Part of the reasoning behind keeping Old Stoney is that I get a free membership in the neighboring hunt club. This gives access to several
thousand acres of woods and swamp that surround the property, as well as to the club's boat landings and sand bars on the Wateree River.
At least, that's my story. A couple of them have figured out that it's just a cover.
In the winter of 2004-5 the club hired a bulldozer to clear a number of game food plots in parts of the swamp that had been clear cut some years
before. Here's one such:
Some of the plots, including this one, were accessible only by roads that had been made to timber cutters' specs; that is, everything, including
the top layer of dirt, pushed out of the way. That results in a road that is lower than the surrounding woods, also known as "a bog hole."
The shot above is the last stretch of road before one of the new food plots. The next is facing the other way, with the opening to the plot on the right:
Old Stoney's job was to lower the water level at the plot and cut a new road alongside the worst parts of the old one.While the bulldozer
was still there it cut an access path to a nearby 'gut,' part of the old drainage system cut through the swamp before the war, when it was
still being farmed. Rice and indigo, back then in the pre-cotton days.
Here's a shot looking down the gut from the access point:
And here's a shot of the trail the bulldozer cut, maybe two hundred feet from the water in the gut to the water on the road:
When your main tool is a backhoe your usual solution is a ditch:
That's the first afternoon's dig, about a hundred and fifty feet. The water follows the dig from the gut, keeping the bottom level.
The next morning the ditch got finished. Water flows from the road -
Down the ditch -
And into the gut -
With the water going down it was time to start working on the road.
There's always more road work to be done in the swamp. Some of it we bring on ourselves.