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Mar 25th, 2012
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SHNF 2017 rifle season #7027804
01/07/18 03:39 AM
01/07/18 03:39 AM
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Galveston Bay
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So far it has been a good year for me in the Sam Houston Natl Forest even though I have only been able to go on 3 hunts thus far.


1st hunt was really just my afternoon visit to set up my ground blind. After setting up my tree limb ground blind around my favorite tree I really didnt want to sit in it and scent it up till I came back looking for deer. So I found a nice log where I was hidden about 200 yards away and set up on what I thought was a fresh pig trail for the afternoon hunt. And sure enough about pig thirty I could hear the footsteps coming. I had a very small shooting lane since this one popped up a little farther away than I was expecting. And as that black body passed by I new instantly it was a shooter and I pegged him perfectly in the shoulder at about 80 yards. He ran in a circle and flopped down so I ran up to him and popped him again. Sweeettt!!! I love shooting pigs!



Trip # 2 was last weekend and I made it out to the ground blind and sat till 11ish and never saw a thing. It was windy and I never heard any other shots all morning so I am guessing they just werent moving. So i hiked over a mile or 2 to another creek and just kept walking and not seeing any fresh or good signs. So I went back to the truck and decided to go check out a new area I had been looking at on the topo map and I am sure glad I did. I walked about half of a mile and boom all of a sudden I am in an area with fresh wallows and fresh pig signs everywhere so I scope out the best "sitting spot/ground blind" and sit down about 3:15. At 4:30 I can hear them coming. She had about 4 or 5 smaller piggies behind her and believe you me I poured out some lead on them but only got the alpha. They were on a full trot and I hit the alpha a little high and in the back and spun her around on the first shot and just hammered her on the second shot.


2 for 2 !!!

So today I decide to set up in this same spot for the morning hunt and see if any deer are passing through this new spot in the mornings. I walk in just before shooting time and sit in my same "ground blind" and not much going on till about 9:30am. I have my hands cupped blowing in to them warming them with my rifle on my lap and I look up and low and behold I am staring at 2 does at 10 yards and they are looking right at me. I cant believe how they snuck up on me so silently. I just freeze. Not much else I can do because as soon as I go for my gun they are gone. Well guess what they bolt and I have no chance. However that was such a rush and such a cool experience that I was on a high all day long. I sat there this afternoon
for the afternoon hunt and nada.

So I didnt go 3 for 3 but I had a chance and that is all I can ask for.

I really have to credit the gun I put together and it really is the perfect set up for hunting in the woods of East Texas.

Upper is a 6.8SPC and was built by Blackstone Arms and it is DOBA "Dead On Balls Accurate"
I built the lower with a Geiselle trigger and thats all that really matters in a lower. The optic is a strike Eagle 1-6 with the so called Xmas tree reticle with a circle above it. This circle is absolutely perfect for moving targets and makes for super easy acquisition. I shot both hogs on 1X with both eyes open and I am convinced this is the most efficient way. Top it off with 120 Gr SST bullets and they just drop right there.

I am extremely happy with my set up!

Last edited by Bigfoot; 01/07/18 03:45 AM.

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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7028066
01/07/18 01:16 PM
01/07/18 01:16 PM
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Amarillo, TX
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Awesome job! Keep shooting those piggies.

Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7035413
01/12/18 02:00 PM
01/12/18 02:00 PM
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Awesome job! A friend and I have been thinking about doing a walk-in or two at SHNF. Looks like we might have to try it out! Thanks for the post!


-Brian Austin
www.briancaustin.com
Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7036070
01/12/18 10:06 PM
01/12/18 10:06 PM
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Its not easy for sure but if you put in the time you should be able to find something for the pit. Stay near the creeks and you will do fine.


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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7047027
01/21/18 04:19 PM
01/21/18 04:19 PM
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Katy, TX
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I hopefully can get some advice about this....

