It had been four years since I archery hunted wild hogs and I was excited to be back in the Southern United States sitting in a tree stand in January. It was 30 degrees back home in Minnesota and friends had told me the sun had just come out for the first time in 13 days. It was 80 degrees at Triple Q Outfitters near Waco , Texas and I was excited to hunt. There was to be a cameraman with me on the hunt to get promotional footage for the outfitter. I had practiced with my bow until I was grouping inside 4 inches at 20 yards and close to that at 30 yards. I was ready!
I was looking for a larger hog but did not get a shot opportunity the first night. I passed on a number of smaller animals. I had hog hunted both in Oklahoma and Florida but wanted something bigger than the 130-pounder I had arrowed in Ada , Oklahoma . The second morning was another story. Pigs came and went but I again opted to pass on the animals. Then a nice black boar came into the clearing. My heart started to race as I told the cameraman this was a shooter and to get ready. I drew back on my bow and held, waiting for the right shot. I finally let the arrow go and my pulse went with it. The arrow hit its mark, the pig tore off and I thought I heard it crumple in the distance. I waited another half hour and more pigs came in. One of the animals was sickly looking and the outfitter asked me to harvest the ailing animal for management purposes. I waited and finally went to full draw. My arrow again hit true and the pig ran off in the opposite direction as the first pig. Interestingly, when doing this management shot like that, I did not get any anticipation or adrenalin at all. There was a great blood trail, but wild hogs are tough critters and we fought our way through a lot of thick brambles and briars before we found the black hog. I was puzzled at how what I thought was a good shot, would allow a hog to run so far. We were on our hands and knees at times, losing the blood trail twice, and fanning out several times, we found the pig in a thicket and with a double lung shot. We later found the second animal just 70 yards from the kill site.
That evening the pressure was off with two pigs under my belt. However, one animal I arrowed was sickly and the other had a bad odor to it so the outfitter didn’t want me to keep it, I still did not have meat to take home. Also, I still did not have an animal to top my personal best. I went without a cameraman again for the evening hunt. The afternoon sun spotlighted me so I knew I would not be able to get away with any movement at all. Also, the wind was swirling and my scent periodically blew into to the clearing where the pigs trailed through the woods. Otherwise the setup was absolutely perfect for a left-hander like me, and I was totally cloaked by conifers and other trees in a tripod stand. Several waves of pigs went by in the woods 80-yards away but winded me and kept on going. I resigned myself that this would be a night to enjoy the scenery and I figured I would not be getting a shot. An hour before dusk however, the wind settled down and the evening thermals finally took my scent downhill and away from the clearing near me. Two small groups of pigs came in fast and left just as quickly. Then a group of larger hogs arrived and kept driving off all the others who came in behind them. I watched the largest of the hogs for ten minutes and finally made up my mind to take a shot. This hog had the flared snout and longer tusks of a more mature animal. I wanted a perfect broadside shot and the distance was about 18-yards. I was still spotlighted by the setting sun, so I had to draw my bow in very slow motion which set my muscles to aching. I held at a full draw for about 60 seconds, ran my pin sight up the front leg and behind the shoulder. My heart was beginning to pound beyond control so I needed to get the shot off before I started to shake to where I could not hold my pin sight steady.
Thwack! The arrow pounced off the string and buried in the side of the large boar. It ran south and I thought I heard it tumble in the brush 70 yards in the distance. However, sometimes my imagination gets the best of me so I wasn’t being too overly confident. I just prayed my shot was as good as I thought it was. When dark settled in, the guide came on the ATV followed by the other guides and hunters. There was a textbook blood trail and the hog was found immediately. I could hardly believe I had arrowed three wild boars in one day! My last boar weighed in at 180 pounds and was both a keeper for eating and I planned to have the head mounted as well.
This was one of the better outfitted hunts I’ve been on for several reasons. The accommodations were clean & comfortable and the food was good, which is to be expected on such hunts. But what set it apart was the intelligent way in which the stands and feeders were arranged, in conjunction with prevailing winds, bedding areas and transition zones. There were many shot opportunities for all hunters regardless of weather and wind. Also available was a full on-site bow shop for tuning, plus outdoor practice targets at 20 to 100 yard distances. Triple Q also had skinning, meat prep and taxidermy services available.
When the wind-chill goes to zero in Minnesota , Texas is definitely the place to go hunt, and the Pig Man is definitely the man to see!
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© July 2006