Contributors to this thread:
Just returned from a hog hunt with Rob Kiebler and Fair Chase Outfitters in El Indio, Texas. Rob operates the wildlife side of The Cinco Ranch, a 16k acre working cattle operation. I learned about Rob and his stellar reputation right here on Bowsite! Dino from Alberta detailed his hunt from last year here and after speaking with him and hearing a bit more about his experience, that sealed the deal! I called Rob and booked a few days on the ranch with my 16 year old son, Jacob. Joining us was my buddy and elk hunting partner, Tommy and good friends John and Oliver, the Brit. Jake, Tommy and I are bow only, Oliver is ballistic only and John will start with his 270 and hopefully finish with his pretty, custom Fedora recurve. We were also graced with the presence of a “celebrity” whose agent has yet to authorize me to include him in my hunt recap. I expect the negotiations to wrap up in the next few days at which time I believe we can begin to detail his epic “hunt”.
Gotta love Texas....."Yessir I got 2 loaded rifles in the front seat. Doesn't everybody? Wouldn't be fair if only the driver had a gun, now would it??"
Day one, minus ½:
I knew this place was well appointed, but dang! I build stuff for a living and was VERY impressed with how well thought out the compound was. My comment to Rob was that this place is WAY too nice for pig hunting! I am not exaggerating a bit when I tell you that our room was a heck of a lot nicer and cleaner than the La Quinta where we overnighted in in San Antonio. The rooms even have a custom made gun rack that holds 4 or 5 guns! I did mean to tell Rob that he needed to add some pegs here and there to hang bows from…
Since we arrived around 2:00 on the day prior to our hunt start, Rob graciously offered to get us into stands that afternoon. We shook out gear, put bows together, confirmed zero on the 3D and rifle ranges, listened as Rob went over the do’s and don’ts, signed the death waiver and we were off.
When in SA, just go. Trust me on this.....Huge props to Bustaribs for taking me here on my 1st pig hunt! Great way to start a pig slay
I sat with Jake the 1st night, just not yet ready (even though I believe HE was) to cut the cord and leave him completely alone in a new place. He has hunted only our suburban whitetails and never has been completely out of my sight, even when he may have believed he was flying solo. I may have been just up the hill watching every move at 10x, or parked at the neighbors watching through the car window, but never more than a 100 yard dash away. Leaving him the 1st night, alone in Texas brush country, just didn’t seem right, so I left my bow and sat with him in a pop up, 15 yards from a tripod mounted feeder.
Even when you know its coming, the feeder cutting loose always causes a minor coronary! Within seconds of recovering, what sounded like a tsunami was approaching at high speed. We looked at each other with that “what the hell is that!!” look. Over a small rise, some running flat out, some flying, were a flock of very hungry turkeys. Like, 486 of them! Well, maybe not that many…..but at least 18, there were. They stayed for about an hour and moved off as the sun started to set.
Shortly after the turkeys left, I heard something larger approaching from the blind side of the pop up. As it neared, the unmistakable sound of pig hooves and muffled grunts left no question who this visitor was. As soon as it hit the downwind side of the blind, the pig stopped. Then, the sound everyone that has hunted where big, wild boars live, have heard the long, low growl of a big pig letting you know he’s got ya. I listened as he slowly walked straight away, giving another couple growls, each one further away. A few minutes later, I heard some noise and peaked through a crack in the back of the blind just in time to see the giant boar circle behind us at about 50 yards. Long furred, huge and cinnamon/blond colored, he was as pretty as a pig can be. I believe big, mature, free range pigs to be every bit as tough to kill with a bow as any mature whitetail, maybe harder. Smart critters.
That first picture of the turkeys looks very familiar.
I agree with the choice of places to eat. I was in the hotel next door last summer for two weeks and i wanted to eat there 3 times a day. Really good stuff.
Thread looks great so far. Early indication is that you guys had a great time. Can't wait to hear and see more. Thanks for posting.
On getting back to camp, we find out that Tommy is 2 for 2 before the hunt starts, with sub 30 yard recoveries on a nice javelina and a 100 lb. black boar. John kills twin 100 lb’ers with his .270. Oliver does some shooting with his ’06 and calls it “practice”. So we’ve got 4 pigs down before the hunt even starts….
