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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » PowWow » Trad Gang at Wild Things 2014 (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Trad Gang at Wild Things 2014
Cyclic-Rivers
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Sounding Great already, I'll check back for sure.

--------------------
Relax,

You'll live longer!

Charlie Janssen

PBS Associate Member
Wisconsin Traditional Archers
Mohawk Hudson Traditional Archers
NY Bowhunters

>~TGMM~> <~Family~Of~The~Bow~<

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smokin joe
CONTRIBUTOR 2018
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It was a great hunt with lots if game seen, terrific food, comfortable accommodations, wonderful countryside, and seriously good hunters. I'll chime in soon. I can't wait to go back.

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TGMM
Compton
PBS

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Bud B.
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Man I wanted to go, but two hunts in just two months apart couldn't be swung with Christmas so close.

Looking forward to the rest of the stories [Wink]

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TGMM Family of the Bow >>>>---------->

"You can learn more about deer hunting with a bow and arrow in a week, than a gun hunter might learn all his life." ----- Fred Bear

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Red Beastmaster
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"Man I wanted to go, but two hunts in just two months apart couldn't be swung with Christmas so close."


We went to Ray's Hog Heaven 3 times in less than a year. We just loved the place. When I talked about going back a few months later my wife gave me "THE LOOK". [Smile]

Our gang will be headed down in March for our 8th trip.

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There is no great fun, satisfaction, or joy derived from doing something that's easy. Coach John Wooden

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Terry Green
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I'll throw this in before I leave....

On this trip I did something I've done before, ...

Used a certain flash light to find blood....during daytime.

[campfire]

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"An anchor point is not a destination, it's an evolution to execution" - Me

"It's important, when going after a goal, to never lose sight of the integrity of the journey" - Andy Garcia

Black Powder Gang ......... & www.loopaddictions.com

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Pointer
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I'm there last week of January with the same crew I had last year.. Been thinking about nothing else for days..
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sticksnstones
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Glad you fellas found the thread, and thanks all for the comments this far! Terry I hope that trip to the Dome was a memorable one!

I guess I'm up to day 2 then, let me pour a cup of coffee here.
Thom

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sticksnstones
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Day 2
When I woke up I found that Terry and Keith had arrived sometime in the night. I thought to myself “these guys must be good hunters!” They had unloaded all their gear, unpacked hunting gear, setup bows and quivers, and apparently dispatched a beverage or two in the process. Sneaky guys, all that and I didn’t hear a thing.

I started walking towards the lodge at 6:30 and was hit by the smell of bacon as I stepped out of the bunkhouse door. There is no better smell in hog camp that frying pork! I opened the door to the lodge and the aroma of fresh dark coffee was added in the air. Man life is good in camp! I gave Harry the wonder dog a good pat while having coffee with Andrew and discussing hunting plans for the morning. A short time later the guys came over and we all did some hand shaking and breakfast eating before breaking out the big maps.

I told them about all the places and times I’d seen pigs in the last two days, and where I saw the best rooting activity. Terry and Keith decided they’d go down in the swamp, I had decided to check a new section of the property Charlie recommended that was a nice mix of thicket and hardwoods. Here are some details for those of you that know the property a bit. The guys went down the right turkey foot, but hung to each left turn to come out in Swamp Field (aka the one behind #7 road.) I used the main trail to check out Thing One and Thing Two, broke through the timber to check an old logging deck with plume grass, then I cruised the pines between Blue Lake and the picnic area on the East side of the road. I gotta say I was REALLY disappointed that I didn’t see a single hog in two hours of going, and even worse I saw almost no rooting activity. I’d have to talk to Charlie later!

There is an old logging deck near the middle of the property, although the last one had no sign, this one had a lot of thick cover all around it. I decided I’d enter the section from the SE side and work towards Wild Fire whichever way the wind would let me. I stopped long enough for some trail mix and a little jerky, then gave a final check of the wind. Wind forced me to go about 100 yards towards the swamp and then enter the river cane diagonally. It would limit how I could hunt it, but it should pretty much put me straight into the best part of it. I took 10 or 15 quiet steps off the logging road and stopped and glassed. I like to take a few minutes to take a knee and go into sneaky mode. About 5 minutes into my sneak I see a black tail wagging out of some short grass. Now this isn’t my first dance, I freeze. Finding hogs can be tough, but finding the little one that is going to bust you is really hard! I slowly lift my 6x binoculars and get a really good look at this hog. It’s nice sized, probably just over a hundred pounds, all black, and moving off at an angle. It’s a very favorable direction to the wind, and it’s eating way more than walking so it shouldn’t be hard to close about 20 yards for a shot… Now where is the squealer? There they are, 3 more the exact same size. Two black and one brown with black spots. One of those spots almost looks like a target on it’s ribs. I like the idea of that shot, and with that the cat and mouse begins again.

