Most country folks know what a bush hog is and what it means to perform that task but for the uninitiated a bush hog is a glorified lawn mower pulled behind a tractor that is suited to cutting high brush and small trees over rough terrain.
I am an expert in this art so much so that I’ve recently been elected to the Bush Hogging Hall of Fame. I am therefore a card carrying charter member of this prestigious organization.
In order to be considered for this esteemed award there are several pre-requisites that must be met.
1) The candidate must have logged a minimum of 10,000 hours on the seat of a Farmall Super C tractor or any tractor of a larger dimension.
This proves the dedication of the aspiring Hall of Famer. It also insures a goodly number of saddle sores on ones hindparts. I was actually able to become eligible on this point by the age of 16.
2) The aspiring nominee must have been involved in at least three noteworthy accidents resulting in bodily injury in order to prove his or her bravery and resiliency.
In my case I submitted the following accident reports:
In 1969 during my freshman season of bush hogging I drove off into an old well that was strategically placed right out in the middle of a large field and was unmarked in any way. While running along at a brisk pace I was fortunate enough to put one of the back tires in said well and was then unceremoniously dumped sideways off the tractor resulting in severe head trauma, a couple of hundred stitches, and a busted lip. The committee was impressed by that one.
In 1972 after having become an old hand at tractoring with bush hogs I was attempting to cut the bank of our pond which required mowing on a fairly steep side grade. As it turned out the gradient was a little too much angle and the tractor fell off in the lake. I of course hit the water with enough force to knock me senseless. I then proceeded to flounder. The only thing that saved me was daddy’s lightning reflexes in pulling me out. Actually he jerked me out in order to administer a scolding regarding the ruination of his equipment and as an unintended consequence saved me from drowning.
The last accident I put on my resume’ was an encounter with a monstrous yellow jacket nest that was ingeniously dug into the ground. When the bush hog disturbed the little critters they boiled out, chased down the offending machinery and driver and proceeded to vent their frustration on both. In the aftermath it was obvious I’d gotten the worst of it coming away with a face that was similar in shape to a balloon and a level of pain so high that modern medicine could not relieve it.
3) The third pre-requisite for consideration to the Hall of Fame is that the applicant must have accounted for at least $25,000 worth of damage over the course of his career.
When I saw this question on the form I just referred them to the above incidents:
Forthwith, one torn off back tire and one Farmall Super C at the bottom of the lake. Additionally I have accounted for other minor damages including but not limited to — busted blades, severed exhaust pipes, flat tires, and pierced radiators. I even got a ticket from a State Patrolman once for reckless driving on a major artery by a farm vehicle, but the committee threw that one out because it didn’t fall under the damages category. I wound up with the damages when daddy saw the ticket.
As a side note, I also threw in the fact that I’d been in a couple of fatal accidents involving domesticated farm animals hoping to improve my chances of gaining entrance to the Hall of Fame, but the committee was unimpressed with that tidbit.
After all was said and done I made it in a cakewalk. Several of the members later told me privately that they had never seen a more impressive overall application. Having scaled that mountain, I’m looking for new heights to climb.
Since it looks like the hunting and fishing halls of fame are not going to come calling I’ve set my sights on the Weedeaters Hall of Fame, and believe that I’ve got a better than average chance at that one too.
By the way, if you are interested in getting into the Bush Hogger’s Hall of Fame you can call 1-800 –BUTSORE for more information.
They are really nice people but they all walk funny.
Articles and columns by Alvin Richardson about hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports will appear weekly in the Statesboro Herald. Richardson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.