Makin' Bacon. Screened in skinning shed with hot water and an adjacent walk in cooler/freezer.
Thats Brian, the ranch owners Grandson and the mystery man John, on the right.
John, one evening in the cantina, after a few pulls of Makers, revealed that he was formerly an enforcer for the Mexican Cartels and ruled 100's of miles of frontier border through fear and intimidation. So legendary and effective he was, that no photos of him existed during this time, just shadowy recollections of those that witnessed his ghastly deeds and may of caught a glimpse of "El Guapo", as he rode off on his bay gelding.
He now leads a mild mannered life, sequestered in the WPP, is a proponent of the Indian medical practice of Ayurveda and regularly flushes his lower intestinal tract with prickly pear juice colonics.
The cooks, Patty and Juanita, feed us like pig slaying kings! First night was BBQ with brisket, ribs and all the fixins’. Every meal tops the one before. These sisters can flat out cook! I am currently on an aggressive weight loss program!
Every night ends in the Cantina, a separate building with a fully and well stocked bar, TV and wifi. Mounts from animals taken on the ranch are part of the décor. A few 170’ish whitetails are just a few of the heads. Giant sheds line a shelf behind the bar. VERY cool building….
Day 1-1/2, AM Jake and I are close, about half mile apart. I asked Rob to do his best to keep us walking distance apart. He understood and was cool to oblige, but the cord is being stretched. I’m a bit stressed as I make sure Jake is all set in the ladder stand before Brian, the ranch owners grandson and I drive away. I keep telling myself he’ll be fine, he’s almost a man now….but I feel guilty as hell leaving him. He WANTS to hunt alone and seems to sense that he needs to reassure me that he is fine by himself….I am not digging this role reversal. I don’t want him to grow up and out….but there he goes…..damn. Back to the hunt….
As we pull up to where I will hunt, there are already pigs at the feeder. They scatter as we pull in. I grab a folding chair and jump into the pop up blind as Brian motors off. Pigs are back in less than a minute, but shooting light is still 20 minutes away. I can see silhouettes of pigs of all sizes. A few move past the blind, just a few steps away. I am surrounded! My weapons are useless! If they ever figure out how vulnerable we are in the dark….. As the sky brightens, no less than a dozen pigs are moving all around me! I am not seeing what I earlier identified as an outsized boar, so for now, I just sit tight and enjoy the show. 2 jumbo Javelina are cruising the perimeter but are wary of all the pigs. 45 minutes or so in, a few of the pigs go on alert, looking back into the brush. I follow their stare and spot a heavy shouldered brute of a hog cautiously moving in to the feeder.
Ki-Ki , my wife will second your claims on Papadeaux. When in Dallas she loves to eat there. You have a good write up so far but I'm looking forward to the "celebrity" hunt.
Fun thread - keep it going!!
The hook is in the loop. The big boy surveys the scene from 40 yards. Satisfied that the area is clear of danger, he struts in and a few of the smaller hogs scatter. He is a bit twitchy at first, so I wait for him to settle down. In a few minutes, he goes broadside and the bow goes full draw. The pin is tight to the shoulder and low. The arrow blows through him an inch higher than pin placement, but I know he’s chops and sandwiches. Pigs are flying around everywhere! I sit for a few minutes as things quiet down.
Within minutes, the piggies start returning.
Pappa anything in Tejas is good vittles!
How far from San Antonio and which direction? Keep it coming, I'm hooked!!
My thoughts immediately switch to Jake. I try to raise him on the radio, but get no answer. I get Rob and he tells me they haven’t heard from him, either. I let him know that I have a hog down but ask him to sit tight as I am going to check on Jake. I head off at a jog, towards my boys stand, scattering the pigs, hoping I remember the turns that we took in the dark.
As his feeder comes into view, I stop and glass and there he is, still in the ladder stand. Whew…. He finally notices me and frantically waves me over, an ear to ear splitting his handsome face. He explains that an hour ago, a pig came in on red alert. The pig circled him a few times, so rather than waiting for him to get to the corn, he found a hole and took the shot as the hog stopped broadside at 22 yards. He thought the placement was good, but he was worried about what looked light light penetration.
He climbed down and we went to look. A great blood trail led 35 yards to a deep, dry creek bed and in the bottom lay Jakes first wild hog! And what a hog he was! 180 lbs. with teeth on a scale rarely seen on truly wild pigs! Great moment. Perfect shot with the arrow stopping in the off shoulder. Here’s the pig!
