Killer Bees and Killer Bulls Give Fright in South Texas

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Photo courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service

Nothing frightens me more in the wilds of Texas than bees, particularly the deadly Africanized “killer” bees. These bees are spreading and have firmly established populations in the Brush Country and part of the Trans-Pecos and Hill Country.

The sting of one bee might only cause some pain (unless you’re allergic) but the wrath of a swarm could spell death.

In the spring of 2003, I had a truly frightening bee experience. While using a box call to lure in a lonely gobbler, I heard what I literally thought was a low-flying plane in the distance. All of a sudden, a shadow passed overhead and I looked up to see a massive swarm of bees less than 30 feet up. I remained calm, said a little prayer, and watched the huge swarm pass by.

After talking with ranch officials, I learned the Africanized kind is present in the area, and thanked God the swarm did not sense how frightened I was. In fact, I was filming a segment for Keith Warren’s television program and once the bees moved a great distance, I told the cameraman to hit record.

“They see bees can smell fear,” I said.

Photo courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service

“That’s not true! I was just more frightened than I have ever been and about 10,000 bees flew over our heads.”

A few years before, I guided my father on a hunt for red deer out in Kerr County. After bagging a big 8-pointer, we hoisted it into a strong oak and began to skin it. Suddenly, thousands of bees moved in, started buzzing all around us, and began to cover the animal. Dad backed his truck up under the deer, I cut the hoist down, and we moved more than a mile away.

Bees are scary and so are angry bulls.

In 2003 TFG Hunting Editor Lou Marullo and I were hunting again but this time near Mason, TX and this time we ran into a very mean bull.

I was set up a few feet away from Marullo in a makeshift ground blind to film him (hopefully) shooting an axis deer. A couple of hours into the hunt a big, black bull came in and stood about 20 feet in front of me. This thing looked like the Anti-Christ with a toothache.

The beast struck an enraged pose as it fixated on me. I tried not to look scared, but it was too late. The bull had fire and brimstone raging in its eyes.

I did not know whether to remain still or stand up and let the bull know I was a human. Just then, Marullo chunked a few rocks at the thing and broke its concentration. The ugly thing soon walked off and I breathed a sigh of relief. I could have sworn I saw three sixes on its hind end, but that could have been the heat getting to me.

After the hunt, I told Marullo I was glad the bull did not kill me for more than one reason. I can see the obituary now: “Chester Moore: dove with great white sharks in the Pacific, milked rattlesnakes at the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup, waded through piranha-infested waters in South American—killed by domestic cattle.”

Chester Moore, Jr.

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