Went out to the WMA yesterday. Was the first time a friend and I have used public land, so it was quite unique and slightly intimidating. We were going for squirrel and hog. Basically, we were almost assuming that we were going to be coming back with some squirrel, however we did not see a single one! I had a joke with my friend, "All of the squirrels must have died overnight..." I guess thats what we get for assuming!

I'm pretty sure everything we did was wrong, but thats how one learns, eh? We found a creek that we wanted to walk to, and instead of walking on one of the trails, we tried to walk through the forest. But we were making so much noise, I can only imagine that anything within 100yrds+ heard us and ran. However, there were so many signs of hog in the forest, I almost felt that we were following a group but probably well ahead of us.

It was foggy and a little rainy, so we decided to make our way back to the trail instead of trudging through the wet forest, just walk down the trail to get to the creek. We saw an incredible amount of rutting from hog around the multiple seasonal creeks and other puddles. We actually did see 5-6 hog, however it was along the established hiking trail, and reading APH rules I believe you have to be at least 150yrds off. We attempted to follow them, but there was so much brush we had to get through, after 50yrds we gave up due to the noise we were making.

Being very new to this (only gone out on guided bird hunts), I have a few questions. I assume for this hunt, we should have stopped and setup/waited for hogs along an assumed game trail or creek section? Another, while public hunting you have to wear orange, is there any reason to wear camo? I was wearing camo, while my friend was wearing basically normal clothes. But he didnt think it would truly matter, because orange is such a visible color anyways. Also, for the life of me, I cannot find anything regarding field dressing on public land and what we do with the guts. Do we pack out? Leave for the carnivores? Or I've even read where some people bury them?!

The friend and I had a lot of fun, even though we didnt get to fire a single round. We are already planning on heading back out within a week or two, but I might head out solo myself this week.

I really appreciate any advice. I definitely have a lot to learn.






-Brian Austin
www.briancaustin.com
Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7048930
01/22/18 10:31 PM
01/22/18 10:31 PM
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Galveston Bay
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Pig 30 is from about 4:30 to dark. So you want to be set up in your hiding spot by 3:30 to 345 being quiet. Camo is no big deal but it will help some by breaking up your outline but not really necessary. Scent is a BIG DEAL. Just try to be as scent free as possible with your clothes and that is really all you need to worry about. I actually wash my hunting clothes in scent free detergent and then put them in a scent free bag and I put them on once I arrive at my hunting destination. Definitely walk the creek beds and look for the freshest signs possible and hunker down. You can definitely find fresher signs than what I see in your pics. Those signs look a week or more old.

Most of your shots will be very very quick so be ready. All I do is sit there and listen. I do search with my eyes but 100% of the time I hear them first. After you make several trips to several different spots you will start to see a pattern. Hog hunting public land is extremely difficult and you will get skunked more times than you will want to admit but when you do get one it is a fine trophy.

I see very few squirrels out there. I see a few but not too many.

Legally for any game you kill on the WMA you have to quarter the pig by taking the hind and front and take its back straps. You can leave the rest. Whatever you leave will be eaten by coyotes within a few days. SO just cut out what you want and leave the rest to mother nature.

hope this helps and good luck. I will be out there in teh next week or 2 after work to go see if I can bag another piggie!


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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7050391
01/23/18 11:55 PM
01/23/18 11:55 PM
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Katy, TX
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Thanks, this will definitely help a lot! Should be going out there this weekend after the rain on Saturday with the same friend. But I might try to go out solo this Thursday. I will have to check the detergent and maybe pick up a bag to stick my clothes in for the drive, so far I've been using the sensitive/scent free detergent that we use on the newborns clothes....haha.

The fresh signs will just, look more moist? More visible footprints? Have less leaves/needles laying inside? Maybe a smell? A few times when we were walking, we would come across an extremely small section of the forest that smelled different. I'm probably wrong, but I thought that could have been pig smell due to them laying down or rutting in the area.

Thanks once again!


