They say necessity is the mother of all inventions, and I wholeheartedly believe that and think that it is a wise saying. But I also think that if you show up every day, sometimes the light bulb just clicks — or maybe it’s just that since you are participating you just happen to inadvertently try some weird new twist and it works.
Whatever the case, people who do something often will have more tricks than someone who occasionally participates in that same activity. So with all of the above said, a week ago a buddy of mine, Christopher Robertson, and I went crappie fishing. For whatever reason, I threw in my Benjamin Marauder .22-caliber airgun and Chris threw in a .22. Good decision.
As we were driving into our hot spot, we started noticing quite a few whistle pigs out scurrying around. We suddenly went from crappie mode to whistle pig hunting mode. We shot a few and were having a good time. Of course, with the airgun, they pop back up faster than when using a .22 or especially a .17 HMR or a .223.
I guess it was turkey season, but I have never seen a turkey on the route that we were going to be driving, but Chris had thrown in a Quaker Boy Cyclone push box call just in case. We pulled up to a new spot and shot a couple of whistle pigs and then they went under. For whatever reason, Chris pulled out his Quaker Boy Cyclone push box and hit it a few times. Two or three whistle pigs popped up. I unloaded.
We pulled up to another new spot and shot a couple and of course they too stayed down after seeing their bros get wasted. Chris says, “I’ll try to call again.” Long story short, from then on after they went down, he’d say, “OK, you ready?” and I said “yep.” He’d hit the call and 99 percent of the time they’d start popping back up. We’re slow, but we were believers.
We shot whistle pigs for a couple hours and had a blast. Finally, we refocused and remembered we were supposed to be fishing. We finally reluctantly agreed that we had better finish our trek to the lake; after all, we had spent an hour packing our fishing gear.
I had to take out of town the next morning at 5:30 a.m. so we only had about five hours of fishing time. Well, theoretically, if we hadn’t of spent a couple hours shooting whistle pigs I guess we could of fished a bit longer.
I know I say this every two minutes, but gee I love Idaho in the spring time. How can you not? Between bear hunting, turkey hunting, mushroom hunting, whistle pig hunting and crappie fishing you can wear yourself out. Springtime in Idaho is flat out magical.
Any of the above activities could totally consume your free time, much less five of them. No wonder by the time spring has fizzled out I am flat out ragged out and swear off of anything outdoors for a couple of days to I can catch up on my sleep.
But then summer hits and it is off to the races again. Some day when I get old, I’m going to have to slow down. But in July my daughter and I have a big fishing trip planned to the historic Plummer’s Fishing Lodge in The Northwest Territories. That will be the best daddy/daughter date ever won’t it? I can’t wait.
Have a good Memorial day!
Tom Claycomb lives in Idaho and has outdoors columns in newspapers in Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Louisiana.