|For our Pig hunt in 2009, we booked with guide Bert Claassen,
planning to hunt the Jack Ranch, after hunting the Work Ranch the previous
year. But during the off-season Bert lost the hunting lease for the
Jack Ranch, due to a shakeup in the management of the ranch ownership.
So we adjusted our schedule and booked back on the Work Ranch.
Bert warned us that Pig hunting had been difficult. I knew he had been hitting them hard because of the other hunters like us that had to move over from the Jack Ranch. But the only hunting that matters is today's hunting, so we set out with high hopes.
Our first evening hunt we setup on a stand on property above the ranch headquarters. We soon spotted a group of 3 adult Pigs, with a bunch of little ones running around. After glassing them for some time Bert tells us that only one of them is wet (nursing Piglets) and describes which one we should NOT shoot.
Ron and Jeff were first up to shoot. Bert says to go on down and try to take the two Pigs while he heads back up the mountain toward the Jeep. I decided to accompany the shooters. They worked their way down the mountain side into a slight gulley that would conceal their final approach, and I side hilled to the right where I would be concealed and have a good vantage point looking down on both the shooters and the Pigs. Ron and Jeff get set up in position. The Pigs are nervous and suspect something, but they wait to long to run for it and pay with their lives. Ron counts 1-2-3, and bang! Two Pigs down on the first evening. It's just about dark when we load them up and head back to the house for a delicious dinner.
We had 2 of our 3 Pigs down on the first night. So we just needed to get
mine this morning. We were on stand at about 5:30AM and glassing the hills.
We saw one Pig to the northwest out pretty far, and another to the southwest
that looked wet and might have had a brood around her. So Bert thought we
should try for the lone Pig to the northwest. We jumped in the jeep and he
drives like a madman over a maze of ranch roads, probably about a mile. We
get there and creep up over a hill where he thinks we will be able to glass
the Pig again. The Pig had actually moved toward us and we caught glimpse of
his back above the grass very close. All four of us tried to work our way up
to where I could get a bullet into vitals above the grass, which was a
mistake because a group of 4 guys does not make a stealthy approach. Anyway,
before I could get a clear shot the Pig either heard us, or more likely saw
us as we were only about 50 yards away and a big group. Even Pigs can see
something like that. He spun around and I snapped a shot as he was going
over the side of the hill, but there really wasn't much chance of connecting
and it was a clean miss.
Ron, above, with his Pig and his custom Mauser .260 Remington.
Jeff, above, with his Pig and his Remington BDL in 30-06.
Ron and Jeff, above, after we had dragged the Pigs together.
Above is my Pig, posed on a dirt bank.
Here is a closeup of my Pigs teeth. Pretty good dentures for a Pig this size.
Here is the Jeep we hunted from this year. Bert is tying my Pig to the hitch mounted rack.