Wild Pig

Cholame, California, 2016

This sow went about 150 lbs we estimated. A perfect size for a quality meat pit. You can really see the heavy crop of standing barley. At nearly waist height, it makes getting a shot on pigs in the fields difficult. If you can see the pigs you know they must be decent size, but the top of their backs doesn't offer a very good target. It was fortunate that we were about 15 feet above them on an upper field, which offered a good shooting opportunity.


Dan, on the right, and Frank, back toward us, made quick work of field dressing this pig.


Back at the bunkhouse, Frank gets busy finishing the skinning and dressing. This pig will be in that walk-in cooler in just a few minutes, skinned, trimmed, and water washed. These guys do an outstanding job of preparing your game for fine table eating. When I drop my game at my local butcher,  he always compliments them on their field dressing skills. Makes his job that much easier.


In 2016 we returned to hunt the Jack Ranch near Cholame. I think we all agree that we love hunting this place. The pigs are abundant, the accommodations are very comfortable, and the staff are nice folks.

Things have been changing though, and Frank who owned the hunting lease last year is moving away. Dan, who guided for Frank last year, is now the owner of the lease. But we were pleased to see that Frank now works as a guide for Dan, so it really is still the same people. Even Jeff is still guiding (I mentioned him in last years hunt report), and he came by to visit although he was not working our hunt.

There were 4 of us hunting, Don, Mark, and Kyle Winkleman, and myself. With the changing of the hunting lease we were a little late getting our hunt date secured, so this hunt was the last weekend of April. A little earlier in the year that we prefer, and it conflicts with the Eastern Sierra trout opener. But as it happened the weather could not have been nicer.

We all got our pigs. Kyle, who was on his first big game hunt ever, took two really nice pigs. He has obviously been taught well. Mark took his pig with a bow, a first for him, and only a handful of people have achieved that on this ranch. Quite an accomplishment!

Don and I paired up with Frank guiding us. Mark and Kyle paired up with Dan. Don took his pig Friday night, a really big old boar with big tusks. My shooting was not good, and I missed 2 different opportunities on the Friday evening hunt. But I don't dwell on misses, and try hard not to let them get to me.

Saturday morning was really good, and although I did not take a shot, we stalked to within range of two different groups of pigs, plus another lone pig that happened to strut straight at us. Due to size, or having little ones, I did not take a shot that morning.

After a leisurely lunch and nap, we were preparing to hit the fields for the evening hunt, when from the bunkhouse porch Don spotted pigs entering the barley fields a quarter mile away. We quickly jumped in the truck for a very short drive, then crossed an upper field to get a good vantage down into the barley. An old dozer provided good coverage as all 6 of us stalked up on them. At only 77 yards, the two sows had no clue we were there. One was trailing piglets, but the other sow was dry and a single shot from my .338 put her down. A dozer makes a very solid shooting rest!