This is topic we ran out of meat hooks at Wild Things last week in forum PowWow at Trad Gang.com.


To visit this topic, use this URL:
http://tradgang.com/noncgi/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=147800

Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
"I was once accused of writing a four page story about walking down a road. I checked that old thread and it was actually 7. I've got a bit to say here for folks with a little patience to enjoy it." I have notes to compile and pictures to crop, but this will be the place I will share my hunting journal from my December 2015 hunt.

Light a fire and pour a cup, I should be able to find the beginning and the end of the story over the next couple days. It was an amazing week and I want to do it justice.
Thom
 
Posted by Pointer (Member # 11915) on :
 
Looking forward to it Thom....also hope you left me some..I get down there on January 6th lol
 
Posted by Doc Nock (Member # 116) on :
 
WEll, Get to it ya long armed bow shooter you!

Some of us haven't the big doings like most for the holidays, stove up after surgery and doing rehab alone at home...

So bring your "A" game... I'll be one reading every word...
 
Posted by goingoldskool (Member # 38326) on :
 
[campfire] [campfire] [campfire]
 
Posted by 23feetupandhappy (Member # 18774) on :
 
A cup of [coffee] by the [campfire] ........
Check [thumbsup]

Ok I'm ready!!!!!
 
Posted by KentuckyTJ (Member # 12840) on :
 
Dang it. Nothing on TV and I'm needing something to read. I just had my nightly beer and now I am sure to fall asleep soon.
 
Posted by Bisch (Member # 17432) on :
 
Out with it! You know most of us are impatient when it comes to a good hunting story!!!!!

Bisch
 
Posted by Butchie (Member # 2573) on :
 
[campfire]
 
Posted by BowHunterGA (Member # 4952) on :
 
I was there and lived it.......and yet I am still anxious to read all about it from Thom's point of view. [Wink]
 
Posted by Bud B. (Member # 24907) on :
 
[campfire]
 
Posted by Terry Green (Member # 3) on :
 
Great for you Thom. ....can't wait to hear all about it.

Even if it's takes 70 pages!!!
 
Posted by longbow fanatic 1 (Member # 18603) on :
 
[campfire] [coffee]
 
Posted by DanielB89 (Member # 37294) on :
 
[campfire] [campfire] [campfire]
 
Posted by T-Bowhunter (Member # 35398) on :
 
[campfire]
 
Posted by Cyclic-Rivers (Member # 21222) on :
 
I'm tuned in! sounds like a good one.
 
Posted by KAZ (Member # 23991) on :
 
[campfire]
 
Posted by Guru (Member # 616) on :
 
Nice, Looking forward to more!
 
Posted by smokin joe (Member # 15756) on :
 
[bigsmyl] [bigsmyl] [bigsmyl]
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
Wow! Must be bad hunting weather if this many guys are tuned in!

Here is our main cast of characters from last week:
 -
From left to right; me, Steve, Andrew holding Harry, Luke, and Ted.

I arranged with Andrew to go down a day ahead of the main party so I could knock some chores out on the property and get the cameras back out and running. Here is my journal entry from that day.
***
Sunday December 13th 2015
Get up at six, make some strong coffee and start sorting out cameras and lights. Down to 3 Moultrie cameras as one is shorting out pretty bad now. I will take that home and see if I can bring it back to life. I will deploy the cameras to: Daves Field, Pine Field, and "Thom's Experiment" a little project I've been dreaming up for a while.... Two Kill Lights have completely killed themselves with moisture, I slap the last one on the bottom of the Camp Feeder just for the fun of it. When the batteries die I'll toss it too.

10am I'm on the Gator and checking sign. Sign by pine is incredible!!! Even with all the sign I can't believe a guy killed two out of that stand two weeks ago as open as it is, but there you go. Apparently the hogs are hitting this spot hard! Lots of sign everywhere I look around the property, but can't get to swamp. The picnic area has turned into a boat launch!!!

I head back to camp with Intel gathered and cameras deployed. The biggest concentration of deer sign is at Dave's Field so I'll go sit that tonight keeping the hog areas super fresh for the other guys.

I take practice shots and a shower, then make some quick phone calls to Andrew and Steve. After that I load my new Black Widow longbow into my new truck and head around the highway route. Feels like I'm starting a brand new chapter, and that feels good!

I'm in the blind by 3:00, squirrels showed up at 3:30 and a bunch of doves at 4:00. Feeder goes off at 4:30 just as I catch this journal up. Darkness settles in at 6:20. Well that wasn't too exciting. Just not the right place at the right time...

Andrew was in camp upon my return. We ran to Estill to do some chores and ate some Chinese food. Either it was exceptional or I was exceptionally hungry. Back in camp in camp Andrew realizes he bought pistachios in the shell instead of just the nuts to put in the salads. We enjoyed a few beverages and shelled 3 pounds while we caught up.

I leave Andrew to finish up his chores and retire early.
***
While I was walking out of Dave's Field, this was the scene at Pine Field:
 -

Don't worry, things will pick up the next day when Steve arrives.
Thom
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
I found a picture of the flooding, that water running back over my right shoulder is the Turkey Foot!
 -

Nobody stepped foot past that little knoll behind me. This effectively cut the property in half. I was worried about burning out stands but it wasn't a problem at all. The last night we still had 5 feeders that were never sat.

