set our bags down James was trying to feed us. What an
interesting character James turned out to be…I miss him already.
After a quick tour of the compound James took us into the Chat
Room to give us a rundown of how his operation works, show us
some pictures from his game cameras and tell us some of his
crazy ass stories. “First off, sign these papers” James said.
Then he went on to say “Basically the forms says if you get hurt
don’t call me call someone who cares.” And then he was back to
telling more stories.
Our bunkhouse set off of the main road about a mile or two on a
hilltop nestled under large pine trees and a variety of other
large trees. The setting was picture perfect. It sure wasn’t how
I had envisioned east Texas in my mind. The ranch is made up of
rolling hills, lush grass land and large stands of old growth
James gives us the low-down on how we will be hunting. “All of
our hunting is done around feeders” James tells us. I ask if he
minds if we hunt at night. “That’s the only time we hunt…its all
night hunting around here” James says. Hot damn I love night
hunting! After an afternoon nap Chris and I are up, James
has us fed and around 7:30 we were headed to our hunting spots.
All of the feeders are set to go off at 6:00, James says the
hogs don’t start moving until around 9:00. We begin hunting
around 8:00. I set on a chair with some brush and a tree as my
background cover and nothing in front of me except the feeder
and the tree it was hanging from. The feeder was hanging 12
yards in front of me. Behind me about six yards away was the
trail that Chris and I walked in on. Several yards to my west is
where Chris was hunting. The area was creek bottom ground. It
was fairly open ground with just enough large trees around to
keep the place shaded. To the north of where I set, about 150+-
yards, was a running creek. Beyond that was a wooded hillside.
To my south was another timbered hillside and the east and west
was bottom land. The wind was easterly and I pick my setup off
of that. I predicted that the pigs would be coming from the
northwest after stopping at the creek.
As the light began to fade I checked my headlamp setup and after
a few adjustments I was ready. Around 9:05 I heard a stick break
several yards to my east (right) which puts me on full alert. A
few minutes later a black form against the lighter background
appears about 70 yards away moving at a constant speed to the
west. The shape tells the tale…hog coming! In an instant
my heart begins to race! James told us that a week ago he was
getting large sounders of hogs showing up on his cameras but
within the last week the action had really quieted down. He
believed that the sows were nesting with their new litter of
piglets and that the pigs we were going to see would be sounders
of young boars or single older boars. James’ rule of thumb is
that it takes a sow approximately 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days
from the time of breeding until she gives birth and according to
him the birthing time was happening while we were there.
The lone pig keeps its distance from the bait and cruises down
wind and then circles back in to the bait. Steadily it closes
the gap to the bait. I had my bow in hand and remaining as calm
as I could as the pig enter the baited area. My intentions were
to let the pig eat for a while and get relaxed. There was no
need to rush anything. 12 yds away from me the 150 lb pig stood
broadside but I could tell from its movement that it was on full
alert. As I watched the pig I stupidly moved my arm causing the
slightest noise and I mean the slightest of a noise and
with that the hog grunted and trotted to the northwest. “Dang” I
thought to myself “there was no way I could have shot that pig!
The pig was way too high strung for me to ever get a shot off at
The rest of the night was uneventful. I heard plenty of movement
behind me from God knows what and off in the distance but no hog
squealing or hog sightings. Around 01:30 we called it a night.
The next day
we caught up on some much needed sleep and awoke to another of
James’ artery clogging meals. You can bet when James is cooking
bacon grease or lard of some sort is going to finds its way into
the meal at some point.
Afterwards James thought he would help our meal
settle by taking us for a break neck speed ride
around the property.
Look at how determined he is.
Later, after I began reviewing my pictures I found out
most of the time driving with his eyes closed.
wrote before, the property is absolutely beautiful. The
pictures don't do the property justice.
is something you don’t see everyday and it’s not a good
sight if you’re a cattle rancher. This is a giant bone
pile. James told us that Mr.Tarrant doesn’t throw
anything away and this proves it.
Around 7:00 Chris and I were making our way out to our hunting
spots. My spot is called the dirt pile. There’s a giant dirt
pile about an 1/8th of a mile form where I hunted.
For this hunt I was hunting from the ground again. I like the
adrenaline rush that hunting from the ground at night gives me.
Chris was hunting a few hundred yards to my southeast.
I cleared out two places near the feeder to hunt from. One place
was nestled in a little pocket of cedar trees and would have put
me 5 yards from the feeder. The place was a natural blind and it
would have given me plenty of foreground cover and background
cover. It was a perfect little sniper’s nest, but I thought it
was going to put me too close to the feeder. After the previous
nights experience I figured I needed more distance from the
feeder, besides all the trees in the little stand of trees had
been rubbed smooth by hogs. I don’t want to be that close to a
The spot I decided on was 10 yards southeast of the feeder. The
wind was coming from the south, southwest. I positioned myself
in front of a tree and cut some cedars to create background
cover. There was no foreground cover for this setup. Using a tip
that James told us about, I scattered diesel soaked rags around
the bait site. He said this would provide cover scent. He said
he sometimes will walk around the whole bait site before
settling in to hunt and spray the area down with diesel.
