Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Please Don't Call Me Bogsucker

Not even a mother could love a name like that. You gotta really hate something to call it a bogsucker. My guess is that somewhere along the way a guy came home with an empty bag after flushing a dozen or so and in a sour-grape fit of frustration coined the term. Of course anyone who's hunted them knows that the little devils can be deceptively hard to bring down and I'd be comfortable taking the over on the number of non-flattering names that didn't stick.

Poor bird was behind from the get go, what with a bill more suited to a shorebird, a brain in the back seat and an appetite for things that live in the dirt, not above it.  Prefers to hang out in the less scenic coverts.  Lately people have been posting pictures online of deformities in the species.  They don't do that to quail, do they?

I guess I'm bringing all this up because I failed to get even one opportunity to hunt them this year.  A cold wave moves through, freezes the ground and BAM, the season is gone before it even started.  The birds keep on truckin south, leaving us wishing and cursing and calling them names and complaining in general that it's not supposed to get this cold for this long in South Carolina.  A higher power with a greater purpose is responsible, I suppose.  Probably ought to shoot an email to Al Gore and let him know his work here is done.

In spite of all the weirdness attached to this bird  I still have a soft spot for it.  I've had lot of fun following a dog through thickets and cane breaks and creek banks, waiting for the bell to go quiet, putting a few in the bag from time to time.  And contrary to what a lot of folks will tell you, they do taste pretty good....if they're prepared right.  Don't ever freeze one, though.  Still, no reason to go calling them names.  If I'm gonna call them anything other than woodcock, I think I'll stick with timberdoodle.  Bottom line is you can't suck bog when the bog is frozen.


  1. We call them mudbats up in Maine, too. Slightly more polite and a little more of a tribute to their flight patterns!


  2. Hadn't heard that name before but you've got a point about the flight patterns. These guys are the Rodney Dangerfield of gamebirds.

  3. Bogsucker, huh? I wouldn't like that, either...

    I've always wanted to hunt woodcock. Never have had the opportunity, even though Robert F. Jones "Dancers in the Sunset Sky" is one of my favorite books.

  4. We host Johnathan Woodcock in some numbers down here in Louisiana. Ocassionally you'll hear him called Owl Snipe but mostly he's just woodcock.

  5. Owl Snipe's a new one on me. A good friend of mine calls them redneck pheasant but he's the only one I've heard use that term. Keep in mind that here in SC redneck is a compliment.