2 Cool Fishing Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
What about my member?
Joined
·
1,679 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I had waited all week without mumbling a word about my trip to the ranch for fear that I might jinx myself by saying anything. It seemed like the week prior had turned into a month and I found it hard to sleep like a kid before opening morning again. My buddy Jeremy and I pulled out of the driveway about 6:30 Saturday evening both excited and anticipating the best. Ten minutes out of the driveway we realize that we had forgotten to bring our contracts and map so back to the house we go. Ok, this time we're gone for real. The trip was short but seemed like we couldn't get there fast enough. I wasn't quite sure what to expect as this was my first trip to a commercialized ranch and this is not a 777 or Tecamate Ranch that we're talking about. Although it seemed like a long ride Jeremy and I made the trip short swapping old hunting stories and the memories that keep us coming back for more. It had been about forty five minutes when the twisting turns down farm to market roads brought us to the gate of Cougar Run II. We were greeted by the ranch manager Johnny and told to make ourselves at home in the bunk house. We grabbed our gear and Johnny took us over to the side of the archery range and made a few hand gestures towards the back of the property. It didn't take long and we had figured out this place was loaded with animals. A feeder directly out in front of the bunk house had three Red Stag on it and a herd of Fallow that were crossing the field towards them. Back to the other side of the field there were several axis, one being a very handsome buck and a herd of buffalo not far beyond them. As darkness drew closer the anticipation grew and we awaited the arrival of the two hunters in from Illinois results.



The bunkhouse was a small place, painted camouflage with a tin roof and a porch that extended all the way across the front. It was covered in various sets of horns and skulls from kills off of the ranch and many were impressive even to an average hunter who doesn't know the in and outs of scoring. We walked in and found a simple cabin with more mounts on the wall, a big living room with big screen television and a large wood stove in the center of the room. God knows we wouldn't need that as the past days temperatures had reached the middle 90's but the cabin felt great with the air conditioner set in the 70's. The other two hunters made their way in that night along with a buddy along for the ride to film and told of their chances and one of their misses that evening along with the stories of their kills earlier in the day. After settling in these guys talked about the methods of hunting on the ranch and that we better be prepared to work for our kill. Johnny laughed at these guys a bit and told us to sit on number three and four in the morning and about 8:30 get down for a spot and stalk hunt. Spot and stalk….for hogs? This guy must be crazy, I thought as he explained that they were pretty much nocturnal and this would be our only chance of killing our three pigs each. The night had gotten late and we ventured off to bed in hopes of an eventful morning.



4:00 am and the siren blasts on my little alarm clock. I swear I had just gotten to sleep and now I'm supposed to go track down this stand that I had verbal directions to in the dark. I think I've lost my mind. Jeremy and I got our gear on and headed into the darkness. We entered through a large gate and were greeted or should I say woken up by a herd of fallow that ran by us at about thirty yards. I had no idea these animals were as big as they seem. Now that our hearts had gotten a better than caffeinated start we were off flashlight now in hand. We crossed the first pasture and entered through another gate that led out into a darker wooded area. Jeremy was insistent that we use the flashlight and after some convincing he finally put the light back in his pocket. We don't need it I explained to him, I can see the road and we are walking on sand and gravel so everything will hear us coming as it stands. It seemed like we had walked forever and stands three and four were at the back of the property. We had passed number two and walking through a wet area when an adrenaline rush went up my back and slapped the top of my head like a sledge hammer. It was my first encounter with a hog and it was a big one at that. Let me remind you that it's dark, very dark and we are being rushed by a hog out of no where. I could hear the bushes breaking and grass parting while he made his way through the brush and I froze, I mean I couldn't move. Jeremy was knocking and arrow and all I could think was flashlight. Give me the **** flashlight. The hog stopped short of us and turned back grunting down his path he had come at us on. I couldn't hear anything due to my heartbeat in my ears so rather than try and talk about it I just motioned to Jeremy to follow. Why was I afraid? I'm never nervous walking to my stand and usually have to calm Jeremy down and now I'm scared to death and can't show him that or he's headed back to the bunk house. It's ok, stand three is just around the corner. Walking into stand three we jumped a group of hogs but they ran the opposite way so the rush wasn't quite as extreme. I climbed up into the stand and as Jeremy started to leave he turned to me and said he just couldn't walk that dark road onto the next stand without more protection than a bow and arrow. I agreed and he climbed up and over me into the camera stand that was mounted above my head. It was settled and we were ready for the hunt.



