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Bobcat

27th Posse Hog Hunt-Hunt Report

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We had a terrific group for this Hunt. There were some last minute health and family issues, so we only had five hunters this time. As you know, Victoria and this part of Texas had severe flooding rains last week. Our weather for the weekend was perfect, in the 80's, blue sky, and sunshine. Unfortunately, the flodding rains had spread the hogs out. We only ended up with one pig on the ground. Three of our five hunters saw pigs both days. Tailgunner and I didn't see hogs. There were also 4 misses on pigs. We still had a great time and ate like Kings! We also had two Father/Son Teams: Gabba D Hunt & his son and Posse member Ben, Tailgunner and his Dad, Jim (who flew in from Michigan).

 

Our group-L to R:

 

Ben, Gabba D Hut, Jim, Bobcat. Tailgunner

 

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Ready to head out for a hunt.

 

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I told the gang that I had a prize for the largest hog over the weekend (donated by Coyanosa Cowboy). Jim not only had the largest pig, he also had the only pig. He won the prize. As it turned out, the pig was smaller than the two raccoons that were taken. :D I have to say, Jim's shot was perfect though!

 

The two coons and the "Largest Pig"!

 

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Tailgunner helping Jim display his prize.

 

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Friday night we had some lasagna, salad, and rolls before heading out. I hunted until 2:30 Friday, the rest of the gang was out until around 5:00 A.M.

 

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After getting a little sleep, Tailgunner and Jim prepared a great sausage and scrambled egg breakfast for us!

 

Tailgunner at work.

 

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Taigunner & Jim

 

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Jim and Ben chowing down.

 

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Saturday afternoon we napped and hung out at the fire pit before heading out for our hunt. Saturday, I hunted until 4:00 A.M. and the rest of the gang hunted all night!

 

The fire pit.

 

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Jim and Tailgunner

 

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I had a post brunch cigar!

 

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Before heading out hunting Saturday, Gabba D Hunt treated us to a full Texas BBQ supper. His cousin owns a GREAT BBQ joint in Victoria!!! We had ribs, brisket, sausage, beans, slaw, and potatoes with ALL the trimmings! To top it off, there was pecan pie!! It was some of the best BBQ I have ever had!!

 

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Even though the prior weather affected out hunting, I think everyone had a great time. Our two Guides, Brady and Marshall, both worked hard to get us on pigs. I think the may each have gotten 2-3 hours of sleep all weekend.

 

Our Guides-Marshall and Brady!

 

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I truly enjoyed the weekend. This was a great group to hang and hunt with!

 

I am going to open this up now and let the gang give their input.

 

Bob :P

 

Saw this guy heading down a live oak.

 

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Sounds like a good time in spite of the Hogs not cooperating .

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Ben and I had a great time at the ranch again. So good I fact that Ben has suggested this be an annual event for us. I like the idea but I can't wait until he can pay his own way . As Bob mentioned a special thanks to my cousin, Katina Arterberry and Uncle Mutt's BBQ on Navarro in Victoria for a delicious dinner. I've never prepared a meal so tasty or effortlessly, oh wait, I didn't prepare it.... that's probably why it was so tasty. Hunting with Tailgunner and his father Jim was a pleasure and I would like to thank both of those Marines for their service to our country. I'd also like to thank Brady for his service with the 10th Mountain Division. As Bob mentioned the hog count was light this year mostly due to the weather but I appreciate the effort Brady and Marshall put in to putting us where hogs would be. Personally, I can't ask for better. I saw hogs both evenings and I failed to execute when a shot presented itself on Saturday evening. If I can get it pulled off of m phone I will post my in-blind journal for Saturday night. It's not the polished prose that Bob or Tinker publish when they summarize their hunts but it does help me to stay awake when the eyelids get heavy and serves as a record for future reference. A

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Victoria TX, Stand C4, second night Gordon Ranch.

 

Protein feeder on left 111 yds. Expect pigs left to right, crossing over the fence line to your left. Don't shoot over the fence line. Big tree to right of feeder is 109. To the front is corn feeder. 46.5 yards. 40 to light box on left. 70 to vegetation behind feeder. One big tree at 22 to right of feeder with pair behind it at 37/40. 52 yds to back vegetation. Another large tree right at 20 yds. 53 yes to tree line and tree on ground. 23 yds to trees and road on the right.

 

6:48 first visitor is an armadillo crossing the road on the left.

