A little late on this post. Harvested a medium sized hog (on the larger side) after about five miles worth of hiking out in the Ladonia Unit at Caddo National Grasslands. Went out on December 30th for some late season deer and didn’t see any but came home with a cooler full of meat.
When I reached my turning point on the south side of the unit after hiking all day, I stopped to rest and glassed an area downhill that had a thicket of trees across a large pond with an old jeep road in between them thinking that that would be a perfect place for some hogs - water, a clearing, and lots of trees near a creek bed.
Left to scout another area for about 30 minutes and returned to my resting/glassing spot convinced that this spot was perfect for hogs. Resting on my heels with my knees on the ground I placed my rifle on the grass and glassed the spot when all of a sudden a huge hog, about the size of a 60” flatscreen, comes out of the grass on the edge of the pond, running towards the left to cross the Jeep road and down into the thicket. It was followed closely by about seven or eight other hogs of all different sizes. The road clearing from the pond to the thicket is about 20 yards and they crossed it in about two seconds. I barely had enough time to pick up my rifle to watch the last hog disappear into the thicket.
Resting my rifle on my leg I picked up my binos to look at what I just missed out on when I little piglet runs out of the grass on the edge of the pond, up toward the Jeep road and down into the thicket with several different sized hogs on its heels. Round two. I immediately grabbed my rifle and my bipod and scoped the five or six hogs in this group. A nice medium sized hog, towards the end of the group, literately stopped for a split second to smell a limb at the edge of the clearing before heading down into the thicket. I placed my crosshairs right on its shoulder and heard the report, loud and clear, letting me know it was a solid hit. This second group crossed in about three seconds. It was super fast. From the first huge hog to the last one that I shot took about five or six seconds. It all happened in a flash.
I grabbed my bag and with rifle in one hand and the bipod in the other ran down the hill toward the clearing. No blood. I walked toward the right to the pond to retrace their steps and inspected the old Jeep road for about 10 minutes and found no blood. I picked two spots that they likely entered the thicket through and again found no blood. One trail turned right and ran parallel to the jeep road toward the creek bed and after about 30 feet I decided that the pig didn't go that way. I started to question whether the shot placement was as good as I was thinking and feared that a misplaced shot sent the wounded pig on a wild run into the woods where I wouldn't be able to find it. I had to stop and replay what just happened and was convinced my shot was solid and fatal.
I went back to the jeep road and found the second likely entrance into the thicket and continued walking straight in with the thought that the pig would be running straight not minding the way the game trail wandered. Right in front of me, about 15 feet away, was a huge ground shrub that was probably 10 feet wide at the ground and 10-12 feet tall and completely covered my view behind it. I slowly moved around the shrub with my rifle ready and a few yards away from me was the hog. Dead as can be. It ran about 34 yards from where I shot it. Clean clean shot. I broke the hog down and packed it out in a heavy pack. But it was a good feeling!
You can see from the OnX screenshot that the shot was about 173 yards away and the hog ran about 34 yards to where it lay. All the squiggly lines are where I field dressed the hog as I forgot to turn off the tracker in the app.
I cleaned the hog at home and marinated it to make a wild hog banh mi. It tasted just like the regular banh mis. If you haven't had a Vietnamese grilled pork banh mi, treat yourself to one. You will not be disappointed. After that, find a recipe for the marinade and make yourself one with the wild hog you hunted. Very rewarding.
About 12 or 13 years ago I had a DBA that is a Vietnamese woman, she introduced me to a little Vietnamese deli near our office that served Bahn Mi sandwiches. The place is about 20 miles away from me now and I still occasionally drive there just to get a sandwich.
"If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children." -- Confucius