Daybreak came and there it was, movement. I could see it coming but there still wasn't enough light to see my pins. I signaled Jeremy above us and we watched what we thought was going to be a nice pig come into the sandy feeder area. Yep, it was a pig alright and it was all of ten pounds. We both chuckled and the little pig fed a minute and left. Good light had come and the waiting game began. It was that time of the morning where your eyes seem too heavy to hold open and you struggle until the feeder goes off. Wait! Movement and color….hogs bunches of them. They were feeding about 75 yards behind some thick brush. We both got excited and were giving the thumbs up when the feeder went off. That's when it happened. It was the most God awful attempt of a sheep to blatt I had ever heard. There were rams coming from two different directions and the hogs were gone. At last count I had seen about 15 when I couldn't take it anymore. They were ruining my hog hunt and I'd have no more. I stood up in the stand and jumped at them thinking fir sure they leave and never return. Wrong, they just looked at me as if I was nuts and continued to feed. Hunt number one in the books and not a pig to show for it so far. We had made plans that morning to meet with our new friends from Illinois at the cross roads not far away at 8:00 so off we went.



We came up with an idea to push the hogs back and forth in hopes that one of us would get a shot. Jeremy and I started on the northwest side just inside a cypress swamp and the group from Illinois would start on the southwest side just south of the fishing pond. We were seeing plenty of animals along the way but still no hogs. We got to the edge of the pond and saw a group of fallow deer moving towards us the other guys were pushing and though it would be neat to sit down and let them run past. We had watched them about 5 minutes when Jeremy jumped up and signaled for me to move to the pond dam. Three hogs at a dead run coming right for us. I had them cut off on the pond side and Jeremy had them cut off on the road side. Wrong again. I swear that there isn't a Labrador alive that could out swim a pig. We ran to the edge of the pond to attempt a shot as they got out but were too late. They were history. We met with our Illinois buddies and one of them had shot and missed. That was two in consecutive hunts so we were off to the camp for some food, rest and some fun shooting.



Hunt number two was long, hot and would be our last. We headed back out around 1:00 in hopes of stalking a nice boar. Ranch manager Johnny had explained to us his successful tactics and told us that there wasn't such a thing as going too slow. We were to look under the blown over tree tops and find the thickest brush we could find and creep through it stopping for ten minutes every fifty feet or so. Back to stand number four where the thickest of the brush on the property was found. We were teaming again with the guys from Illinois and this time would try a stalk but also try and push pigs one way or the other. Let me tell you, this is when we found out that pushing pigs isn't the way to go when hunting with a bow. There were four of us including our friend the camera man on the south side of the thicket lined out forty yards apart and then one guy pushing from the back side. It happened not five minutes into the hunt. We heard the brush breaking and saw the grass splitting when the boar ran into the edge of the oak flat where we were lined out. There was no where to go other than in a tree and he was running directly at Jeremy and I. I stepped back against the tree and as he ran by Jeremy less than ten feet he threw his head and grunted as if to say "get the hell out of my way". I just stood in amazement as he ran within fifteen feet or so of me and the only thing I could remember were his little beady black eyes. My heart was pounding again and Jeremy was still in disbelief over what had just happened. Our Illinois buddies said we were the two craziest ******** they had ever seen and questioned why we didn't run. I don't think either of us were really able to run it happened so fast. So the quest continued. We pushed further in and I watched as our Illinois friend missed another shot all of which were caused by shooting through small windows. Excuses right? We made our stalk and I decided to go around the east side and push from that angle. I had enough of being on the end they run through and wanted my opportunity at a decent shot. I crept slowly up the edge of the brush down a narrow grass lane trying to be as quiet as possible when I heard that tell tale grunt. These pigs weren't 15 yards and I caught a whiff of a musty sour smell and knew they were closer than I wanted them. I could se Jeremy coming around the corner and each time I advanced they would grunt. My adrenaline started kicking in and I lost what common sense and fear that God blessed me with. I eased up on the fire break to look into the thick bushes and caught sight of a dark figure under what looked to be a wild plum tree. The pigs snorted and I saw the grass move just out in front and drew my bow. Jeremy saw me and he drew his bow in anticipation of what was about to happen. I eased up on a stump that was all of a foot higher and saw the shadow move that I had watched. That had to be an ear flick. I held the bow and centered my pin on what I thought was the shoulder. I reached forward and slowly laid my finger on the release and the arrow took flight. It looked like World War II had just occurred and I backed off the stump to knock another arrow. In the midst of the chaos a big red pig stepped in a clear shooting lane and was gone before I could get my release attached. Wow, what a rush! I had just shot at my first pig and was fairly certain I had made a good shot. My window was small but the shot short so it shouldn't have been affected. Jeremy came running around the corner and told me hogs had scattered in ten different directions. I questioned my shot and Jeremy assured me I hit the hog as he heard the pop when it hit. Good news…maybe it was alright. I was nervous moving into where the hog had been shot but knew I had to go in and claim my stake. As I eased into where I had shot I couldn't find my arrow. I knew where I had shot and knew that there had to be blood or the arrow. We looked for a good fifteen minutes and still had no indication of a hit or miss. I chalked it up to a clean miss and a lost arrow and we moved back around to the other guys. "I got one he said" and high fives were exchanged. "Who else shot one?" he asked and I took the responsibility for the miss. That was no miss, your pig looked like a Volkswagen with a antenna sticking out of his back running through here. He explained how the arrow pinged as he ran through the thick brush. I had centered him too far back and the hog had run off with my arrow. We found a few traces of blood and looked for an hour or so but never found enough sign to track him. I was disappointed to say the least but had a great time and made some new buddies.



