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by Dave ‘Coonbottom” O’Kane

“We’re finally here!”

After riding in the back seat of a Yukon for six hours, I was more than ready to stand up and check the layout of the mud bog we had just arrived at.

It had been a long, boring ride, but from what I was told, this place was well worth the trip! It was the place to be for December mud-bogging!

Before we even arrived, we were informed there could be no glass containers or firearms. This was a minor inconvenience since our refreshments for the weekend were in glass bottles, but rules are rules.

Organized venues have these rules for a reason, and I have no problem complying with security that has been hired to enforce the rules.

When a venue has security officials working a large crowd, it is for our own good. When you combine several thousand people and high horsepower rigs, it can be a recipe for disaster without adequate rules and enforcement.

Security is there to keep us safe. I, like many people, like to kick back and have a few cold ones at a mud bogging event. Drinking is somewhat ingrained into mud bogging, but it is up to the individual to decide whether or not to partake, and to what extent. The fact remains that people go to a mud bog to relax and have fun.

I am a firm believer that if a person has had “one too many,” event staff or security should step in and prevent that person from doing something that could potentially harm themselves or others.

It is a matter of simple math. As more and more people attend mud-bogging events, the odds of someone getting hurt (alcohol-related or not) inevitably rises. If an injury (or fatality) occurs, it will become more difficult to obtain the necessary permits and insurance needed to put on these large events.

Event security staff are a necessary evil. You might have to pour out your beverage or call it an early day behind the wheel, but that is a small sacrifice compared to having a venue closed because someone acted recklessly.

Some property owners and promoters have small fortunes tied up in making their place the best mud-bog around. It would be a shame to see all of their investment and hard work ruined because someone had a few too many – not to mention WE ALL LOSE a place to play in the mud and enjoy our sport.

However, with that being said, I believe there has to be balance. Mud-bogging is supposed to be fun. As I mentioned in a previous article, there is a certain freedom about bogging. It is a rush! A chance to show off to your friends, party with thousands and even make new friends by sharing a Mason jar.

When law enforcement or security staff are too strict, it takes away the fun. A person (who is not operating a vehicle and has a designated driver) shouldn’t have to worry about getting a ticket for drinking a beer at a mud bog.

There needs to be common sense exercised by all parties involved. Knowing “when to say when” should apply not only to the spectators and drivers, but also security and law enforcement. Otherwise, spectators and fans will choose to go elsewhere to have fun.

As I crammed myself into the back seat of the Yukon for the long ride home, I found myself wondering if the weekend would have been more fun without what seemed to me to be too many security officers. Several times throughout the weekend, I felt I had a target on my back just because I had a drink in my hand.

But, I also had to admit that a weekend of “security overkill” sure beats a trip to the ER.

Driver of the Month

This month we continue our “Driver of the Month” feature by highlighting “Spare Parts Doug” Stapleton of St. Cloud, Florida.

Recently, Doug introduced his new truck – a '97 Chevy-powered Ford F-150 – to the world at Triple Canopy Ranch's Trucks Gone Wild freestyle event after showing off the horsepower while bogging at Pudding Creek in October.

Doug finished working on the truck, drove it on the trailer and did his very public “test and tune” in front of several thousand people during the freestyle competition at TCR where he caught some impressive air.

The truck is powered by a 518 big-block Chevy engine born out of Central Florida Machine and Speed shop.

Doug was introduced to the world of mud-bogging by his dad at the age of 6. In this day and age, when it seems more and more “big-name” mud-boggers are building trucks solely for mud racing, Spare Parts Doug says he plans to continue “bogging” with his truck.

For anyone who has seen the “old” Spare Parts Bronco in action over the last 10 years, you know great things are sure to come out of this new rig.

Be sure to come out to an upcoming bog and see why Spare Parts Doug is our “Driver of the Month!”

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Dec. 31-Jan. 2 – Redneck Yacht Club New Year’s Weekend Bash

Redneck Yacht Club in Punta Gorda will host a full, three-day weekend of mud-bogging over New Year’s Eve weekend. See ad on page 52, call (941) 505-8465 or check out: www.redneckyachtclubfl.com.

Dec. 31-Jan. 2 – Hog Waller Mud Bog New Year’s Blow Out

Hog Waller Mud Bog will hold a New Year’s Blow Out On Dec. 31-Jan. 2 in Palatka, including a “guided night ride” on New Year’s Eve. The Hog will also feature live music Saturday night, as The Red River Band will rock the over 700 acres of new trails and mud in Palatka. See ad on page 53 or go to: www.HogWallerMudBog.com for more details.

Dec. 31-Jan 2 – Horse Hole Creek

Horse Hole Creek in Inglis will “Sling ‘N the New Year” on Dec. 31-Jan. 2. For more info, visit www.mudup.com or call 352-447-5538.

Jan. 8-9 – Hog Waller Mud Bog ATV/UTV Weekend

Hog Waller Mud Bog will hold its monthly ATV/UTV Only Weekend on Jan. 8-9 on over 700 acres of new trails and mud in Palatka. See ad on page 53 or go to: www.HogWallerMudBog.com.

(For the rest of this month's scheduled events pick up the January issue of Woods 'n Water Magazine.)

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For more in-depth off-road coverage, pick up this month's issue of Woods 'n Water, click on our forums page http://www.woodsnwater.net/forums for the "Offroad" section and be sure to visit http://www.woodsnwater.net/boggin for awesome video and photos of recent events around the South!