-Brian Austin
www.briancaustin.com
Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7051540
01/24/18 08:39 PM
01/24/18 08:39 PM
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You probably smelled bigfoot. He is supposedly running around the SAM. I heard him once and found 2 crazy [censored] tree structures but that is a story for a different thread.Just keep looking for signs. You will figure out what is fresh and what is old on your own. Once you see fresh signs from the night before you will know it. Your pics are definitely not showing anything fresh. Fresh signs will have no pine straw or leaves in them but experience will teach you more than anything. Like I said once you find really fresh signs you will know it

Last edited by Bigfoot; 01/24/18 09:45 PM.

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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7053166
01/26/18 01:46 AM
01/26/18 01:46 AM
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wondering about the woods
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cheers coolpics flag



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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7053658
01/26/18 02:45 PM
01/26/18 02:45 PM
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Katy, TX
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Thanks once again! I will definitely keep my ears, eyes, and nose open! The ironic part of that, the entire time I was asking/joking with my friend "wouldn't it be crazy if we saw Bigfoot?!"

Does weather affect them much? Supposed to be sorta damp and rainy on Saturday, but I plan on heading out Sunday when its supposed to be sunnier. Or do pigs like it more damp?

According to this article http://www.wideopenspaces.com/time-year-best-hog-hunting/ this is the best time of year for hog!

Yeah, I definitely plan on getting out there this Sunday like I mentioned. Get there a little bit earlier than you mentioned, just to give myself extra time to spot tracks, and try to find the freshest.

I just need to watch more gutting videos, and then I will be as ready as possible. For the hell of it, I saw this https://www.amazon.com/Hunters-Specialties-Butt-Game-Dressing/dp/B002ECKYSA/ on Amazon and decided to get it. Since I've never gutted game, not 100% sure its purpose. Just one of the funniest/craziest things Ive ever seen...and actually had decent reviews.


-Brian Austin
www.briancaustin.com
Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: brianaustintx] #7053783
01/26/18 03:59 PM
01/26/18 03:59 PM
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2cents while never hunted uncle sam's (SHNF), spent my share & more time wondering about the woods.
huntsolo mostly, & when ya back in their always, finding hogs was easy part, work begins getting them out. Tried the gut & drag, that's were started the slice down back & hide off ta get back strap & quarters, roll over, & repeat. No gutting, carried military back pack, with trash bags.. Friend hunted with found a lighter pack at gander "addis" or something like that, worked a lot better.
Several use the wheelcarts, helped a hunter with one, they can bogg down, catch on things. Back pack worked best for me, each is different.
Enjoy the time spent best wishes, hunt safe & if ya see Bigfoot tell am hey, from colt.
As pappy once said : keep your head held high & your powder dry. Had a few misfires back in the day.
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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7054629
01/27/18 03:32 AM
01/27/18 03:32 AM
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Galveston Bay
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What works great for me is one of those heavy duty garbage bags. "Contractor" Bags. I just stick the 4 quarters in that and throw it over my shoulder and off I go. Its easy as pie!

I dont worry about weather because I cant pick my days. I just go when I can go but I personally like colder days. However I do care about wind direction and will go to my hunting spot and set up based on wind direction.


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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7054963
01/27/18 04:34 PM
01/27/18 04:34 PM
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Commerce, TX
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Looks like fun.

Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7055462
01/28/18 01:42 AM
01/28/18 01:42 AM
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Katy, TX
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Thanks so much colt and bigfoot for the advice! I got some scent elimination stuff from Academy. Hopefully I will smell like nothing to these hogs tomorrow, but thats if I find a fresh trail and see/hear any. Haha ;D

I think I'll be going out solo, so it'll make the learning experience even more intense. I've watched a show 'MeatEater' and they used some cloth game bags to stick game into, so I bought a few from Amazon and I will be bringing them along with everything else that I should need. I was trying to figure out the best way to field dress for the first time. I think I will try to gut and skin while on the ground, but I'm bringing enough rope that I can hang it on a limb if its light enough. Maybe gut on the ground and hang from a limb to skin and qtr? Of course, I've never done this before...so who the f knows!! Haha


