Hunted by a Hog

On a recent hunting trip I experienced the reversal from being the hunter to the hunted and it was quite intense. I don’t recommend this type of hunting to rookies or anyone just starting out; this is not for the faint of heart and definitely not for the inexperienced. I have hunted hogs for a while and I understand their behaviors quite well; if it weren’t for this knowledge I would not put myself in this situation.

The hogs we were hunting on this ranch are very educated because they endure a lot of hunting pressure sow e were going to have to be creative and a little brave to harvest one. I knew they were feeding mostly at night; they hadn’t been eating corn in the mornings and with the Texas heat already kicking in they were mostly nocturnal. This weekend was also a full moon making it bright enough for them to hunt primarily at night.

The plan was to feed a small portion of the road and stand there and wait. We tried stalking one night but because they are so skiddish, getting closer than 60 yards was impossible; normally I hunt hogs at night with a red or green light, but even the red lights had spooked them; all lights were off limits except the moon. As I stood in the dark of night with just the glow of the moon illuminating the small road, bow in hand, my adrenaline was already going. This ranch was bow only, not even a pistol on your hip, so I was in high alert; knowing it would either be a bow shot or me running really fast!

There were times of complete peace and serenity looking up at the stars on the sky, knowing I was mostly alone and feeling my senses go into overdrive. Then there were times when the moon tucked behind the clouds and a bit of fear crawled down my spine because I lost that little advantage of light. Standing there knowing full well the hogs can see you, but you can’t see them. I was in their territory, their domain, and it was one of me against a multitude of them; they clearly had home field advantage. I stood ready, with my sense of hearing in overdrive. Normally you will hear hogs before you see them, day or night, because they are so loud; crashing through the brush, chomping their teeth, grunting and growling, and showing no fear.

Suddenly, I hear grunting and movement in the brush to my left and I patiently yet nervously await their arrival, hoping they come out in front of me, upwind, and towards the corn in the road. Hogs have an extremely good sense of smell and I knew if they came downwind of me I was in trouble. I peered through the darkness about 40 yards away in the road as I saw a small group of a 6 or 7 hogs enter the road; then I saw an extremely large boar. His black silhouette stood 3 feet tall and covered half of the road. He didn’t stop though to eat; he crossed the road and disappeared. I drew my bow, trying to pick out a hog in the mix and just as I was putting my pins on a black and white one, I heard the loudest, deepest, grunt and growl no less than 10 yards away from me to my right. Chills went down my spine because I knew it was the beast I saw cross the road in front of me.

At full draw I turned towards the grunting; I couldn’t see him but I knew he was there and he was circling me, smelling me, trying to figure me out. I stayed at full draw squinting into the darkness following the noise, trying to stay calm. I knew if I just let an arrow fly, my odds of him just running away were great; but the hunter in me wanted to harvest this boar, not just scare him away. There is a little bit of crazy in every hunter that shows up in these moments! For whatever reason, the boar decided to leave, or at least move out of my range of senses and I reluctantly let down my draw. Heart pounding, hands shaking, I was ready to run but I stayed.

20 minutes later another pack of hogs came behind me, downwind unfortunately, and I turned around just in time to see them split up and circle me. Again, I could hear two different groups on either side of me crashing through the brush, grunting and growling. As I stood motionless on high alert again, not knowing which way to turn, I knew I had to move out of this spot. I had been found and they were recruiting (at least in my mind it seemed that way).

I moved down the road hoping I would get back upwind of the circling hogs. No sooner than I got into another good spot, I heard more noises in the brush, but these hogs were running. The noise was traveling fast and my heart was racing again. These hogs could potentially be running right at me and even with an arrow launch I might be in their path or I might be an intended target! I drew my bow back just in time to see a group of very large boars running across the narrow road. As I was in motion attempting to get a better angle, the hogs were in motion, I let an arrow fly hoping for a hit, but a moving target in the dark of night was a challenge. I watched my arrow just miss one of the hogs, crash into a rock, and explode with a bright crash. I quickly knocked another arrow just in case! Well there went $30 into a rock! My heart was beating so fast and I was shaking so bad but I loved it. I didn’t harvest a boar but I did experience one of the most intense hog hunts of my life. Within an hour I had been hunted 3 times! What a rush and an adrenaline high like no other.

Apr 01, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: none


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