 

6:57. Scare the bejesus out of me. The feeder went off while I was typing - LOL. Darn it's hot in here but I'm keeping windows to a minimum to keep from being winded.

 

7:10. 6 cardinals and one fat dove under the corn feeder. I suppose that's the early bird special.

 

7:12 2 does and a fawn emerged on the left just like the hogs should. They step into the path of the protein feeder at 82 yards and slowly work their way to the feeder. At 7:20 a 4th deer joins from behind the group at the feeder. This fourth deer is not welcome. A doe keeps shooing him away until he finally assumes a station in the road at 139 yds. 7:32 the deer leave and exit left around 125 yds.

 

7:35. A buck enters at 35 yes followed in a minute by a larger one. They pass separately in front of me within 22 yards. I take pics like the tourist I am. Hopefully their passing is an indication that sweating my donkey off with the windows as closed as possible is paying off.

 

7:40. The bucks are now under the corn feeder and a pair of does are coming up the road from behind the protein feeder. The current deer count is 8 with 2 confirmed buck in velvet.

 

7:48. Possible pig movement to the left. Rifle up and ready. Hopeful of engagement.

 

7:57. Cluster of 8-11 pigs charge into the feeder. I shoot at the next to largest and launch 2 extra shots as they scatter. Nothing I can confirm hit. Texts fly among the party.

 

8:16. The adrenaline is still pumping. Hog sounds still in the area. They charged in and that shook me up. Time to calm down. Breathe easy squeeze and put the little suckers down next time they come in. While we call it hunting that felt like it should have been gathering. I suspect I was more worried about trying to make a second shot than I was about ensuring the first shot.

 

8:27. Coon at the protein feeder. I keep hearing heavy movement off to the left expecting them to charge in. Patience is a virtue my friends. I shall pray for some and center myself.

 

8:33. Deer joins coon at protein feeder keeping it all lit up.

 

9:18 and all has been quiet for a while.

 

9:21. The main green feeder light died. Have the very small white light working only.

 

9:53. 4 coons at the feeder. They line up as 2 for 1 shot and even 3 for 1 once. The 3 for 1 was awful tempting but I passed on the opportunity. I hope I don't regret that.

 

10:15. Lone coon trips the left hand corn feeder light a couple of times. The first he is back and left. Almost behind the tree. He eventually wanders back home to the left.

 

10:45. All quiet. Had a forward light flash and I couldn't identify what tripped it. Too much excitement for me. A little while ago two more deer made a quick visit to the protein feeder.

 

11:13. Coon to the protein feeder. 1 light cycle and he's gone. Watched him cross the road in the moon light and go home.

 

11:41. Eyelids are getting heavy. Rested my chin on the window and that is dangerous. Too comfortable and sleep is too close. Here piggy piggy piggy. I need some of that action. Even coons at the feeder are engaging and to some degree stimulating. Is Ben napping? He hasn't replied to two texts.

 

11:45 pm. Ben responded. He has a possum and a skittish deer. My response : I hope it is ugly, nasty and soon to be dead pigs. Regretting my miss earlier. I should never miss at 50 yards.

 

11:57. Multiple texts to Ben. He had piglets and they escaped. A young buck just tripped the light. The second time he tripped it something scared him and he bolted. Pigs inbound perhaps? There are now 3 deer at my protein feeder.

 

12:15. Lights at both feeders tripped in last 5 minutes. I am hopeful. Didn't see the cause at either. Don't see anything out there either.

 

12:20 another deer coming to the protein. Spotted him crossing the road. It's a great moon in the bottoms tonight. 2 deer when the light tripped. These guys are skittish but entertaining. I needed them to show up.

 

12:45. The deer finally leave. They walked down the road towards me before cutting right back into the brush about 75-80 yes away. They may pop out at the corn feeder next or they may be gone for the night.

 

12:55. I hope I don't regret that 5 Hour Energy I just drank........ Finally a lone, yet lame coyote howls in the distance. Maybe it was just a dog even.

 

1:02. Distant coyotes. Good 20 second burst of pup sounding nature. It resumes and lasts a little longer.

 

1:32. Somebody pulled the trigger. Sounded like it could have been the .243. Ben confirms a possum/coon double on one shot. Btw. My coon crapped himself getting out of here when Ben pulled the trigger. Lucky coon. He was in the cross hairs.

