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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » PowWow » Trad Gang at Wild Things 2014 (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Trad Gang at Wild Things 2014
Pointer
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What Izzy said about the hog X2

Did anyone get a chance at that beast Thom?

Posts: 961 | From: New York | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sticksnstones
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I tipped my hand a little before closing out the old thread. I didn't get the pig that has haunted my dreams the past few months, but I'm going to try again in April with the Camp hAmbush crew!

I think I've left plenty of hints that this story is about to get much more interesting. Time to get back to writing the next installment!
Thom

PS if any of you guys get a shot at that big boar between now and April I hope you take it!

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sticksnstones
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Day 4
I woke up on day 4 thankful that day 3 was 100% DONE!

We all got up early again and headed to the lodge. Andrew had doubled down on the breakfast pork with bacon and sausage, and the coffee was good and strong. Maybe I should note for folks that haven't been to the new camp that there is one pot for guys like me, and there is a pot of "normal" coffee, not that I ever care to know what's in it. With our gathered intelligence from the day before we decide we need to be on the feeders at magic hour, and then relocate to the chestnut acorns as soon as general rooting time begins. Joe headed for White Oak to be up there prior to the sun cresting, he would then cut into a small group of oaks that were bringing in the hogs. In the meantime Terry would work some exceptional country towards Joe. I would take Keith in as far as the stands at Hog Lake. He would sit there the first hour and then work the winds through the bedding area to the East while keeping an ear to the oaks to his side. I would break out to the hardwood flat at the very tip of the peninsula. There was no doubt there were hogs there, the question was if I could make something happen or not.

Strange how the swamps look so different every time I go back in there off the roads and trails. Sometimes leaves are out, sometimes they are down. Sometimes there is grass and grapes, other times there are none. I tried to keep to the path I knew but it looked so different I quickly lost it. I went to the river and put my left shoulder to it as I traveled with the wind on my right cheek. I was going super slow as I knew I was going right into the heart of some hogs bedroom and it was probably going to come down to who-sees-who-first. Since I was in super sneaky mode, I was lured by a very nice looking log overlooking the Savannah River. It was pretty much a perfect place to sit and relax for a few minutes and catch up on my field notes from the day before. I like to turn short hand into loose paragraphs while still in the field, and this was a beautiful place to do it! I sat typing with my bow on the ground...

Ever get that feeling like you're being watched? I look over my shoulder and there is a good looking whitetail staring straight at me. He's close, seems he'd still be in range of my longbow if he was twice as far. His ears are up and he's on alert, no reason to try to make something happen. I glare at him for a second like he's bothering me and I return to typing on my phone. Now he stomps for my attention. I raise my eyes as if to say "yeah I see you, and I don't care. Please leave" and I return to typing. His rack a very tall and fairly wide for a 6 point, it also had great symmetry and was nearly white. I continued play acting my disgust with his stomping for a few more seconds before he thinks it better to double back the way he came. I paced it out at 13 steps to his prints, but he was uphill so he seemed closer. I considered for a few minutes how I knew he was there. I hadn't consciously heard him, or saw any peripheral movement. I wonder quite a bit if it was a feeling like this that brought that huge boar to his feet two days prior?

I worked the perimeter or the hardwoods for the next couple hours. It was a thick briar overlooking an open (and heavily rooted) white oak flat. I found tons of fresh beds, but I didn't catch any movement or sound of them. Some of the scat was extremely fresh. Invigorated I worked a long circle back to Stiles Field and met up with Keith there. He had worked from Hog Lake back to their on the opposite side of the logging road without seeing a hog. I asked him if he'd mind riding along with me to do a few chores. He didn't seem to be in a big rush to get back to camp so we picked up some memory cards and went back to the old camp. I told Keith it was time to suit up, we were going to go change our luck! I ran the plan past him quickly and I showed him a trail head and we took off down it towards the grass island I'd been resting since day 1. As we approached we could see the grass shaking. We knew this was a nursery so we'd need to be careful of those wet sows. We were praying for a satellite boar, or a small group of young meat pigs.