I love it when my boy kills big stuff.....
Tell him I'm jealous!!
This is exactly what the Bowsite needs about right now! Love it. When is Lego Man going hunting ? Thanks for posting . Hunt
Tobins- 2-1/2 hours straight south of SA.
Hunt- LM rolls to his own beat, but I believe we might catch a glimpse of him before this thread plays out. I understand he had quite the adventure and almost bought it for real this time.
Turns out we shot both pigs within minutes of each other! John the "guide", rolled in soon after. We took a few more pics, loaded him in the truck and headed back to locate mine. Also a good one, but not nearly as dentally endowed as Jakes, my pig tipped the scales at 170.
Love this shot!
Emailed and let mama know we needed room in the freezer….
Tommy missed one this morning. Oliver lays one down with the 06. John has a slow morning.
Enchiladas for brunch. OMG! Roll me back to bed for a nap. I’d come back just for the food! Great place to bring a non hunting spouse.
Besides the accommodations and exceptional cuisine, the variety and quantity of wildlife is amazing! This place is birders nirvana. I’m still comparing pics to bird books trying to figure out what we’ve seen.
Crested Cara cara
Midday, I went with Jake and filmed him stalking Javelina. We saw about 35 or 40 and had 5 or 6 legit stalks and 2 unconnected shots. Javies are no pushover when you need 20 yards or less. 35 is easy….
A bit slower in the skinning shed tonight. Oliver tags out with a scruffy boar, John has pigs all around but no bacon. Tommy misses one. Jake and I share a box blind and I film him make a center heart shot on a 120 lb. sow!
Brian killed this buck a few days before we arrived. Mid 160's
Sitting over a feeder is fun and all and you see lots of animals and other cool stuff, but I was really wanting to HUNT pigs on their own turf.
I asked Rob to put me in an area where I could stretch my legs without crossing any of the other guys up and have a decent chance of finding pigs. Again, the man obliged.
Jake slept in this morning. All that pig killing and Javelina stalking has tuckered him out.
Brian knew the spot well and drew me a quick, but very accurate map of the area. I waited for daylight on the edge of an expansive hay field. As the sun rose, just a few deer were visible. I glassed the field for another 30 minutes, then started working my way around the perimeter, towards the back of the field and a heavy bush line. Coming across another edge that bordered an adjoining field, I glimpsed what looked like a really nice WT buck. I snuck through the narrow brushline and indeed, it was a VERY nice buck! A low 150’s 4 x 4, or as Rob would call it, a “cull” buck! As I watched him through the binos at 80 yards, a big, jet black boar came jetting out of the bush, 50 yards away! Apparently spooked by the buck, he ran out to 100 yards, turned around and stood there staring at the buck for 20 minutes. I tried to call him in with pig squeals, but he eventually wandered off, offering no chance at a sneak.
I resumed my course towards the thick brush at the back of the fields. Hog sign was everywhere! Not a square inch of the field wasn’t rototilled by pigs looking for only they know what below the surface of that Texas clay. Pig turds were everywhere. I had a great wind and continued on. It felt great to be seeing new country and hunting this way. “Freedom” may be the best descriptor.
I had gone about 200 yards with no pig sightings. I stopped for bit to glass the field ahead and thought I heard pig squeals in the thick bush to my right. Again. No doubt. Pigs! I answered with a few squeals and hoped for a charge, but it never came. I waited and watched, looking for movement, but could not see very far into that thick brush.
I decided to go hands and knees and get in there with them. I had covered about 40 yards when I saw a black body moving ahead at about 40 yards. There! another. And I could hear more. When they moved, I moved. Soon I was within 30 yards, but no shot possible. Texas brush country is, well…brushy! I kept creeping closer. At what seemed like 20 yards from the nearest of 6 randomly feeding pigs, the furthest at 30, I thought I would now just wait on my knees and let something happen. A big, cinnamon colored, very furry pig moved into an opening and turned broadside at 15 yards. Well within even my wheelhouse, the big sow didn’t make 12 yards after the shot.
Where's the video for Jake's heart shot sow?
"but not nearly as dentally endowed"
I HATE it when that happens....
