Monday, May 24, 2010

Recap: Hog Hunting Seminar
This past Saturday I had the pleasure if attending a hog hunting seminar at the Rancho Cucamonga Bass Pro Shops. Also representing was fellow member Darrell Slay (Slayryd). The seminar was given by professional guide Ron Gayer and author Durwood Hollis. Both men have hunted hogs for a long time and know what they are talking about. Just do a search on either one and you'll see what I mean. The room was filled with hunters eager looking for knowledge on how to hunt these muscles with teeth. Being one of them, I couldn't wait to take notes and hear the best ways to hunt them. They also had around 30 raffle prizes they gave away, too. Like the the title says, this will be a recap and I won't go into extreme detail. If you want that I suggest paying the $30 early registration fee and sitting through the seminar. I think they will be giving one in the fall. I will say that one of the reasons I really liked this seminar is that neither hunter boasted about their kills or gave us a lengthy background about themselves. They talked to us like good friends and not professional hunters with an agenda.

Durwood gave a history of hogs in the United States and went on to give us some great pointers. Two key ones were:
  • Water is key to finding hogs
  • Follow the hogs food source
When Ron began, he discussed many things such as gear to take with you and methods for hauling out your hog. The one thing that sticks in my mind was him pointing out that hogs LOVE to roll around in poison oak. Did you know that? I sure didn't and I have hunted them twice now. I sure am glad I took this seminar before actually killing one. This brought on quite a discussion from a few guys and you could tell who the newbies to hunting were. Oh and the remedy for getting the poison oak off of your hands and arms - paint thinner. You have to get that oil off of you as quickly as possible. Don't be a tough guy and think you are immune to nature's wrath and don't bring it in the field with you. Use some common sense.

We learned about field dressing, caping, and cooling down your animal, too. Being a whitetail hunter, I have taken animals on hot days and you certainly have to get the hide off and get them in the shade with a tarp around them quick. I can't tell you how many times we have had to quarter them up and get them in a cooler right away.

For the gun hunters, Durwood and Ron talked about ammunition and being sure to use anything but lead. I have read about this for years and you can read more about the condor range and leaded ammo over at The Hog Blog or NorCalCazadora. It's simple, use common sense and don't use lead ammo.

Durwood had some great public land hunting insight. Let's face it, the guys been doing it longer than I have been alive - I think he knows what he's talking about. I ate up every bit of info he was willing to share. Ron shared a great deal about Tejon Ranch (where he used to guide) and how to do your homework on private land hunting. Some of the other topics covered were aging hogs, field care, trophies, guides and taxidermy. All in all if was a lot of information, but all worthwhile. 

I appreciate the fact that both gentlemen were very open to hearing what we had to say and were open to sharing their knowledge with us. It really goes a long way to the newer guys, like myself, when neither one tooted their own horn. Before the seminar ended, Darrell and I had already planned out some scouting. It was a great seminar and I am looking forward to reading what they gave us, using my notes and putting that knowledge to good use. A hearty thank you to Durwood and Ron for a great seminar.

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