Gotta go wrap up my last work project for the year, but I'll get started on the Monday part of the story as soon as I can.
Thom
 
Posted by Red Beastmaster (Member # 820) on :
 
That little knoll behind you at the weir is where my wife and I saw the 12' alligator. The swamp was flooded just like that on our visit a couple years ago.

It was right after that Andrew buried the Toyota in a ditch. [Smile]
 
Posted by LostNation_Larry (Member # 2179) on :
 
I gotta know if you used any of those 100+ spined arrows I made for you?
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
Here is the journal from the next day.
***
Monday December 14th 2015
Up at 7am up for a cup of coffee with Andrew at the main camp, Charlie came in just a little while later. Always good to see him and catch up, I kinda like to bend his ear about the hogs too. A man named Jay arrived at 9am as expected. He is a game warden for the state of SC, but also a biologist and lifelong outdoorsman. I like Jay a lot, super sharp guy. The four of us did a mosquito ridden three hour tour of the property and concluded with a nice lunch in camp. We talked habitat, planting, soil, and so forth for another two hours. I wasn't exactly getting ahead on my daily chores, but I think it was a very good use of time learning from his direct experiences with hogs.

Steve Angell arrived just after noon and settled in at the table and shared in the conversation. At 1:30 I grabbed Steve and we did a gator ride and collected/redeployed cameras. Pictures showed Daves Field was hit by a bunch of big hogs about 11:30pm. Pine Field was more encouraging at 6:15. Just about the last minutes of possible shooting light. Thom's Experiment didn't have a track. Yet...

3:00 we were done with all the camera business so we got on our hunting clothes and went out to sit Wild Fire and Hog Wallow. Two stands near the center of the property, but pretty close together. I figure there are hogs around and with the acorns gone they will hit one or the other.

We were in our perches by 3:45. 4:10 I spot a hairy black tail wagging behind me about 40 yards. I consider pursuit as the wind is good, but I figure they are just early for corn and wait. Feeder at 4:30, but nothing charges in. 4;51 rain drops fall and dark clouds choke out the shooting light. 5:00 I see a flashlight beam. This was my sign to go get Steve, but it was too early. Knowing Steve is a hunt-every-minute-you-can kind of guy I wonder what's up.

When I arrive he is standing on the ground about 40 yards from his stand. I ask "Rain run you off?" Steve replies "Nope, mosquitos.... Well that and the dead hog over there." Dang, he got me. Sure enough she was a beautiful sow.
 -

I grabbed my truck and we took her to the skinning shed. Before getting started on field dressing I wanted to let Andrew know we were going to be late for dinner. Arriving at camp we met Ted and Luke who had just arrived. They were very excited and wanted to come check it out so we all headed back to the old skinning shed together. We played the weight game; I guessed 145 and the scale read 150. Not bad, wish I could do that good all the time.

Back at camp Andrew's son Stiles had arrived with his dog Tucker. It's been good emailing and talking to him these past few months as he's getting his recurve setup with new arrows, but it was really good to finally meet him face to face.

We enjoyed a spaghetti dinner with some beer and wine, then talked around the table until midnight.
 -

Steve had a video camera on his gadget adapter so I got the video onto my laptop and we enjoyed a mini movie night of his shot. Called it a night about midnight and retired. Hopefully these guys don't snore!
***

Here is a screenshot from that movie just before he shot, he was getting stormed!
 -

That lead sow is the one we got the extra pictures of [bigsmyl]

Steve might have a little something to say about that shot.
Thom
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LostNation_Larry:
I gotta know if you used any of those 100+ spined arrows I made for you?

Hi Larry, I was hunting my lighter bow this hunt with carbon arrows. I have that heavy weight back now and my quiver is full and ready for my next trip!
Thom
 
Posted by BowHunterGA (Member # 4952) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by sticksnstones:


That lead sow is the one we got the extra pictures of [bigsmyl]

Steve might have a little something to say about that shot.
Thom

Thanks Thom,

Shot was at about 15 yards, steep quartering shot from about 12' high. Shot entered far back in the ribs and I was surprised when the fletchings did not disappear. She traveled about 40 - 50 yards and expired. Heavy blood trail but no exit wound. We would see why back at the skinning shed. The arrow was a 350 spine Black Eagle Outlaw tipped with a 235 grain Grizzly Kodiak. With the other components and the shaft filled with 1/4" rope the total weight is 900 grains even. I was shooting "Bona Fide", my 68" Northern Mist Classic, 73@28.

The reason there was no exit was the 235 Kodiak buried into the lower left jaw bone of the hog. Thinking back on the way she exited the clearing I think the shock just about took her out. I have never seen a hog walk away quivering but this one did all the way to the woods. The one time she stopped before entering the woods he whole body was shaking.

Post mortem:

 -

 -

 -
 
Posted by Longbow1953 (Member # 12111) on :
 
[thumbsup]
 
Posted by Cyclic-Rivers (Member # 21222) on :
 
[clapper] [campfire]
 
Posted by Bisch (Member # 17432) on :
 
Awesome!

Congrats!

Can't wait for more!

Bisch
 
Posted by South MS Bowhunter (Member # 16239) on :
 
Good start Steve [thumbsup]
 
Posted by wooddamon1 (Member # 26099) on :
 
[campfire] Congrats! [thumbsup] [thumbsup]
 
Posted by Duker (Member # 25532) on :
 
Great story [campfire]
 
Posted by Bud B. (Member # 24907) on :
 
[thumbsup]
 
Posted by Pierre Lucas (Member # 7908) on :
 
Outstanding...good times.

