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by Dave ‘Coonbottom” O’Kane

by Dave “Coonbottom” O’Kane The bounty hole. There is nothing fancy about it. Just a deep, long mud pit. Not too much to it. Some might have guard rails or flags for boundaries, while others might just be the back part of a corn field.

I am not sure who coined the phrase “Bounty Hole” or even when or where they first started popping up, but now it seems like every organized mud bog you go to has one. And, for die-hard mudboggers like me, that is a good thing!

Don’t get me wrong, seeing mud trucks race down a track or catch some major air while jumping hills is a good way to spend the afternoon, but watching a driver push his truck to the limit just to crawl a few inches farther than the last guy is what makes muddy legends.

All bounty holes are basically set up the same, however each venue may have slightly different rules.

The one thing that is pretty much universal is that all trucks start from the same spot and must begin stationary. They usually are not allowed a running start off the line. After that, the rules are pretty much up to whoever is organizing the competition. How the trucks are measured for length can vary, whether the cable is attached to the truck prior to the start is another option.

There can be a set time limit, or the driver’s “run” is deemed over when his forward progress stops.

Even the order in which the trucks run can be different (and sometimes can determine who wins!).

Is the winner determined by who crosses the hole the fastest, or just who makes it the furthest?

Do you break up the trucks into different classes to make it more fair, or do you let a basically stock truck run against a tractor tire truck?

A seemingly simple concept can get quite complicated the more competitive the event gets (and the more money that is on the line).

But, you get the idea. Regardless of how the rules are set up, the end result is the same – beat the other trucks!

As far as bounty holes go, Iron Horse Mud Ranch in Perry, Florida has a nice set-up. It might not be the most famous (or infamous), but any chance to run a mud truck against your friends is a good reason to show up.

Not only did big names in mud bogging from all across Florida show up last month, but a few trucks from all around the Southeast ended up making the trip to Iron Horse in May. There was plenty of good mud bogging action, but the words that kept coming out of everyone’s mouth was, “When is the bounty hole starting?”

Say what you will about Florida State football in recent years, but I am a diehard FSU fan. But, whether at a game or just watching it on TV, I hardly ever get up and cheer for my team.

That being said, this past month, as I was watching truck after truck struggle to claw its way to the other side of the bounty hole, I caught myself getting up and yelling for my favorite drivers, shaking my fist in the air like FSU had just kicked the winning field goal.

Each driver pushed their vehicle to the absolute breaking point. Engine valve springs were strained to rebound, transmission fluid boiled until it almost reached the flash point, and axle shafts nearly snapped.

All of this for a little bit of cash and some bragging rights! Each vehicle was set up differently, but each one had as good a chance as the others to take home the prize.

That is the great thing about a bounty hole event. It isn’t always the biggest or baddest truck. Often, the driver’s skill and determination can make up for the fact that he doesn’t have 1,300 horse power under the hood!

A driver can say, “To heck with tomorrow...I am going to go the farthest, no matter what.”

It doesn’t matter who has the most money in their rig. Any bounty hole event can be a huge upset! An entire football season can hinge on whether a running back stretches his arm that extra inch needed to cross the goal line, and a driver’s season (and reputation) can be determined by just one inch – one inch can separate victory from defeat.

That is hard-core mud bogging!

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June 1-3 – Soggy Bottom Mud Pit Mud Mania Weekend

Soggy Bottom Mud Pit in St. George (Macclenny), Georgia will host Mud Mania Weekend June 1-3. The awesome weekend of mud, trucks, music and fun will include a $1,000 bounty hole, “Boots & Bikini” contest, live music by Moccasin Creek, Old Dixie Highway Band and Roxation. ATVs and UTVs are welcome. Soggy Bottom Mud Pit is located 1/2 mile across the Florida-Georgia line off Hwy. 121 in Macclenny, Ga. (www.SoggyBottom MudPit.com). Take I-10 to Macclenny Exit 335 (Hwy 121). Take Hwy 121 north approximately 7 miles to the FL/GA state line and Soggy Bottom will be 1/2 mile on your right after crossing the state line. GPS Address: 1000 Highway 121, St. George, Georgia 31562.

June 29-July 1 REDNECK YACHT CLUB Massive July 4 Party!

Redneck Yacht Club (RYC) in Punta Gorda is throwing a massive party June 29-July 1 as part of their July 4th celebration . Come join all of your friends for mud racing, live entertainment, games and camping. The Mega Truck Bad Boys Triple Crown Series will be putting on a show, as the “Baddest of the Bad” compete for $40,000 in total payout. Come let loose at the largest Fourth of July celebration in the state. “We’ll supply the mud, you bring the party!” RYC features trail riding, three mud holes, a 500-foot oval mud track, drive-thru buggy/ATV wash, plenty of parking, restrooms and food. For more information, see ad on page 64, go to RedneckYachtClubMudPark.com or call (941) 505-8465.

July 6-8 – Creek Bottom ATV Park 7th Annual Firecracker Bash

Creek Bottom ATV Park in Doles, Ga. will hold its 7th annual “Firecracker Bash” on July 6-8, 2012 in Doles, Ga. Brian Fisher and the “Fish Crew” from Fisher’s ATV World will be at Creek Bottom on Saturday, July 7 filming for their 2012 “Keepin’ It Real” tour and visiting with riders. Creek Bottom offers free primitive camping, showers and an ATV wash. For more information, call 352-816-3576 or 352-843-8504 and go to www.CreekBottom ATVPark.com.

(For the rest of this month's scheduled events pick up the current 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!