Cool.... hanging on every, um, post.
congrats on the hunt...... crawling through the brush, you see any snakes??
Crawling through the brush, how much cactus did you pick up?
Great story. Congrats.
Jake- Working on posting a video...should be easy, but new computer and limited bandwidth of the owner are holding things up...
Fields- NO snakes! Seems they have almost NO rattlers.
Indy- It IS Texas desert.......my wife was not happy about the "prickly things" in our dirty laundry....
The Cinco is an awesome place to hunt and Rob is top notch!
Just made my morning Steve. A TX hog hunt has to be about the best thing a father could ever do with his son. There's so much more to hog hunting than hogs, which your story/photos show perfectly.
Wish I could have joined you. Especially for the big feed at PD's!
Keep it coming brother.
Super-nice hunt story! I've suddenly got an achin' for bacon.
Good stuff Steve! Love the first pic of you and your son with his hog. He is a good looking guy. Thank god for mom's genetics!!!
Great story and pics, brother.
I love it! Keep it coming! Congrats to you and your boy!
Great story! Your son will remember this all his life! Congrats Dad!!
OH..and the FISHING! The Cinco has 4 bass ponds within its borders. I didn't get to fish, but Jake and Oliver did. I didn't get pics of any of the bass Jake caught, but someone snapped one of Olivers' jumbo...
I remember fishing that pond. I need to get back down there that is a great place.
Ive been to Mexico a bunch of times, but seeing it from this perspective was....well, different. Hard to explain.
When you go to Cabo or Cozumel, its just a vacation. When on the drive in, juste several miles from the ranch, you pass Border Patrol checkpoints and are asked a bunch of questions because your rental has Cali plates...and when the ranch you're hunting has Border Patrol camera towers at strategic locations, as well as MANY remotely monitored trail cams on roads...and when you are given specific instructions on how to respond should you see illegals while hunting...and the fact that a skeleton of an illegal immigrant was found on the ranch last year....you come away with a different sense of "them" and "us" and "ours" and "theirs". So close, but they are not entitled to what is ours. The freedoms enjoyed on our side of the river are OUR freedoms! Won with blood and guts spilt, very likely at some point, right here on this ranch. Soldiers inscriptions on the rocks below this lookout tell of hours of stationed protection of this border from a threat from a different time. Perhaps the likes of Pancho Villa or a renegade band of Comanches...
Whatever the threat of the time was, I am thankful to all of them that stood, so that I can now stand on this spot with my family and friends and call it OURS!
And I'm thankful to those that STILL stand and protect, wherever they are tonight.
Look who we met at the look out!!
Just a few more words about the Rob Kiebler, his crew and the Cinco Ranch.
In 35 years of traveling to hunt, I have experienced just 3 outfits that have the program down and run a well oiled machine. Rob runs one of them. The dude actually has someone put those little soaps and shampoos on the sink in the bathrooms! Knowing him now, I'm sure he steals them from hotels in San Antonio, but there they are! Trucks work. When one breaks, its replaced in minutes. We saw that happen. Hunting that is at least partially dependent on corn to attract game is in abundant supply. Food is indescribable. Juanita and Patty actually hand cut the tomatoes, Chiles and vegetables for the Pico de gallo every morning!
I don't need great food and a cozy bed with 4 pillows to have a great hunt. I truly LOVE wilderness adventures where Mountainhouse turkey tetrazini is all I think about on the hike back to camp. I really LIKE climbing into a cold down bag and have frost cut loose from the tent ceiling in the morning.
But a hog hunt?? This is the ultimate FUN hunt, a great way to introduce a deserving young man to the world of the traveling hunter. A great adventure with the opportunity for comforts and smooth edges that a horseback elk hunt can't provide.
You may have noted that I am still a bit protective, so I was careful who I invited. All men in whom I have great respect and trust. The unknown was the crew at the ranch. Jake met some great guys and learned a bunch. In 4 short days, Rob, John and Brian became good friends and took great care of my boy. Rob is, well, a true Texan. Well travelled and full of stories. If you hunt with him, you MUST ask him to tell the story about his son, the F word and the Librarian. Maybe the screamingest, funniest story Ive ever heard anyone tell. Rob is supremely accommodating and does whatever it takes to make sure everyone has a good time and has what they need. He even made some special, over the top concessions to accommodate the requests of Lego Man! Turns out, he and LM go way back, although the details were a bit cloudy, neither one coming totally clean....I heard mumblings and laughter about 2 twin Apache girls from Silver City as they were hitting the Makers one night....