God bless,
 
Posted by Warden609 (Member # 9279) on :
 
[thumbsup] [thumbsup] [thumbsup]
 
Posted by yth-mnstr (Member # 2105) on :
 
Love it!
 
Posted by Biathlonman (Member # 13332) on :
 
I'll check back in February, story might be done by then.
 
Posted by WESTBROOK (Member # 8854) on :
 
Ya tellin me Andrew only has one meat hook? [dunno]
 
Posted by 23feetupandhappy (Member # 18774) on :
 
Really good so far!!!!

[coffee]
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by WESTBROOK:
Ya tellin me Andrew only has one meat hook? [dunno]

Needed to take a little time to celebrate Christmas and see family I don't get to see nearly often enough.

Resuming the photo cropping and uploading for the rest of the story. There are a bunch more hooks to account for.
Thom
 
Posted by WESTBROOK (Member # 8854) on :
 
Just tuggin on your chain a little Thom [Big Grin]

Hope you had a great Christmas!

[campfire]
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
No problem man, looking forward to telling the story from the rest of the week!
***
Tuesday December 15th 2015
6:30 wake up and head over for coffee. Other than Andrew and Stiles it's pretty quiet over there. We all trickle into the lodge and have a little breakfast. Stiles leaves out pretty quickly to get to his work for the day. I setup a camera to get a good daylight picture of Steve and his hog before we break out the butchering knives on it.
 -

Steve put aside all the prime cuts, then handed me the ribs for a little camp snack. All the rest went to local butcher for immediate sausage making. They say it should be ready for pickup Saturday morning. Back in camp I prepared and seasoned the ribs for later cooking.
 -

Once our butchering chores were complete, we jumped in the gator and collected up all the cameras and redeployed them to different feeders. My little experiment fails for another day, I am confident this will bring in hogs so I top dress a little hog candy and spray the juice up in some short pines to spread the smell. Everyplace else we went was hit by hogs overnight.

While we were doing all this stuff, Ted and Luke had to run to Wiggins to get their SC hunting licenses. When they got back they hunted the South side of the pond towards highway 3 through some recent rooting activity, no hogs seen in the morning.

Enjoyed lunch of turkey soup at 1pm. We review the pictures and see lots of promising info, especially Gumbo which got hit hard about half an hour before dark. The camera went into night mode, but this is a nice shot from that sequence.
 -

After a long chat we shoot our bows in camp for a bit, clean up, and load out. Luke takes Wild Fire where Steve sat last night for his first sit. His father goes to Hog Wallow where I saw the one the night before. Steve goes to try out Crossroads, and I go up to Pine Field where a guy killed two in one sit a few weeks ago. I'm in stand late at 4:06 but it’s undisturbed thus far. Good sign. 4;30 the journal is up to date as feeder goes off. I hope they hit this feeder first on their circuit tonight! I sit until dark and am a touch frustrated as I head to the truck. Right as I get there I see a headlamp coming in. Steve says he saw two deer and no hogs, no shot presented. We agree we got in too late and take oath to be on stand at least one hour earlier tomorrow. Andrew’s truck is coming up main road so we wait for him to rollup.

Ted had a lone boar come in at 5:30 and eat in front of him until Andrew came in to get him after dark. He said that he thought about drawing on him a few times but didn't, he really wanted to see how much movement he could get away with and see how a pig would react so he could hunt them with more confidence in the future. Probably a wise investment of time on his first day hunting pigs.

The best news came from young Luke's stand. Luke said they charged in right after the feeder went off, exactly like they did the night before. He immediately drew and shot the first broadside pig he could with his Kodiak Magnum. He described the hit and it sounded great! While that one was running away, more hogs ran back in to the feeder. Luke figured "why not", drew, and shot a second hog! This hit sounded well placed, but apparently the arrow hit bone and snapped off at the broadhead. Less than an inch of dark blood on the shaft recovered on the spot.

We converse about the cool and clear night ahead of us and decide to leave the blood trailing until the morning. Back in camp we eat a mountain of roast beef with braised mushrooms and spuds. We talk until ten or so, I don’t envy the restless night of second guessing himself that Luke has ahead of him.
***
As I summarize to myself the first official day of the hunt:
- We have 4 guys with hog and doe tags in camp
- Steve’s already got one hog getting ground up, and he almost got a shot at a deer.
- Luke has shot two hogs on his first day pig hunting.
- Ted passed on several shot opportunities on the hog that walked in front of him.
- I should have picked a stand with a more favorable wind. Rookie mistake.
Thom
 
Posted by BowHunterGA (Member # 4952) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by sticksnstones:
Steve says he saw two deer and no hogs, no shot presented.

Great narration so far Thom!!!!

One of the two deer Thom mentions above was a 80 yard stalk on a small buck I caught hanging out in one of the "5th rows" in the pines along the main road from the old camp. I managed to close the gap to 12 yards and did have a broadside shot but I passed on the little 4 point since Andrew requested to only shoot a buck if it would be mounted as a full shoulder mount. Besides I had won over that little buck at that point. It was quite a rush and my first successful stalk attempt on a whitetail that would have resulted in a shot. I smiled a HUGE smile as he walked off into the pines without ever being aware of my presence.
 
