TEXAS HOGS AND FAMILY
|Firearms - Rifles/Guns|
Although both my sons are grown and have their own homes and families, we have many fond memories of them growing up. A lot of those memories are related to hunting.
I can still picture them at preschool age in their oversized camo and boots going out the door with their Dad, Gary, and the coon dogs. Gary’s pockets were bulging with treats (not for the dogs but for the boys in case no game was moving and they got bored). They had great times whether they came home successful or came home early because nothing was happening.
We can find the humor now about the Thanksgiving tradition that went awry. Ben, our oldest son, and Gary always went deer hunting on Thanksgiving Day and ate leftovers when they came home. Ben had his driver’s license and was so proud to be driving his Dad to the woods. They separated before daylight and planned to meet around noon to discuss the morning before they planned their afternoon. Ben wasn’t seeing anything and started thinking about the Thanksgiving turkey at Grandma’s house. He came out of the woods, left his Dad and came for Thanksgiving Dinner. His plan was to be back to the meeting site before Gary came out. Needless to say it didn’t work out that way. Gary wasn’t seeing anything either and he came out early. Ben was nowhere around. Gary walked five miles in rubber boots to get to a phone to call someone to come and get him.
Another fun time was when our youngest son, Doug turned the coon dogs loose after school one afternoon. We all went to a football game and when we got home, the dogs had treed a coon on top of the ridge from our house. We donned our hunting boots, waded across the creek and went to the dogs. When we finally got to them, the dogs had a nice coon treed that we took back home with us.
As the boys grew older, school, cars, friends and GIRLS took priority and hunting became something they seldom had time to do. They have both now come full circle and enjoy days in the woods, but the time we get to spend with them grows ever more precious.
We recently had an opportunity to hunt hogs in Texas with our oldest son, Ben. We set out on a Sunday morning for the nineteen-hour drive to Uvalde, Texas, a small town outside of San Antonio. Our check-in time was 1:00 p.m. on Monday, however the guide met us at the gate and asked us to check-in early - weather reports were showing a major storm heading right at us. We managed to get all the gear unloaded before the storm hit. Lighting, thunder, rain and wind buffeted the lodge. Lighting hit the transformer and knocked out power to the lodge. When the rain finally quit, we went out for a spot and stalk hunt with our bows. It was difficult to maneuver with the bows as the woods were so dense, but we spread out over the hunting area peering in all directions. Rivers of rain water were flowing down the roads and the low areas were totally flooded, but we came to hunt! Ben and I both stepped into a hole and even waterproof boots won’t work well if the water is over your knees, so we just sloshed for the rest of the day. Pigs were everywhere and if you shook a brush pile they went in every direction. Ben managed to get a 50-pound hog, his first, with his McPherson Hornet bow and the camp cook fixed it for supper the next night. Gary and I didn’t get a shot - but it was only the first day.
Texas is one of the few places that allow night hunting. So after supper that night we went to a stand. We saw a lot of game, elk, rams, antelope, fallow, but no hogs.
The next morning found us back in the stand before daylight but again we didn’t see anything. The electricity finally came back on at the lodge and after breakfast we hit the woods for more spot and stalk, this time carrying our rifles. We saw several small pigs but nothing that we wanted to take. Midmorning, Ben was again the lucky one and took a nice hog just before noon. We spotted several nice hogs on the afternoon hunt but no one could get a clear shot.
That night we again hit the stand and watched the elk feed. We even spotted several buffalo, including a calf. We sat for several hours and were about ready to pack it in and decided to take one last look around the field. Two really nice hogs had made their way into the edge of the field. Gary got a clear shot and harvested a 125-pound hog.
Our hunt was over but we left with a couple of nice hogs and more memories that will live on.
“Good” hunts are not always measured by the number or size of the animals harvested, but by the company you’re with, the friends you make and the memories you cherish. Gary and I got to experience our son’s first wild hog and can put this with the all the other first memories we cherish. We will always remember this hunt because of the precious time we had together with Texas Hogs and family.
© September 2007
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