-Brian Austin
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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: brianaustintx] #7055647
01/28/18 05:01 AM
01/28/18 05:01 AM
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wondering about the woods
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2cents gutting hogs. Only reason gutted first hogs i got at OSBWMA was ta make them lighter, had two down on a solo hunt at dark-thirty & it was a good hour walking back in. It was on east side, before they opened it up ta atv. First year it opened ta public. Every time got back past leavey always seen hogs. Trying ta drag two hogs in dark, whin ya 140# soaken wet, ya look for easier ways, back pack worked best for me, tender-loins only reason ta gut. Have had deer heart rapped in bacon, didn't try hog.
Oh & have made hog jerky. Seen that in thread, General hunting discussions. Sows ready ta have piglets, make beds in switch-cain, palmedo plants, tall grass, & around downed trees, had videos few years back on here. Can find hog wallows around up rooted trees were roots were, & find beds. Slow walk keep eyes roving ahead for movement.
When ya huntsolo warmer the weather faster the ice, so skipped the gutting, was usually mile or more back in, finding hogs was easy part.
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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7055842
01/28/18 03:50 PM
01/28/18 03:50 PM
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Katy, TX
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Yeah, I was trying to think if I had a backpack that I could use (without having to buy a new one.) I have an internal frame backpack from REI thats gotta be 10-15yrs old. Maybe I'll bring that along with some contractor trash bags...shove the meat inside there to pack it out. But of course, all of these rests on the hope that I will be taking a hog home. Haha, I guess it's always good to be optimistic!


-Brian Austin
www.briancaustin.com
Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7056882
01/29/18 02:58 PM
01/29/18 02:58 PM
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What are the dates and rules for hog hunting out there? Is it year round?

Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7056907
01/29/18 03:14 PM
01/29/18 03:14 PM
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Another good learning experience/scouting trip! Next time, I might have to get out there earlier, or visit a new spot. I did not see any day-old fresh signs. Not sure if everything was covered from the storm two days before, but still nothing looked that fresh. I setup on a spot that had a LOT of activity...about a week ago.



It was weird, about 45mins after sitting down. At around 415pm I heard noise behind me. Felt like it was too close for the 308, so I went to grab my pistol. Right after I put my hand on it, I noticed that it was two beagles just walking through the forest. One of em stopped and looked at me when I said "hey doggy" the other just kept on going. The weird part, they both had collars, so they were domesticated. I took that as not a great sign (probably preventing anything from heading my way), and only sat around for another 45mins until I decided to scout around some more and try to find fresher signs for the next trip.

While I was there, I heard an atv off in the distance. However when I found my way back to the trail, I realized it was not that far in the distance...as there was brand new signs from it.



Going to spend an hr today looking at google earth, trying to find another worthwhile spot close-by. I know the area I visit has them, just not sure if they are currently there, or just walked through about a week ago. Or if I was just unlucky, and all the activity in the WMA prevented them from crossing my path.


-Brian Austin
www.briancaustin.com
Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Cherokee Mingan] #7056911
01/29/18 03:16 PM
01/29/18 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted By: Cherokee Mingan
What are the dates and rules for hog hunting out there? Is it year round?


Yep, year round! https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/public/annual_public_hunting/resources/905.pdf Open to all legal firearms as well, don't think baiting is allowed...but it doesnt specifically say, so it might be.


-Brian Austin
www.briancaustin.com
Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7057477
01/29/18 09:58 PM
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No Baiting allowed unless you want a huge ticket!!

Wear hunter orange

no shooting within 150 yards or roads and major trails

open year round but no night hunting for pigs 30 min before and 30 min after sunset

night hunting is allowed for varmints like coyotes and bobcats

you need a $48 APH permit from tpwd

That is about it for general rules. The small details you will need to read online or in your APH handbook.


