With the alligator hunt behind me I got ready for a wild hog bowhunt with Team Struttn Ruttn Reeln ( www.teamsrr.com ). Colton Mills and I loaded my bow and gear in his pickup and drove to one of the Team SRR hog hunting properties. This is a wild and woolly looking piece of Florida woods with dense palmetto thickets and lots of scrub brush, perfect terrain for wild hogs.
Colton parked the truck and I got my bow and followed him into the brush. We came to a narrow creek and followed a sparse trail parallel to the creek. Colton stopped. A black hog was laying in the brush 10 yards off to the side. He was sleeping. From what I could see he didn’t appear to be very big and we backed away. But he woke up and ran into the brush, he was larger than I had thought.
We moved on trails through the palmettoes and brush. Two small hogs ran across the trail a short distance in front of us and splashed into the winding creek and vanished.
As we snuck through some palmettos Colton stopped and silently pointed into the underbrush. He spotted a wild hog laying a few yards from the trail. I saw some of its grey body and asked in a whisper which way it was facing. Colton pointed to the left. I drew and took aim. When I shot the hog crashed into the palmettos and the sound stopped abruptly.
Colton and I waited a while and then looked for it. There was no arrow and no blood where he had been. We broadened our search and Colton found my arrow. Blood was on the broadhead and two inches up the shaft, not very good penetration. But we kept looking.
I picked up on some blood on some weeds and followed it a few steps. Surprise … a big tan and black spotted boar jumped up ahead of me and ran away. Meanwhile Colton jumped my hog and then hunted me down. He circled the woods the hog had ran into and I waited on a trail.
Surprise again, the spotted boar came up behind me. I saw it at the instant it saw me and it ran around me in the thick brush. I heard Colton whistle and I cut through the woods to him. He had seen several more hogs, including my hog again. It did not seem to be hurt. And a black boar hog was with it.
We walked to the pickup and drank some bottled water while we formed a plan. We went to where Colton had last seen my hog and eased quietly into the brush and separated. A black hog with noticeably long tusks ran between us and splashed into the creek. I could see it and also saw a muddy, grey hog following behind it. They ran into the thick stuff.
“That was your hog,” Colton told me, “and I think they stopped in the brush.”
We decided that I would go around to the far side of the brush patch and Colton would wait and then ease through the brush and see if he could push the hogs to me.
I walked along to the far edge until I found a more open area that had a trail coming out of it.
This looked good, if Colton’s push moved the hogs they just might come out of that trail. So I stood in a stand of trees 10 yards from the entrance to the trail.
Minutes later I heard movement in the palmettos. The black boar came out 20 yards to the right of the trail I was set up on. It saw me and veered off to the right and ran away.
Seconds later I heard noises in the palmettos again. Next a wild hog came out on the trail in front of me — a muddy, grey boar. It wasn’t running but it wasn’t going slow either. I started my draw.
When I got the bow back he was almost to me. So far he had not noticed me but now he did. He went on alert and angled at me. He was too close to use my bowsight and I shot him instinctively at less than two steps. Blood erupted from my hit.
The boar ran 25 yards and hit the ground. I hollered to Colton that the hog was down and he hurried over to me. He had heard me shoot and was already on the way.
Colton walked back to the pickup and drove it over and we took another picture that showed the grey hog’s cutters better.
Now there was still more wild hog hunting to do. TO BE CONTINUED …
TEAM SRR: This is my 5th alligator bowhunt with David Mills of Team Struttn Ruttn Reeln near Arcadia, Florida. Also I’ve bowhunted with David for Osceola wild turkey ob 10 hunts. In my opinion he is the best Osceola and alligator guide, period. And on this trip I’ve learned he has an excellent wild hog hunting operation as well. It is strictly an open range hunt and he does not use feeders. It’s spot and stalk. Fun stuff.
I recommend David Mills to all levels of gator hunters, newbie to seasoned veteran. David Mills 863-303-4726, email firstname.lastname@example.org. On the Web at www.teamsrr.com. Visit the FaceBook page for the latest pics, hunts and comments: www.facebook.com/TeamSRR
ARRROWS: I used the VAP carbon arrows from Victory Archery. The “VAP” stands for “Victory Armor Piercing” arrows and they are advertised as being very tough with incredible penetration. These are small diameter arrows and truthfully, I had doubts that an arrow this skinny could be very tough. My doubts went away on my gator hunt here. The gator gave the arrows a sound thrashing and they didn’t break or crack.
BROADHEADS: I used Grim Reaper Razor Tips. On my first shot the boar was laying down in the palmettos and apparently was laying on his side. My hit was superficial and he wasn’t a lethal wound. The second shot was through the dorsal aorta into the lungs at 2 yards and as the Grim Reaper slogan says I “watched him drop.” I’ve shot a lot of wild hogs with Grim Reapers and they get the job done.
BUG DEFENDER: I carried a ThermaCELL with me as I walked around. They make a holster for it and it’s very handy. If you’ve never used one you are missing out. Turn it on and mosquitoes go away, period. It is a phenomenal product that repels flying insects. It has a slight odor but in my experience deer, wild hogs and bear do not pay any attention to that. To ThermaCELL
THE CAMOUFLAGE: I wore Sticks N Limbs camo. It is a large pattern and utilizes a visual illusion to break up the human outline. The hog came out of the brush 10 yards from me and he didn’t notice me until reached full draw and angled right to me. I shot him at 2 steps. Sticks N Limbs made this hunt happen. On the web at www.SticksNLimbs.com as well as on FaceBook at facebook.com/SticksNLimbs
Stuff On The Bow I used a Cobra Boomslang bowsight with a rheostat for the pins. The bow was an Alpine Fireball with an Alpine arrowrest and bowquiver. I had to put electrical tape on the arrow holders on the bowquiver because the arrows were a loose fit. My release was my favorite, a FLETCH HOOK from Jim Fletcher Archery. Designed for string loop shooters it is smooth and responsive and I have it adjusted perfectly for the way I shoot.
OPTICS: On this hunt I used NIKON PROSTAFF 7 binoculars. They are 10×42 and I like that size because objects are larger the 7’s or 8’s that are popular. The 10’s are the largest I can hold it steady by hand. To NIKON
To Bowhunting.Net: Alligator Bowhunt 2012 Home Page
The 2012 Bowhunting.net Alligator Bowhunt is sponsored by:
Access Tonneau Pickup Bed Cover
Protect your gear with an Access tonneau cover. Easy to install and use, most durable made, sleek looks and value priced. You simply can’t find a better roll-up tonneau cover!
It runs off biting insects, period. Mosquitoes and blackflies will never ruin your hunts again. Never.
Grim Reaper Broadheads
Designed for enhanced penetration. Watch ‘Em Drop with Grim Reaper’s tough and accurate mechanical and fixed blade broadheads.
BowTube.com The #1 Bowhunting and Archery video site. Over 1,000 archery and bowhunting videos.