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DAVE SHADOW: Okie hog safarai turns into a watery zoo

DAVE SHADOW: Okie hog safarai turns into a watery zoo

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I might preface the rest of these ramblings with a bit of personal philosophy. I have found that most every day is about as good as you make it! No big sermon but we usually get out of life relative to that which we put into it. That was the case as Allen Price and I ventured to Oklahoma in search of some hogs for trophy or the freezer. The weather was horrible, the mud abundant, and we still had a good trip.

This was probably the best exercise in social distancing that I can think of since we didn’t see another soul out on the hunting ranch. Even the owner of the ranch was absent due to some business and personal issues. Since I had been there numerous times previously and knew where everything was he said to just go and make ourselves welcome and as comfortable as possible. The cabin was clean and comfortable but the weather sucked. I got way down in the south forty on Friday morning just in time to catch a torrential downpour. I didn’t have anything dry by the time I got back to the cabin but had a good environment in which to dry and clean my rifle and then a hot shower to warm up my old bones.

Allen and I read our books thru the pouring rain times and ventured out onto the ranch in search of hogs during those intermittent times of no rain. For the most part the hogs were smarter than we were. They stayed hunkered down in the thickets of pecan and especially the dense cedars. We didn’t see as many hogs as usual but we did eat like pigs from a local steak house that is not too far from the ranch. We did have our masks with us but do you know how hard it is to eat a good steak with a mask on? We managed very well however.

I was fortunate to have some very entertaining experiences out on the ranch and between the numerous showers. I had an abundance of wildlife come to visit me as I searched for larger pigs. The first morning session brought a coyote past my spot and then a very large and fluffy sheep that we called wooly. He was wandering around out on the ranch and seemed to be lonely?

A while after the coyote passed a young whitetail deer wandered nervously along being followed by ole wooly. Wooly wanted a buddy but the deer wasn’t interested. Within a half hour following the deer’s visit I had a dozen pigs explode out of the cedars and proceed to gobble up the corn that I had spread below my stand. It’s amazing how they can pick up those individual kernels almost like a vacuum cleaner. No pigs the size I was looking for however.

Having eaten all my corn I climbed down, re-baited the spot, and went to lunch. The pigs seemed to hunker down during the mid-day period so it seemed to be a good idea for me also. After lunch and a nap I again ventured down south and the sun actually shined a bit. This brought out birds of many varieties who also appreciated my corn bait. I had a humming bird that seemed to want to check out my ears. That’s very disconcerting when you’re trying to sit still in anticipation of some hog movement.

Early on the second morning I discovered an Attack rabbit out in the grassy pasture. Former President Carter doesn’t have a thing on me. This rabbit wanted to be my buddy or something. He just kept getting closer and showing an increased interest. As you remember the rabbit didn’t attack Jimmie Carter either he just was looking for some company. Eventually we parted and I went on to the hunting area. Again the birds were very abundant with cardinals and blue jays dominating.

I had some more small pigs move in for breakfast and then leave before a single larger hog wandered up a trail and into my favorite spot. He was fat and looked like pork cops and sausage to me so I centered the crosshairs of my Thompson Center Venture 243 rifle on his ear. Thank heavens, some time later Allen came to help me drag him out. I don’t think I could have made it out with him before dark. We took him back to the ranch house, dressed him out, skinned him, quartered him, and put him in a cooler full of ice.

We saw more pigs but didn’t shoot any more even though they were available. The sizes just weren’t right. The abundance of other wildlife just served to make my visit entertaining. I saw piggies, sheep, cows, armadillo, horses, deer, raccoon, squirrels, rabbits, heard turkeys gobbling, was visited buy two lost coon hounds, and endured acres of red mud. I can’t imagine a better way of experiencing some fun hunting while our time of social distancing continues. Looking forward to the next trip.

Dave Shadow is an outdoor columnist for the JG-TC.


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