Man, it’s been hot the past some days… 100+ degree temperatures. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to go hunting and put some more piggy parts in the freezer.
Earlier this week I called DB Hunting Ranch again, just on a whim, to see if I could do another walk/stalk hunt. They called me back and I was able to go almost immediately, so I booked something and was ready to go. A few hours later I got a callback saying that a friend of mine, Charles, called and wanted to book a walk/stalk hunt too. In the call my name was mentioned, and so they called me back mentioning this and asking if I wanted to change my date so we could hunt together. Sure! This was a complete coincidence because while Charles and I had been exchanging some emails talking about hunting, neither of us knew the other was calling DB. We both just got an itch and decided to individually scratch it, and it came together like it did. Glad it did too, because it was most fun.
So we headed back out and once again Jake was our guide. He’s got an eye and did a great job at spotting. On this hunt I saw a lot more variety than I did on the prior hunt to DB. Saw a lot of whitetail, a couple axis does, black buck, aoudad, rams. Jake kept trying to offer us some of the rams at a reasonable price, but while it would have been a quick and simple kill I didn’t see the point. I’m not going to eat the rams. I’m here for meat, not trophies. Still, it did sow a seed for the future. In fact, during the hunt we were talking about future plans for DB, things that were coming in, and it sure gets me itching for future hunts. Jake knows how to keep business rolling, which is good for him. 🙂
We did see a couple trophy hogs on the hunt. One was sleeping under a pile of brush and Charles was able to get maybe 10 feet from him before the hog took off. At that time we weren’t going to shoot the trophy hogs because of the cost. But later on as I was looking for my second pig, I was riding in the bed of Jake’s pickup leaning on the roof and Charles riding in the passenger seat (he had gotten 2 already). Jake stopped the truck and down a road were 3 pigs: 2 small ones and 1 trophy. I shouldered my new hunting rifle and tried to get a bead on the pigs but because I was so high up in the air a tree branch was obscuring any sort of shot. Damn it. Charles had leaned out the truck window and said he had a perfect bead on them but was giving me the shot. Unfortunately the pigs moved and that was that. Thing was by that point, we had decided that we’d go ahead and take a trophy pig if the opportunity gave itself again (it didn’t) and just split the cost and the meat.
In the end, we each got 2 pigs. The new Savage hunting rifle performed great and I’m pleased with it. The Federal Premium Vital-Shok .308 Winchester 165 grain Barnes Triple-Shock X-Bullet (load P308H) bullet is simply devastating. Charles was shooting a similar Federal load but in .223 55 grain Barnes bullet and had similar results. I put the crosshairs on the shoulders, hit ’em where I was aiming. So the hardware portion of the hunt was better than last time. Since I have more confidence in both my hunting skills and the hardware, I’ll go for the “behind the ear” shots in the future to help preserve the shoulder meat better.
One thing I learned from this hunt is that I need to spend more time on my rifle skills. I spend most of my time focused on handguns, and when I do spend time on rifle it tends to be more slow paced stuff often because that’s all the gun ranges will allow (e.g. shooting rifles from the bench). With these hogs, you do have to be able to move quickly. They are always on the move and you may only have a window of a couple seconds to take the shot. I need to work on that, being able to shoulder the rifle and peel off a “bullseye shot” within 2-3 seconds. I obviously shot fine, but finding ways to practice with a little more speed would be good.
Only real question this morning is what to do with all the meat. Smoke it as is, take it to Johnny G’s to make sausage. Throw a ham in the crock pot. So many choices. 🙂
Good time had. Got another hog hunt booked for next month. This one will be a night hunt.
Updated: Charles posted a write-up and a picture.