Cougar Run II was a great first hog hunt experience with an excellent ranch manager, great hospitality, service and plenty of game to go around. If I were looking for a cheap exotic hunt for ram, axis, fallow or stag with a bow this is the place. Great times were had by all but if you plan on taking a hog with a bow in the summer time, you had better bring your "A" game, plenty of water and a lot of patience.

Brian
 

·
Big daddy slim
Joined
·
485 Posts
Any day hunting hot or cold is better than not hunting, good story and good luck on your next hunt
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
449 Posts
Brian

Gut shot animals with a bow are easy to find. I suggest that you learn a bit about trailing if you are going to hunt with a bow. Anyone can muff a shot, but not knowing how to trail and recover the animal makes the day worse.

Lets just say that for starters you need to leave the animal alone for a number of hours and not go in that direction at all. Stumbling around blindly for an hour will do nothing but run them off never to be found.

A gut shot animal rarely goes more than 100 yards and beds, to die in that bed if not disturbed. If disturbed all bets are off and its taken me 6-8 hours or more to get lucky enough to find them after that.

Jeff
 

·
What about my member?
Joined
·
1,679 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the comments Rost! Maybe you can provide me your number for emergency trailing expertise and bowhunting lessons in the future. Have a wonderful day.

Brian
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
2,793 Posts
There's always someone in the crowd. Nice report Brian and thanks for taking the time to share it with us!

rost495 said:
Brian

Gut shot animals with a bow are easy to find. I suggest that you learn a bit about trailing if you are going to hunt with a bow. Anyone can muff a shot, but not knowing how to trail and recover the animal makes the day worse.

Lets just say that for starters you need to leave the animal alone for a number of hours and not go in that direction at all. Stumbling around blindly for an hour will do nothing but run them off never to be found.

A gut shot animal rarely goes more than 100 yards and beds, to die in that bed if not disturbed. If disturbed all bets are off and its taken me 6-8 hours or more to get lucky enough to find them after that.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Hey Brian, Thanks for this article.

Brain is a very good buddy of mind who enjoys bowhunting as much as I do. The respect he show for these hogs is one that should not be taken lightly, as a big wounded hog will charge and can do some damage (see it happen to another friend-had to have stiched up). Don't forget Brian you have to get to Colorado with me one year for elk.

norm
 

·
W.W.
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
Good report and sounds like you guys had a BIG time. A hog is a tough animal to take with a bow with many variables, and the biggest is fat plugging the hole. Another thing when you shoot a hog with several others and no matter where you hit it, when they run off, the others will keep the hit one up till it can't go no more, so that blows rost945 gutshot hog therory out of the water. One thing a lot of bow hunters don't know is its almost impossible to get a broadhead thru a grown Boars shield, with your best bet being a 1/4 away shot getting in behind the ribs, but as you described sometimes you have to take what you get. While shaving down a Boars cape for mounting I have found broadheads, buckshot, 22 bullets all in the shield which sometimes is almost 2" thick. BYW I have had to get up a tree, and its good to find one close before the shot. Thanks for the report. WW
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top