|A recent bow hunt on Atchafalaya Delta WMA didn't result in a deer for Ricky Aucoin, but he did manage to kill a nice hog.|
Ten days into the bow season approximately 10 deer were taken. By the end of October, that number had climbed to about 50 deer. At that time, no racked bucks had been taken.
But when the Big Island opened on Nov. 1, at least one 147-pound 8-point that I saw a picture of was brought in.
iI have been finding numerous rubs on trees, which is quite common at this time of year for the Delta, but what I have found more this season than any other I can recall are scrapes.
They are everywhere and most are being tended to regularly.
I have still only seen four bucks, along with a few does, but I have seen 19 hogs.
I took one doe in October and missed a shot at a 6-point buck last week.
A few days ago, while hunting on the edge of the marsh over a large rutted-up area, I began to hear the unmistakeable grunts and squeals of some hogs. They were working their way along the edge of the marsh, rooting up everything in their way.
I was confident they would make it to my area, but my concern was whether it would be before it got too dark to shoot.
Suddenly I heard something scampering through the willows toward me.
It was a doe that apparently was feeding up ahead of the hogs and was startled. I did not even raise my bow as it flashed by into the myrtles.
I turned my attention back to the hogs that were getting very close; unfortunately the light was fading fast.
The first hog appeared only 20 yards away, but I could not get a clear shot because it was inside of a large bush rooting around. Soon more showed up. But each of them darted in and out of the cover. All were black or brown, and being in the shadows was not helping my chances in the quickly dimming light.
I drew back twice, but had to let down each time trying to ensure that I had a good, clean shot.
Finally as the final light faded away, with at least five hogs right in front of my stand, it looked like I was not going to get a shot. Incredible!
But then one of the larger hogs stepped out into the clearing. It looked like a silhouette target. I drew back, put my 30-yard pin on it and fired. From the reaction of the hog, as it busted into the marsh grass, I was pretty sure I had hit it.
None of the other hogs left.
I climbed down from my tree with hogs on my left and right, and began to look for my arrow and/or blood. I found where the hog dug into the mud and bolted, and soon found a smear of blood where it entered the marsh grass.
Twenty yards later there it was – a nice 110-pound sow. It had been a quick, clean kill.
Then the work began, as I had a trek back to the boat to get my cart, and then carry the cart back to the kill. The hogs were still milling around when I brought the cart over to the hog.
From the time I got the hog fastened onto my cart, it took me 45 minutes to drag it back to my boat. I was very tired, but it was a GOOD tired. Mission accomplished.
I do believe the deer action at the Delta is getting ready to heat up. It seems like the higher deer-kill numbers have coincided with the latest cold-weather days.
With cold weather in the forecast, I will be out in the field at every opportunity, trying to get my first buck of the season or another doe or any hog that dares wander into my bow range.
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