The tribe just returned from a fantastic week in the SC sun! Our group of eight from SW PA plus Thom Jorgenson from Michigan had a wonderful time hunting, laughing, eating, relaxing, and then some more laughing!
Half our guys hunted 5 days, the other half went for 3. Thom had everything ready by the time we got there. He had input from his trail cameras and observations, and soon had everyone heading out to the active stands and blinds. The action was immediate with several sightings and even some shots, usually at the first sit.
We did plenty of exploring and still hunting during the day then usually ended with an evening sit at a hot spot. I was fortunate to stalk a group of 11 hogs first morning and was almost in range when they sensed me and took off. Man, what a thrill!
I got my second chance in a treestand the next evening. A really nice boar completely circled me to get the wind. Then he almost left but came back again to test the wind and stare me down. This went on for 25 minutes before I was able to get a shot. I was a basket case by then and blew it with a non-lethal shot too low behind the front leg.
The others in camp had multiple sightings and opportunities, we even had a few misses. Our only success came from our new guy. Blaine had never hunted with us before and was a late entry to the group. Thom really looked after him and helped pick out good spots to hunt. Blaine used his climber at a feeder on his first evening and shot a really nice sow. We all joined in the morning search but it was Harry the wonderdog who found the hog in the thick cane. We all shared in Blaine's excitement. Great job!
We had great weather. Sun and mid 80's early, rain in the middle, then more sun and 70's at the end. The high ground was pretty wet, as well as the swamp. The footing was nice and quiet after the rain. Overall it was really good weather.
Of course our host and very good friend Andrew really took care of us and fed us way too much! I think we gain weight during our hunt. He's such a cool guy too and fits in with our gang like we have known him forever. It was also good to see our good friend Charlie. We always enjoy his company during our stay. I am always impressed by his ability to follow a faint blood trail.
Thom was a welcome addition to our camp. We have been emailing for quite awhile and he always expressed a desire to hunt with us. I am so glad the chance finally came. We all now have one more person we can truely call a friend. Thom, it was a pleasure!
All told we saw 150 hogs during our hunt. Many of those were really close with shot opportunities. We saw alligators (a 9 footer in the camp pond), deer, turkeys, swamp birds of all types, ending with a nighttime chorus of owls and frogs. This is a direct result of Andrew's continued hard work and desire to make Wild Things an experience, not just a hog hunt.
I'm sure pics will follow as others join in.
Thank you Andrew!
Posted by Stickbow (Member # 751) on :
Posted by Guru (Member # 616) on :
Great trip! I'd like to meet Andrew someday soon.
Posted by Cyclic-Rivers (Member # 21222) on :
Sounds like you had a blast, I hope to see some pictures and some of the other stories.
Posted by Rick Butler (Member # 7393) on :
The Camp(H)Ambush crew will be heading down in 3 weeks. We are really look forward to this. We do have one open bunk if anyone is interested.
Posted by ScouterMike (Member # 9739) on :
Yes, the tribe had a great week at Wild Things! Hospitality and food was over the top. Andrew is the real deal. It makes all the difference when your host is a true experienced hunter, a gracious host, can whip up the very best in fixins and has become a true friend. Thanks Andrew!
The hogs were there and the hunting was great. I had an awesome time stalking hogs in the short pines. Got within shooting distance 3x but the hogs nose won 2x and those darn briars ripping at my clothes spooked the other one. I also had the pleasure of watching the Beastmaster stalk a group of 11 hogs we spotted feeding in the open pines. Those years of stalking groundhogs sure paid off, he got very close, I was sure he was in range but he said not quite and held for the sure shot. I would bet the fickle winds tipped off the hogs.
We meant a new friend in Thom who freely shared his expertise and helped guide us to the hog activity. Perhaps if I would have heeded his advice I may have got a shot. Blaine, the new guy did and claimed the only hog. Congratulations Blaine! Thanks Thom!
