FOR MOST DEER HUNTERS, June is a pretty boring month. Not so for the hunter of other species. Texas is the one state where you can hunt exotics year-round.
This is the time of year that I love to hunt hogs. It does not matter if it is with a bow or a gun, the excitement is the same. Well, I guess if you have a stick and string and one of those beasts decides to attack, the excitement will be a little higher than normal.
Even if the whitetail hunter reading this is sitting in his or her easy chair anxiously waiting for the season to open, there is still plenty to do to prepare for a successful hunt. If you hunted turkeys last April, you might have found a new hotspot for deer. Or you might have seen a lot of whitetail activity while quietly sitting against a tree waiting for that tom turkey to come strutting in.
It is still a great time to take a walk in your favorite hunting hot spot or venture into some new territory looking for sheds of a whitetail that made it through the past season. Personally, I rarely go shed hunting. It is not because I do not enjoy a walk in the woods, but my time is very limited and shed hunting is down on the list of things for me to do.
But that’s me. Maybe you do have the time. If you do, make sure you look not only on the forest floor for sheds, but also at waist level in some of the forest brush. I once found a nice shed of an eight-pointer, and I almost missed it. As a matter of fact, I darn near walked into it.
You might find it a little too warm to spend an afternoon walking in the woods. Hey, I get it. Once, on a warm June night, Chester and I went hog hunting at night with some rifles. Ken Swenson, who spends many hours outdoors, took us on a hunt. He loaded us in one of his trucks and took us to a field in the dark night. He shut the vehicle off, and one of us would climb in the bed of the truck where he had a nice comfortable chair and rifle rest ready to go.
We waited about 20 minutes, then turned on a red spotlight in the field. The hogs were out and feeding on something in the field. At least they were for a few more minutes. Two or three shots, and it was all over. Oh yeah, fresh pork steaks baby.
One very hot afternoon nearly 20 years ago, Chester Moore and I decided to hunt for hogs with a bow. It was my very first time, and to say I was nervous is a huge understatement.
The owner of the ranch met us and took us to his area that (according to him) was infested with hogs. I explained to him that I have read some horror stories of hunters being attacked by these beasts and was a little concerned for my safety. He assured me that everything will be fine as he patted the revolver that was attached to his belt. Immediately, I felt a sense of relief knowing that if things went south, the revolver would save us from any peril from pigs.
We walked slowly, searching for any unsuspecting hogs. I remember twisting my neck from side to side with every sound that I heard. Most of the time, it was just the sound of our footsteps that made me jump. I am pretty sure that one time it was the sound of my heart pumping in my chest.
Finally, we found the herd of hogs. They seemed to stay ahead of us offering no shots at all. Every time we tried to walk closer to them, they would move, always staying well out of bow range.
It seemed as if this game would never end. At some point, the rancher decided to leave us and try to push the pigs in our direction. I never saw the man leave, and my anxiety quickly returned when I realized we were on our own.
It was Chester’s idea to wait at the watering hole for the pigs to come in for water. That made a lot of sense to me in this 90-plus degree heat.
To the water we went. As we tried to find a comfortable ambush location, I noticed a good spot to sit and wait. I never saw the cactus plant that was right where I planned to sit. I can tell you that as soon as the needles from that cactus penetrated my bottom, I jumped straight up in the air.
You would think that this experience was bad enough. Then the hog that was lying not 20 feet away took off at lightning speed, and I discovered that every nerve in my body is somehow attached to my butt. Thankfully, this hog decided to run in the opposite direction.
I do not think I have ever heard Chester Moore laugh as hard as he did at that moment. But when I frantically ask where “Ricky Revolver” is now, Chester held his stomach while he was buckled over from laughter—even louder than before.
We finally did take a hog that hot afternoon. I can assure you that it was one day I will not soon forget. It makes me smile to think about the events of that day, now that I am still here to tell you about it!
Since then, I have taken hogs with the bow and enjoyed it very much. You should as well. The point is to just enjoy hunting whenever you can no matter what species you are hunting for. Just remember—have fun and hunt safe.
Email Lou Marullo at [email protected]