I could say a bunch more about this place, but I think you get it. You can hunt hogs for cheaper, but like my hog hunting mentor Bustaribs said above, "hog hunting is so much more than hunting hogs". I will never do it anywhere else but at the Cinco with Kiebler.
Texas said so long to us in fine fashion, with this sunset that looked like a flaming eagle..
Rob's sweet lab, Remi, was sad to see us go.....
Best Bowsite Hog Hunt Thread EVER!
Best Bowsite Hog Photo EVER! (The mud-caked snout above)
Great job Steve, while it's true I may have intro'd you to the allure of the swine, I could no sooner mentor you on hunting than I could mentor Jordan on his jumpshot! One of our hunting partners told me Steve could probably kill a Moose in Giants Stadium. I'm not sure about that, but you get the point.
I'm curious what Rob's rate is? You will never hunt hog's anywhere else? That's all I need to hear!
Great write up! Definitely got the gears clicking in my head on a trip for next year. Would you recommend Cinco as a good place to bring a non-hunting spouse?
Great thread, Congrats!
Gotta get my Daughter out there someday...
Best of Luck, Jeff
KJC, YES my wife was a non hunter the first time we went but now my hunting takes a backseat to hers when we go there!
If you wife likes to "chill" and like the out of doors- a great place to go. The food alone is worth the visit.
Hopefully, Drycreek will chime in on the thoughts of his wife while they were there.
The area from Austin - San Antonio and the Hill Country is worth the time, if you have time to do some sightseeing.
Cinco Ranch is very quite and peaceful place. I never heard a jet while I was there, not did I see a jet stream in the sky.
Just my 2-cents !!
Thanks for the kind words, fellas! I really do want to thank Bowsite for steering me towards Rob and this hunt! I've yet to hear from one guy who has been and would not return!
As far as bringing a non hunting spouse, as long as she understands what men sound like when unfettered by PC convention or can install filters on her ears when Rob gets cranked up and she's not a Hilton only camper, she'll be fine. This would be a FANTASTIC place especially, to introduce a non hunting or hunting curious spouse to your world. She can share a box blind with you and you might ask her is she would like to be inducted into the Texas Hog Hunters Club! I just made that up....you can now use your imagination to make up your own club rules....
: ^ )
Please PM me for hunt details like costs and logistics. Rob does NOT have a website.....might be why he has yet to become a sponsor. I believe BS requires sponsors to have a www.
For my buddy Bustaribs.....more muddy piggy faces
Med Man...I may have succeeded in posting the video of Jakes 2nd pig....stand by..
Awesome pics! Ol' Remi! Good old dog!
Here is the clip of Jake and his heart shot piggy. I think....Let me know if this works...
It asked me to sign in, which I did, and then said this video is private. Not being much of a u tuber, I never encountered that before.
Were the hogs naked ???
Try this one Creek.....
Hey Steve- How many hunters can they accommodate? What are their rates?
Dooner, call Rob Kiebler at 972-523-5621. He will fill you in. And check out Buffalo1's thread " If it's Texas, you know it's big " for more on Fair Chase Ltd.
Drycreek is right. Call Rob for specifics. I will tell you that he can accommodate up to 10 hunters, but he prefers 8. If you go with 8 guys, you'll have the whole ranch to yourselves.
I can provide additional details via PM.
Creek, did you try to view that vid via the last link provided? I believe it works cut n paste.
Nice pics, been invited a few times to go hunt hogs and javelin in Texas hope to make it one day. Congrats to you's hunters thanks for sharing.
That is really cool! Thanks for sharing your hunt with your son. He will never forget this one! Congrats guys!
Might be me but I can't get the video to show either?
I dunno.....if this one doesn't work, you'll just have to take my word for it that the shot was AWESOME!!
"That's what your thinking about right now?"
Thanks ki-ke & drycreek. I called Rob. He sounds like a great guy. I have a group that used to do MHH every year. We still do stuff at least once/yr. I think it might be fun to do something similar for bowsiters in 2017:-)
Kept checking back to see if the video worked. It did ! Perfect shot !
Just found this Steve....congrats.
You can still call though....lol