I was reminded of something this weekend … nonchalance and red wasps do not produce desirable results.
In preparation of the upcoming whitetail hunting season a close friend and I undertook the annual stand cleaning and maintenance routine at our deer lease. After having finished nearly 10 stands we were on our net to last stand and my nonchalance towards these virulent pests was (in hindsight) running high. I was inside the double wide stand sweeping out the floor when I noticed a couple of “old” and very small nests on the high ceiling. In my defense it should be noted … while doing some scouting last Sunday morning my brother sat in this stand from some hours lending some support to my estimation that these were “old” nests. Upon spying these nests I nonchalantly reached up and pull down a nest the size of a half dollar coin and tossed it out the window. Next I reach for one the size of a quarter. If you are at all familiar with red wasps you will know that it would be hard to hide a wasp behind a next the size of a quarter! Perhaps this could be noted as further evidence in my defense, no? The best defense does nothing to ease the shock and pain of a red wasp sting. I got popped on the index finger and immediately communicated this fact to my friend on the ground and likely the inhabitants of the immediately neighboring counties. Hopefully no child was able to understand what I was saying as it was not, to say the least, fit for sensitive ears! Having worked in construction and the oil patch much of my working life you can likely imagine the off color of my words, which I will not list here in case my mother or daughter should ever read this post. My wife, and likely you, know me well enough to imagine the choice words I used!
If you have bothered to read this far you likely already know how badly and for how long I was pained by the above event but let me tell you that it has been just about twenty four hours and it still hurts to touch. Fortunately I have not felt any “phantom stings” today but was still getting them just before bed last night, some tem to twelve hours after the actual sting. For those who have never been stung by a red wasp, should you ever get stung you can expect relatively mild phantom stings at the site of the actual sting for many hours following. At time these phantom stings maintain pace with your heart beat. What fun!
So the lesson is … yeah, yeah, yeah … red wasps are not inherently aggressive but it does not pay to lower your guard when you are in close proximity and do not at any time, no matter what, as sure as you may be, ever knock down a red wasp net, no matter how old, no matter what size, with anything other than something that is not your bare hand.
Happy hunting folks! J