Posted by pdk25 (Member # 12864) on :
 
Great job on the sow, and the stalk, Steve. Keep it coming.
 
Posted by Possum Head (Member # 23948) on :
 
Nice stalk!
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
Steve, thanks for adding the detail on that. Things were so exciting sorting out Luke's shots I didn't absorb exactly how well you did on that stalk! Here is the next part of the story.
***
Wednesday December 16th 2015
Good cheer around camp this morning as we drank coffee until 8am or so, then Steve and I begin our camera tour while the rest of the guys take Harry to go track.

Hitting all the different feeders there is lots of good sign pretty much everywhere. Crossroads is a strange exception, still has corn on the ground from last night. I wonder what happened about this??? My experiment site was finally found by the hogs and it was hit HARD! Looking at the camera footage later proves that the big group of hogs that hit Charlie's Field was the same group that hit this. Combination of some uniquely spotted hogs in the group. So the big question is; where they go first tonight. First one will probably be in shooting light, next stop probably won’t.
 -

We meet up with the other guys on the blood trail and its a bust on the recovery. Just a couple drops and then nothing. Tracks of the wounded pig immediately fell into a path with 9 other pigs and there was no way to tell which one it was when it broke back out in cover. I went into the briar and grid searched for an hour or so, no sign of it in there so I’m guessing it made it out the other side of the patch.

Back at camp an hour later there is much discussion about Luke’s arrow setup. It’s about 8gpp with factory sharp screw in heads. Steve got Luke shooting some of his 650 grain arrows and the kid was shooting them very well! His bow was super quiet, and flight was very good. Steve gave the guys a sharpening lesson and filled Luke’s quiver with RAZOR sharp Magnus Classics for the afternoon sit. If this kid gets another shot it's going to be awesome!!!

In the process of all this going on, I ran out of time to cook those hog ribs. I will catch a bunch of flak about this I’m sure…

Time to hunt! I decide to take Charlie's Field for my sit hoping the hogs come here first instead of my experimental site. Nail biter. Luke goes to Blue Lake Field because he hears it’s promising for deer and hogs. Ted goes to Stiles Flat, a new spot at the edge of pines and palmettos. Steve wants to sit Gumbo but says he will drop back to Crossroads if wind is wrong for it. I’m in my stand at 3:01. Temp is 73 degrees with a light but twitchy wind. 3:34 journal up to date, one hour to feeder. Hogs came in at 5:01 yesterday...

4:30 the feeder goes off as expected. 5:15 a red hog with black spots appears at my 6 o'clock with a solid black one right behind it. They are about 30 yards exactly behind me and the black one stands post as the red one starts a wide clockwise circle about 40 yards out and sniffs the air and every track it crosses. It gets back to the black one and excited to think that they will probably come in... Wrong! The red one begins a second circle and it does another 360 around me just a little closer than the last. It makes it back to my six o’clock and the pair walk off towards the 11 acre field together! Unbelievable!!! I’ve never in my life heard of a hog doing two full circles on a feeder. Argh! 5:45 two does come sneaking in from the same direction but the wind switches and sends them back. 6:00 or so a chorus of coyotes pick up as darkness falls. I go back to camp.

Back in camp I catch up with Steve who did end up sitting Crossroads due to wind. He saw a huge boar right at dark and got s little video of it. Ted saw lots of squirrels, bad sit for him. Lucky Luke saw a bunch of turkeys come in right after the 4:30 feeder went off, he took video of them. Right after that two does crossed at about 40 yards or so. A few minutes later a 12 point buck passed between him and the feeder. Unfortunately he misunderstood the buck policy, so he didn't shoot it. Finally a big doe came in about 5:30 and he shot her. No hogs but a busy couple hours for sure!
 -

We went over all these stories as we ate an “appetizer” course of Steves wild hog ribs and salad, then all decided we were all way too full to even touch the chickens that Andrew had baked for us. They will make great sandwiches tomorrow.

Since Luke’s shot sounded good, we grabbed our flashlights and went to take a look. We picked up on the blood trail right where Luke said she stood when he shot. It was sparse blood, but both halves of that Black Eagle arrow were laying right there showing great penetration. It looks like about half of it was already out the far side when she jumped up and snapped the arrow in half. 60 yards up the way we found her with holes through both of her lungs up high.
 -

This makes it official; Luke has successfully made his first traditional bow harvest! He is also the first guy to put a deer in the cooler since Andrew opened up the option for all hunters this year.

After getting her dressed and in the cooler we hit Charlies Field with a spotlight on the way back to camp at 10pm. There had to be about two dozen big hogs on station as we rolled by.
***
Looking back, that was a very big day to share in that young man’s life. I’m honored that I get to be a small part of that story.
Thom
 
Posted by Joeabowhunter (Member # 35320) on :
 
[campfire] Boy, the hog population seems to be booming there. Good job to all. Keep it coming...
 
Posted by 23feetupandhappy (Member # 18774) on :
 
[clapper]

Lucky Luke or Cool Hand Luke?!?!?!? [saywhat]

Sounds like the young man is very affective with a stick and string!!!!

[campfire]

In for the rest [thumbsup]
 
Posted by Bisch (Member # 17432) on :
 
Congrats to Luke on his first trad kill!

Awesome!