 

1:45 appears to be a pig around 140 from protein. I light him up with the green light to confirm his piggy ness and he runs north. Hopefully he will circle around to the east and visit the corn feeder. I stick my head out the window to listen and I would swear I smelled pig indicating the very light wind is in my favor.

 

2:10 Runaway coon returns to the feeder from the left, the same direction he ran to earlier. Come on pigs.

 

2:21. Dang. I just knew pigs would come around in a few minutes. Not looking so good now.

 

2:43 2 coon at corn feeder. Takes 3 min to trip the light. Good moon allows me to see them before the light comes on.

 

2:55. Not sure how the coon got on top of the protein feeder but he did. He's a long armed thief pulling that feed out of the holes meant for deer!

 

4:23. Down to one coon out front. All in for a morning pick up. Time to take a nap in hopes of an early morning ambush as the feeder. Powering down the phone to conserve the little bit of battery I have left. Don't want it to die and not be able to call my ride like last night

 

6:05. Clown hopping, back flipping, protein thief of a coon is back and I am awake again, somewhat,,,, Now I see how the coon got on top of the feeder. I'm fully comfortable and can feel sunrise coming. Contact lenses a little cloudy but I'm good

 

6:17. A lone deer, it's skittish. Lone deer turns into 7 deer. 4 are confirmed bucks in velvet. I watch them for 30-40 minutes. Eventually they leave

 

6:55 even the coons have gone now. Wait, is that a squirrel at the feeder? I think this hunt and this squirrel is done.

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GDH, I think I know why you failed to see more pigs.....with your above epic saga, you had to be watching the phone more than the feeder. 20 sounders of hogs could have passed you by between the recounting of the first deer and the entrance of the last coon. And trying to con us with the tale of the energy drink rather than a nip from the hip flask is a stretch, too. Also, it's a little far-fetched to believe you missed a large hog at 50 yards. Advice: if you did, never admit to it. Be creative....make the distance 150 yards on a running target. I might get away with a 50 yard miss, but you deserve better. Think of the image you project to your son. In fact, make it 200 yards. Think of the recounting of the hunt as historical fiction rather than pure history. It works!!

On a lighter subject, I'm glad you got to go on the hunt, and that you were able to take your son with you. Shared time, whether great or average or less than perfect, will be remember many years later, and not the exact number of game seen. In the long run, that's what matters. P.S.: are you available to give texting lessons to older guys who only know how to type?

 

Sincerely,

 

OP

 

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Ben was kind enough to share some notes he made on Saturday even. He's a much better writer than I am.

 

6:44: Tonight is going to be a good night if what Brady told me is true. Lots of hogs bedding just behind where the feeder is. Great stand position, 180° of uninhibited range, maybe 75 yards from feeder. Spotted an armadillo out by the right side of the protein feeder already. Hot as heck in this blind. Already sweating through my shirt a bit. I'm upwind of the feeder so I'll have to be extra diligent about keeping unnecessary windows closed, despite the heat.

 

6:56: Gorgeous pair of redheaded ducks just landed in the puddle next to the feeder. A minute later, count is at 18 ducks.

 

7:35: Two young bucks show up, just barely beginning to grow fur on their antlers. It's a veritable ecosystem with the division of ducks, a trio of armadillos, the pair of bucks, and a lone raven fighting some of the ducks for corn. The sun has finally dropped below the treeline so the stand is cooling down a bit. I'm a smidge worried about my water supply, given all that I've sweat out, but I should be okay. Half a camelbak and a bottle of Gatorade should be fine.

 

7:50: THREE more budding bucks show up, visually confirmed by the brand spanking new set of glass around my neck right now. $50000 of things I can break, just a few feet away from me. The sun looks beautiful on the water and the stand has now gone from oven status to toaster. Two more bucks showed up after writing this. $70000 all congregating at one single protein feeder. I'd take a Mercedes over a few pissed off young bucks but this will work. The irony of my choice in snack, Corn Nuts, is palpable. Here I sit in a "stealthy" metal box (3 shots just went off at 7:57- Dad?) while I watch small animals eat corn from a big feeder sitting in supposed harmony. Meanwhile, some unknown-to-me entity eats some other corn-based product while he watches me sitting in a manner similar to the animals I gaze upon with hungry eyes. Your daily quasi-philosophical ramblings brought to you by Ben.

