This was our 3rd hog hunt and the 2nd from this vendor in Gonzales, TX. Use whatever name you like: hog, pig, piggies, porkers, squealers, bacon-on-the-hoof. But, no matter what name you use, these are vile, odious, repugnant creatures when they are in the wild. We hunted for about 48 hours over 3 days. At the end, the score was humans 5, hogs: 0. Kathleen and I scored 5 one-shot kills, each over 50 yards. We used 2 new rifles, both virgin. Mine was a Sako 85 Finnlight stainless steel in .30-06. Kathleen was shooting my Tikka T3 stainless in .270.
Of everyone in our group (8 seasoned hunters), I was lucky enough to bag the biggest hog at just short of 200 lbs. Kathleen's largest hog was about 125 lbs and was the largest kill for the first day of all the hunt.
We ended up with much, much more meat than we could take. During one of our hunts, we met a fellow that had organized his hunt for the Wounded Warrior Project in Louisiana. There were 4 from that group at the ranch. So, we donated most of our meat to them. Additionally, Kathleen's first kill was donated to several nice fellows from the Chicago area who had driven a long distance did not reach their limit.
Warning: these photos
are graphic; view discretion is advised. These are not for
viewers with weak stomachs.
The photos below are what we saw.
ranch traps hogs on neighboring ranches and brings them to the
site for the hunts. In addition, some ranchers trap hogs and
sell them to the ranch at nominal fees to get them off their
property. Wild and feral hogs are very destructive and the
ranchers are happy to see them go, by whatever means. Hogs
breed 2-3 times per year and drop 12+ piglets per pregnancy.
As a consequence, absent other pressures, the population doubles
every 120 days. The pens in the photo above is used to store
incoming hogs prior to being released onto the 300 acre
fully-fenced ranch property for incoming hunters.
owner had this steel hog created to adorn his pens. The
stench from the new hogs was overwhelming.
we were settled, we prepared for the evenings "hide" hunt.
To hunt from a hide, you have to get in the blind before sundown
and then wait for the foraging hogs to come into rifle
range. Once we were in the blind, the game starting coming
toward us. Above, a herd of odd goats and several cattle
came to our position. The cattle were either Texas Longhorns
or African Ankole. The circumference of the horns suggest
that they are Ankole. The ranch owner offers many kinds of
hunts, including hunts for the exotic animals that he has on his
blind was near a water hole and the goats came for both the corn
that was spread as bait and to get water.
were in the blind until after dark. Kathleen spotted
something moving near the fence line and I painted it with my
high-powered LED flashlight. The light was sufficient for
Kathleen to get a bead on this nice 125lb boar and about 85
yards. Her shot was perfect, just behind the ear.
was proud of her shot. At that distance with very low light,
it was quite an accomplishment. We called the ranch hands to
pick up the hog for processing and decided to retire for the
night. Since we were staying in Thor, we camped out near the
blind at night so it would be easy to return to the blind at
"oh-dark-thirty" the next morning.
our walk back to the camper from the blind, Kathleen spotted this
walking stick in the sand. This is one very odd insect and
was about 6" long.
group consisted of 4 total hunters and "rolled a doughnut" for the
morning's effort, save the small group I scared up. It was
sunny, hot and humid and by the time that we returned to camp for
lunch, we were all soaked with sweat. When we arrived, we
discovered that the other group had better luck and shot these
medium sized hogs. Note that there is another hog on the hook at
the far right of the photo above. The butchers were busy cleaning
them when we returned to the area.
had a nice long lunch in the air conditioned mess hall and then
set up for the afternoon stalk. Our bad luck continued and
the only hog we saw is shown in the photo above. Kathleen
spotted this hard-luck hog in the dense brush. This boar was
already wounded, and we initially assumed he was the "one that go
away" from Ken (a hunter in the other group) in the morning
stalk. The hog was twitching, so Katleen assumed he was
mortally wounded and applied a coup de grace on him with her
.270. He continued to flop around, so another member of our
group, Ed, also applied a 12 GA rifled slug. Still assuming
the hog belonged to Ken, we called the ranch hands and arranged
for a pickup. The ranch hand is pointing at the entrance
wound for the rifled slug.