Bisch
 
Posted by stujay (Member # 23799) on :
 
Yep I'm enjoying the story and pics. Will be waiting for the rest. [archer] [campfire] [coffee]
 
Posted by hawkeye n pa (Member # 2645) on :
 
Enjoyed and thanks for sharing.
 
Posted by Anointed Archer (Member # 4286) on :
 
Excellent [thumbsup] [thumbsup] [thumbsup]
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
Jeff, I saw a hawk hunting over the Sycamore field on two different occasions this week. I couldn’t help but thinking about you, and I hope you are well! I’ve got three more pairs of meat hooks to talk about, so I hope you don’t tune out just yet!
***
Thursday December 17th 2015
Normal wake up and coffee, do the camera runs and get soaked in the rain that the weatherman called for all day. I put up my sticks at my experiment, but I forgot my EZ hang strap so I leave my stand hanging off the top step on my top stick. I hate breaking my normal ritual... Er, process. Back in camp the cameras show hogs everywhere!!! Here is the place I decided NOT to sit the night before on my little experiment site:
 -

Don’t get me started…

All hunters agree that the sow on the right is about to drop, and that all of us would give her a pass. I like the looks of that almost white young boar in the middle. Another red boar with black spots looks really good too. Of course maybe I just feel that way after getting the 720 degree treatment the night before.

Killing time hoping for the rain to stop, Steve makes strings for each of the Pennsylvania guy’s recurves. We sneak out between the drops and the guys shoot them in a bit. After that the rain picks up, so we eat some chicken sandwiches and put together some plans for tonight if the weather breaks.

The plan goes something like this: Luke wants to go back to Wild Fire with some heavy arrows and razor sharp heads to try to extend his absurd run of good luck on a hog. Ted believes Stiles Flat has got to hold some mojo, and he wants to try that again. Steve thinks we were slick tracking that deer on Blue Lake Field and the rain washed away our scent. He really wants a deer in the cooler to go with his hog. That picture of the hogs hitting my experiment at 5:00 tells me I need to be there and not on Charlie’s Field as I was the night before.

3:00 Andrew deploys all the other hunters to their stands for an afternoon/evening sit. My spot is so close to camp I walk out on foot. I have my EZ Hang strap in one cargo pocket, my headlamp in the other. My bow is in my hand, and my quiver is across my back. I’ve been shooting good in camp, and the camera tells me I need to be ready and play the wind on my way in. I have high confidence in my plan!

As I get to the point where the wind might get if-fy I break hard to the West and track in through some hardwoods. At 3:20 I can see two hogs between me and my tree, two very nice sized black hogs with their noses down in the water going after my hog candy. This would normally be a VERY good sign, except today I have 60’ of shin deep water between me and my first shooting window. I slog through that water without raising a ripple or raising a boot high enough to make a sound. Just as I get to where I can peak around the last bush to shoot, the afternoon wind switches and puts my scent on the pigs just 12 yards away. Without recourse I watch their noses go up, then I watch them trot off into heavier cover to my right. While these two are probably gone for the night, there were a bunch of bigger hogs who must bed close by!

(aside) this part of the story might be hard to read for some die hard Black Widow guys, reader discretion is advised.

3:45. After being busted on the approach I move to the bottom of my tree. My sticks are still there waiting for me, my stand on the top rung. I have my harness on, my lineman’s belt ready to climb. I attach my bow and quiver to my drag line and rest them on a downed tree beside the one I’m climbing. I make it quickly to the top of my sticks and I begin to place my EZ Hang strap. This is when my knee bumps the stand which is hanging precociously from the top step of the top stick. Sure enough, it’s just enough to knock it free. I watch helplessly as I watch my hang on stand fall towards the earth and land on my bow and quiver.

Then bounce off the log, and land on my bow… Again. Dang.

In that moment I can’t imagine anything worse, then I watch a boar stand up only 15 yards away with his ears affixed to me, starring. I watch his nose work the air, I watch him turn and run away from me towards deeper cover. I watch my hopes for this hunt disintegrate into the briar… IF the bow and arrows survived, maybe, maybe I still have a chance…

I drag up the bow and quiver. The carbon arrows look completely fine, but the upper limb has DEEP scratches all over the belly. I decide I’m not even going to draw it until I have a hog in range. If it’s going to break on me I only want to know if I’m in the zone. I was almost hopeful, until the wind switched again...

I sit in the bad wind and see nothing but two does and a very entertaining fawn. 40 yards at the closest, may of well have been a mile. The rain resumed and was steady alternating between light and moderate. After dark I walk to camp and have a glass of wine to recompose my sense of humor while scraping off my face paint. I sure hope someone got something…

The guys got back to camp just a little after I did. Ted saw nothing. Luke saw some deer, but no shot. Steve shot a doe, but she was super jumpy and the arrow shows just meat with no blood. It was a pass thru. I saw the only hogs of the night. Sometimes hunting is tough!

Charlie stayed for dinner tonight, it was really nice to sit next to him and catch up a little. Brian and Mark from Wiggins were also in camp for a visit and stayed for dinner with us. Dinner was AWESOME steaks, baked potatoes, mushrooms, and a salad.

To bed by 10:30, need to get serious tomorrow!
***
Well, if we are going to be honest about this pursuit of ours we need to expect some days like this. I wish it was all high-fives and gut piles, but sometimes you work way harder than usual and have nothing to show for it. Well excluding those scratches all over your new longbow… Maybe tomorrow.
Thom
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
Well, it seems I won't be able to finish the story tonight. Here is a little side story I don't want to forget.

