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Author Topic: Hogs Are Hard to Kill - by Ray Zesch  (Read 2561 times)

Offline Terry_Green

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Hogs Are Hard to Kill - by Ray Zesch
« on: January 28, 2004, 08:32:00 AM »
Hogs Are Hard to Kill
by Ray Zesch

(Shiloh Ranch)

This is the second year a group of us from St. Louis have headed down to Ada Oklahoma (Shiloh Ranch) for what is now our annual hog hunt. There were five of us this year Darren (my son), Mark, Kevin, Bobby (new this year) and myself. Expectations are always high and sleep does not come easy the night before. Many of you know what I am talking about, like the night before the bow season starts. We meet at one of the local Quick Trips (QT) at the marvelous time of 4:00AM. Have you ever noticed the type of people that are up at 4:00AM? I mean who would do such a thing on purpose! This year we were pulling an 18 foot dual wheel trailer. It worked great for loading everything but there was a price to pay on the Oklahoma toll roads. (You pay by the axial).  

We always take the best luggage possible, Wal-Mart Tupperware tubs and hefty black trash bags. This combination works great. We put one tub inside the other so that we have an extra tub for meat on the way home and those tubs are indestructible.

Let me tell you a little about the guys on this trip. First Mark, Mark has his own business building walls and related landscape work and has a large collection of arrowheads and related items. And he is “full” of energy, I think Kevin said it best “Mark does not have an on/off switch”. We often wish he did! Kevin is pastor at our Church and is passionate about bow hunting and working for the Lord. But you have to know Kevin’s last name, it is Pigg. No kidding that’s for real, Pigg. Darren, is a chief and this year did most of the butchering and making of sausage for us.  Bobby and I are the old guys. How old? Bobby is, for the most part, retired and I wish I was (what bow hunter doesn’t). Oh yea, Bobby is a nut about fly-fishing also.

From St. Louis to Shiloh Ranch is about 8 to 9 hours of driving. Not too bad. We arrived about 2:00 in the afternoon. This gives us plenty of time to get out for the evening hunt. As usual Cheryl is there to greet us and go over all the details pertaining to the does and don’ts of hunting at Shiloh.  If you have never met Matt and Cheryl Napper I hope that you do some day. Matt and Cheryl are really what make a hunt at Shiloh so special. The weather was not good or was it? For any “normal” person the rain and 1 to 2 inches of mud may have put a damper on the hunt. But bow hunters are not “normal” people. In fact the weather was great! The hogs were on the move all day! Give me a gray damp day anytime for a hunt.

I often here that Shiloh is a fenced in hunt. What is really being said is that it is not a fair chase. Let me tell that is simply not true. Last year I did not lose a single arrow and the hogs come and go as they please. Matt does make sure that there are plenty of hogs around, but I have to tell you they are a challenge for a simple stick and string.

Off we head to the stands and areas we decided to hunt. If you have not hunted hogs before there are several things you should know (not that I am any great expert): First, they don’t see too good and they don’t spook like a whitetail. Second, they can smell better than a whitetail. Third, they are hard to kill! Let me repeat that, they are hard to kill. All of this makes them great for the bow hunter.  On the way into the woods Friday we all saw hogs. They were on the move everywhere. This was great after such a hard whitetail season. My first shot was no more than 12 to 15 feet from a tree stand that was no more than 8 to 10 feet high. No, I did not miss, in fact I put that arrow exactly where I wanted it. I was using a 55 pound recurve with a 550 gr gold tip with a stinger on the end. I got a good 6 to 8 inches of penetration and the hog acted like there was nothing wrong at all. As he took off I keep waiting for him to fall over, after all that is what a whitetail does when you clobber them like that. One thing bad about the rain for a bow hunter is always the blood trail or rather the lack thereof. The rain also makes it very difficult for the dogs to work. First lost hog!

My son (Darren) and Kevin both had a similar experiences Friday night. These guys are great shots and they both got clean pass thoughts. Mark brought the meat home and Bobby did not take a shot. We were all bumped out! The problem is simple, you have to hit a hog in the vitals and they are low (did I say low). We were all shooting to high. The frustrating thing is that we all new better. Saturday morning (after it rained all night) we all got up determined to locate the hogs. Our boots were all caked with mud so we left them on the porch. You have not really enjoyed a hunt in the rain until you get up early in the morning and put your foot in a boot that is full of water. I don’t know why my right boot was the only one that got soaked, but I am very suspicious of foul play. After hours of searching we were all convinced that the hogs were still on the hoof and as it turns out they were. Saturday evening we would do our best to try and bring the same hogs down if at all possible. Darren was the only one to connect with a hog Saturday night. Darren hit the hog with 65 pounds of carbon shaft that totally knocked the hog off his feet and over several times on the ground. Yep, he got up and kept going! Such a hard hit means bone was hit somewhere. Did I say hogs are hard to kill.

Sunday morning, somewhat distressed by our bad luck, but never-the-less determined to hunt hard we headed out in the rain. Our determination paid off. Kevin saw and took that hog he hit Friday night. Mark shoot another hog, we estimate about 180 pounds. I shot, and to be honest it was high again, but as luck would have it Bobby was able to finish the kill for me. We returned home with four hogs and lots of mud.

It is always hard to leave Shiloh or for that matter packing out on any hunt. But there were lessons to be learned. We have a year to improve our shot placement and that is what we have all determined to do. Maybe Mark doesn’t need to - or was that just luck?

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