Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hunting Season 2012: Story 2, Hoggin It Up

Here's the first story of the Hunting Season 2012 series:

Let me continue with my original story.  We (Me, Dad, and the Weasel) had gone hunting later in the year due to Dad injuring his back.  So we only had two travel days (one up, one back) and three hunting days.

It was the third day of hunting when our friend The Weasel (pronounced like Grease-el) asked if he could hunt out of my tree.  This story goes back 17 years, but I will give the short version.  Basically, I found this hunting spot, and marked a certain tree that I put my treestand in.  I shot my one and only deer out of it.  A few years later during a year I couldn't go hunting, The Weasel sat in my tree, and shot a hog.  Ever since then he has claimed that there is some debate as to who found the tree.  His memory is complete shit, and every blasted year I have to tell him the long story on why that is my hunting spot, and not his.

So he asks me if he can hunt out of my tree.  Since it is the last day, and none of us has seen a thing I say, "Sure.  Go for it."  When we get out there, he gets out of the truck super early, and gets out to the tree to set up his tree stand.  Dad and I take our time, and leave the truck a few minutes after The Weasel. 

We start by walking down the road called Spur 4.  My usual routine is to walk about 80 yards down Spur 4, and then walk back into the woods about 200 yards.  There's a nice place where a few game trails come together.  That's where my tree is.  However, since The Weasel is in my tree, Dad and I decide to walk down Spur 4 to see if we can come across some good woods.

We were about 220 yards, and/or four minutes down Spur 4 when I hear some noise at about 7:10 AM.  I say to Dad, "Did you hear that?'

He said, "No."  And then a lot more noise came from the bushes.

I asked, "Did you hear that?"

He said, "Yes!"

I then put my shotgun up, and pointed down the trail.  It was then that a pack of hogs started running across the road.  I shot twice in quick secession.  I tried to shoot a third time, but my gun jammed.  As I was unjamming it, I heard a squeal.

I told Dad, "My gun jammed, you go on ahead."

At this point Dad put down his treestand, and walked on ahead.  I worked on clearing my gun, and reloading.  He walks up to where the hogs crossed, looked down and saw the hog I had shot.  It was still moving so he put a kill shot in its head. 

I caught up to him, and we both agreed that there were about 7 hogs in the group.  I shot twice, and thought I had hit two.  However, I did not hit the hog I was aiming at, I hit the hog behind it.  And it was a small hog.  To be honest, it was so small that a few years ago it would have been illegal.  But since hogs are an invasive species and breed like crazy, the rules were changed that there was no size limit and no number of game limit put on them.  So basically you can shoot all the hogs you want during hunting season.

I told Dad, "I think I hit two.  We should get some of the dog hunters down here to see if one of their dogs can track down that hog.  Dad walked back into the woods to see if he could spot a blood trail or a downed hog, but he couldn't find either.  I marked the spot on the trail where the hogs had crossed with a orange ribbon.

So we grabbed our stuff and the hog.  I counted how many steps I was when I shot, and it was 65 steps.  My steps are pretty close to a yard so you can call it 65 yards.  Once we made it back to the truck we flagged down some dog hunters down the main road. 

The dog hunters we ran into were pretty nice.  They had a couple of trucks and quite a number of dogs.  The one guy told me that he had "hog dogs" and he had "deer dogs."  He wanted to get his son over with the other truck to get the hog dogs.  His son was also really nice.  I jumped in one of the trucks and they both went down Spur 4.  When we pulled up the ribbon, I showed them the blood pile where the small hog had fallen, and Dad had put a bullet in it.

The deer dog hounds started whimpering and going nuts.  They could smell that much blood not 7 yards from them.  But the dog hunter got out a red nose pit bull, and a black pit bull mix.  He set them on the trail and had them search the woods.  They ran around, but couldn't find anything.  So it seemed that I only hit one of the hogs, and not the one I was aiming at. 

So they went back to following where the hogs might have run to, and Dad and I went back to the truck to put our stuff away, and get some stuff out.  We needed to get out all the animal cleaning stuff.  But before we did that, we took some pictures and video.

Here's a picture of the hog:

And here's a picture to get a better idea of it's size:

I know, it's tiny.  But the one I was aiming at was so much bigger.  Anyway, here's the story in my own words, and my own choice of editing:

We then started laughing about how The Weasel was sitting in my tree.  As my story stated earlier, every year he wants to try to sit in my tree.  And when I finally say, "Sure thing, take my tree," I'm the one who ends up shooting the hog.

It was then that Dad and I had this conversation:

Dad and I then got to work on cleaning the hog.  It's funny, after watching "The Walking Dead" cleaning a hog isn't so bad.  We put it's feet up on some branches, and cleaned/skinned it out.  Since we were doing this right off a main road not far from the check station, we had people driving by us.  It was funny how they would be going way too fast, see the hog and let off the gas, and then slam on the brakes.  One guy even backed up, and hollared at us.  He was happy we got something.  So then, we put the hog, which was a sal by the way, in the cooler, and threw some ice on it.

At this point The Weasel had not come out of the woods despite three loud gunshots, multiple trucks going up and down the road, and a few dogs making all sorts of racket.  He said he could stay in the woods until 10:30 AM, and be back to the truck at 11;00 AM, and by golly he was not kidding.

Since it was still only 9:30 or so, Dad and I took a stroll down Spur 4.  After all, we still did have time to hunt that evening.  So we did what we were originally going to do, scout the woods and find a place to hunt.  We see some great woods down the road.  It's funny.  All these years I have always gone to my tree, but never all the way Spur 4.  There were a great number of places to hunt down there.  So after an hour of walking around Dad and I made it back to the truck. 

Some of the dog guys stopped by again to chit chat.  I'll admit, I was having a tough time understanding their "country accent."  But Dad is from West Virginia, and understood every word the guys said.  It was then that The Weasel got back.  He excitedly told us that he saw two very small does in the woods. 

The dog hunter drove off, and that's when I took this video of The Weasel:

He has a habit of getting all excited, and telling us what he saw, and forgetting to ask us if we saw anything.

So we then went down near the ocean to have lunch.  Hickory Mound is right on the water, and the area near the ocean is beautiful in its own way. 

So that evening Dad and I are planning on going back to Spur 4, but the strangest thing happens.  The Weasel wants to hunt this completely different area.  Since it is the last hunt of the last day, we say okay.  After all, I'd already gotten my game.  It's only fair to give him a chance to hunt where he wants to.  Even if that is right after I gave him the opportunity to hunt right out of my tree that very morning. 

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