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Great Christmas/Anniversary Present
Disclaimer this was a high fence trip. For a Christmas and Anniversary Present my wife bought me a wild hog hunting trip to Mountain Meadow Hunting Preserve in West Virginia. Originally we are from Indiana so really the only hunting I have done is for deer and have been very blessed in the whitetail woods. I am in the Navy and our new home is in Virginia and I struggled on getting my first “Virginia” deer this year. My wife must have been able to see the heartbreak that not flinging an arrow at a deer was for me this year and knew of a goal of mine of getting a hog with my bow. Because she got me this trip and I had no idea. (She is great). I have never really done the ranch hunting thing before so it was going to be a new experience and wasn’t sure what to expect. I called the owner and from the very get go things seemed to go very smoothly and everyone was incredibly nice and told us what we could expect. I could feel the excitement building. The trip was going to split up our drive from Virginia to Indiana almost exactly half way and would be a great resting place for my wife (who is expecting twin boys!!!!!!) so the break in the drive is nice for her. I went on leave the afternoon of the 28th and it was about 5.5hrs from Virginia Beach to Greenville West Virginia. We arrived a little later than we anticipated, but the owner, was more than accommodating and met us at our cabin. The Ranch has three lodges. Two beautiful cabins that sleep about ten each with private bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as large kitchens and living rooms. The main hunting lodge sleeps about 25 and is actually located on part of the ranch. It has wonderful mounts and displays throughout it as well as all of the amenities that the other cabins have.
You've got a good lady there sir.
The morning of the 29th I drove down from our cabin to the main hunting lodge where I would meet the guide. At first I have to be honest, I got extremely nervous that the hunt was going to be a little less than desirable because when you drive through the main gate there are animals there that are used for breeding that nearly walk right up to the truck. I could have walked right up to red stag and buffalo, which were cool to see, but caused a bit of anxiety that my hunt would be anything but challenging. I was wrong. I told the guide that I was a bit nervous this might be easier than I was hoping for. He told me that the hunt could be as difficult or as easy as I wanted. He explained that there are some hogs that are pretty close to farm hogs that aren’t difficult to stalk up on and then there are some truly wild ones that will be a true challenge. I said I was up for the challenge and we were off.
The property is split up into two parcels of land, one side is very steep and mountainous (extremely challenging) and another side is more flat but has some thickets and open meadows and ponds/wallows. I pretty much had the whole property to myself, it was incredible. Within 20 minutes I had spotted my first group of hogs and began to sneak up to them, I was at about 40 yards when I was looking through my binoculars and I ran into my first dilemma. Every Hog in the group looked like a shooter to me, none of them looked like the farm hogs I was scared that I was going to get stuck with. I decided that if I could get in within 30 yards I would make a decision, but one step shy of 40 and they bolted. I actually felt a smile stretch across my face because I knew that I would be able to have fun chasing some hogs around on this property. I spent the next 5.5 hours stalking up and down this mountain side for one specific boar that I had spotted. He had the long snout, long hair, and big cutters and about 250-300lbs. Really what I was dreaming for. That boar would not let me get within 45 yards of him before bolting. I got to 45 yards one time and a sow that was bedded in front of me made me and she bolted out and took the boar with her. I couldn’t find that boar again. I decided that I was going to probably have to settle for the first solid looking boar that gave me a good shot opportunity as it was getting later in the day. I only brought two water bottles with me and no lunch as I expected to be done within five or six hours but by this point I was seven hours in. So I was getting pretty worn out trekking up and down the hills but was having an absolute blast and wouldn’t want it any other way.
I spotted a good looking group of boars that was working its way through a thicket. I tried to cut them off and when I did I jumped a boar that had been bedded about 50 yards away. The boar turned and I could see it had visible cutters. I knew that I was going to try and take this boar. I was able to sneak within 35 yards of him, and launched the first arrow. I don’t know if it was from the excitement or exhaustion but I don’t even remember drawing back and aiming, I just remember hearing the smack when it hit him. He didn’t act hurt to bad, instead just made a dash for a really thick part of the woods. I had dropped my pack and arrows about 300 yards away when I first spotted the good looking group of hogs. So I mentally marked where I last seen my boar and went and got my pack and quiver. When I returned to where I shot there was barely any blood and I began to get a little nervous. I couldn’t find my arrow anywhere but I knew I had a clean pass through because it wasn’t in him when he ran off. So I tried trailing him with little to nothing to go on. A couple of other people staying at the lodge showed up in a side by side and offered to help trail and give me a ride. Which I was extremely grateful for because I was beyond exhausted. We were able to drive to the general area where I had last seen the boar. I hopped off the buggy and spotted three hogs bedded up under a log. Two of them were solid black with visible cutters so I knew one of them had to be mine. I looked from a distance with my binoculars and was able to make out that one of them had a solid arrow wound right behind the shoulder but about 3 inches high. The stalk was back on again. I spooked the group and I let them run as they were heading to a really low lying creek. I knew that the boar I had wounded would want to bed up around there. I was able to sneak within 31 yards of my boar, and took my time and let the second arrow fly. I watched as my fletching buried behind its shoulder and its back legs dropped and it let out a loud squeal. I sat down in exhaustion and excitement as I thought the boar was bleeding out. The shot looked nearly perfect. I called the guide and he came and we walked up to the boar and to my astonishment he was still alive after 15-20 minutes. I put another arrow through both his shoulders and that did the trick within 2 minutes. These buggers are tough because none of my shots were “awful” but it took a lot to make sure I got him just right. I still don’t know how my second shot broke his back and didn’t double lung him. If you look closely at the photo you can see two of the shots the one that dropped him and then the final shoulder shot. The other hit was covered by quite a bit of hair.
He weighed a little less than 150lbs and had 3 inch cutters. I am extremely proud of him and I had to work really hard to get him. The truth is that the ranch had giant 400lbs +++ farm hogs that were easy to get in range of but that was not what I was after. I was after a challenge and that is what I got. It was an absolute blast I know some people will say something because it was on a ranch but I am not going to lie I had an absolute great time. I have nothing but great things to say about the accommodations and the owners. I will be back to chase those wild boars around again hopefully in the future.
Welcome to the brotherhood of Hogaholics. I raise a wild boar porkchop in your honor. Thanks for your service.
congrats , nice story, hogs are on the list every year!
Looks like a lot of fun and some good eating !
Bear Track x2!!
Congrats and thanks for your service and sacrifice.
Congratulations on a fine trophy!
-Matt and Cheryl
Great story young man, I'm happy for you and your wife.
Congrats on a FINE hog! and and Awesome story! Hunting hogs is an Addiction! You are officially hooked!
Thank you for your Service to our country!
Shoot Str8 and Stay Safe Jeff
Congrats,it looks like you got everything out of this hunt you were looking for.
Thanks for sharing! Please tell your wife to write all Bowsite wives and tell them all how EASY it is to be a good one!!
Grats on your hog and thank you for your service to our country.
Congratulations. They really are tough. One time on a similar hunt and old timer dropped a hog with a crossbow. it was there next to us on the ground and we were all congratulating him when the hog jumped up and took off. Another guy pulled out a .357 mag and shot it from about 15 yards right in the back of the head. I know where the bullet hit because later we pulled it out. As we walked over to what we thought was a dead hog he rained consciousness and took of again. he ended up in a creek bottom and they put 3 more arrows in that hog before it dead. I could NOT believe that thing. One guy literally double lunged it in the creek and it charged us before finally dropping.
That's a nice pic dude but the real trophy is wearing the Under Armour hoodie!
Thanks for your service.