The Appeal of the Squeal

Five years ago, on 25 acres of land deep in South Texas, I sat in my new leaf suit in a tripod with my new bow in hand. It was a hot afternoon as sweat dripped down my face. My release was buckled with the fresh leather against my wrist, my arrow nocked on the string, my mind wondering what had I just got myself into. Here I am sitting alone in this stand with my bow that had zero hunting hours on it, no record of kills or harvests, my arrows were clean and innocent, never having tasted the blood or felt the impact of animal skin, my mind unaware of the adrenaline rush, chaos, beauty, and pure excitement that would result, and my life still unaffected by this now confirmed addiction.

As I sat and waited patiently for any movement, unaware of what to expect, I scanned the area for rustling, rooting, grunting, and pounding. Any moment there could be a dirty target in front of me; any moment one of these destructive creatures could present itself, and any moment could be my moment to enjoy the thrill of my first arrow flight at a South Texas boar. There were signs of hogs around; brush uprooted, tunnels under fences, matted down waller areas, and complete destruction of the landscape. I knew there were hogs in the area; I just needed them to come in range.

As the light slowly began to fade I thought my evening would come to an uneventful close but from my right I heard a loud rustling and grunting. A group of about 12 black hogs appeared and came rushing in to feast. In the group was a few large boars, a couple large sows, and a group of smaller piglets; I already knew I was going to aim for the biggest boar or whichever one gave me the best shot. I stood to ready myself. I knew I couldn’t take any chances with this being my first time because I had a feeling I might make some other mistakes in the moment.

As one of the boars separated himself from the pack and moved in front of the others, I drew my bow back, all 38 pounds I had it set at, bent at the waist and lowered my green 20 yard pin on his nasty, hairy, black shoulder. His head was down, his ears forward and he wouldn’t stop moving! What the heck, these things are like big ants, they never stand still. I knew I just had to go for it. I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by. As I touched the trigger on my release I watched as my arrow flew down
towards the hog, hit his shoulder with the most exhilarating THWACK I have ever heard. At the moment of impact he immediately turned and tried to bite at my arrow and turned so sharply he broke it off.

Then I heard the most life-changing, amazing, blood-curling, high pitched squeal that I thought would have scared me or anyone else off for that matter; but for some reason as I stood there and watched the events unfold and listened to this prefect squeal I felt my eyes light up, my grin grew bigger than the evil Grinch grin, and I was instantly happy. Oh my gosh! What was happening? This squeal I had just heard made me more excited than I have ever been; giddy, energized, animated, thrilled….too many words to describe. It wasn’t even the fact that I had hit him because I had no idea if he would die; it was the appeal of this squeal that had my heart aflutter!

Then my elation turned to fear as he ran towards my stand. He knew I had done this to him and he wanted revenge. He stood under my stand in rage staring up, grunting and stomping his hooves at me. All I could think was Dear Lord, Please do not let this tripod collapse right now (we had put this tripod together with the wrong size wrench in extreme heat so there was some doubt in my mind haha). As he stood under me I could see blood pouring out of his shoulder and I knew he would hopefully take his last breath soon. Suddenly, he turned away from me and trotted off back to my right into the brush. I listened for the crash and heard the next stunning squeal, known as the squeal of death. I knew when I heard this he was done and that big smile crept back across my face.

Again fear set in as I heard some of the hogs coming back through the brush and I was about to climb down to meet up with my husband. I waited for him to be on the safe side. When he arrived at my tripod, I climbed down and told him what had happened. He said he had heard the first squeal from his tripod and knew I had made contact with something! At this point it was dark and we had waited about 30 minutes before making the journey to recover my hog. We followed a dirt road near the fence line to ensure we were downwind of the other hogs and as we inched closer to where I thought I heard him crash we saw a black silhouette on the ground; at the same time however we heard some grunting right behind the brush. The hogs in the brush finally left and allowed us to move in and recover my hog.

There he was, all 176lbs of him, all of his squealing, grunting, snorting, and stomping had come to an end and I was over the moon. He was my first bow kill and recovery and my ticket to the non-stop addiction of bow hunting and hunting hogs. Forever engrained in my mind, ears, and heart is that intense squeal I heard and witnessed for the first time live. Ever since then when hunting hogs, as soon as I hear that squealing I can’t control myself or my smile. Some people think is demented or crazy, others can’t imagine what kind of insane person could feel joy from something like this, but I LOVE it. I will jump up and down, dance, move, and be completely beside myself when I hear it. Although there might be a little ‘crazy’ in me, that my friend is the appeal of the squeal and it draws me in every time.


Dec 17, 2012 | Category: Blog | Comments: 2


2 comments on “The Appeal of the Squeal

  1. What a thrilling account, Candace, so vivid I felt I was there! Those are just the sort of thoughts that go through every hunter’s mind, thinking of anything that was not quite completed perfectly and might just let you down. And as for the appeal of the squeal – that life-changing acknowledgement that you have changed a life, and the death-squeal that tells you that the battle is over and you have won – that is music to my ears! If that’s crazy, then we both have the same affliction! The thrill and the joy that rushes like a wave when you know you are victorious, has to be experienced to be understood. I am so happy for you, and hope you recapture moments like that, again and again, for many long years to come! Thank you for sharing those exhilarating memories in print.

    • Candace

      Thanks Alwyn for the supportive comments. So glad I could paint a pictures of an amazing moment in my hunting life. It is hard to describe until you have experienced; i just hope young girls and new hunters can feel the excitement and adrenaline and peaks their interest enough to want to try it out and get outdoors. So many girls have it in them but are afraid to try and just need one experience and they are hooked. Cheers to many more firsts and many more memories! Thanks for supporting women hunters!!

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