Big 200lb. Boar Down in Parkfield!
No, sadly it wasn't me that dropped the big boar, but it was an awesome hunt none the less.
I got up to the ranch a few hours before Jeff on Thursday to get some early hunting in and see what sign was visible. We were spoiled on this hunt with access to the house on the property. That meant no camping under the stars, a fireplace and shelther from the cold and wind. It was such a blessing! I hit the trail by 10am and there was sign everywhere! Tracks, mud rubs, rooting and I knew they would be out. I stalked up on 4 deer that we eating acorns. The wind changed on me and I got busted, but they were very cool to watch! I was able to video a lot of my hunt, which I will post after I finish the editing.
Later on, after my scouting, I met up with Jeff in the afternoon and we set out on our evening hunt. Right at O'dark thirty I saw them. All of them! A group of 30 hogs came barreling under the barbed wire fence where Jeff said they might come. Unfortunately for me, they were 70+ yards away and with me using archery tackle it was too dark for a shot. I even crept in closer as they were trotting towards there holding area. I got to within 30 yards as darkness set in and all you could hear was squealing and fighting. It was awesome and scary all at the same time.
The next day we went out and saw nothing. A new hunter, Mike Milano, was meeting us at the ranch to get his first hunt in. Mike had never hunted a big game animal in his life. He wanted to get closer to the meat that he eats and figured hunting was the way to do it. Well, judging from the photo below he got REALLY close to the meat he eats! This guy had major scar tissue from fighting and his ears were shredded! That isn't mud on his side, that's the scar tissue. What a brute!
|Myself, Jeff Abell and Mike Milano with Mike's first ever big game animal - a 200lb. wild boar!|
Here is Mike's story:
Haven't been hunting very long and had my first opportunity to go hog hunting this weekend.
The sun was setting, so the three of us set out for different areas of the ranch. I was walking from a wash, up a trail, to a field where I was going to setup.
I poked my head up to field level and there was a boar trotting directly towards me about 50 yards out! This was exactly where Jeff told me they would be coming from. I got a huge adrenaline rush and my heart was about to pound out my chest.
I ducked back down to take the rifle off my shoulder, uncapped my scope, and looked up again... but he was gone and I didn't hear any noise at all.
I was thinking about what I should do. Should I go up there? .. but then he popped back out on the game trail and continued towards me.
I went to aim and the scope was zoomed in way too much to do anything, so I brought it all the way down to 3x and aimed again. I had a scope full of head and gently squeezed the trigger ... the safety was on! With his head still in the scope and still coming toward me, I snapped the safety off and fired the shot.
He staggered a couple steps and fell over. I hit him on the right side of his jaw with my new Tikka T3 in .243. I used Corbon DPX Hunter ammo - 85 grain Barnes Triple Shock non lead round. I ranged the shot at 20 yards after he was down.
We dragged the boar back to the house and weighed him before I got a crash coarse in gutting, skinning, anatomy, and meat preparation. (Thanks a ton Jeff and Al!!) He was an even 200 lbs. This hog was a fighter. He had scars all over his sides and ripped up ears.
This was my first time taking any animal unless you count fish. What an experience!
Now I have a cooler full of goodness I can't wait to start cooking and I have a feeling hunting is going to become a habit.
Congratulations on an awesome animal, Mike! I am super stoked to have been on the hunt with you. I do have to say I am happy to hear why you hunt, too. That is one classic first for you and you will have a lot of work to try and top that sucker! Hell, he had 2.5" cutters! Mike, I am sure I speak for Jeff when i say this, but we were more than happy to help show you the gutting, skinning and butchering. I even learned a thing or two about skinning hogs. Thanks, Jeff!
The next day Jeff and Mike went on a hound hunt for some hogs which left me alone at the ranch. I went out before dawn and set up where I saw the hogs the first night. I found fresh sign, but the hogs were long gone. I decided to scout a bit more and do some spot-n-stalking. I found myself stalking right back to the house for some coffee and breakfast. It was an awesome stalk! The dehydrated eggs didn't stand a chance! I changed clothes and hiked up to the top of the mountain behind the house. It's 1.10 miles to the top and it goes incredibly vertical. It was a tough hike that I did three days in a row. It was hard, but so awesome at the top. There's this awesome pond at the top where the animals will come to water. I love it because you can only hear the birds, feel the breeze and you are very much alone. I plan on hunting this spot more often each time I can get up there. I saw nothing but bluebirds, so after a couple hours I made it back down for the evening watch. To my dismay, I saw only woodpeckers and my shadow that evening.
The next morning Mike made his way back to Temecula and I hiked up to the pond again. I just wanted some peace and quiet before heading back to the hell in L.A. (a.k.a. L.A. traffic). I spent a good couple hours up there and on my way down ran across this mule deer shed.
|Nice shed from a nice buck a year or two ago. I'll bet he's a great buck this year!|
Back at camp I packed up the car, said my thank you's and goodbye to Jeff and hit the road. I wasn't successful in killing a hog on my third trip to the ranch, but it WAS successful in my opinion. I was able to see hogs, be there when a new hunter killed his first hog, hiked my ass off, found an awesome shed and had a great hunt. I have seen all corners of the property now and that helps. I can't wait for the next opportunity to get up there with a few more archery guys and see if we can stick one!
This was from Jeff after I left camp:
Last night I was all alone & I went out to the house field & there was a big old boy milling around under an oak tree between the 2 houses about 150 yards off the property near the horse.I had about 10 to 15 min. of light left & he didn't look like he was gonna move anytime soon so I played a feeding frenzy from my Fox Pro & he perked up, looked straight at me & started trotting a beeline course right to me.He cut through the horses field & the horse charged him & ran him off into an area I couldn't see & darkness was pretty much upon me at that point.It was pretty wild cause I totally called him right to me which was something I've never done before.
I really didn't want to shoot one anyway cause I was all alone & my freezer is pretty full so I was happy for the experience.
I have more photos to share, but for now this will have to do. I got called up to serve on a jury today and will be out blog range for a bit while I catch up on work. I will certainly try to keep up on posts as time permits. Until then, Happy Hunting!