I am not sure this is happening. My prey is merely 50 yards away, oblivious to our presence. The sun is dropping and is behind us, and we move, ever so carefully toward our intended appointment. It's July, and I am in Texas. I must be nuts! No, I am hunting. I am hunting with Greg and Fred Abbas from Away Outdoors, on the Outdoor and Vision channels. We are hunting hogs on the Stasney's Cook Ranch in mid-Texas about 200 miles west of Dallas Fort Worth. There is enough scrub brush between us that the stalk brings us to within 35 yards. I whisper to Greg that I am going to try to get with 25 yards before I take my shot.
We move with caution. There is almost no wind, and what there is of it is caressing my cheek. I find myself behind the last shrub and within my 25 yard limit, when I feel a puff of wind at my back. Both me and the hog stop dead. He snorts, and is gone!
Back to the spotting stage. Greg and Fred, acting as cameraman on this trip, have insisted that I take the first crack at a hog. We had just come from a Buffalo hunt in Abilene, Texas, with Buffalo Mountain Hunts, where Greg nailed a 2060 pound rouge Bull. I wasn't too proud to take my crack first.
Our guide, and Wildlife Ranch Manager of Stasney's Cook, Johnnie Hudman, was working hard in the heat of summer to find us a few hogs. We arrived late in the day, suited up, and where hunting within a half hour of getting to the ranch. Because of the heat, it was close to 100 degrees during the peak of the day. We were hunting only early morning and late afternoon and evening. But Johnnie was gracious enough to give us the grand tour of the beautiful ranch. While we were hunting hogs, we saw scores of Whitetail deer,turkey and covey after covey of quail. Johnnie's management of this deer herd and the ranches 25,000 acres has generated some of the finest Whitetail deer populations to be found anywhere in Texas.
Thirty minutes later we spotted two more porkers, both boars. We began our stalk by circling around where we had last seen them and working back toward where we expect them to be. After about a 20 minute stalk, we spotted them coming toward us. Keeping low and out of their sight, we worked toward an ambush point and set up 20 yards from where we though they would pass.
Both hogs were about the same size, so I picked the lead hog. As he cleared the shrub I was behind, I drew my bow, placed the pin and squeezed my Scott release. I blew the shot - high! The hogs were gone. Not taking the time to shoot my bow after my 1000 mile journey was a lesson I will never forget.
By now it was too late to attempt another stalk, and beside I had blown my opportunity.
The morning dawned clear and promised to be hot. After a great breakfast with more food than we should have eaten and with Greg now the designated shooter, we were back on the trail of hogs. Johnnie, led us to the cooler, shadier parts of the ranch in hopes of finding our prey. We saw lots of hogs, but most were sows with little piglets, or smaller boars, that we passed up.
Some of our likely spots were around catch basins on the ranch. At one, we found a very large group of pigs. As we glassed them, we could see sows, piglets, young boars, and a couple of nice sized boars. Greg opted for a stalk.
Although we spent 45 minutes attempting to close into where these hogs had headed, when we got there, the hogs were gone. More spotting. Although we saw more deer, turkey and hogs, we were not able to put together another stalk as the morning wore on.
Greg and Fred would have to leave the following morning, so I was beginning to wish Greg had taken his crack at a hog instead of me. We dined, once again at the ranch, and after that meal were ready for a nap in our air conditioned cabin.
After an late afternoon dinner in town, we were back on the trail of our hogs. Once again we saw some small boars, but Greg begged off. It was getting late. I was worrying more and more about Greg not getting a crack at a hog, when we came across a group of 5 boars at a feeding station.
Checking the wind, we circled around and Greg began his stalk with Fred and the camera right over his shoulder. With 5 pigs it would be an easily blown stalk. As we closed with the group, one hog left, giving the hogs one less nose and set of eyes. One good sized hog was still there, and that was Greg's target.
We closed the gap. The wind was favorable, lighting was fast running out, but we still had enough if all went well. Using all the cover we could find, we worked up to within about 25 yards. Greg set up for his shot. He drew his bow, but his target was obscured by the other hogs. He had to let down.
We were fast losing the light. Waiting for that one hog to get clear was becoming a problem. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, the hogs spooked and scattered. Oh, Oh, I thought, that does it. But, no, the hogs stopped after about 50 yards and began to move back in. Coming back in separately, gave Greg the opening he needed. At 25 yards, he drew his Alpine SS Steath bow, and sent his Carbon Express arrow, tipped with a Muzzy broadhead, right through the boiler. The boar ran about 75 yards and dropped.
Wow! What a great time. In spite of my blown shot, I had a wonderful time in the beautiful outdoors. This hunt will be the topic of one of Greg's shows on the Outdoor Channel. We will let you know when he plans to air it as we find out. If you would like more information about A-Way Outdoors, or Away Hunting Products visit their website, or call them at 1-888-BUY-A-WAY.
If you would like information about the beautiful Stasney's Cook Ranch, you can visit their website, email Johnnie or call them at 888-762-2999. You can find Stasney's Cook ranch in our Outfitters database.