever answered the phone: sorry about that!)

Later, I called him back to get the rest of the story.

“What did they say?”

“Aww, shut up.”

“Turn it loose, eh? That’s what I figured.”

To my knowledge, that bear is the only caught critter to ever leave Larry alive and running.

But the handsome specimen mentioned beforehand… Seems the hog went to rippin’, rearin’ and poppin’ his jaws as Larry approached. Which was not altogether brilliant because, who knows, Larry might have been coming to turn him loose, too.

Although admittedly extremely unlikely.

Guess some hogs are just born with a bad attitude. That, however, has been adjusted.


Order your copy of Daryl Gay’s books, “Rabbit Stompin’ And Other Homegrown Safari Tactics,” $19.95 plus $3 S&H and “Life On the Back Page,” $14.95 plus $3 S&H from or 16 Press, 219 Brookwood Drive, Dublin, GA, 31021.

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