I would catch up a couple quiet steps, they would move a few more away. We moved down a little hill together but I wasn’t catching up as fast as I’d like. At one point I loose track of them a little so I lift my binos to scan some palmettos and between me and there I see some black hair! It seems I’ve stumbled up on a bedded hog at about 15 yards. GREAT! I’d love to shoot one where it lays, but which end is which? I can see about 20” of the top of it’s back and that is all. The hairs are all horizontal and I can’t make out anything muscle wise to help me know which side to approach from. I figure wind is just a little better from the left so I start to circle that way around a hog I’m guessing is about the same size as the other four. As I’m sidestepping behind a tree my movement catches his attention. I have one foot hovering over a dry branch when I hear something and look up to find him on his feet staring at me. Now something occurs to me “where did that giant boar come from?” It has a little black line on the top of it’s back, but the rest of it is tan/red/brown. I’m sure I couldn’t have put my arms around it’s chest, it’s a BIG hog. As I drop my foot and spin to draw it begins to trot and I am left to simply watch it trot out of range without releasing an arrow. Had I been a swing-draw guy it would have been a great shot. Too bad that long anchor release is the way I shoot.

With my heart still racing I walked over and put my 68” longbow in it’s bed for a picture:
 -

I took a few minutes to collect myself and promptly kicked out two does downwind when I started moving again. Wind was shifting and it was getting closer to time for lunch so I headed back via Blue Lake to visit the statue and spot some gators. Might not have been the most action packed morning, but it was sure good to be among them three days in a row.

Back in camp I caught up with Andrew and Charlie. Charlie let me know I’d gone into Thing Two from the wrong side to see the rooting and offered me another route for future use. Terry and Keith got back to camp and we started going over where we’d seen what kinds of activity. Out in the swamp the pigs were bypassing feeders for Chestnut Oaks. They’d found several trees dropping and they all looked like minefields with all the rooting. I confirmed the Water Oaks were barely being touched, last year they held the heaviest activity. We were about done comparing notes when Joe arrived in camp! We had some good handshakes, stories, and a bit of lunch and we all broke back out of camp for an afternoon hunt.

I took Joe right back to where I’d seen pigs in the morning. None of them blew out and I suspected there were a bunch more in there. We went in a bit late in the afternoon and worked the wind for a few hours. We found tons of activity, but in the river cane it was focused on rotting logs and branches. A few more pieces to the puzzle. We finished up and headed back to camp without jumping any hogs. Sometimes it’s just the way it goes.

On the way back to camp I stopped and picked up a few memory cards. I dropped a little more hog candy at Dave’s Field which had been hit hard in the last 24 hours as the pack in the picture above shows. I also put up a LED light for the monster nocturnal hog, I knew if I was going to get after him it would probably be a late night deal. I also put a few more stakes down on the blind and put a seat in there. Speaking of that big dude, back at camp I found just one misty picture of the guy. At 2:30 in the morning!
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A few guys had to cancel at the last minute, so for us this year our camp was full and we all had boots on the ground. The great thing about this time of year is that it’s dark at 6pm and that leaves lots of hours for fires and stories. We did really well on those that night, and we had some awesome steaks to boot! We shared all our gathered info from the day and made a plan for the next morning before our discussions wandered on to many many tales of hunts gone by. Entertainment of this caliber is priceless!

While we were at our fire, creatures were lurking in the swamp…
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Thom

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smokin joe
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Thom is doing a great job telling the story so far. For those of you who have not been to Andrew's place yet. Here is a photo of a very big old cyprus tree near Hog Lake on the property. I am standing next to it for scale.

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TGMM
Compton
PBS

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sticksnstones
Contributor 2017
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There are some monster trees down there! I love how the swamp looks when there is high water and a big moon near dusk. The sounds of the swamp in the warmer weather is indescribable too!

Last year we started off the thread with a group picture of everyone in camp. I usually travel with an older, but good quality, digital camera with a timer and a cheap tripod. It's awesome to be able to get nice group photos. I did have that setup with me on this trip, but one of our trail cameras captured this picture and we all decided it captured the real spirit of this hunt.

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From left to right: Thom, Terry, Andrew holding Harry, Joe, and Keith.