After 7 years I bought a new truck a few weeks ago. I decided I would take a picture of every dead animal it hauls. Before it's first oil change was due it got these two:
 -

 -

Not a bad start!
Thom
 
Posted by Rick Butler (Member # 7393) on :
 
Great stuff Thom, except of course the abuse you heaped on that poor Widow!
 
Posted by Flingblade (Member # 21996) on :
 
Good read Thom. Sorry about your bow.
Two things I've seen here for the first time; an animal gutted with the arrow still inside showing the exact path it took through the thorax (pretty cool) and Andrew in long trousers. Can't remember ever seeing him in anything but shorts and crocs. But 72 degrees; lawdy, lawdy he must have been shivering.
 
Posted by RC (Member # 162) on :
 
Scratched bows have character and turn in to pure killers. Spray painted ones are even more deadly....Good hunting tale. I said I would never pay to hunt pigs but the time you fellas are having is tempting. RC
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
Thanks fellas! Here she is with her newly added character
 -

Gary, it is a pretty cool picture! I wonder what would have happened to the jawbone if the neck didn't offer so much "give" on impact?

RC, I don't own a "real swamp bow" yet, but it's getting close. If I just had some extra tennis racquet wrap laying around...

Time to wrap this story up!
Thom
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
***
Friday December 18th 2015
Today we need to change our luck! The camera on my hog candy and the one on a feeder up the pond a ways are showing activity as critters move back to cover right at first light. Since these seem to be the only two promising morning opportunities we decide to try them. I decide to stalk in at first light so I can shoot my way in if needed. Steve is going to the Upper End with his climber before sunrise so he can be there waiting if those does come back through again today. We are up at 5:00am and we have a quick cup of coffee with Andrew.

I sit until 9am and walk back to camp. I didn’t see anything, but at least I don't throw my stand on my bow or anything. Back in camp I see Ted about to step off to stalk between the pond and the sanctuary, wish him good luck. Luke is just getting out of his bunk and heading to breakfast. We have some really good hunting talk while Andrew makes a delicious breakfast for us. Steve walks in about 10am, he had a shot at a doe lining up at first light but trail camera “click” ended that shot opportunity early. I feel bad it was my old junk camera that was there, not one of Andrew’s silent ones. Steve seems in pretty good cheer regardless.

Charlie comes into camp, he was looking at Gumbo which didn’t throw the normal amount of corn the night before. Turns out somehow moisture got in the feeder and it was starting to ferment, the soft corn wasn’t feeding the way normal shell corn does. His answer was to just dump all 150 pounds of corn on the ground under the feeder and fill it with fresh. Oh this sounds good!

While Ted is hunting, Steve and I toss Luke in the back of the gator and collect up cameras. On the way we search for any sign of hope on Steve’s meatshot doe at Blue Lake. No sign of any kind. As long as we were there we stopped to visit the angel and look for alligators. Bad trip for gators, only saw one and a few pair of eyes in camp. At Gumbo there was exactly what Charlie described, 150 pounds of sweet smelling, semi fermented corn. This was going to get hit soon, but would it be before dark or after? We pick up the cameras, and put them out one last time to their new locations. This hunt is going to be over too soon!

We head back for lunch and start putting together a plan. The party offers me first dibs, and I call Gumbo. Jumping his turn a very excited Lucky Luke really wants Wild Fire, nobody objects. Steve waits until Ted calls the Pine Field stand, then turns and asks "Thom, why wouldn't you sit Sycamore?"

I replied that if you hit an animal it would dive for heavy cover and that is all covered by 6" of water making tracking nearly impossible. His response: "Damn. If you were to sit any stand other than Gumbo, which one would it be?" I considered everyone else's location, game and human activity for a while. I say "No contest; Hog Wallow."

For about 45 minutes we all shoot, sharpen and shower. I will drive myself in via Northern most gate and come into Gumbo from the back. Andrew will place Ted via old camp road. Steve and Luke will go in together from Crossroads.

2:50 I am in my stand, everything looks perfect but the winds are strong and varying directions wildly. 3:38 and my journal is up to date, less than an hour until the feeder [Smile] It is much cooler tonight, but at least it isn't wet! 4:15 I stand up and flex some muscles to get the blood moving. Need to shake off the shivers before the feeder goes off. Take a few practice draws, settle back in. Feeder goes off. No hogs, no deer. 6:10 I climb down without seeing a thing.

Back at camp Ted says that he didn't see anything either. Luke said he saw 3 does on way to stand, but no shot. Steve had the big news of the night. A hog “at least 100 pounds bigger than the last one, maybe more” walked in during the last seconds of daylight. He thinks he shot it good, and I REALLY hope he did! I’d love to see a 250+ pound boar in the cooler!

We went to Lester's for dinner and Steve collected his 46 pounds of hog sausage there. When you consider that’s skipping the backstraps/tenderloins/ribs, that is a lot of meat! It was also very cool that the butcher could get it done for him before he heads back tomorrow.

Back at the camp we began tracking around 9pm. Blood wasn't great so we called it off after an hour. No sign of the arrow, and not bedding within the first 100 yards seem like pretty bad signs for this one.