When the hog was pulled from the brush and inspected, we discovered that he had a very hard life indeed. Apparently, this hog got in a fight with another hog and lost big time. Both of his ears had been chewed off and were maggot infested. In addition, his testicles had suffered the same fate.
upper arm had also been mauled and his shoulder was maggot
infested as well. The old fang marks are visible in the
photo above. This hog was garbage before we arrived and the
ranch hands removed it to the disposal area. The fang wounds
vividly show what a human would suffer in an encounter with a wild
had dinner and went to a different blind for the evening
hunt. Like the previous night, dusk brought out the
game. The herd of goats had found us again and came into
view. Note the goat in the center has 4 horns; very odd.
addition to many conventional deer, there were Axis deer on the
property. The deer were not afraid of the domestic horses.
We later saw the Axis buck and he was a beauty with horns that
were as long has he was tall. But, the light was fading and
my little camera was not up to the task.
our south along the fence line, the Ankole cattle were grazing.
Note the diameter of the horns on the cattle on the left of the
photo above. These are big cattle!
night fell, a group of about 10 hogs came into range of our
blind. I shot first and scored a perfect hit just behind the
ear; a clean kill.
attempt to find a muddy wallow during the day and my hog was quite
Kathleen scored a few seconds later with another clean shot on this young sow. Due to age, size and a healthy appearance, her hog would be our "meat hog". Note my kill in the upper left of the photo above. Both hogs were hit at about 95 yards. We were both happy with the evening's results and despite the two kills, we stayed in the blind to see if I could meet my tag limit. Kathleen already had 2 nice hogs, but I only one. We saw nothing after our kills and returned to Thor for the night. Our plan was to re-engage early the following morning.
A bow hunter was in the blind about 100 yards from us and saw nothing all night. We were back in the blinds at about 0530 and at sunrise a group of big hogs came into range. I shot this fellow at 105 yards with a single round. I also shot a medium sized boar a bit further away; he was a little smaller and I did not take a photo.
cannot describe the overwhelming smell of this boar. I had
to force a smile and keep from gagging due to the wall of stench
surrounding him. After Kathleen shot this photo, I quickly
ranch hands showed up with a UTV and transported the hog to the
butchering area where he was weighed in. The mixed breed
hound on the right is one of the ranch's "hog dogs". The dog
was friendly to us, but I am sure that he is much less friendly to
the hogs when hunting. That is a massive dog.
boar tipped the scales at nearly 200lbs, the largest hog shot
during regular hunts while we were there. A really nice
Both Kathleen and I really enjoyed the hunt. Our new rifles performed perfectly and repeatedly demonstrated their ability to drop the hogs in their tracks. Since the last time we hunted with this outfit, they had built-out a new mess hall with nice leather seats and air conditioning. And the food was great.
We closed out our tab and loaded the meat we planned to take. We gave the rest of our meat to the Wounded Warrior Project and other less-lucky hunters and headed east toward Port Arthur, TX. Kathleen identified an RV park close to the water Port Arthur that had laundry facilities; we were sorely in need of some additional clean clothes. When we arrived, the "jedette" park manager came out and told us that we could not stay there. Since we both could see many open spaces, I inquired as to why we could not stay there. She replied that "my boss has rules". "What rule are we violating" I asked. "Rules" she replied. Again, I asked "Which specific rule is the issue: size, width, height; which one". Her reply was "There are rules, sir, and that is that." Undaunted, I pressed on, but she became flustered and terminated the conversation, questions unanswered. I think the real issue was that she was intimidated by Thor and his brush scratches. We went down the road a bit and found a place that was better and the staff friendly. They were not intimidated by Thor, but rather reverential (as it should be).
will rendezvous with Bob and Kitty on the inter-coastal waterway
south of Sulfur, LA.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2012, all rights
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