The pig and I

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elkslayer4x5
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The pig and I

#1 Post by elkslayer4x5 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:55 am

In the summer of 1969, I was busy working towards my NFAA Small Game awards, a national awards program in which you get points for each species of samll game taken with a bow, each animal is a differnt point value, with the least points given for frogs and carp ( one point ) and the most for pig, bobcat, fox, and coyote ( 10 points each ) for every 10 points earned you recieved a patch with a likeness of the species taken, and for first 60 points you recieved a NFAA arrow, another for the next 30 points and the next 30 for a tolal of 3 NFAA arrows, then 30 points more for your 1st crossed arrows, 30 points per crossed arrows until you had 3 And the next 30 points won you the silver NFAA arrowhead pin. The gold arrowhead is for big game, a big forkie. :D
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Back then it was legal to hunt at night, and so my hunting partner and I would spend week-end night driving the back roads, shooting jackrabbits, skunks, racoons, fox, and whatever else we'd come across.
One night as we drove up a mountaion road, a pig ran across the road in front of us, and was gone. We wrote down the next mileage marker we came to and decided to come back that next day. We were at the mileage marker by 10:00 am, and found a nearby turnout to park in. We gear up and head down the side of the mountain to the creek bottom, mostly dry during the summer, with a of the deeper pools still holding water. There was pig sign every where.
We decided to work up the creek since that was the direction of where we had seen the pig the night before. We slowly worked our way up the creek for about a half mile, and then heard noise approaching.
We moved off of the gravel creek bed onto a dirt bank, a curve in the creek bed. At the curve where the hill side came down to the creek was a small rise with a little tree on it. I crept up to the tree, and peeked over the rise. There were two pigs approching! Bill and I get our selves set up in comfortable positions, and wait. I had told Bill that we'll take them as we are positioned, I was on the down stream side and would take the led pig.
They came around the bend and were busy rooting around in the gravel for what ever, and did'nt see or smell us as the breeze was comming downstream. They fought over whatever they found and finally formed a single file line, black pig in front and the spotted white and black pig behind at about 35 yds away, as they approched a large bunch of saw grass, they smelled something and began rooting again.
We both drew , anchored and released almost at the same time, I was slightly behind Bills shot. We both hit the pigs, I watched as my POC arrow tipped with a Colt Hilbre hit my pig about one third up and right behind the leg, right where I was aiming, saw the arrow hit the bank on the other side of the pig and saw the bank turn red as the blood sprayed everywhere out both sides of the wound.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Bills pig turn and climb straight up the bank. My pig darted foward, stumbles and went into the saw grass. I quickly nocked another arrow, and waited for the pig to come out, it never did.
We waited about 15 minutes, and then went across the gravel to the oppisite back, I picked up my arrow covered with blood and looked at the trail of blood going into the saw grass, looked more like a river that a trail, I told Bill "I think mine is down. where did your pig go?"
He said that "it went straight up the back and turned back up stream by that big rock there." We climed up the back to where Bill had seen his pig turn, and found blood, followed the blood trail to where the pig crossed a game trail and had to search a bit to find more blood up hill on the game trail. We kept following the trail every once in a while loosing the blood, only to find it again further up the trail. Each time the blood was further apart.
We tracked that pig for over a mile, finally loosing the blood.
We searched in everwiding circles trying to pick it up again, but after more that an hour of searching had to give it up. We had followed the sign for over a mile up and over the ridge and up another ridge until we could no longer find blood, I kept looking until Bill finally said 'Thats it, hes gone. Lets go get your pig"
By now we're both tired, and so we take a break and sit for about 30 minutes trying to figure out if we had lost the trail somewhere, so we backtrack carefully, circling at every place we'd lost the blood trail, and not finding anything else to change our minds about if we'd taken the wrong trail.
Almost 2 hours to get back to the creek bottom. Just before we get to the creek I picked up a stick about 4 feet long, Nearing the sawgrass, I layed my bow down, and using the stick I parted the grass. "Wait a minute, lets make sure first" says Bill.
Up on the bank above the sawgrass is a fairly good sized Madrone that curves out over the saw grass. Madrones are a slick barked tree, and very hard to climb, but Bill being slightly smalller than I am, I help boost him up until he can grab a branch to pull himself up into the crotch of the forked tree. He stares into the sawgrass for a few minutes and says "There's the pig, and I think it still breathing, toss me a rock" So I do that, and Bill throws it into the grass. "It moved" he said, " hand me my bow, and I'll put another in him"
Well, its almost dusk by now, so I hand Bill his bow, and he nocks an arrow and gets set, draws and released. SQUEEALLL!! screams the pig! By the time that squeal quit echoing up the creek bottom, Bill and I were 500 yds downstream climbing up the only tree in the creek bottom a little 15 footer, and to this day I don't know how or why he got out the tree he was in and up ahead of me in the one we were trying to get up, both of us with bows in hand. Next morning, the pig was dead, and good thing it was as we were packing rifles. Thanks to my dog that dug up the head and left me a tusk! The point was found on my first outdoor range.
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Captainkirk
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Re: The pig and I

#2 Post by Captainkirk » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:03 am

Great story, Don! Thanks for sharing it. Always thought I'd like to have a crack at a tusker!
Aim small, miss small!

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elkslayer4x5
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Re: The pig and I

#3 Post by elkslayer4x5 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:21 pm

Back in 69 Calif had feral pigs listed as small game, now they sell tags, Oregon says "they're an invasive plague, shoot on sight" So pretty hard to find some here.
From where you live, you'll have to travel to find pigs, wouldn't you?

Captainkirk
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Re: The pig and I

#4 Post by Captainkirk » Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:00 pm

Yup. May be a few way downstate, but that would be 5-6 hour drive.
Aim small, miss small!

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Grizzly
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Re: The pig and I

#5 Post by Grizzly » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:29 am

My favorite part of the state. I think it would take you a little longer than that. The computer says a little over 3 to 3 1/2 hours from Springfield to Carbondale, but it used to take us all of 4 or more. Many times it would be 5 hours or so with stops. There used to be a great archery shop in Carbondale and there's another nice local gun shop (Hick's) on highway 4, and of coarse http://pistolcityrestaurant.com/ for breakfast or a meal on the way back. I never did look into pigs downstate. The few hunts I ever heard about were in Tennessee. But, that was a while ago. Just below Carbondale is our favorite State Park, Giant City https://www.google.com/search?q=giant+c ... 24&bih=772
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