In February a major migration of hunting manufactures travel to Fort Worth Texas for the NBS Show. After the show, a number of Owners, Buyers, Reps, & Manufactures take advantage of the time off for great hunting for Hogs, Exotics and late season Whitetail deer.
One year I arranged for the ‘Bad Hombres’ at Grim Reaper Broadheads to travel down south and hunt with outfitter Zane Beckmann at Hugelland Safaris. I’ve had the privilege of bowhunting with The Big Kahuna, Jay Liechty, el Presidente of Grim Reaper Broadheads, for deer and wild hogs and let me tell you Jay is a passionate bowhunter.
Jay really loves the meat he takes on his bowhunts. In fact Jay can glean more meat off an animal than a vulture. Jay and the rest of the ‘Bad Hombres’ Matt Bateman, Regional Sales Manager, Brock Zobell, Manufacturing Engineer, Jace Johnson, Sales /Customer Service, Jared Demille, Machinist, Dan Medaris, Machinist, and Tyler Carter, Product Assistant arrived on the Tuesday following the NBS Show and were ready fo bowhunt wild hogs.
Jay arrived with a horse trailer loaded down with camping gear, a huge freezer with food for the group and space to take home some Texas Pork. The hunt was near Llano, the Deer Capital of Texas. It’s rightfully named because more deer are killed every year in Llano County than any other county in the state.
The area also has a steadily growing, already huge population of wild hogs. This area is prime wildlife habitat; with rolling hills, water from rivers, ponds and creeks, plus lots of mesquite trees. The mesquite bean is a an excellent source of food for deer, wild hogs and wild turkey during the summer months as it’s high in carbs and sugar. Oak trees abound, and needless to say they supply a major mast crop of acorns (“Akerns” for most rural folk in the south), plus the feeders that all of the ranchers have running for their deer, turkey & hog hunters.
With all the natural, supplied and unintended food sources, wild game has an overabundance to eat and that has resulted in huge populations of wild hogs. You may have heard about the destruction Wild hogs cause to the land and crops. It is unbelievable how they can tear up terrain and they are a menace on the annual fawn population. Texas projects there are millions of wild hogs in the state and yearly another million is added. Wild hogs breed fast.
Everyone in our group was shooting bows or crossbows and was anxious to get started putting down some wild hogs.
Our first morning’s hunt was cold, frost was on the ground. The Wild Bunch guys got up, had something to drink, a sweet roll and were off to their stands.
Brock Zobell was sitting in his 6 foot tripod when he heard pigs coming to a feeder, squealing and grunting all the way. Three 100 pound plus hogs were in the group and Brock did not wait for the pigs to settle down and scored the first wild hog. The rest of the group either did not see pigs, heard pigs squealing or had pigs come during the dark.
We enjoyed a mid morning breakfast and did some competitive shooting. All the Grim Reaper guys can flat shoot a bow and their camaraderie was fun to be around. I truly enjoyed each and every day we spent together.
RW, my left hand man arrived to film the hunters and that was also a hoot! Some of these guys had never been around an outdoor show film crew and their response was one of those ‘Kodak Moments’. They are in upcoming episode of Tex Mex Outdoors with Grim Reaper Broadheads and the Grim Reaper Mathews Edition Broadhead.
Each day the hunters went to a different stand. After dark the moon was full and the visibility was good. Wild hogs become nocturnal on full moons, feeding heavily during the hours of 8 PM thru 4 AM.
Tyler asked me to pick him up around 2:00 AM. Then he sat and waited on the hogs to come in. Around 11:30 PM the hunting staff were all standing around the campfire, trying to solve the world’s problems, decide on what was the best bow on earth and also hoping the ‘Bad Hombres’ were getting into pigs when, suddenly, we heard a loud piercing scream. Immediately, Tyler called me, yelling for me to come get him, right now, he wanted out, and I mean you could tell he was meaning not later but ‘right now’.
When I got to him his excitement level had not come down one note. “What the heck is going on?” I asked. Tyler said he had a cougar walk right under his tripod, stop and let out with a loud, fierce, nerve rattling scream.
I asked him why he didn’t shoot? (We had informed everyone that all predators, wild hogs and cougars were legal to take in Texas year round.) Tyler looked at me with that “You can’t be serious” look and said “I don’t think I could have drawn my bow.”
It was unnerving enough when he saw the cougar walk under his stand but when it screamed it was game over. So we returned to the fire pit and spent time talking and laughing about Tyler’s encounter with the big cat.
The week went quickly and the guys had a great time. After dark on the third hunt Matt Bateman saw a big hog approaching and put a deadly Mathews Edition Grim Reaper broadhead through it. It ran 70 yards and it was over, Matt stayed in the stand till around 1:00 AM hoping more hogs would come but nothing showed and he finally walked in to camp and called it quits for the night.
There were 7 bowhunters on this hunt, they got 12 shots … and 7 wild hogs were taken. There was plenty of great food from pit smoked pig, Dutch oven biscuits to go with sausage gravy and some of the best deserts. The perfect hunt with BBQ and delicious food, plus, great friends in camp. One of the nicest parts of the hunt was that Jay Liechty also brought his wife and three boys and we have some video footage of the hunt.
The next time you’re thinking about a hunt in the middle of winter and you would like some warm weather and great hunting. Contact Zane Beckmann at 830-456-7623 and come to the beautiful hill country in historical Fredericksburg, Texas. And if you like, be sure an bring the family.