There were a few nightcaps had by some guys, but all lights were out by 11pm. I guess this day was big enough, and we all have a big track to get on in the morning.
***
Sorry there wasn’t much for pictures this day, but the pictures coming will make up for it!
Thom
 
Posted by Izzy (Member # 10828) on :
 
Sounds like an awesome hunt, congrats killers. I like the colored ones down there, red, marbled, brown whatever. They are very different from Texas hogs which I think are more reminiscent of pure Russians .

Ill be looking for that white one come March.
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
***
Saturday December 19th 2015
Last day of the hunt for me.

I get up at six and have cup of coffee. Steve and Andrew retrieve Steves climber from upper end. I take Ted and Luke and gather up some cameras and the blind from Daves Field. We left out early and it was a really cold ride. Ice on the puddles, the radio says it’s 27 degrees somewhere nearby.

We setup the blind and a camera at a new feeder called Blue Top. Looks good, I hope it’s ready for hunting by my next trip! Gumbo was cleaned out. CLEANED OUT!!! 150 pounds of fermented corn was GONE by morning. I should have left a camera here I guess.

We gather back at camp, those of us getting out of the convertible shivering a bit. We gear up and hit Steves blood trail at 9am. Steve and I start off with him on the stand and shooting an imaginary longbow towards an imaginary monster. I walked right up to his tracks. This boy is laying down some big tracks that won’t be hard to miss. We search the switch cane for the arrow but there is no sign of it. We start moving up our pieces of tissue from the night before and we start seeing more blood that we missed by flashlight. It’s still light, but it offers a little encouragement.

We’ve gone about a quarter of a mile when the rest of the camp plus Charlie catch up with us about the point we found both halves of the arrow. We get the help we need right as it tapers off to nothing. After a couple lucky breaks we get into soil showing his big prints and it takes us across the main road into the short pines. All the needles are falling this time of year, and it looks dang bad at this point.

“We are never going to find blood in this….”
 -
“Blood here, hand me the peroxide.”

We tracked another 150 yards like this. The ticks, chiggers, and red bugs enjoyed that greatly. When we finally lost blood we tried all the normal tricks but I don’t think there was a hog to find. He had gone almost half a mile without slowing down or stopping the night before, I think it was just too high of a hit. We will probably never know.

We went back to camp for lunch and to meet up with Joe Coots and his son Chase. They weren’t able to do exactly the normal schedule for a 3 day hunt so they arranged to arrive a day late. It was great to finally meet these guys, we’ve been living within one degree of separation for too long.

We all go out just after 2pm, I guess everyone is excited! I sit Gumbo again. Steve is going to be just down from me at Sycamore, I can’t talk him out of it a second time. If he shoots one I hope it falls over dead on the spot, tracking will be a nightmare in there. Ted will be back behind me at Pine Field. At the other end of the property Luke is at Blue Lake Field, Joe is at Charlie's Field, and Chase is going to try the Eleven Acre Field. One last hurrah for most of us.

I'm in my stand by 2:53 even after a big walk. My hunting journal up to date by 3:45. Pretty surprised I didn't jump any on the way in. 4:05 I see two does and a fawn 50 yards off. Man they are moving slow and appear wired tight. They’ll need to get a lot closer and chill out if I’m going to get a shot. 4:20 they are at 25 yards, I can see two more coming in from the South. Doe and fawn? 4:30 the feeder sends them back to about 75 yards. 4:55 they come in for real. Big doe gets as close as 8 yards but I have a brushy banch between us. It’s one of those “one more step” moments that seems to last an eternity. She goes back the way she came, no shot. I have a fawn at 18 yards all relaxed with a swishing tail, but I’m not taking that shot. I watch them work their ways in and out on the far side of the feeder, but never giving a great shot. 5:40 they go on alert looking towards the swamp. Hogs or coyotes??? 5:50 two hogs appear from the brush, both under a hundred pounds. The larger on alert, the smaller just looks inpatient and hungry. They charge in during the last minutes of light and hang behind the feeders metal legs. My eyes are straining hard when the larger one finally comes to the side far enough to clear a shot. I let the arrow fly and see the lighted nock bury into the ground. I grab the string from in front of my string tracker, but it’s still. I missed it clean. Equally relieved and disgusted I cut the string and climb down. My hunt is over.

I clean up my string, put on my headlamp, and head for the truck. As I’m rolling back down highway 3 I see the lights on in the skinning shed, that wasn’t part of the plan! I arrive to see everyone watching Andrew dressing out a little meat hog. Turns out Steve did have a plan for not tracking a hog that night. I’m not sure I’m qualified to describe the actual two shot sequence, but it worked!
 -

Steve says his cooler is all packed with the first hog and offers this meat pig to me. I graciously accept and then saw it down the spine so the Pennsylvania guys have some hog to eat this winter to go with Luke’s deer. We pack the coolers and head back to camp.

Back in camp we find out that Chase almost shot one across the pond when they rolled up an hour before. Someday someone is going to shoot one in camp. We all enjoy a nice dinner and Steve packs up and rolls out for home. It was really good to share a hunt with my old friend.

After dinner Ted, Luke, and I pack up all our gear and get ready for our early departures. Since Joe and Chase have a few sits left I offer them all my notes and thoughts from the week. I hope it helps them!
***

There is the end of the hunt for me, but then I had this in my inbox when I got home Sunday night!
 -

I guess there is more to the story, I hope I get to hear it sometime!
Thom
 
Posted by Rick Butler (Member # 7393) on :
 
[thumbsup] [thumbsup] [thumbsup]
 
Posted by BowHunterGA (Member # 4952) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by sticksnstones:

..........I think it was just too high of a hit. We will probably never know.

