A buddy at work told me about a guided hog hunt where you pay $100 to shoot a meat hog and they skin it, quarter it and put it in your cooler. It sounded too good to be true but it planted a seed.
Well Crap. What did Archibald Rutledge always say about being ready the moment you get to your stand?
He finally arrived about 8:30 and we told him our story. He asked if we wanted to hunt them up with his dog, Magnum. Of course we did.
Magnum is really still just a puppy and is in training to be a cattle dog but he got on the trail. We followed and pretty soon saw the whole herd moving through the palmettos about a hundred yards off to our right. We heard the dog behind us, saw him jump and a palmetto thicket exploded as a big spotted boar tore through it not thirty feet away. The boar ran to join the herd and TEN and my buddy's son were entranced. Marlin Perkins would have been proud.
NOW we're hunting.
The dog kept the herd moving and the day was getting warmer. There were only two watering holes in the area and the herd kept going from one to the other trying to get a drink but little old Magnum kept them moving. The hunt boss kept Magnum cooled off and hydrated so he could keep the herd moving. After about 30 minutes of that, he called Magnum in and had my buddy and his son set up at one of the watering holes.
Sure enough, it wasn't ten minutes before the herd came to them and they had their pig.
Our turn was next. I was carrying a Savage Model 99 in 303 Savage (big surprise there) and TEN had her 44. I don't know why but the hunt boss told me to leave my rifle in the truck. It was his hunt so I did.
We set up by the watering hole and waited. TEN was propped up against the base of a pine tree listening and I was about two trees in back of her shooting pictures on my cell phone. Pretty soon the herd came up from behind us on our left. They milled around in the brush for a few minutes and then quietly went back the way they had come.
(OK. So that's the stuffed pig at the Bass Pro in Orlando. Its for illustrative purposes. If the History Channel can show footage of German Mk IVs while talking about Tiger Tanks I can use somebody else's dead pig).
I'm too deaf to hear it but they circled around behind us and came up from our right. Before I could get my phone camera set to video, they had spread out around the watering hole.
TEN picked out a nice eatin-sized pig and fired. The pig jumped, spun around several times and then took off after the herd with a gait that looked like it needed new spark plug wires. I yelled to shoot it again and TEN said the gun wouldn't shoot.
I didn't have my rifle because the hunt boss told me to leave it in the truck so the pig got away.
Sure enough, the 44 had misfed from the magazine and it took five minutes to get the thing cleared and reloaded.
TEN made the comment that the gun hadn't kicked nearly as bad as she expected. That was odd so I asked what she meant and she explained that her little talk with the hunt boss consisted of him telling her that the 44 Magnum Carbine would kick so hard that the scope would split her forehead open and she'd have to get stitches. That was right before he told me that he wanted me to sell it to him.
Only the plan backfired. She hit the pig anyway.
The hunt boss was late for an appointment and kept insisting that we show him where the pig was when she shot it and where the blood was. He wasn't convinced she'd hit it. She kept insisting that she had hit it and we had to find it. We found the spot soon enough. She had definitely connected with some part of that pig. There was blood on the ground and it was red. Hunt boss decided that she'd shot it in the butt because butt-shot hogs spin around in circles. I didn't think so because it wasn't running like its back end was hurt. It was more of a stuttering trot. Either way, we had to find it.
After a cursory search, the hunt boss left us in the hands of the assistant hunt boss. He cleaned my buddy's pig and then called a friend to come help hunt down the wounded one.
We split up to search the woods again. The assistant hunt boss said to shoot the last pig in the herd because that's where the wounded one would be. We were a couple of hundred yards away when he found the herd. Trouble was, there were three pigs hanging back, not just one. Then he noticed that one was limping and he shot that pig.
We moved toward the sound of the shot and found everyone examining the pig. Before I got up to it I asked to see where the first bullet had hit.
It was the off-side front foot.
She was so rattled by the hunt boss telling her she'd get her forehead split open by that incredibly powerful 44 Magnum carbine that the he wanted me to sell him that she flinched and shot it in the foot at all of twenty yards away.
She has never fired a gun without me being there and I have never seen her flinch, even with that rifle, but she flinched that day and the only reason was she was told she would get hurt and need stitches when she pulled the trigger. I was actually proud of her for shooting with that stupid story planted in her mind. She was going to do this stitches or not and she did.
The assistant hunt boss cleaned our pig and put it in the cooler. I paid him a little extra because he was so helpful.
This is fresh meat:
So far we have had pig steaks and pig sausage gravy biscuits. It will go down in history as the most expensive pig I ever bought but over lunch TEN told me the she was sorry that the hunt boss got upset but that it really worked out better because we actually got to hunt instead of just shooting a pig at a feeder. Worked out pretty well.
I took the 44 to the range the next day and fired 30 rounds trying to make it miss or jam and it did neither. I think the jam might be due to the scare job the hunt boss put on her too. If you can limp-wrist a Glock maybe you can limp shoulder a rifle. I don't know. I just know I can't make it jam.
This week she informed me that we need to find someone who will let us hunt deer on their land.
This is what its all about.
I made that call today. The food plot is going in next weekend. She will be shooting a custom Mark X Mauser in 25-06 with a muzzle brake on it. With Accubombs its as accurate as a drill press and kicks about like a 22 Hornet.
The venison might as well just throw itself in the pan right now.