According to James the hogs don’t mind the smell or taste of
diesel’ but the deer and the raccoons don’t like it so they stay
For the most part all was quiet except for the occasional coyote
howl or owls call that broke the silence. So there I set
watching the light fade until the details of the timber around
me vanished. Like the previous night I positioned my head lamp
to point where I aimed the bow and the wait began.
The 9:00 o’clock hour rolls by and the 10:00 hour begins to tick
away. Occasional I would hear leaves rustle within the vicinity
which would put me on alert and I would scan the area with my
eyes to see if I could pick out a moving form….nothing only
several false alarms.
Then around 10:15 as if hit by a jolt of electricity all of my
senses were shocked to attention! From the northwest all hell
had broken loose! No warnings nothing leading up to the noise
just the sudden eruption of animals running through the timber.
PIGS It sounded like there were a hundred of them coming
and they were coming fast. The closer they got to the feeder the
faster they ran and the faster they ran the more fighting they
did and the fighting brought on the squealing. It was
absolutely hair raising for me! The squealing made them
sound like huge demons from hell coming to get me. In a matter
of seconds they were there. It was absolute chaos. My mind was
trying sort out how many pigs were there and where they were all
at. I could hear and see some of them in front, but there were
also pigs to my right and to my left. The only place there
weren’t any pigs was behind me.
Following James’ advice I began to shine the light on the pigs
gradually. He told us not to shine the light on them abruptly.
So with my fingers over the light I gradually let the light peek
through until the full beam of light was shining on the pigs. I
could see six pigs at that moment but I could also hear other
pigs that were hidden by brush. All the pigs looked to be about
the same size in the 80 – 100 pound range.
Seven yards in front of me were three pigs two red pigs and on
black pig. I was delighted to see the red pigs because that is
the color pig I really wanted. To my left a problem was
beginning to unfold. One of the pigs was beginning to get down
wind of me and starting to growl. I cupped my hand over the
light and then shined it in its direction. The pig to my left
was standing facing me and growling. Everyone should experience
that at least once in their life. I’ve heard pigs make this
sound before and usually and alarm grunt follows the growl and
pigs will scatter, so I knew my time was very limited.
I turned the light back to the three pigs seven yards away and
started focusing on the red pigs waiting for a quartering away
shot. The little buggareds were jostling around like ants. Three
times I brought my bow back to full draw only to let down when
the pig moved or one of the other pigs stepped in the way. And
then it happened. Two of the pigs separated leaving one of the
red pigs standing alone and I channeled all of my attention on
him. With the gray pig to my left continuing to growl I did my
best to shut it out and ready myself for a shot. The red pig
hurriedly fed in front of me. Feeding this way and that way and
then he finally turned giving me a quartering away angle. With
that I focused my attention to a spot tight behind his shoulder,
drew the 56” pronghorn to full draw, anchored and released the
string sending the 31.5”, 650 grain, woodsman tipped arrow
flying towards the mark.
In a micro second mayhem erupted! The hit pig let out an ear
piercing squeal and vanished into the dark and the rest of the
pigs scattered in all directions. With the pig continuing to
squeal I tried to tracked the hog’s movement with my ears but
that can get a little difficult when multiple pigs are squealing
at the same time. When he vanished into the darkness he ran to
my right behind the clump of cedars that I was going to use as a
blind and then suddenly, to my surprise, a pig springs out of
those same cedars hell bent for leather and head straight for
me! In a flash the pig passed by me only six feet away. WOW
EXCITING! The pig makes and arc and disappears in the dark. My
mind is racing…”was that the pig I shot? It was red…but there
wasn’t an arrow sticking out of its side!” The pig that ran by
me circled to the northwest and I hear it rustle in the leaves
followed by a gurgle sound and then all was quiet again. “Yep” I
think to myself “that must have been the pig.”
Afterwards I set down to let the adrenaline rush wear off before
my legs gave out. With shaky hands I text Chris to let him know
that I shot and to tell him to watch for hogs that might be
coming his way. Ten minutes later I took up the trail and sure
enough the pig I shot almost ran me over.
The arrow entered a couple on inches behind the right shoulder
and exited behind the left front leg. The shot took out one lung
and cut the artery off the heart and he died 20 yards from where
I sat. He weighed 90# and best of all I got my red pig!
is proof that persistence pays. It’s not over until the
fat pig squeals. Congratulations, Chris!