Not exactly chronological to the story, that picture was taken a little further into the week. More on that soon. Here comes day 3...
Thom

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sticksnstones
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Day 3
If there was one low point in the week of hunting for me, it was day 3... Days like this is how we earn the good days.

Now I can't say the day itself was bad. Andrew had some business early in the morning in Columbia so I got to play camp host for a bit of the day. I got up early and cooked up some sausage and eggs for everyone and enjoyed a pot of coffee while the guys were getting themselves ready for the day.

We had decided that a section of the right turkey foot was holding good sign of hogs hitting feeders right at sunrise and it would be a good bet. We looked at the map and created a nice line between 3 stands. Terry would take the one highest up on the hill, I would take the lowest point in the palmettos, and Joe would go all the way back to White Oak for those who know where that is. We went out and were in place before sunrise and sat patiently without any of us seeing or hearing a single hog. Did I mention this was a rough day?

At 11am Terry and I met at the truck and chatted. I had a camera to pick up at Mulberry so we walked out there and retrieved it. We had a great talk on the way and looked at a bunch of sign. Upon return we saw Joe had just arrived and we headed back to camp to regroup to make an afternoon plan over lunch.

You might have noticed I hadn't named a spot for Keith. Poor guy got hit with a killer headache that morning and decided to try to sleep through it. When we got back to camp we found Keith was back to 100% and making coffee. Now Keith and coffee is a whole different story that someone needs to post sometime. As a passionate coffee drinker and an engineer I'm heartily impressed with his coffee ritual!

Andrew wasn't back to camp yet but he left a HUGE boston butt for us to enjoy. Charlie rolled into camp from doing some work on the other end of the property. I pulled that butt out of the oven and put out some awesome local BBQ sauces and we all enjoyed a fantastic lunch while catching up Keith and Charlie on our dismal hunting report from the morning.

Morning stories turned into afternoon planning, and the discussion started sounding pretty depressing. We had gathered a lot of info about their current timetable and preferred food sources, but we couldn't come up with a plan to give us really good odds. We needed more info.

We decided the best way to maximize our chances for the remaining days was to pay some dues and spend a few hours scouting hard. Terry and I made a long list of spots and chores, loaded up stands, sticks, and cameras and headed off into the property. Keith and Joe took their bows into a section that looked good on the map that nobody had been into.

Terry and I put out cameras, setup two stands in the swamp, looked at lots of oaks and acorns, evaluated a lot of trails between food and bedding areas. We found this track where I had the encounter with the big boar the day before.
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As if the day wasn't disappointing enough, we went to Dave's Field hoping to be motivated by aggressive rooting and great pictures. The hog candy was still on the ground and only 7 pictures were on the camera. The green LED light and leaving my dirty hunting shirt in the blind the night before was apparently too much for the hogs. I again left that shirt in there and left the light set to a low glow. I did put out a little more hog candy in hopes the sweet smell of it might bring them back. Not good.

I snapped this picture on the way back to camp, just looked nice to me.
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Back at camp Andrew had some delicious chicken baked and ready to serve along with some great veggies, etc. Reports from Joe and Keith were equally unimpressive.

Yes, day 3 was a bad day. Now the only exciting part of the night was when we pulled the camera from Terry's stand in the morning and found it had snapped 150 pictures in <20 hours. With a 1 minute delay and single shot settings, this was a lot of activity. There were a bunch of daytime does in there, and as Terry suspected from the muddy trails there were a few different big boars hitting this feeder. Mud stains across all kinds of plants and earth showed there had been a fight the night before. Looking at the camera we believe these were our two contenders, the actual fight was off camera so we never get to see them at the same time.

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At least that is something to get you excited after a day like this!
Thom

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Izzy
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Someone needs to kill that beast hog! He's awesome. Ive seen a couple that size down there but they were big red sows and were moving too quick to shoot. Enjoying the tale.
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smokin joe
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The sign we saw indicated that some of the hogs have big feet.

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TGMM
Compton
PBS

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SheltonCreeker
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Good stuff. Looking forward to the rest!

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"Other things being equal, it is the man who shoots with his heart in his bow that hits the mark." Dr. Saxton Pope

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Cyclic-Rivers
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Love the Tales. Keep them up. [campfire]

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Relax,

You'll live longer!

Charlie Janssen

PBS Associate Member
Wisconsin Traditional Archers
Mohawk Hudson Traditional Archers
NY Bowhunters

>~TGMM~> <~Family~Of~The~Bow~<

Posts: 17179 | From: Central Wisconsin | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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