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Author Topic: Spot -N- Stalk Pork - by Michael Horstman  (Read 620 times)

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Spot -N- Stalk Pork - by Michael Horstman
« on: October 13, 2006, 06:26:00 AM »
Spot -N- Stalk Pork
by Michael Horstman

Dave had invited me to hunt pigs on his lease North of San Antonio Texas.  The plan was for us to meet at the gate to the lease around noon.  I was there a little early, just in case.  He pulled up at 12:00 p.m.  We made our way to the hunting cabin and discussed what we wanted to do with the day.  My plan was to stalk a hog in the brush.

I have hunted on his lease before and had an eight foot tripod set up near his game feeder.  This needed to get rearranged a bit in order to hide it in the brush better.  We went to the game feeder and I cut Cedar branches, pushed the tripod back into the Cedar brush and cleared a couple shooting windows.  Dave cautioned me not to limit my shots too much, but I prefer concealment with small holes to shot through.  Finally, I was satisfied.  Then we put a ground blind in the Cedar nearby.

Last May while hunting the lease I had taken two 75 pound pigs from this tripod.  Walking in for the evening hunt I found hogs under the feeder and stalked up on them from 125 yards to 8 yards.  Having only a frontal shot on two pigs, I shooed them away.  Eventually, they came back, but that is another story.

We drove his truck about a half mile down a dirt road and parked in the shade.  We got out and started walking in the direction of some water and shade he knew about by 1:30 p.m.  A March afternoon in Texas meant it was starting to get “warm”.  CopperTone sunscreen was more in order than camo face paint.  Dave and I walked towards a wash that sometimes hold standing water and had shade.  That was as good a place as any to spot a hog this afternoon.

I was carrying my 68” Winterwind 63# Longbow and since my friend Dave does not like to climb trees, or so he claimed, he was carrying a .44 Magnum pistol, just in case.

We snuck along the road looking in the shade of the Cedar and Oak.  When we got to the wash we slowly moved along through some great hog cover.  There were puddles of standing water, hog tracks, runs and sign everywhere, but no pigs.  After almost 200 yards we circled back to the dirt road.  Dave wanted to head by another feeder belonging to one of the other lessee’s to check for activity.  When we arrived, the ground was all rooted up, but still no pigs.

Dave knew about another area of standing water about a mile away that might have pigs laying in the water cooling off and soaking up the shade.  All we had was time, so we walked in that direction and kept our eyes open for any hogs just lounging around.  We hoped to see them, before they saw us.  It was a nice hike on a sunny day.  There was some breeze, so we kept that working for us.

At the water I put the wind in my face and started to sneak along the edge in about 4-6 inches of water.  Again there was sign all over the place, but no pigs.  We did stalk a couple Hereford cows though.  Dave was frustrated that we were not seeing hogs and we started touring the lease.  We walked and talked about this and that, were this guy and that guy had shot his buck last season.

Then we started back in the direction of the truck.  I thought it might be fun to follow the power line and see where that might lead us.  Dave shrugged and said, “Whatever you want to do partner, its your hunt”.  I told him that just when we give up looking, we’d see some hogs.

We walked slowly down the power line until it came to a cliff.  I noticed some water about a half mile to our left at the bottom of the cliff and decided to try to get to it.  We headed right looking for some way to get down the cliff.  Just as we found a slope heading down, a turkey gobbled.  The season didn’t open for a couple weeks, so Dave marked the spot and we continued sliding down the slope.  Literally slipping and sliding.

Once in the bottom we could hardly move through the brush and trash that was piled up from the high water, which runs through from time to time.  I was really having fun trying to get my 68” longbow through this mess without loosing arrows from the quiver.  It was a leather strap-on model I had bought on e-bay for $20.  It held three arrows well and was perfect.  I figured as soon as I was really tangled up in the brush a hog would step out at five yards.  Luckily that did not happen.

Finally, the wash opened up and the going was much easier.  Dave saw a cave up on the wall that he wanted to check out.  He took off to explore and I kept moving slowly along the waters edge towards the larger pools I had seen from above, scanning the Oak shade for a sleeping hog.

Finished with his side trip, Dave walked up behind me and I turned to ask about the cave when he pointed over my shoulder and hissed, “HOGS”.  When I turned there were several pigs crossing the pool about 200 yards ahead.  There were several small pigs and a bigger one following along behind.  My eyes locked on the larger one, which looked good even at that distance.

Dave told me to get into the woods, but I elected to keep the pigs in sight.  Bending forward at the waist, and hugging the tree line I started walking slowly down the creek bed towards the pigs.  The trees came down to the waters edge, so I felt pretty safe about not being seen by the pigs.

After about 100 yards I came to a wide open flat that was fairly open with some thumb sized thistles that stood about six feet tall.  The creek bed forked and then I saw the big sow with rest of her piglets.  There were about fifteen youngsters weighing around 10-15 pounds scattered in the woods and shade with Momma on the other side of the flat.  Also, rooting along behind them was a decent sized boar that became the focus on my stalk.

It was now 3:00 p.m. and the sun was bright.  It was still about seventy yards to the pigs, but they were busy rooting and heading my way.  The breeze was blowing straight into my face which was a plus.  I slowly oozed across the open flat heading for the shade of the Oaks about thirty yards ahead.  I found a nice open spot to shot from and was about to take a knee and wait for the hogs to move past when I realized this was the trail the pigs were on.  A quick glance revealed a large Oak tree about 15 yards to my right that would provide a perfect background for this slightly excited hunter.  As I slide closer to the tree there were several piglets about fifteen yards in front of me, milling around.  I did not want one to walk into me and end my hunt with a bunch of squeals and thundering hogs.  I stepped to my right towards the Oak.  When I was about four steps from the tree with the boar now facing me at about 12 yards away he  looked up and I froze.  He looked down and up again, then down and  resumed rooting.  Just then one of the piglets nipped his leg and he ran back the way he had come, about twenty yards.  

Nuts!!!

Putting my back almost against the tree trunk, I looked again at the big sow feeding broadside twenty yards away.  Really not wanting to shoot Momma, I was stumped.  Time dragged slowly by and then the boar solved my dilemma.  He waltzed right over to Momma and as he paused broadside at 16-17 yards my longbow came up with an arrow on the way.  The string thumped, then plunk.  At first I thought I shot under him.

The boar squealed and pigs ran everywhere; the sow with her youngsters in tow, circled around behind me.  They headed up the creek into the wind the way I had come.  Dave whistled and I returned the signal.  Then Momma saw Dave and changed directions.  The boar had run hard for about 10 yards then slowed to a walk.  I was already trying to figure how to get close to him again when he went down.  That was a good sign - maybe I had not missed.  As the boar kicked twice more I paced the distance to my arrow, he got up and went down again-this time for keeps.  When I picked up my arrow and it was very evident it had passed completely through the boar.  The Ribtek and 2020 Easton had done their jobs well.

Dave and I walked over to the hog and Dave congratulated me on a good shot, about five inches above the belly line.  He went for the truck and I dragged my boar to the dirt road about forty yards away.  It was a two handed job.  The boar weighed @160-170 pounds on the hoof.

Back at the cabin while skinning and quartering the hog we made plans for my next visit.  Spot and stalk hunting for hogs really gets in your blood and I can hardly wait to walk the Texas brush looking for more Spot -n- Stalk Pork.
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