Hunted this last weekend with Chuck on his property near Turkey Texas. This is not high fence but free range hog hunting. Chuck advertised his hog hunts in the misc classified section. I was looking for a place to hunt in the colder months when hunting is done in Iowa and booked two days for three hunters. He advised that he had a bunkhouse to stay in on the farm.
We arrived late Friday night and was met by Chuck and his wife Lori. He got us set up in the bunkhouse which was a camper that he built mounted on a trailer. this bunkhouse is like stepping into an RV. Microwave,fridge,griddle, sink,shower,toilet,couch and elevated queen bed with enough room to stow your clothes totes or bags underneath, all wood interior and smells and looks brand new.
We discussed where to hunt in the morning and off to bed we went with the coyotes howling letting us know that there may be more than hogs to shoot.
Saturday Morning 0600 was up and getting ready for the short walk to the stand sites where Chuck had seen hogs working the creek bottom on Friday morning. Chuck had feeder that would fire about 8 am but he corned the two track to keep them in front of us. while I was getting Dawn set up we had a coyote come down the trail upwind of us to about 5 yards. He bailed off the trail and headed for the creek bottom. No chance for a shot but we were off to a good start.
Brad went west down the creek and saw 2 coyotes, but no shots. We didn't see any hogs in the morning but three coyotes and numerous whitetails and mulies. I walked south about 3/4 mile to a travel route there hogs come out of a thick bedding area, the wind started ripping 20-25 mph right at daybreak and the hogs were staying bedded or in the thick cover.
Back to the bunkhouse about 11 am and Chuck was visiting with Brad. He was going to get a different vehicle since we were going to a different farm to sit for a long afternoon hunt. Chuck said" if you can sit for the rest of the day, I know y'all will see hogs". Lunch from the cooler and off to another farm for the afternoon hunt. Chuck had checked this farm on Friday and it was covered up in hogs at 1 pm.
Dawn was shooting a 7-08 savage rifle and she got an elevated stand overlooking a feeder with Chuck corning on the field edge. 180-200 yards was going to be her shots. The wind was ripping pretty good still at at least 20 mph but it was warm so it would be a good sit.
Brad was put in a brush blind to the west end of the property overlooking a feeder about 200 yards away with his back to a deep draw which Chuck said was a bedding area for the hogs. Chuck said this was his favorite place to shoot hogs as the hogs go to the fenced feeder and clean up the few kernels of corn that get thrown outside the fence then they haul the mail right back towards the blind to get to the triticale field. the trail is about 10 yards out front of the blind. Chuck corned the trail to keep the hogs in range. Brad was hunting with a 7-30 waters contender with a scoped ruger blackhawk .45 colt and a 357 vaquero for close range work/finisher.
Chuck put me in a treestand on the east end of the property overlooking a fenced feeder about 40 yards away. He corned the trail and the triticale field to the southeast of my stand since the hogs frequently come out of a deep draw into the field about 120 yards away and then feed in the open. The corn would keep them coming my way if they came out in the field.
My first hog showed up 18 minutes after i got in the stand but was on the back side of the feeder and under some juniper,so no shot. I heard another hog 10 minutes later in the brush on front of me but never saw it.
Within the first hour Dawn shot, however she forgot her phone back at camp so no way to know if she killed or not. Later about 6:00 pm she shot again. I figured the way she shoots we had two down. The wind settled down a little but it was getting a little swirly.
Chuck's feeders go off at 4:30 pm and the critters know it. the deer were first, both whitetail and mulies. A single brown boar came in about 6:25 and hit the feeder and then moved out into the field, he got downwind of the corned trail and came in on a run to the corn. He was 13 yards when i put a 200 grain speer flat point bullet out of my 375 win contender to work. Unsure of my shot I climbed down and found the boar that went down out of sight about 65 yards away. In through the shoulder and out the belly and an easy blood trail. This boar had 2.5" cutters. I went back to the stand and could hear hogs on the way back. I was in the stand for another 5 minutes and heard hogs grunting from behind me, I saw 18 or so hogs coming in from across the field from behind me. It looked like 3-4 larger hogs 5 or so medium hogs and about 8 piglets about the size of footballs. Things got athletic for a few minutes as i was trying to get on a big hog in fading light and hogs that wouldn't stand still. Finally a fatty stopped long enough to settle the cross hairs and send another round 18 yards, a big sow DRT. Hogs scattered everywhere but most went north down the corned trail, the piglets confused,started grunting causing the larger hogs to come out to them on the trail and travel north. I got back on the sticks and prayed that the hog I was tracking in my scope would stop. Sure enough, God answered my prayers and the sow pulled up and turned broadside. A trigger squeeze later and she was DRT with a double shoulder pass through at 94 yards. 3 down in 20 minutes to christen the 375!
Brad saw hogs but they came out along a fence line and moved away from him and he refused to take a Texas heart shot, waiting for an broadside shot that never materialized.
Dawn had connected on a nice boar with 1.5" cutters and we never found signs of a hit on her first shot.
4 hogs on day 1.
Back at camp and we boned the hogs and packed the meat into 2 gallon ziplock baggies and into the coolers. Chuck got a Texas sized camp fire going and we enjoyed good conversation till about 11 pm and off to bed to repeat on day 2.
Morning hunt was filled with howling coyotes and deer sightings but no hogs.
The afternoon hunt took us back to the same farm as Chuck had seen hogs on the field before noon again. Dawn was back in the tower blind, Brad took the tree stand and I took the brush blind. Everything was going as planned then the wind switched almost 120 degrees right before prime time and really screwed our hunt up plus the temps were unseasonably warm in the upper 60's.
Brad heard hogs but didn't see any. He saw a bunch of mulies and whitetails.
Dawn didn't see any hogs either.
10 minutes before end of shooting light I had a dozen or so hogs come out of the draw and run to the feeder. They got to the feeder and 30 seconds later they turned and ran directly towards me. I had sprayed some Hog under the influence scent on the trail I had heard this stuff was amazing at attracting hogs to a specific spot. When the hogs hit it they all came to a stop and started grazing on the dead grass that I sprayed it on. A black sow pulled up broadside at 54 yards and a pass thru shoulder shot led to a quick 40 yard recovery.
5 hogs in 2 days, staying where you hunt and a fellow handgun hunter and traditional bow hunter makes for a lot of fun.
We have already discussed a return trip. Chuck is going to start putting into the Minnesota Bear draw and we will try to get him a black bear with his handgun. Chuck has already started working on improvements for future hunters however there was nothing wrong with our hunt.
If you are looking for unlimited hogs on a free range hunt to put some pork in the freezer instead of a one and done on a high fence ranch and be able to hang out with a fellow handgun hunter I'm sure Chuck would be able to accommodate you.