Trophy Time

It seems like it’s been forever since my last hog hunt and the time has passed painfully slowly. It was just over a month ago but it feels like a lifetime. I’d originally booked a hunt for the 5th but I ended up having to work and had to reschedule. Due to some family stuff it got moved out to this weekend. I guess all things work out, though.

I headed to Perry, Florida and Crossbones Hog Hunting once again. I didn’t fare well the last time but I was determined to redeem myself. I had a great, and extremely filling dinner Friday night at Casa Grande. They claim to be the best Mexican restaurant in town and I’m inclined to believe it. The fajitas were great and the beer was cold. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a great night’s sleep. The A/C kept kicking in as soon as I’d fall asleep and it’d wake me up again. I was already awake before the alarm went off at 5.

Per my new Perry custom, I hopped in the truck, drove the quick 5 minutes to the Huddle House and grabbed a quick breakfast. After washing down my meal with some coffee I headed back, showered with my Dead Downwind hair/body soap, put on my Fresh Earth scented clothes, loaded the last bits into the truck, and headed to the lodge.

Scotty met me again and we talked about the plan and how we should approach it. We decided to try a different parcel than the last time. He was confident I’d find some juicy hogs. I was in the stand before 7 and we put out a little corn. Unfortunately, the hogs had other ideas. I only saw three total and they were at least 100 yards away. The only thing eating the corn were the mutant fox squirrels, a woodpecker, and some deer.

I didn’t have much to do so I tried to blend in a little.

I was really getting bored. I felt like just a shadow.

After about three hours Scotty picked me up and moved me to another stand. Like the first stand, this one was in the open and the sun was brutal. Fortunately, four hogs appeared shortly after I arrived. Unfortunately, they were all pretty small. I kept having second thoughts about the reddish one. He was the largest of the group but still smaller than my last kill. I talked to Scotty and he said I could always take two smaller hogs. I contemplated it but it’d taken so long to spot these I didn’t feel confident I’d be able to get another shot. While I was pondering, I think I moved in the seat and my water bottle crinkled. They were gone in a flash.

I moved back to the first stand I hunted on the last trip and on the way spotted a group of hogs. I tried stalking them but couldn’t get close enough. I went ahead and hopped in the stand and began my battle with the skeeters. It didn’t take me long to succumb and I threw in the towel. I didn’t feel like it was going to happen in a stand. The temperature was already in the mid-80s and was forecast to be in the 90s. I decided that if I was going to get a hog, I wasn’t going to be able to wait for them to come to me.

I hit the ground and quickly found the piggy highway. Unfortunately, the porkers were on their ‘A’ game. No matter what I tried or how I tried to outsmart them, they seemed to be one hoof ahead of me. I made it to 1:30 and called it. I was hot and dehydrated from running out of water so I headed back to the lodge. Scotty’s awesome wife Beth was grilling up some venison burgers and it didn’t take much convincing to get me to stay.

After cooling off, rehydrating, and filling my belly, we talked about heading out again. We hopped in the buggy and drove to all the hot spots they liked to bed down in when the temperatures rise. Scotty couldn’t explain it but they’d all vanished. There wasn’t a hog to be found. We decided to head back to the other, smaller parcel, and that’s where we finally hit pay dirt.

The hogs still weren’t quite ready to play nice. The brush was thick and I couldn’t seem to get close enough with a lane that would give me a clear shot. Once again, I decided that if I was going to make it happen it was going to be on foot and not from the comfort of the buggy. I hopped down and gave chase. It took about three or four attempts to maneuver where I had even a remote shot. Finally, a nice hog revealed his shoulder to me. It wasn’t my preferred quartering away shot but I knew that if I didn’t take it I probably wouldn’t get another shot. I was running out of steam.

I rested the pin on his shoulder and let the arrow fly. I heard the solid “thunk” as it hit bone and the hogs scattered. Once again, the Rage Hypodermic made me a believer. The shoulder hit must have slowed it down enough that it didn’t result in a complete pass-through but when I found him just 20-30′ away (he’d basically just gone to the other side of the bush) he only had about 6″ of the shaft in him. Since it was a broadside shot it didn’t quite do the damage as the last hog received but the entry and exit wounds were impressive nonetheless.

One of the blades looks like it might be a little bent now and the edge is nicked. Not surprising considering what it went through. I know I can hit it with the sharpener to clean up the nicks. Worst case I’ll have to get a replacement blade. One thing I didn’t notice is the Lumenok. I never saw the nock in flight and even when the blood was dry I couldn’t tell that the nock was on. However, the guy with me said he saw a streak of red when I made the shot. Also, when I got home (well after dark) I noticed a faint glow. So maybe I just missed it. I only made a couple of test shots with them in the backyard. I may need more time with them. I’m not happy with the Carbon Express nocks after one of them broke inside the shaft.

Well, when all was said and done, I’d been hunting the better part of the day. I was exhausted but totally pumped to have made another quick and ethical kill. I was even more stoked when I got a close look at his teeth. Once again, my Pro Defiant served me well.

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