When you go hog hunting the way I do, using a digital camcorder is hard to do because the action is usually fast and furious. The way it has always gone is: we find the hogs, make the shot or shots, and then turn on the video cam and tell the story. But here in the last few months, I have had to make some adjustments if I wanted to go hunting due to some surgeries.
It was back in March when I managed to get a few guys together for a hog hunt with some dogs to chase up the hogs for us. Tyler and Sean were the hog dog guys, and USMCGator, Indianashoghunter, and a friend of mine, Dr. Chris Lambring, all met at the Mini Mart in Medora, Indiana to discuss the tactics for the day. It was decided that I would drop off the shooters at a vantage point to walk into the woods to a place predetermined for the ambush, then I would take Tyler and Sean to a spot that we could begin the dogs on their drive.
After dropping off the shooters, then arriving at the drop point for the dogs, I parked the jeep and got out and watched as Tyler and Sean put the GPS collars on the dogs and offered to help as much as I could. My left arm had had carpal tunnel surgery and the left elbow also had cubitol tunnel surgery, so I was a one-armed walker. I found it was nearly impossible for me to use a rifle in the type of hunt we had going on, if I were in a blind I could rest a gun in the window or on some shooting sticks, but not while walking through these thickets.
As we began the trek across the property and we began to get closer to the known bedding area, we could tell the dogs were getting hoggy. You could see the dogs drop their noses to the ground and sound off and then blast off like they were in a race to get to the hogs first. But after a while of expecting to see hogs jump and run, we realized that it was a tracking job the dogs were performing that was from hogs moving all night, and them critters can travel a ways throughout the night.
Soon Tyler had split up from Sean and I, and he was on the radio saying that there were all kinds of hog sign where he was. Sean had a GPS unit for tracking the two dogs that had stayed near him and I, but Tyler’s two dogs were the ones that were near the action. A few minutes later Tyler began radioing that he had spotted hogs on the hillside. We kept checking with him to see which direction they were headed, but Tyler said he was mixed up in the action and momentarily got lost. I told Sean to tell him to go uphill and that would lead him to us. Tyler radioed back and said that’s what he was already doing.
Sean and I could tell from the barking of the dos that they were getting closer to us and we needed to be ready for some action. So I positioned Sean at a vantage point so that we could possibly intercept the hogs and get a shot at the top of a ridge with a view of both sides. Sure enough I told Sean I could hear them coming through the brush and to get ready! He shouldered his 30-06 and was set for the shot. Now this is the first time that I had not taken a gun with me on a hog hunt. I was armed with a cheap little HD camcorder and I was super nervous about getting the action on film so this is the footage that I got from the interception of the pig that came our way. Check it out below.
So after that, Tyler and Sean decided to go find the two dogs that were not involved in the chase. They believe the other dogs were on another track of other hogs, then lost the trail. I told them that I would go to the other guys and see if they had seen any of the larger hogs that didnt come up the hill to Sean and I, when boom we hear a shot from their direction. I called Chris on the phone and he said he had heard it too but couldn’t tell if it was one of our guys. I told him that I was on the way and would be there soon.
As I walked down the last hill that was between me and them, I yelled up to whomever was positioned on my side of the hill and announced my presence and that I was coming up. That’s when I heard Jeremy ( indianashoghunter) say “I got one!” Slowly we all began to meet up at the kill site. Jeremy does not appear to be too excited about the hog at first, but I think its due to his nature to apear calm all the time. I think thats a great trait of a hunter, it gives you the ability to make good shots. But I could see that little half grin and knew he was having a great time and was proud of that shot. Like he has been known to say, “aim small, miss small”. We all stood around the sow that weighed probably around 150 pounds or so, and told of the happenings of the hunt from everyone’s standpoint until we all knew how it went down.
Ok so now its time to get this beast out of the woods and retreave the other three little ones too. Myself and Andrew (USMCGator) went back for the little ones. I showed him how Luis and I tie them to a stick and put it on our shoulder to carry them out. That way I could help also. Chris and Jeremy began gutting and toting out the sow.
We all met at the trucks and got lots of pictures and shook hands and vowed to do it again some day. I never get enough of hog hunting and the excitement of it all, even if I’m by myself. But to give others those kinds of memories is something I like to do. I also have to admit that sometimes it seems as if its more of a headache than fun, but thats all part of learning the processes of hunting. And I’ve got a new respect for people who film their own hunts, it’s a tough job especially under these conditions. I have watched DEC’s New Day Outdoor videos of the turkey hunts and it’s like watching a movie, I really like it! So maybe if my arms and hands dont come back to original condition, I may have to get DEC to give me lessons and start doing filming more than carrying guns. We will see…
Originally appeared on http://www.indianasportsman.com/