Disclaimer: Hog hunting is big sport. Hog hunting also helps the environment and the rancher. Hogs will flat tear up ranchland. Now, these aren't hogs that have been raised at a farm, though some started out that way. These are feral hogs, wild hogs. Some have Russian influence bred into them, and have tusks 4-5 inches long, and can range in weight from 100-1000 pounds. The feral hog can kill a man in no time. In other words, don't be calling SPCA or PETA on me for this post. Okay? Love ya.
The first afternoon at the King Ranch, the guide took everyone out to blinds to hog hunt. Since I can hunt hogs here at home anytime, I decided to take my camera and just take pictures. Some of my coworkers, it turns out, have never hog hunted. We were dropping people off, some one to a blind, some two to a blind. Ross, the guide, was coaching them all the way.
And two to a blind was the setup for the next scenario.
Josh and Dustin decided to go to the same blind. En route, Ross was giving them directions.
Ross: Shoot a young sow, preferably under 120 lbs. The meat will be better.
Josh and Dustin: Okay, no problem.
Ross: Since you’re both going to be in one blind, you might want to use the OneTwoThree shoot method, shooting at the same time. Once you shoot, those hogs are going to run and probably won't come back to the blind this afternoon.
Josh and Dustin: We can do that.
Around dusk, we start making our way back to the blind. We get to the blind, and see no one. Then, we see the guys walking around - Dustin has one of those headband lights on. They are looking for the second hog they shot - it’s hard to find, in the dark. We give up, and go back to the blind, where Hog #1 is laying.
Ross: Okay, that hog’s the perfect size. Only one thing. Where did y’all take your animal sex classing course? That hog’s a boar. And how many times did y’all shoot it? It is torn flat up!
Dustin and Josh are embarrassed. Ross, giving them grief, takes them through the processing guide, the hog is gutted, and placed in the back of the pickup. We drive around for a bit, looking for Hog #2. Finally, we give up, and head back to camp. The guys are recounting their adventure.
Ross takes a minute to explain where the best place is to shoot a hog (behind the ear) and gives the guys more pointers. We find out that neither of these guys have ever been hog hunting, which explains a lot.
We’ve not gone 2 miles when we run upon another herd of hogs.
Dustin: Can we shoot a hog?
Ross: Step out of the truck slowly, and load your guns quietly.
This takes so long, the hogs go back in the brush.
We drive again. We round the corner, another herd is road feeding. Ross stops the truck and tells the guys to get out, get ready, and shoot. They do so.
First rattle out of the box, Josh shoots that hog clean behind the ears. The hog drops. Ross and I look at each other in amazement. The boy definitely listened during his tutorial. The hog is in death throes, but not really going anywhere. Josh turns around and looks to us for advice.
Janie: Go cut the jugular.
Josh runs halfway to the hog, then yells to Dustin: Shoot it, Dustin!
Dustin shoots the hog.
Janie: Josh, take your knife and just go cut the jugular! Get it out of its misery!
Ross echoes my instructions.
Josh gives Dustin his rifle, and runs up to the hog. The man is adrenalined up!
And then, he takes out his handgun, and shoots the hog in the head. Not once, not twice, but thirteen times. He empties his clip in about two seconds. And then, he runs back to the truck.
Ross and I are bent over, laughing. I have tears rolling down my face, I can’t even breathe. We are both in shock. I look in front of the truck, and Dustin is laughing so hard, he has been forced to put down the rifles.
Josh, still 9-0 on adrenaline: That $%^&&* hog was gonna bite me!
Janie: No, he wasn’t! That was his body shutting down!
Josh: Yes, he was, he was going to bite me, I know it!
Janie, when I could talk: Dude. You should have just cut his throat, seriously.
They load the hog up into the truck, and we laugh all the way back to camp. I tease Josh.
Janie: Josh-man, your form sucked when you whipped that pistol out. No way did you do what you were taught today in the shooting school.
Josh: Oh, man. I didn’t think about that. I was shooting close to my feet, wasn’t I? Do you think my steel toed boots would have deflected one of those bullets?
Ross: Negatory, Night Rider.
Josh: (Silence. Dead silence.)
Lord have mercy, you cannot pay for stuff like this.