No Regrets!

The 2012 HAM Javelina season has come and gone.  It seems like this year it was particularly busy for everyone and only a few days could be squeezed out for this hunt.  This year I chose to bring my son Ryan with me, and Jay brought his daughter Maty.  Rob was only able to hunt for half a day, and he brought his buddy Stan who had also put in with us. 

Jay and Maty met Ryan and I opening morning and we hiked in to our glassing spot.  To sum the day up, it was uneventful and HOT!  We had planned on staying out longer, but decided to go setup camp and find some shade that afternoon due to the heat.
Ryan hoofing it up to the morning glassing spot.

Rob and Stan joined us that evening and we all went out again Saturday morning.  After glassing a bit, I picked up some pigs and while watching them, a bobcat wondered into our field of view.  It was pretty cool seeing pigs and the bobcat all in our binoculars at the same time.  As we were packing up to go after the pigs, we heard a distant shot, and that sent the pigs running for the hills.  We soon lost sight of them and so we relocated to try and pick them up again.  Rob ended up finding them again as one miraculously stood up from behind a tree just as he was looking at the tree.  It was decided that Stan and I would move in for the stalk while Rob, Jay, Maty, and Ryan watched from their perch in the rocks above.

Stan and I closed the 200 yards or so fairly quickly and were right beside the wash we'd last seen the pigs in.  I'd just finished ranging a rock across the wash when a pig burst out from under a big boulder and ran up the wash to stand right in front of the rock I'd just ranged.  I mistakenly decided to not range again since I had just ranged that rock and drew back and released.  I saw my arrow sail only 1-2 inches over the pig's back and heard my arrow smash into the rocks behind the pig.  That pig took off and I pulled out my call and started calling.  As I started calling, pigs started running everywhere.   A couple ran to our left, but Stan unfortunately wasn't able to get the shot.  To his defense, the pig never really gave him a good shot.  With hindsight being 20/20, I probably should have held off on the call since we knew there should be more pigs very near where we were standing, and until I blew on the call, the pig I shot at was the only pig spooked.  After finding and inspecting the pieces of my arrow that I could find, we headed back up to the rest of the crew, and then hiked back out to see Rob and Stan off.
What a Swhacker Broadhead looks like after smashing into a big rock.

As I was hiking back up I realized just how rough of country these pigs live in and how difficult it would be to get Ryan in on a stalk with me.  He'd done great hiking in and out yesterday, and after hiking out today he'd have easily hiked 3.5 miles in some pretty rough country.

The heat returned that afternoon and we laid low in camp until right before dark when we hiked up on a nearby ridge to see if we could find any pigs.  The kids were pretty tired, but did great on the short hike.  We decided that evening that the kids had had enough hiking and we'd just take it easy the next morning and cook a good breakfast and pack up camp before it got too warm.

I had my chance at a pig, but missed.  I wasn't planning on going back the second weekend at all, but as the week wore on I figured it'd be another year until I was able to go hunt pigs again.  That next Saturday morning I headed back to our glassing spot above where I'd gotten the shot at the pigs.  I figured I'd glass until 10:30 or so and if not seeing anything, head home and enjoy the rest of the day and weekend with the family.  It was a beautiful morning out and much cooler than the previous weekend.  I'd had hoped to catch the pigs back near their den, but either a mid week rain or the pressure from our hunt had kept them from returning.  There was no fresh sign in the area since after the rain that hit the area during the week.  Even though the day didn't turn up any pigs and I went home without filling my pig tag, I thoroughly enjoyed both weekends of the hunt; the first by sharing it with my son and friends, and the second by getting out myself and just enjoying a few hours behind the glass and being able to stretch my legs hiking in and out.  

This is the pig den where the pigs had been holing up during the heat of the day.


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