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I finally got a chance to get back to one of the spots where I have found tremendous hog activity down at the Atchafalaya Delta WMA. The tide was high and the wind was blowing from the south, all conditions I need to get to this location over the high sandbars.
My dad and I arrived late in the afternoon, with just enough time to throw up a couple of stands and hope to see some activity before dark. Most of the hogs we have seen have come out right at dark.
Sure enough at 5:25 p.m., I hear quite a ruckus coming out of the marsh. I really was not sure at first whether it was a deer or a hog. Within 30 seconds, I see that it is a nice hog, and it is heading out of the marsh unto dry land in my direction.
There are trails in all directions around my stand, and the south wind is in my favor, so I like my chances.
The hog starts down one of the trails that comes right next to my stand. The factors not in my favor are the quickly fading daylight, the tree canopy and the undergrowth that the hog seems to want to hide behind.
Of course the hog decides to take a side trail that leads it away from my stand on an angle. I still feel I will get a shot, so I draw back and wait.
After a long minute, I see that I am going to have one chance, but the opening is not more than a few feet wide and the hog is walking toward it.
As the head appears in the opening, I place my 30-yard pin on it and wait for one more step. When the step is made and my pin is on the spot that I want, I release the arrow.
All of this happened a lot quicker than I can explain it.
As the arrow impacted the hog, he bolted without a sound. I see my fletching sticking out, and it looks like a good hit. The hog races into the myrtles, and I hear loud crash.
After a few seconds another small movement – then silence. I think one of three things has happened: Either the hog has gone into stealth mode and sneaked away or it is laying there wounded (and not too happy with me) or it is dead.
I get down after a few minutes and check my arrow. It has broken off after 10 yards, and there is quite a lot of blood.
I radio my dad to tell him what has happened and that I will call back when I find the hog. I mark the first sign and begin to follow the massive blood trail.
After only two more ribbons and 30 yards from the shot, there lay my hog. It is a big, black sow. I radio Dad with the good news and head back to the boat to get my cart.
When I made it back to the hog with my cart, there were several hogs milling around grunting and squealing. They got within about 40 yards, just out of sight of my flashlight and headed into the myrtles.
One of them, I think, is the huge one my buddy had seen on an earlier trip. He doesn’t grunt, he kind of roars and makes a tremendous amount of noise when he goes through the myrtles.
It took me 30 minutes to cart the hog back to the boat. I was breathing pretty hard and tired – but it was a GOOD tired, if you know what I mean!
With the strong north winds and low tides, it doesn’t look like we will get a chance to get back there anytime soon. But until then we do, I have some tasty pork in the freezer to get us by until the next trip.
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