Good luck to Camp(H)Ambush! We left some hogs for you to hunt but ate everything in sight. Hopefully Andrew will go shopping before you get to Wild Things.
Posted by keng (Member # 40816) on :
glad you guys had better weather. dave, with all the stalks and kills on elusive groundhogs, and the crowd you hang out with, i thought you would have nerves of steel. Ice water thru your veins, so to speak. Speaking from experience, and lots of it, you dont have to kill to have a great time, as you all know
Posted by Bud B. (Member # 24907) on :
Oh yeah! Let's see those pics of the happy campers!
Posted by hawkeye n pa (Member # 2645) on :
I was another from the tribe that had a great time. Didn't get any shooting but was "among them" on several occasions. And seen a variety of unique wild life. Accommodations and meals where excellent. No pictures, the camera stayed home, but I did have the camera charger:) Thanks goes out to Andrew, Thom and Charles.
Posted by Red Beastmaster (Member # 820) on :
Most of the tribe is too primitive to figure out how to post pics. I'm sure after Sticksnstones finally unpacks all the gear from his Prius he will be posting the photos for us.
I learned one thing last weekend. The three day hunt was not long enough! I was just getting into it and then time to leave.
Keng, after the long stare down I was lucky to even get the bow drawn back. No groundhog can prepare you for that! What a cool experience to see how a mature hog enters a stand site. See you at the golf shoot.
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
Man thanks for the kind words guys, I figured I was the lucky one to get to share camp with the Tribe! My hunt journal from this week is almost two dozen pages long but I'll offer a few little excerpts and a few photos.
First off here is the group that has been doing this hunt for quite a while, plus the new guy 4th from the left:
These fellas were a real pleasure to do a hunt with. They always spend a little time taking pictures and searching for arrowheads between stalks and sits. I think it's smart not to get all crazy worked up with the hogs.
The day before they arrived Charlie found a dead hog in a slough. Andrew and I waded back in there (no gators in Blue Lake right?) and we found the critter. I figure it must have died of old age as there wasn't a mark on him from an arrow or a bite. Thinking about collecting this skull to boil for a camp decoration:
First night out I sat until dark, here was my roadblock on the way back to camp:
That dude stood there and wouldn't move until I rolled down my window to start shooting video of him.
That night a few shots were taken, but not by me. The next evening this girl came out on her own:
I let her settle down over about half an hour before setting up to shoot. Look at the beautiful mane! I got everything just perfect, came to full draw on her at 7 yards, took one last look at the beautiful razorback and I loosed my arrow harmlessly through the hairs I was looking at. Just like a guy shooting an arrow between the antlers I did go 10 for 10 into the vitals out to 24 yards earlier that same day. Dang it! I really wish I had a better picture of that hog.
Just before I took that shot, about a mile away Blaine drew back for the second time of the day and put an arrow into a nice meat hog. He reported the hit was a bit far back. Between that and several rain storms coming through overnight and a couple coyotes howling in the vicinity, I don't think anyone had much hope of recovering the hog. About 10 minutes after we all got online and started walking, Blaine looked down to see Harry the wonder dog gnawing on a hog's ear and growling.
All in all it was a GREAT hunt. 5 out of 5 shots taken were in daylight hours. I know of at least two shots that were passed on for different reasons, and of course there were a bunch of stalks that got busted by wind at the finish line. Always a ball hunting hogs!
I'd write some more but I'm about to make myself late for leagues! Curt, Rick pointed out we have one bunk the week of April 13th, just sayin Thom
Posted by Red Beastmaster (Member # 820) on :
I always snap at least one group photo each time we are at the camp. This was the eighth trip for a few of us. I have quite a collection of pictures. Good times.
One thing I've noticed is that the pics seem to have a little more white around the hunters faces each year. It must be the suns glare into the camera or something.
Thom, thanks for proving that we were actually there. Our wives were getting a bit skeptical.
Posted by Longbow58 (Member # 36872) on :
Good deal looks like fun. Congrats.
Posted by maineac (Member # 15727) on :