Bird Hunting at Big Boggy in 1894


Historic Accounts of Life in South Texas

From "A Man From Corpus Christi or The Adventures of Two Bird Hunters and a dog in Texan Bogs" by Dr. A. C. Peirce Published 1894
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Early the next morning Mr. Priour made an important discovery. Gazing about in search of game he had seen a heron descend in the swamp miles away.

Now, when you see a heron go down among the trees do you know what it means ?

No. What does it mean?

It means a good many things. It means first, that tnere's a lake or something out there; and it means that if there is a lake there, there's hundreds more of herons roosting all over it. You'll find herons up there's thick's fleas, now, I'll be dog-on'd if we don't.

After breakfast a walk of two miles brought us to a lake or mud hole from fifty to a hundred yards in width, and, as far as we ever knew, from one end of the earth to the other in length. This body of mire was so completely filled up with small bushes and rank annual weeds that it was impossible to see across it in most places.

It was boggy, but Mr. Priour crossed over on the shrubbery, and, one on each side, we proposed to search for game.

Beating the brush over here for two miles, we found herons in abundance. Snowy, little blue, yellow - crowned night, Louisiana and other herons apparently had the place for their headquarters. I killed nine or ten of these, and hearing Mr. Priour shoot quite often, supposed he was killing many more.

This pond was also headquarters for hundreds of alligators, and as alligators like birds, and the latter almost invariably fell in the mud when shot, I had to work actively to get my game after killing it. Sometimes I was too late and my prize would be seized and disposed of before I could climb over the reeking logs and snags to reach it.

Returning to camp I found my partner had brought fewer birds than I. He told me he had killed twenty or more, but as they had fallen into the mud among a thousand alligators he had thought best not to go in after them.

He was surprised at the number I had taken, and thought they must have fallen on the land on my side. When I assured him that they had all dropped into the bog and that I had unhesitatingly gone among the alligators after them, he applied the term of "devilish fool" to me and said it was a wonder I had not lost a leg or two by my foolishness. "Fools step in where angels fear to tread. "

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