|In January 2005 we booked a hunt with Works
Wildlife Management. WWM is operated by Bert Claassen. Our hunt took place
on the Works Ranch, an operating cattle ranch near San Miguel on the central California
coast (near Paso Robles).
Our foursome of hunters took 2 pigs over the course of the 2 day hunt. Both pigs were estimated at about 220-240 lbs. My pig, fully dressed, bone in, weighed 81 lbs when delivered to the butcher.
Joining me in the lower photo are my brother Ron. In the background on the left is outfitter Bert Claassen and just visible on the right is second guide Ralph.
Pigs were scarce on this hunt, primarily due to the unusually extended rains we had just prior to the hunt. Winter pig hunts are often difficult due to the lack of favored food and plentiful water. The pigs are primarily forced to eat grass and whatever grubs they can plow up. These food sources are poor compared to acorns or seed crops, but are widely available. This along with plentiful water sources allow the pigs to avoid travel patterns. They can feed and bed in small groups without the movement that hunters rely upon. My advice for California pig hunters is this -- hunt in the late summer or fall when the acorn crop and scarce water sources keeps the pigs on the move. Avoid winter hunts.
Nevertheless, we kept at it and saw some pigs and I was lucky enough to take this sow.