08-31-2007, 05:08 PM #1
Adventure in God's Country (Long Post)
As a follow up to my "pre-season warm up" thread, I called my brother last night and let him know I was taking the day off so maybe we should go hog huntin this mornin. He decided it was a great idea and a good opportunity to do a little last minute scouting before the first day of our archery deer season which would be next Saturday. He agreed to pick me up around 7am.
At 7am this morning my brother informs me that he had been wanting to try his hand at filming a hunt and I was the guinea pig....make me famous big brother! After dropping my brother's little girls off at school, it was about a 20 minute drive to the river. Once there, we boarded my brothers top secret huntin machine, the hunter green EZ-GO. This thing is stealthy! About 100yds in on the electric buggy we rode up to within less than 20yds of a spike still in velvet and a really nice doe, they both had the most beautiful orange and red hue I had seen on a deer around these parts. After a brief stare down that seemed like a long while, we rolled on by. About 1/2 a mile in and it was time to ditch the buggy and set out on foot. We knew we were in for an exciting mornin.....we immediately spotted FRESH HOG SIGN! There was a pretty good rain last night and until about 5am this mornin and already there was tons of fresh sign in some of their favorite spots. We picked up a fresh trail leaving one of the more popular food plots and the stalk was on baby!
After about a 1 hour stalk we had narrowed down the hogs' location to a small bottom over the next ridge...roll film. Making our way into the creek bottom, we spotted fresh mud on the small trees nearby and decided we had to be right on top of them. As we stepped into the bottom off the creek bank, probably a 150lb hog bolted from inside a dead tree trunk only 20yds away at most. I brought my bow to the ready and my brother tried not to drop the camera while attempting to find the little beast in the viewfinder. I thought I noticed a slight limp in this hog's step just as he stopped to offer a brief broadside shot at about 40yds. I passed on the shot and watched him limp away towards the river. My brother and I agreed that we must have bumped these boys out of that food plot earlier and this one obviously fell behind and found a place to hole up due to his injury. It was time to double back and circle around to the right.
Another 45 minutes to an hour of making our way around to set up the ambush and a distinct squeal sounds out through the timber from our left, my guess was maybe 200yds away. We head to the left with our eyes and ears on alert. Only 100yds away the dense timber began to open up to a very large bottom area and we spotted movement about another 75 yards ahead.....roll film….again.
We crept in to about 50yds and set up where we thought the pork chops…uh, I mean hogs would slip out of the thick brush within grilling….uh, I mean shooting distance. As I get set up near the biggest tree I can get behind, I look up to see that the hogs are moving my way and are now are only about 40yds out but still in the thick stuff, I counted at least three good sized hogs. Seconds after that, I hear my brother whisper from somewhere nearby “turn around, they’re turning”. Sure enough they picked out a trail that would take them right behind me at about 25yds out. As inconspicuously as possible, I turned 180 degrees and began to draw my bow. At that very moment, I realized there were a lot more than 3 hogs nearby. I counted at lest 7 out of the corner of my eye and my brother said it was more like 10. At this point things are happening pretty fast, and the next few events probably took place within a time span of maybe 5-10 seconds. A pretty unique looking red colored hog caught my attention among the dark colored fur about 30yds away and I set my pin right behind the shoulder. In my mind I am confirming that I have a clean shot for a quick, humane kill but at the same time I realize that about halfway back in the line of hogs coming my way appears to be a small cow. I’m exaggerating of course, but this boar stood at least 12-18” taller than the rest and he was making his way to the front. This was probably the biggest feral hog I had seen around here in some time and I think my brother was thinking the same thing. I shifted my focus to an opening between 2 trees at about 28yds away and right on the path of the big boar. He never slowed down….at all. He passed through the opening safely as I hesitated just a fraction of a second. I blame it on the fact that my heart was pounding in my ears….breaking my concentration.
By this time, about 3-4 of the smaller hogs had stepped into the clearing maybe 25yds away. Thinking back on it, I could have easily made the shot on one of those smoker sized slabs of bacon BUT I wanted that big boar. I weren’t huntin for table fare now…I wanted braggin rights! One more chance….I set my pin just to the left of the last tree where the big boar would emerge from the trees. As he stepped behind the tree in question my heart pounded harder and my index finger began to tickle the trigger on my Scott Little Goose…….
In the meantime, I was vaguely aware that my brother was squatted down low just behind me and to my left. He had realized that I was waiting on the big boar and was trying to hold the camera still to get a zoomed in view of the money shot while simultaneously ranging the hogs nearby to reassure me of my distance, but there was a stand of tall grass between himself and the intended prey….he needed to stand up for me to close the deal on camera.
Busted!! One of the sows was now standing in the clearing less than 25yds away and his attempts to adjust the camera angle did not go unnoticed….that boar never emerged from behind that tree….stupid tree!
Now back at home in my easy chair and enjoying the morning’s fresh posts on 3dshoots.com, I’m savoring the memories of such a great hunt. No…I didn’t bring home the bacon…but quality time in the Good Lord’s great outdoors is always time well spent. It was also my first outing of the year with my older brother. Over lunch following the morning’s adventure, we talked about our goals for this years’ hunting season, friends and family, and counted our many blessings and gave our thanks to the Heavenly Father. Later this evening the family will gather at his house for burgers, pizza, cake and ice cream…it’s his oldest girl’s 6th birthday. What a great day to be alive. I thank the Lord for days like this.
7am tomorrow….chapter 2…..you know we ain't goin out like that!
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