Every hunt has a specific part of it that makes it truly unique from other hunts I've gone on over the years. This hunt brought together my four closest hunting buddies at a time in our lives when we were still excitable and irresponsible and remains one of my funnest memories of my teenage years.
It all began when we decided to find a place to hunt feral hogs. We looked into all sorts of places from Florida to Texas and even the Carolinas. We settled on a place in southern Ohio a good 3 hours from where I lived at the time. This was an exotic animal ranch, and given the way it operated, have a respect for the behavior of the animals in this location even given the infamy of this type of hunting. What can I say, I was extremely young, penniless and ready to tear the world up. Even though now the idea of a similar hunting trip is quite lackluster.
We met at my house the night before the hunt. Needless to say we lacked accommodations for 4 guests, so out of stubborness, Kurt climbed into my bed. And out of stubborness, I fought for my own bed. That is, until he started to spoon me. The floor worked just fine for me that night.
This was our first time hunting anything other than deer or turkey, so it was quite a new experience for all of us. My best friend Kurt, and I were hunting with our 30-06's (illegal for deer hunting in Ohio, so these guns were nearly untested) My friend Chris was using a flintlock smokepole he built himself, Devon used a Kimber 1911 in .40 SW and Joe used a .270.
As soon as we walked into the woods, Kurt and I, inseparable as always, planted our bodies deep within some down timber with which was our custom. Devon, Joe and Chris set up next to a water hole. Before my butt was firmly planted on the log, I looked to my right and caught a glimpse of a hog fleeing from the opposite side of the down timber. With a snap shot, I put one bullet in him, and finished him with another.
The morning drew on and no other gun shots were heard. Nearly time for lunch, I heard a distant pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. 7 shots in all rang from Devon's 1911. There were 6 very well placed shots in his pig. Any one of them would have done the job, he just chose to put enough lead in him to make sure he couldn't stand up again.
As we started moving down the hill for lunch, I heard a POOF. We hastened our pace to meet up with Chris and see the victory smile over his pig. Once we got there, we were informed that the hit was poor and we would require tracking. We made the decision to push the hillside to find the wounded pig. We pushed 100 yards and a good sized porker popped out of the brush and turned and charged me, then turning up hill towards the rest of the party. My friend Kurt hollered "Is that one hit?" As I got the "NNNN..." portion of "NO" out of my mouth, Kurt opened fire and dropped the hog just a few yards from me.
We pushed on another 100 yards. Two hogs came out of the brush, one bloody in the neck from a poorly placed intended lung shot from Chris' kentucky rifle. Neither hog lasted long outside of their cover. Chris finished his hog and Joe found his own.
We proudly returned home with our meat. I dug a hole in the sand next to my dad's creek and we built a fire to smoke my pig with. After the fire was stoked properly and the other boys were tending it, Kurt and I proceeded in my jeep to Cleveland to pickup libations for the festivities. The kind that come in a large steel canister. I will forgo this side story but will remark, that we completely re-lived a smoky and the bandit story that night, making even Sawyer Brown proud as we crossed the county line at 90 mph.
I realized now, that boredom is a dangerous thing! Exotic hunting can be fun, but is not likely something I will try a second time.
BOTTOM: me, Joe, Kurt
TOP: Chris, Devon
Foreground: Our hogs.