The last few months have been tough. Between the boatyard, the boredom, the loss of business, and the virus fears I have not been having much fun. That being said, I realize those who have succumbed to the COVID virus and those who have lost loved ones have had a much tougher time. My heart goes out to them. By comparison, I am very lucky, (so far). But my sitting around here being bored will not help others, So I decided it was time to take a “Hunting Break” from the Pandemic. Let’s call it “Rural Social Distancing with a gun”!
I figure With the exception of having to stop for gas, food, and some Corn for the feeders, I would be on 6,400 acres on nothing, surrounded by about 50,000 acres of nothing with maybe 4 or 5 other people. Can’t get much more socially distant than that. There were more Cows, Hogs, and Deer on the property than people, (probably bears, bobcats and maybe panthers too). So I figured it was safe. Besides, I had a freezer full of pork when this all started, but I have given quite a lot away. I was not working but I also have many friends that were not working also. I felt it was only right to share. But I was getting low. Time to restock the Freezer.
My hunting “partner” on this trip was Capt. Craig Jiovani, the recently retired Capt. and owner of the Charter Boat Grand Slam. Capt. Craig has been a good friend and a quality owner and operator on the docks for many years. He was in business before I was, and I’ve been there for almost 30 years!
Craig has been up hunting with me before and as a matter of fact, he invited me on the very first hunting trip I ever went on. He got invited to the Gray Taxerdimy ranch and invited me along. I got 2 hogs that trip and I was hooked. I’ve been enjoying it ever since.
We did not sit in a tree stand the first night, instead, we opted to ride around in my jeep looking for Hogs coming out to feed. It can be a very effective way to hunt hogs…..it’s also about the most redneck thing you can do: Driving around the woods and fields, drinking a beer, (never more than 2), and shooting wild hogs. Definitely NOT PETA approved.
Well, we didn’t see any hogs the first night but we did manage to have one of the front wheels of the Jeep fall off as we were driving around the field. Fortunately, we were going very slow, about 10 mph and the ground was soft sandy soil. But it was kind of a sudden stop. I’m guessing my mechanic forgot to tighten the lug nuts when he worked on it last trip. We hiked out to the main road and one of the other hunters picked us up on the way back to camp.
We had the “technology” in my truck so in the morning we went back down to the jeep and put the wheel back on. There was no damage and it wasn’t difficult. It could have been worse. Hunting camp is always an adventure!
The second night I got a nice 200+ Bar Hog. A bar hog is a male that has been caught and had it’s “Huevos” removed. It makes them fat and happy. Without their “Huevos” they don’t produce the male hormones, they can’t breed and they don’t want to fight. Also, they don’t taste “gamey”. They just eat. and get fat Most boars over 100lbs we grind up to make sausage, but a 200 Bar Hog is still good to eat.
Our last night in Camp I had 4 little piglets come into the feeder. They would have been an easy shot, but they were only about 10lbs. If their mama had come in, I would have taken a shot, but I don’t know where she was, but she stayed away. Even at only 10lbs, the piglets were fully capable of surviving without her. Unless another critter gets them, they will grow up to be a “target opportunity” a few months down the road. I can wait.
Capt. Craig did get a shot on the last night. He dropped a nice boar about 160lbs. I’m glad he got one. I always feel bad if I get one and my guests don’t. 2 hunters and 2 hogs. I call that a successful trip!