The first pig came out at 10 yards and was a great looking shiny black hog. We sat and watched. We slipped closer a step at a time. I hoped Keith would have a shot, but it looked like it would be mine. I had a good window and couldn't see a litter in tow. As I started to lift to shoot I saw Keith out of the corner of my eye. He was giving me the thumbs down. They weren't right behind her heels, but she was a young mother too. Three piglets were with her.

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Keith points over his shoulder and there is another group. This time at least we see the piglets first and don't get our hopes up. I snapped a picture while Keith scanned the grasses for any more movement. Without detecting any we snuck back to camp for some burgers at least being able to say we'd seen hogs! Lunch was good and the guys came up with afternoon hunting plans.

I watched the guys depart to their afternoon hunt and I pulled out a tripod seat and went to the practice range to shoot some 3D from a seated position. I was shooting dead on, so I prepared my gear for the first night sit and laid down for an hour nap. Waking up rested I did an extra shower and some extra descenting procedures before loading up and heading to Dave's Field.

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I settled in and everything looked great. I even took my big camera and set it up on the tripod in video mode just in case they came back in tonight. I sat and waited, and darkness came without anything happening. I saw my LED light turn on as the photo sensor realized it was night. Just a little after 6pm. About 45 minutes later I heard a deer blow and take off, not a good sign!

I waited and waited for the distant sound of rooting and squeals, but they did not come. I had told Andrew I'd only stay until 9pm on my first night out as I didn't want anyone staying up late to confirm my safe return. As it was drawing close to time to pack up I heard a big SNORT!!! The pack of hogs that was just a few feet from my blind trampled through the darkness back to a safe distance. I listened as they discussed things among themselves in hog speak and decided it would be really cool to flip on my video camera to record the sounds of them carrying on! When I pressed the power button on the camera the display on the back of the camera light up like the sun! OK, maybe not the sun but it did turn my popup blind into a Chinese lantern and sent the hogs running! Dang, several lessons learned. Hopefully those lessons aren't going to be the difference between back straps and tag soup!

Back in camp the guys were just finishing their spaghetti and dessert. Stories were traded and I caught up on all the one's I'd missed earlier in the evening. Most guys were ready to crash but there were a few big logs still on the fire down by the lake so Terry and I decided to watch them burn down for a little bit. Now it's a little after 10pm and we are just sitting there like hunters do; watching the fire, and talking about where the game might be hiding. Then Terry gets all sort of serious and says in a loud whisper "Did you hear that????"....

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From across the pond there is some noise coming in, lots of it, and it starts getting LOUD! Shortly thereafter some really ugly sounds start off the bushes and we've got some hog fighting in camp!!! I gotta tell you that was a beautiful racket!!! You can't quite make out the two of us over by the porch light in the picture. Too awesome!

Hogs seen, lessons learned, and we got front row seats for the main event. It was a good day!!! I thought to myself, maybe tomorrow....
Thom

Posts: 1513 | From: Grand Haven, Michigan | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pokerdaddy
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Thom, thank you for this amazing write-up. You truly have a gift for placing the reader right there with you. Reading your recap, I'm ready to pack up and head back down!

--------------------
Michigan Longbow Association
Michigan Traditional Bowhunters
Michigan Bowhunters
Compton Traditional Bowhunters
US Army 1992-94

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Guru
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Good stuff fellas....

--------------------
Curt } >>--->

"I love you Daddy".......My son Cade while stump shooting 3/19/06

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Charlie Lamb
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[thumbsup]

--------------------
Hunt Sharp

Charlie

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sticksnstones
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quote:
Originally posted by Charlie Lamb:
[thumbsup]

Well there is high praise! Thanks guys!

I think day 5 is probably the part of the story most of you have been waiting for. Looking like I should get that posted later today.
Thom

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Flingblade
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Good stuff so far Thom but I think it's time to Paul Harvey this thing and give us "the rest of the story". Good to hear there were lots of sightings!
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SheltonCreeker
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Enjoying this thread. Only been once. That is a special place. All this talk of hogs makes me want to go back!

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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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sticksnstones
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I think you're right Gary! Photos are cropped and uploaded, time to write the end.
Thom

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sticksnstones
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Day 5
I was laying in my bunk thinking about all the things that went wrong the night before and what I could do different tonight. I made a few mental notes just a few minutes before alarms started going off. We all enjoyed some breakfast before spreading to the winds. Joe was back off to White Oak, Terry and Keith were off to the pines. I let everyone get out and then I loaded up to walk out of camp.

