TIGER, Ga. — Many of you know that Seth Emerson and I are currently hard at work on the annual “Next Generation” series. This is when we go out and visit with as many of the 2016 signees as we can to learn a little more about them beyond their recruiting ranking and 40-yard-dash times.
Well, I wanted to share a quick funny story about Charlie Woerner, with whom I was visiting Wednesday at Rabun County High School.
I got to the school about 9 a.m. with the expectation of meeting the wide receiver/tight end prospect with the famous last name. But I was greeted there instead by his father, Kent Woerner. Mr. Woerner informed me that his son was running late.
The reason: He’d killed a wild hog late the previous night.
Now anybody who has read much about the Woerners knows that they’re a hunting family. And what better place to do that than the mountainous outreaches of their Rabun County spread.
Now Charlie, not the world’s most talkative kid, explained the event this way: “They (the hogs) came down through there about 10:20. We were waiting. I turned the (infrared) light on and shot it. It dropped in 15 yards.”
“We” includes Charlie and his older brother Peter. Asked where exactly they were, Charlie said: “Behind our house. It’s on our property. We have a hog problem out there.”
His father – who is running for a Republican seat in the state house, by the way – provided a little more context.
“For about two months, they’ve been setting up game cameras on some trails back behind the house,” Kent Woerner said. “They’ve been doing it to learn the patterns of the wild animals. They’ve had turkey on there, they’ve had deer. The raccoons are hilarious; they’re always stopping and looking at the camera. Well, about two weeks ago, they saw the hogs on there and, it’s time-stamped, so they could see what time they were coming through.
“We’ve had a problem in our area. Our neighbor that lives behind us, hogs have been tearing up their yard and rooting through their flower beds. They’re very destructive. They need to be captured or killed and we’ve been trying to get rid of them. They noticed they were coming by about 10:30 or 11:30 every night. So they just put up their deer stands and waited.”
Charlie and Peter waited out there a couple of nights with no luck. Finally, Tuesday night, they patience paid off.
“They heard them coming through the woods,” Kent Woerner said. “There were four of them. Charlie thought it was a bear at first. It came barreling through the woods. Charlie shot it with a shotgun. He had a slug and he took it out with one shot. The other three got away. The one they got was the smallest one.”
The reason for Charlie’s tardiness getting to school? He had to clean it, of course. But it’s worth the trouble.
“I’m gonna eat it,” he said.
By the way, Woerner expects to play tight end for the Bulldogs and recently won the Region 8-AA championship in the discus and shot put. He also finished third in the 100 meters and advances to state as a result.
I’ll have much more on Woerner and his fascinating seven-member family in his Next Generation profile. Be sure to check back.