It was January 24, 2009. I was in Texas to hunt the next critter on my personal list; the javelina. In a target rich environment I was lucky enough to harvest my limit of two javis the previous two days.
My first javelina.
Fellow hunter John and I pose with my second javelina.
Since baggage space on the return flight was limited and I’d taken a number of hogs on previous trips I asked the outfitter if it was possible to take a large (for me) hog from a ground blind. That would be a new adventure for me that I didn’t figure likely to happen. Therefore baggage was safe. He thought we could accomplish it…
It was sunny and in the 60’s. Rob put me in a Primos Groundmax Eclipse blind with the wind in my face. The set up was perfect. There was a feeder 25.5 yards directly in front of the blind with a tri-pod stand on the other side of it. Hopefully the hogs’ attention would be on that. Immediately to the left of the blind was a larger prickly pear cactus. About twelve yards slightly to the right and in front of the blind was a very large brush pile. The blind fit right in.
I’ve hunted from just about every model Double-Bull blind and an Ameristep Brickhouse. This was my second time hunting from the Primos Groundmax Eclipse blind. In my opinion it let in too much light from the “peek” top windows, the nylon material was too thin which let in more light and the light streamed in the zipper. I stuffed the “peek” top windows with whatever I could find to darken them. I also put on my “black out” shirt, balaclava and “Michael Jackson” left-hand-only glove to help blend into what is supposed to be a dark blind interior.
Having been “busted” in the past by various animals I prefer to leave blind nettings in and shoot through them. I practice with my set up this way. The Eclipse’s netting was much coarser than any I’d ever seen before. It was so coarse that it was difficult to focus on an animal without moving your head around. This is kind of like looking out your screen door at home. You reflexively move your head around to focus on the distant object. However, I had shot a small raccoon, about the size of a loaf of bread, at 12-15 yards through the netting the evening before at a different stand.
The feeder was set to go off at 5:00 pm. Just before that time I started to hear the grunts and oinks of feral hogs approaching behind the brush pile to my right. A few visibly crossed from right to left, but quickly entered the cactus and brush near the tri-pod stand.
When the feeder went off five or more hogs rushed out to it from multiple directions. All were black. There were three in the 100 pound range and two larger in, what I would later learn, the 160 pound range. I watched them closely with my rangefinder and determined that of the larger hogs one was a male and the other was female.
I watched and waited for the male hog to give me a broadside or quartering away shot. Eventually he was quartering away at the 9:30 or 10:00 o’clock position. I picked a “whitish” looking area directly behind his leg and a little less than 1/3rd the way up the body. I picked my bow up and tried to aim. I couldn’t tell where I was aiming. Since my head was stationary while aiming the coarse netting was preventing me from focusing on the target.
I quietly let down and carefully studied the hog and his surroundings. I pulled back up again, picked the same spot, took extra time to find my anchor point and released. The hog lunged forward on impact and took off into the 11:00 o’clock direction. I could see the fletching and the arrow looked a little low. The other hogs came back in to feed.
I called Rob on the radio. He started to head in my direction and asked me to check blood. The radio traffic scared the remaining hogs off. I found decent blood right away. Rob believes in following hit hogs right away, especially on afternoon hunts, to avoid dangerous pursuits in the dark. The following will reinforce his reasons for this.
The blood trail was good and continuous. Easy to follow. However, I was concerned that it looked dark and red more like blood from a vein hit than lighter and frothy from a lung hit. I found a small piece of unidentifiable fleshy material. We found a pool of blood approximately sixteen inches long, five inches wide and just under one-eighth inch deep. The hog just kept going.
At what I judged to be about the 300 yard point the guide heard a noise in the brush. Rob carried a 9mm Browning Hi-Power and the guide carried a Kimber .45 auto. We circled the noise with Rob on the left; I and the guide on the right. Rob could see the hog and thought he was expiring. There was no opportunity for an arrow in the thick cover. The guide and I could not see the hog.
Next we heard a rapid succession of four shots and, “He’s got me!” We could see nothing although we were within 8-12 feet. However, Rob could still talk which we took as a good sign. We crowded into the brush and found the hog still alive, but floundering. There was no shot opportunity for the guide or myself as Rob was on the opposite side of the hog in a tree. Shortly the hog expired.
The hog had charged the outfitter. Rob had kicked and shot at the charging animal with the remaining four rounds in his gun – he’d forgotten to reload after using it last. Note the blood on his knee in the picture. That is the hog’s, thankfully, not Rob’s. The hog ‘missed the hook” with his tusk, but delivered a good blow to Rob’s left knee. We found 2 of the four bullets had entered the fleshy, left side of the hog’s head from nearly directly above it. Neither looked fatal. The skull is currently in Texas so I haven’t had a chance to examine it yet. To add another element of danger a porcupine appeared in a small bush a few feet to my right.
Rob and I pose with boar that attacked him.
We found that my arrow had entered much further forward than I was aiming, exactly underneath the chin of the hog. The broadhead had lodged up into the point where each half of the jaw meets. The arrow was broken in half, but the broadhead was completely intact and ready for use after resharpening.
The hog weighed 162 pounds with smaller than expected tusks for its size. In the end I was extremely relieved that no one was hurt and sorely disappointed in my shooting.
Equipment notes: I was using a 67.5 pound Reflex Highlander at 26.5 inch draw length and shooting 384 grain Gold Tip arrows at 262 fps. The broadheads were 100 grain Slick Trick magnums with four blades and 1 1/8″ cut diameter.
Experience/practice notes: I shoot archery all year long; 3D and paper targets. I’ve killed three hogs prior to this along with other exotic, pronghorn, bear, javelina, turkey, whitetails and small game.
Shot notes: In retrospect I don’t believe the “whitish” looking area I was aiming for was right for a quartering away shot. I believe I should have been aiming at an imaginary point on the inside of the far shoulder which would have put the facing side aiming point farther back. This would be in an attempt to get both lungs. I also wonder if I picked the wrong “whitish” spot considering the problem with the net. There was likely another “whitish” spot on the rear, rounded portion of the jaw. Did I focus on that? I don’t know.
Let’s hear your feedback.
happy hunting, dv
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Coming up on Mostly Archery
- Preparing a European Skull Mount