What do fire ants, Asian tiger mosquitos, kudzu, coyotes and armadillos have in common? They are all non-native to the state of Georgia. Non-native species are animals, plants and other organisms that did not historically occur in Georgia. Currently, Georgia has more than 200 non-native fish, animals, plants and insects that have now found a home in the state.
This week I am going to write a little about hunting in the summertime rather than writing mostly about the subject of fishing. However, I have been doing some summertime fishing over the last few weeks and it has gotten tougher with the heat in the air and in the water.
I was recently diagnosed with cutaneous lupus, which makes me allergic to the sun’s rays. A devastating diagnosis for an angler. There is a somewhat workaround solution that involves completely covering up with special clothing and sunscreen to block the harmful rays of the sun.
If you see an angler on the lake that looks like a bank robber that is likely just me. To recognize me, just look at my eyes because that is the only thing you can see. My eyes are brown, just in case you see me on the lake. On a serious note, the sun can damage your skin and cause skin cancer. I am also dealing with almost monthly visits to my dermatologist to remove skin cancers.
Not only do the sun’s rays affect my skin, but the sun’s rays also make the entire body have a hard time just handling the heat due to lupus. Therefore, during this very hot summer I have resorted to fishing mostly early and late in the day. Early and late in the day can be the best time to fish assuming the push/pull operation at the Wallace Dam is working in your favor.
Lately, the afternoon bite has not been good at Lake Sinclair because the push of water into the lake from Lake Oconee has occurred earlier in the day before I hit the lake. In better times, it did not matter what time the push or pull occurred because I generally was on the water all day even when it was hot. The bass have been SLOWLY hitting a Carolina rigged Trick worm late in the day with no current, but the crankbait bite has not been great.
Now the morning bite when they have been pulling water up to Lake Oconee has been good in shallow water, especially around docks and grass. However, that good morning bite has been interrupted by one of those non-native species that I mentioned and have written about several times. There has been a major invasion of armadillos in my neighborhood. If you have not had to deal with this ugly and stinking animal, call yourself lucky.
I have dealt with armadillos in the past but normally only one or two a year. I have an efficient way of dealing with the animal. Any time I see armadillo sign in my yard I strategically place driveway monitors near where I see complete flowers dug up or four square feet of sod turned upside down.
The second part or piece of the driveway monitor system (an alarm) rests by my nightstand where I also have my clock set for early morning fishing. That monitor alarm piece lets out with a loud scream if something comes close to the other monitor piece in the yard. Unfortunately, neighborhood cats and dogs (I wish they ate armadillos) and deer (another story in a few weeks) also set off the alarm.
I have harvested four armadillos in my yard in the last two weeks. Now, you can understand what getting up several times during the night for various animals has done to my early morning fishing. Believe me, I will give up morning fishing any day just to rid my yard of armadillos. This week brought the number to 13 of those nasty rascals that have invaded my yard.
Armadillos are not a protected species and can be harvested year-round. Some people apparently think the armadillo is good table fare. I have heard them called “possum on the half shell.” During the Great Depression, armadillos were known as “Hoover Hogs” by Americans who had no choice but to eat them. President Hoover promised a “chicken in every pot” but it turned out to be an “armadillo in every pot.”
I think I will stick to chicken. I have not had any offers for the armadillos I have harvested thus far, but if you might be interested in some possums for “possum on the half shell” just drop me an email.
I have read about all the different ways to eliminate armadillos from a yard. I tried them all and none worked until I found one surefire way. My surefire way is a 20-gauge shotgun loaded with buckshot. Lesser loads will work, but why take a chance? Just remember to alert your neighborhood because one shot with buckshot at 3 a.m. will definitely arouse them from a deep sleep.
Now, when I see one of my neighbors at the local dumpster or at Walmart the greeting that I normally hear is “I heard you got one last night.” Maybe the armadillos will give me a little break so I can get back to some early morning fishing.
Good fishing and good hunting if you know what I mean. See you next week.
Outdoor columnist Bobby Peoples can be contacted by email at email@example.com.