I hunted the 35 acre field between the camp and the boat ramp. I found a nice hog skull in there and took it back to camp. I checked a few other spots near Rattlesnake Field and a few spots in between with some acorn rooting. I was still back in camp early enough to invite Andrew to come to Dave’s Field for my reset of batteries, memory cards, and to put out a little more hog candy.
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We did that little chore to prepare for the night and went back to camp. The other guys were back and not bloody so we all headed to town for some good BBQ at Lester’s. After a trip to town the guys returned to the woods. Since they were all up in the pines, Andrew and I went to the swamp to pickup tree stands, place cameras, and do a couple other little chores. We were back in camp at 4pm and I was showered/changed and on my way to my blind at 4:30. I guess I was motivated! Apparently it was a pretty short trip to my spot too:
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I settled in and relaxed, I thought this could be a long sit as the cameras on this spot had slowed down steadily over the course of the past few days. At 6:06 three does came in and started eating the plain corn spread by the feeder. It was a lot of fun watching them trying not to touch or eat any of the hog candy that was down there. Once it was fully dark I started moving around a lot in the blind. I wanted to know how much movement I would be granted if any hogs came in later. I’m all but waving my arms inside the blind with the closest deer at 5 yards and it doesn’t notice me. This is good. I’m also impressed that either my scent isn’t carrying, or leaving that hunting shirt in here for a few days got them used to the idea that I belonged here. Even when I burp and reminisce on my recent trip to Lester’s it doesn’t spook them out! This is good.

At 6:36 something comes into my blind. I kept my phone next to my toe so I could use it as a low power flashlight for such occasions…. But whatever it is, it’s sitting ON my phone. I wait and it scurries up into my SafariTuff quiver. Now I grab my phone and shine it up in there to see what it is! It’s just a mouse but I scare the scat out of it and it comes running back down towards my hand! Apparently this situation is a little too much for the little dude and he’s high tailing it out of dodge. As it tries to get under the wall of the blind it ends up running up it! In a split second he fell off and went out as planned, but the sound of it’s nails on the nylon was enough to send the three deer off like a shot!

I got out my other flashlight and I put my cell phone in my boot, I also got out one extra broadhead to dispatch said mouse should it return. It had only been a minute but I already was missing the company of those deer.

We’ve got a lot of pictures coming up here, next part will take a few different posts.
Thom

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sticksnstones
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Day 5 continued
At 7:35 I can hear the sounds that hogs make. The sounds are close and they are getting closer. I ready myself and decide I’ll shoot from my knees instead of seated. I make all needed adjustments silently while I wait. I also move my backup arrow to be even handier in case it might be needed.
I catch my first glimpse of them at 7:40:
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More come into view at 7:41:
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Also at 7:41 a fog comes in, this is a BIG problem with my light situation:
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Nothing to do but sit and wait, I can hear more of them have come in but I can’t see for a shot:
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7:45 the fog begins to lift, but I still can’t make out a clean shot:
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By 7:46 I’m confident in what I can see but they are stacked up 2, 3, and 4 deep! Knowing the penetration I get out of these TuffHeads with this 85# longbow I don’t dare shoot. Still waiting….
 -

Patience is a really good thing to have on days like this.
Thom

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sticksnstones
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 -
Thom

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sticksnstones
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Once everything was absolutely perfect I drew back on a nice hog and loosed my arrow.

The bow was dead silent, the smallest sound of an arrow passing through a ribcage could be heard, and the arrow came to rest in the clay behind the animal. For a split second nothing happened. Even the animal that I shot didn't flinch. Then in unison they all scattered back about 30 yards.

I watched as three of them started to come back in, and then held on the perimeter at about 20 yards facing straight at me. I thought I saw the one that I hit move to my right. Just about 15 yards past the feeder I thought I could hear a little thrashing in that direction. I head it a few times, but not loud.

I waited a few minutes and nothing more happened. I exited the blind at 8pm on the button and went back to camp to get some helpers.
Thom

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sticksnstones
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While I was getting the boys and my blood trailing kit:
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Little buggers did come back in as soon as I left.
Thom

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