I also think the shot was high. It was very close and I thought I was looking low enough but probably not. The arrow was bloodied up 24" of the shaft and he carried it a long way before it broke. Still scratching my head a bit but yea, I think it was a bit high.

I really thought once we found that arrow we would find the hog. After I got back home I took this photo of all the arrows from that week.
 -

quote:
Originally posted by sticksnstones:

I’m not sure I’m qualified to describe the actual two shot sequence, but it worked!

Not much to tell. The first shot was a center-punch and the hog let out a squeal and was anchored to the ground. After 2 seconds it rolled over and then started kicking, after the hours of tracking that morning I was not about to give it the chance to get up so a second shot into the vitals was executed to prevent any chance for tacking.

Looking back at the video there were a couple larger hogs I wish I had zeroed in on instead but there were so many piglets running around in that group I wanted to make sure I did not take a wet sow. Sorry it wasn't more meat for you Thom. [Frown]
 
Posted by pdk25 (Member # 12864) on :
 
I would kill a wet sow in a heartbeat. It is tough to put a dent in their numbers with a tradbow. Great job, Steve.
 
Posted by flyflinger (Member # 19804) on :
 
Awesome stories. Thanks for sharing!
 
Posted by Cyclic-Rivers (Member # 21222) on :
 
Great Recap of what sounds like an amazing hunt.
 
Posted by Hud (Member # 9639) on :
 
Weather isn't the best, one storm after another, rivers are high and colored, good time for one.
 
Posted by Possum Head (Member # 23948) on :
 
Enjoyed reading your journal!
 
Posted by BowHunterGA (Member # 4952) on :
 
Hope this doesn't break any rules but if anyone wants to see a video of the first hog there is a link below to the video. The camera housing amplifies every noise when handling the bow. I started to remove or reduce the sound from the video but if you listen you can hear the hogs grunting which I thought was too cool to remove.

https://vimeo.com/150200663

I will post a link to the second hog in the next few days. (Vimeo limits uploads)
 
Posted by Terry Green (Member # 3) on :
 
Congrats Guys!!!

Great Stories!!!

Looks like ya'll had a sho-nuff BLAST
 
Posted by maineac (Member # 15727) on :
 
Looks like a great time!!
 
Posted by smokin joe (Member # 15756) on :
 
The stories make me wish even more that I could have made the trip to be there with you. Wow! You guys had a lot of action. Congratulations to all.

I'm itching like crazy to get there again soon.
 
Posted by T-D (Member # 34508) on :
 
Good job guys! I really like the video Steve. Andrew and Charlie really have things right down there!
 
Posted by WESTBROOK (Member # 8854) on :
 
Good times there guys!

Thanks for sharin'
 
Posted by sticksnstones (Member # 24842) on :
 
Thanks all!

I was listening to Steve tell the story about he he got that last hog in the skinning shed: "I pinned it to the ground on the first shot, then I put a second arrow through the vitals."

I found myself wondering where he might have learned this technique???
 -

[smileystooges]
Good memories old buddy!
Thom
 
Posted by BowHunterGA (Member # 4952) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by sticksnstones:
Thanks all!

I was listening to Steve tell the story about he he got that last hog in the skinning shed: "I pinned it to the ground on the first shot, then I put a second arrow through the vitals."

I found myself wondering where he might have learned this technique???

Thom

Priceless!!!!!!! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by daveycrockett (Member # 6663) on :
 
[thumbsup] [thumbsup] [campfire]
 
Posted by beaunaro (Member # 19888) on :
 
Great memories!!!

Very nice story, Thom.

Enjoyed following along.
 
Posted by Terry Green (Member # 3) on :
 
I finally got to see the video thanks for sharing I look forward to the second one.....y'all really got me want to go hunting I've been so busy I haven't been since October I'm not was that wild things too
 
Posted by Bud B. (Member # 24907) on :
 
Great reads!

Congrats to all!
 
Posted by Bisch (Member # 17432) on :
 
Congrats to everyone who got something. I'm sure a great time was had by all!

Bisch
 
Posted by BowHunterGA (Member # 4952) on :
 
Second hog taken the week of 12/14/2015 at Wild Things. This was the last day of the hunt and I was running out of light quickly. After shot the previous day shot resulting in many hours tracking with no recovery I was determined to take the best shot presented and prevent lengthy recovery. While I was prepared to stay over night if needed to recover an animal I really needed to hit the road for a commitment back in Georgia the following morning.

Shot was 15-17 yards, first shot was fatal but rather than take a chance when the hog tried to vacate the area I elected to put a second arrow into the goodies.

https://vimeo.com/150671835

Really looking forward to going back to Andrew's. Thom is there again this week with several folks. Lucky man!
 
Posted by 2nocks (Member # 38130) on :
 
congrats guys!
 
Posted by Rick Butler (Member # 7393) on :
 
[thumbsup] [thumbsup]
 
Posted by hawkeye n pa (Member # 2645) on :
 
Good stories, congratulations to all.
 
Posted by T-Bowhunter (Member # 35398) on :
 
[thumbsup] [thumbsup]
 


Copyright 2003 thru 2018 ~ Trad Gang.com ©

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1