A hog hunting tale 2017-03-24T09:29:11+00:00

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  • Ptaylor
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    Post count: 529

    After the rain quit, Matt and I dropped off the top of the main ridge to hunt through bedding areas. We split up with a plan to meet at a goose pen in an hour. While creeping downhill I spotted the soft-spiky fur of a hog laying in a bed. I snuck closer and peered over the edge: there lay a sow hog suckling 4 piglets. Two black and 2 tan, the tan piglets with white spots down their backs like a fawn. I watched for a while then snuck out without disturbing them. I couldn’t find the meeting place and started working back uphill when I cut fresh tracks. Matt and I have an understanding that if one of us cuts a hot trail then we’ll be gone a while, so I started tracking. I’ve played this game before, many times. The hogs were on a game path contouring the mountain, going around ravines and over finger ridges, heading through prime bedding zones. At some point they would stop to bed, and it was a game of whether or not I could find and spot them before they became aware of me. Usually the hogs win, so I crept down this trail ultra slow. It didn’t matter how long it took to get there, I had all day and I knew they were in their beds. The trail and the woods absorbed me and I became a cat silently stalking the forest. I felt tethered to these animals, their tracks pulling me down the trail. It took considerable effort not to move too fast. Hours of sneaking is weary on the mind and body. On a brushy point the hogs turned off the game path and uphill; this indicated they were about to bed, it is what happens every time before they bed. I recognized this place: it was the exact spot Tim, Matt and I had tracked a boar hog to his bed and I missed an arrow over his back from 8 yards, years ago. Suddenly something tan flashed in the brush; I looked closely. Wait those are human legs?? I uttered a soft bird call and it was answered. Matt had found me. Back after we split up in the morning he had been immersed in the hunt. We were supposed to meet an hour later, and when he first looked at his watch, 3 hours had elapsed! Heading back to the truck he cut the hog tracks and followed them to me. Since he could see my tracks trailing the pigs he knew he didn’t have to be quiet and moved quickly down the trail. He caught up exactly when I found the pigs bedded down. As with all prey animals that survive multiple years in a landscape with coyotes, bobcats, pumas, and human hunters, they had chosen their bedsite well. The thicket of chamise and manzanita was unapproachable, yet we tried anyway. The hogs broke cover yards from us, and I dropped down the hill running to get in front of them. A big sow and I stopped at the same time, and she stood 20 yards above me while I stood, an arrow on the string ready to fire. But a bush covered her vitals protecting her. She urinated (which sprays backwards in a stream much like a cat). All I needed was for her to take 2 steps and I’d have a clean shot. But the hog took off downhill heading for the next county at a full run, and I never loosed an arrow and Matt never fired his rifle. As usual the hogs lived. Both us, the hunters, and the hogs, the prey, learned that day.

    -Preston

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2112

    Good one Preston!

    I heard a turkey gobble the other morning while out doing my shooting.  Got me to thinking of the upcoming turkey season.  I’ve never cared much for turkey hunting as the final result is somewhat hard to eat.  If I’m gonna kill a turkey, I’m gonna eat the whole thing, gulp.  I don’t like this idea of breasting such a big bird out.

    I wish you better wind next time.  And thanks for sharing 🙂

  • peter Vermouthpeter Vermouth
    Member
    Post count: 916

    Nice story Preston, no hogs here, but I saw turkey tracks the other day, and we have heard Geese flying over…

  • Ptaylor
    Member
    Post count: 529

    Thanks fellas.

    Turkey season, general, is open here. Funny thing is I never see turkeys near my house, except for when the season opens. Driving down the road Monday there were 4 turkeys walking by. Most of the migratory geese around here, the Aleutian cackling geese, have left heading north.

    I’m looking forward to some surf perch fishing this spring.

  • David CoulterDavid Coulter
    Member
    Post count: 1979

    Preston, good story! Thanks, David

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