Wild Pig

Cholame, California, 2013



In 2013 we were ready to try a different outfitter for our annual pig hunt.  I had been hearing about Frank Hook and his Jack Ranch hunts for a couple of years, so we decided to give it a go on the Jack.  We're so happy that we did!  Frank, and our guide Jeff, were great hosts and just generally fun to hunt and BS with.  And the Jack Ranch has always been a great property for pigs.  I'm certain that we saw more pigs per hour of hunting than I've ever seen anywhere else.  Just outstanding hunting opportunities.  We chose to rent the camp house, which is fully setup for cooking your own meals, and the bedrooms are comfortable.  They have also improved the road to the compound so that RV's can easily enter.  I can't think of a negative thing to say about our experience, except that it didn't last long enough.  We were done hunting on day one.

Ron, above, had the first opportunity on the first evening.  Just before sunset, Jeff had sent us down the hillside, while he headed back to pick up the Jeep.  Ron spotted this pig trotting toward the easy meal down in the ranch pasture.  Jeff approached us at just about the same time, and I waved him down to turn off the engine, and we rolled down to the edge of the tree cover.  The pig had no idea we were there, but he was headed to dinner and not wasting any time getting there.  Ron set up quickly on shooting sticks, and smacked this boar at a measured 300 yards.  The pig did not stumble, but it was a perfect shot and he went just a few yards before rolling over for an eight count.  A perfectly mushroomed .260 Barnes TSX was recovered just below the skin on the far shoulder.

I took the pig above the next morning. We had a hot breakfast at the house, and then headed for the field at about 5:15AM.  Jeff had a plan to cruise along a road that parallels the ranch pasture and watch for pigs leaving the fields and heading for cover.  It didn't take long before we spotted a likely victim on which we could get good position.  We jumped out and setup on sticks where we thought we could get a good shot.  It did not appear that the pig was aware of us, but a distant shot toward the north of us set him into a run just before reaching our ambush.  So at about 80 yards I had a rushed running broadside shot.  My first and second shots were apparent misses, although we later found that one of those had creased him across the top of his shoulder, just cutting his skin.  My third shot did not appear to be a hit to either Jeff nor I, but Ron thought he heard a squeal.  Hard to tell in all the commotion.  While Jeff and I were ready to move on for another opportunity, Ron was smart enough to be looking for sign of a wounded pig.  Good thing he was, because we walked right by the mortally wounded pig, until Ron pointed it out to us.  My shot was a little further back than ideal, but it caught enough of the vitals to put him down within 50 yards or so.  The 210 grain .338 Barnes TSX passed through cleanly with no appearance of having opened up.  Once again I am dissatisfied with the inconsistent terminal performance of the TSX.  By 5:30AM, we were done and headed back for skinning chores.

This is Jeff with my pig on board the rack on his '86 CJ-7.  What a great hunting rig!  You can see pretty good teeth on this boar, and they were honed up razor sharp from gnashing against his uppers.

This is the house where hunters can stay.  There is also a nice skinning shed with walk-in cooler.