 

8:07: Another two bucks appeared. $90000 of venison. There is now a cacophony of god knows what calls going on directly behind me and off by the feeder. Possibly one below me.

 

8:23: The ducks and one buck left, to be replaced by a solitary owl perching itself on a vertical stick on the edge of the water. I've never seen an owl in the wild before, and with its outline framed by the water I must say it looks pretty cool. But I want hogs, damnit!

 

9:05: Got a family of hogs at the protein feeder for about 3 minutes and then they left. I got greedy and wanted to plink the sow which was behind cover while the piglets ate in the open. darned greed.

 

10:19: Nothing but darned raccoons for the past hour, and a lone deer who looked lost that I guided with my flashlight for a while. Fun, but not pork. One shot rings out. The coons finally left, a good thing (I think)

 

11:20: A deer and a raccoon and a possum walk into a protein dispenser. They all get pissed off at each other and leave. The observant, but unwise deer keeps looking at the woods behind the feeder like something is there. The raccoon, offended that the possum got more corn than itself, shoos the possum away. The possum, however, is determined and wants the corn. The deer finally decides enough is enough and leaves the haunted feeder.

 

The possum, wanting more food, returns to the feeder with the intent to confront the racoon. The raccoon however has help arrive and convinced he is the rightful heir to the power vacuum in the dynamic of the feeder, shoos the determined possum off yet again. However, before Possum can slink away to not be seen again, a shot rings out and frightens the raccoons away. The possum, lowly and humble, is victorious as he plays possum near a puddle adjacent to the now empty feeder. The end.

 

12:02: shot, followed by another at 12:10

12:20: Things are slow. That's why I thought two deer coming up to the feeder was noteworthy. Too lazy to make a story up for these two, but I think it's a safe assumption that the lesser buck is the concubine of the other. Deer social dynamics have a feudal taste to them, which allows for such antiquated practices. However, I have been unable to study the social practices of the fiendish Porkinius baconistra, or common pig.

 

Yet.

 

1:02: Coyote calls in the distance and occasional bursts of honking. I know the things I want to shoot are out there, yet they don't peek their ugly heads out. Two deer that have been here for 15 minutes or so are reunited with their posse of six. Quite possibly some of the same deer that were here earlier. It's strange watching them adapt to the motion lights. They jump a bit when the lights turn on and slowly sulk into the shadows again. Not that it really matters anyway, they're as safe as Hindu cows on this ranch, aside from coyotes and unskilled shooters. A particularly bold one stays in the light and feeds for maybe 15 seconds, then hears something and leaps off into the darkness again.

 

1:16: Though earlier I loathed my metal box for being too hot and humid, now it's cooled down to where I feel as though I have a blanket on all the time. A bit humid, but that's unavoidable. I reach my hand outside sometimes and feel the brisk air on my skin. It's nice not having to wear my sweatshirt or Marshall's carhart yet. I can just relax in a tee shirt and be just cozy. The determined Possum is back after a trip to god knows where and has taken up his regular spot by the deer, now accompanied with other deer. I had a chance to shoot Possum and Raccoon with one bullet earlier- they were lined up side by side- but I was too slow to take the shot before they lost their perfect alignment. There's a small part of me glad for sparing the possum.

 

1:34: I changed my mind about Possum and shot through his donkey into Raccoon's face. They were aggrivating me. At least now his pain is over.

 

2:03: Hearing some pig-eque squealing from the treeline beyond the feeder. Deep squeals, if there is such a thing. I hope this is a biggun.

 

2:39: No pork yet, but the animals have returned. The pack of deer and one raccoon have rejoined the party at the protein feeder. They gingerly step over the corpses of their once-alive friends as if they were a cactus. Animals don't have a strong concept of death.

 

....

 

4:47: I'm not sure how long I was asleep, maybe an hour, but there's not much left in the night. I hear hogs, but they don't leave the treeline. Eyes are heavy. Wonder how dad's doing.

 

5:53: Two deer have been spending time by the feeder. I'm so used to them they're like raccoons to me now. I hear pigs in the treeline, maybe 100 yards deep into it. I'm salivating at thw thought of their juicy flesh slowly getting crispy over a fire. Well, maybe I'm just hungry. I want the sunrise to be soon so I can have a bit of light to use on the last moments in the hunt. The way I imagine it, the hogs will start coming back to their bedding site at the end of their "day" and I'll have a chance to get some. Fingers crossed.

 

Ben

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