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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7057495
01/29/18 10:09 PM
01/29/18 10:09 PM
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Go hit spot after spot and move around and eventually you will find the right signs. I have a certain area I call my "honey hole" and I have noticed that every time pigs or deer pass through this area they are always traveling the same direction and this is a huge help for me to set up properly with wind and scent in my mind. So not only pay attention to tracks but try to determine the general direction of travel if possible. This will help you tremendously once you determine which way they are headed. Also time in the field is your most valuable teaching and learning tool. So keep on going and dont get hung up on the kill. I took 1 shot at a pig in my first 4 years of hunting until it all clicked for me finally. I saw a few pigs but seeing them and getting a shot at them are 2 different things. You are way ahead of the game by the stuff I am telling you now so just keep going and learning and you will be successful eventually.

Last edited by Bigfoot; 01/29/18 10:10 PM.

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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7057510
01/29/18 10:20 PM
01/29/18 10:20 PM
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the only reason I look at google earth is to look at old growth(non pine) vs new growth trees (pine)

To find my areas to hunt I look at a topo because that is how you find the piggy areas

http://www.mytopo.com/ www.mytopo.com/


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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7057539
01/29/18 10:38 PM
01/29/18 10:38 PM
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If I dont have to work Saturday I am planning an all weekend hunting trip. I will have been working like 20 straight days come friday and I am itching to go on a hunting/camping trip and just chill out with a good book a steak and some hog/bigfoot hunting.

Most likely I will camp at kellys pond because I have been wanting to walk that area looking for hogs. I will probably walk about 6 to 8
miles Saturday just exploring that new area. When exploring I will typically start about 10 AM that way I have about 5 to 6 hours to cruise the area and then decide where I am going to set up and be there about 2.5 to 3 hours before pig thirty.

I will even spend the time to set up a natural ground blind if possible.

like this one.



Last edited by Bigfoot; 01/29/18 10:39 PM.

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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7057542
01/29/18 10:39 PM
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sorry pic is not showing up

Last edited by Bigfoot; 01/29/18 10:40 PM.

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Re: SHNF 2017 rifle season [Re: Bigfoot] #7060016
01/31/18 04:11 PM
01/31/18 04:11 PM
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Katy, TX
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Originally Posted By: Bigfoot
Go hit spot after spot and move around and eventually you will find the right signs. I have a certain area I call my "honey hole" and I have noticed that every time pigs or deer pass through this area they are always traveling the same direction and this is a huge help for me to set up properly with wind and scent in my mind. So not only pay attention to tracks but try to determine the general direction of travel if possible. This will help you tremendously once you determine which way they are headed. Also time in the field is your most valuable teaching and learning tool. So keep on going and dont get hung up on the kill. I took 1 shot at a pig in my first 4 years of hunting until it all clicked for me finally. I saw a few pigs but seeing them and getting a shot at them are 2 different things. You are way ahead of the game by the stuff I am telling you now so just keep going and learning and you will be successful eventually.


Hahah, you can definitely say that again. I appreciate it! I don't really have hunting friends that I can turn to for advice or ask questions, glad I was able to find someone willing to help and part with some of their wisdom! cheers


Originally Posted By: Bigfoot
If I dont have to work Saturday I am planning an all weekend hunting trip. I will have been working like 20 straight days come friday and I am itching to go on a hunting/camping trip and just chill out with a good book a steak and some hog/bigfoot hunting.

Most likely I will camp at kellys pond because I have been wanting to walk that area looking for hogs. I will probably walk about 6 to 8 miles Saturday just exploring that new area. When exploring I will typically start about 10 AM that way I have about 5 to 6 hours to cruise the area and then decide where I am going to set up and be there about 2.5 to 3 hours before pig thirty.

I will even spend the time to set up a natural ground blind if possible.


Theres a 40% chance of rain Saturday, but that shouldn't be bad as long as you got some rain gear! I'm actually going to head out there in a few, going to try a little bit more north of where I was along tarkington bayou. If I find some fresh sign, I'll setup a ground blind as well. Last time I setup next to two fallen trees.

My goal today, find fresh signs!


-Brian Austin
www.briancaustin.com
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