Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pig Hunt Recap

Well, that was interesting. To start with my legs are covered in sores from embedded cactus needles and I am still finding miniature ticks on various parts of my body.

I climbed into my blind at 6:30 on Saturday morning and had to wait 40 minutes until there was enough light to see what was around me. I heard lots of wildlife, mainly deer, coyote and birdsong. It was obvious that I am a complete rookie at hunting as every deer that came within 30 yards of me figured out I was there, gave a big stomp and a snort and hightailed it out of there. The coyotes were howling like mad. Every time the coyote started their song I could hear lots of nervous wildlife skittering about behind my blind.

After two hours in my blind I finally saw a feral hog. My heart was pumping hard and my hands were shaking a little as I loaded a shell into my 30-30. Much to my surprise I was able to hold my gun pretty steady as I took aim. I watched the hog through the peep sight for about a minute until he presented himself in a manner that would give a good kill shot. He looked like a pretty nice size; I was guessing about 150 lbs. I was able to gently squeeze the trigger and my hog dropped in his tracks. His legs kicked for about a minute and then stopped. It was a good clean kill with minimal suffering. I know without a doubt that there was less suffering through this death than if he had been torn to shreds by the packs of coyotes which were roaming the area.

When I climbed out of the blind and examined my hog up close I was amazed at how small he was. The animal that had appeared to be 150 lbs while in my sights was now revealed to weigh 50-60 lbs. The hunter I was with just laughed and said the hunting term for that is “ground shrinkage”. The positive note is that apparently this is the perfect size for eating. They have not gotten too tough and also have not developed a strong pig musk smell. I checked the wound and confirmed I had shot him exactly where I had aimed, a clean shot to the heart.

I find it very interesting that from the moment I squeezed the trigger this animal changed in my mind from being “a hog” into being “my hog”.

We cleaned the hog by first skinning him, removing the backstraps and then removing the front and hind quarters. We did not open the abdominal cavity as these hogs are way too lean to have much meat on their ribs. While we were skinning the hog I was amazed at the number of ticks that had made a home on this fellow….possibly a hundred, maybe more?

My emotions were pure excitement. I had expected to feel a sense of sorrow/guilt/loss by taking the life of this animal. Nope, pure adrenaline. I am an alpha male…me kill meat! I would do it again in a heartbeat with zero remorse as I squeeze the trigger.

We put the meat on ice and I was instructed to keep it on ice for at least three days. The three days are up today and tonight I will eat the only pig I have ever killed.

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