It was just this past April when I was online ordering my plane tickets for myself and my cameraman, our destination was California. When most people think of California they think of wine country, movie stars, big cities, fast paced way of life. But what most people dont realize is the great outdoor opportunities that are available. The state has some of the best hunting in the country. We were going after wild hogs that lived in the mountains off the Pacific coast just north of L.A. about 100 miles.
I was fortunate to be traveling in May to a hunting destination that wouldnt require much gear so I was able to keep my baggage moderately light. The main thing for this hunt was my California hog license, Ross Crave, Victory VAP's, Tru Fire T1 broadheads and of course my Green Deception Predator Camo. The weather was calling for a 60 degree average so warm weather oufits were a must and the Green Deception would blend in perfectly with the green California mountains.
Once arriving at the airport and getting picked up and driven to the hotel we quickly got dressed and grabbed our gear. It was a short drive through some amazing country to the 10,000 acre ranch we had permission to hunt. I have always hunted hogs in the farm lands and river bottoms of the South so this type of spot and stalk hog hunt was new to me. We started off glassing a couple of mountain sides that sloped down into some hay fields with a stream running through them. We were only there for about 10 minutes before I saw movement working down the mountain through the thick patches of thistle. I quickly asked the other guys in my party to glass that direction and try to help me figure out what I was looking at over a mile away. It wasn't long and all of us were under agreement that it was a pack of wild California hogs.
We then jumped on the quads and started making our way that direction down the twisted two track. We had stopped the quads about a 1/4 mile from where we believed we saw the hogs last and I grabbed my Ross Crave and Victory VAP's and headed their direction spraying myself and cameraman down with Hog Bomb by The Buck Bomb to help cover our scent. We slowly crept through the brush following a creek edge hoping to catch the hogs in a waller in the stream below giving us a height advantage for the shot. We walked for about 600 yards before we spotted some pigs on the side of the mountain. They have not made it to the stream like we had thought. We were now behind the pack of hogs and they were moving at a steady pace to get to the ag fields below.
My cameraman and I are now facing a time dilemma on getting to the pigs and getting a shot off before we lose camera light. I broke out my Firefly and checked the wind direction. We still had to play the wind so bull rushing them from directly behind was not an option. We had to post up and wait for them to get down to the bottom of the mountain and into the thick creek bed before we were able to flank them from the side. Once they reached the creek bottom we made our move and decided to get into the thick bottom with the pack of hogs. We were relying completely on sound now, we could not see the pigs even though they were under a 100 yards away. We had to listen to the direction they were headed so we knew where to post up at the edge of the hay field and creek bottom.
My cameraman and I climbed up a slip bank to peek out into the field and to our surprise some of the hogs have already made it into the field. I then backed down and knocked a VAP with the Tru Fire T1 broadhead attached. Relying on my Predator Camo I popped my head over one more time to get a visual and distance on the feeding hogs. I then turned to my cameraman and showed him where to look when cresting the slip bank with the camera and whispered "22 yards, Big Sow!". Now the blood is racing through my veins like a dragster on a track at the county fairgrounds. It took everything I had to keep my nerves from shaking me down the steep bank that I was standing on. I quickly fastened my Tru Fire release to the string and came to full draw and then set my sight on the big sow and waited for the signal from the cameraman. It didnt take long and he intensely whispered "KILL IT!". I settled the sight in on the vitals and squeezed the trigger. I watched the Victory VAP blow through the quartering away cavity of the sow and skip off into the distance as the hog squealed, wheeled and ran into the brush.
The high fives were being thrown out like Bobby Knight getting tossed in NCAA basketball game. We were stoked by the placement of the shot but had to maintain our composure due to us not having our hands on the old girl yet. We walked over to where the shot had taken place and there was no shortage of blood that the T1 had poured onto the ground. The flashlights were then broke out and the track job was taken up. It was a short walk before we found the piled up 200 pound sow laying expired on the edge of the creek not more than 100 yards from where she stood when the shot took place. Now the celebration can begin.
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