Had a great hunt out here this past week! What an awesome area! We drove out from Dallas on Tuesday morning, hit the woods later than we wanted, about 9am, and started in on the trails along the Sabine on the north side. We were moving too fast and too noisily at the start, and bumped a sounder in the first hour. Never saw them, but heard them moving away fast, obviously spooked. We didn't connect with any pigs on Tuesday, but we did get a squirrel in a weird circumstance. While walking down the trail, we came upon a juvenile squirrel playing possum, right in the middle of the trail. We walked right up to him, could clearly see him breathing, but no movement, no attempt at escape. I slipped the shell out of the chamber on my shotgun, and smacked him in the head with the buttstock, and he made a great appetizer for dinner that night, spit-roasted over coals with some Tony Chacheres for seasoning. About 45 minutes after getting the squirrel, somewhere between 2-3pm, we saw three whitetails, no obvious antlers, but maybe they had already shed.
We were sleeping in hammocks that night, and were NOT prepared for overnight temps in the low forties. I dozed and shivered until midnight before giving up and getting in the truck. My brother made it to 4am before joining me.
Wednesday morning we tried a different trail, running east, and found a small sounder about 8:30am. My brother was primary shooter, and as soon as he had a clear shot, he made a great miss on the big sow of the batch. He's still new to hog hunting, so I didn't tease him too hard on that. After his shot the pigs started milling around in confusion about which way to run, and a trio of little 20-30 pounders ended up trotting right towards me. They paused at about 20 yards, I nailed one, and then made three clean misses trying to pick up another as they scattered into the underbrush. A 1ounce 12-ga slug hits like the hammer of God himself, and dropped that first little pig in her tracks.
It actually worked out really well that I got a smaller pig, because I was able to quarter it up, cut the loins, tenderloins, ribs, heart, and liver out, pack everything in gallon ziplocks, stuff it all in my backpack, and keep on hunting. If my brother had scored too, we probably would have called it a morning, and packed them back to the truck, but instead we kept right on. We saw two more deer that afternoon, but never did catch up with any more pigs.
At the risk of letting the cat out of the bag on a great spot, I will say this: Go! Go there! If it's not unreasonably far away for you, don't miss an opportunity to hunt this place! There isn't a single square yard of dirt out there that doesn't have pig tracks or rooted-up holes. In two days we saw five deer with only minimal stealth in our movements. I didn't keep track of the amount of squirrels and rabbits we kicked up, but if small game is your thing you won't be disappointed here. The acorn crop was incredible last year out there, even now in March you could fill a five gallon bucket in one scoop. I can't even begin to imagine what such an abundant mast crop will do for the wildlife populations in the coming years. I've already got a second trip planned for May, and I might squeak in another trip between now and then.