Place: Lost Acres Ranch, just left of Heaven.
Mission: Amanda and Cassandra a dead hog. Celebrate my impending hysterectomy!
Players: Me, Billie, Cassandra and Amanda
The Obstacles: Early mornings, imminent rain.
Billie invited us all to hunt with her Saturday. The goal, dead boar hogs. Preferably three of them!
I left the house around 5ish. I’m still not used to the early hours….does this ever get easier? I am not a morning person. I hate getting up early. I think my friends and family are actually more surprised that I’m getting up before the sun than they are that I’m hunting!
Cassandra and Amanda showed up shortly after I did and we headed out from Billie’s. She’s got 300 acres and offers a limited number of hunts to the public throughout the year. It’s a beautiful place. I love to go and hang out anytime, but today was a special occasion. She’d invited us to have a ladies only hunt!
Billie walked us to our stands. Cassandra was first….she was in a great box stand. Next me….once again up a tree. I’d forgotten my tow rope, so Billie had to climb up and bring my bow to me.
Note to self: ALWAYS check ya self and ya gear!
I later found out I was 14 feet up. I keep getting higher each time. Kudos to me for that!
Billie, Amanda and Joe left to get Amanda situated. Amanda and Joe (Billie’s son who serves as a guide) were to be in a ladder stand somewhere behind me.
I’d been up about 15 minutes or so when I heard grunting. I had just gotten situated. I still hadn’t gotten all of my stuff where I wanted it! I’d moved my radio about 4 times trying to figure out where it would be best placed! There were three hogs below me at the feeder. I actually remembered to range the animals this time! A first! I couldn’t tell if they were boars. Sad. I realize that. But I am NEW to this!
All of a sudden I hear a quiet noise….I realized that I’d turned the volume on my radio down extremely low. I slowly picked it up and heard Billie.
“Shoot the black one.”
“The black one?”
“YES! The black one. SHOOT HIM!”
“I can’t tell if he’s a boy.”
I sometimes wonder why she still hunts with me. I am so unsure of what I’m doing and yet when someone tells me what to do I STILL question. One of these days I won’t be surprised if she smacks me on the back of the head. I’ll deserve it.
I drew. Aimed. Slow deep breath. Touch the release.
I nailed him. Right behind the shoulder. But…..Oh. My. God.
THE SQUEALING! I’d totally not prepared myself for that!
S&*T, S&*T! It was bad! LOUD! He squealed and started spinning! My arrow had penetrated through and was about 3/4 of the way out of his other side. He spun about 30 times trying to sling it out. I was whispering “just die! Please just die!” I was a bit horrified. Then he shot out to the right of me through the woods.
Unbeknownst to me Billie had been watching the entire time through her binoculars. She said she’d been heading back to sit with Cassandra when she seen the pigs below me. She’d camped out and watched to see what would ensue.
She radioed and let the others know that I’d hit the boar. And then we waited. We found the blood trail and started out. Joe joined the us. This was definitely a first. I’ve never tracked anything. I was amazed at Billie’s and Joe’s ability to find the tiniest drop of blood.
We’d been trailing for a while when the thunder started. The clouds were getting darker by the minute. We were on borrowed time at this point. When the lightening started it was time to stop.
We made our way to Cassandra and picked her up with the end goal being to pick Amanda up at her ladder stand. When we got there….no Amanda. ???
We assumed she’d walked back to the house and so we began making our way that direction when we saw Amanda coming down the trail at a brisk pace! When she reached us she was breathless and BEAMING!
“I killed the Todd Gray ram! I just shot him!”
Billie had offered to let us shoot one ram as part of the hunt as well. Amanda had taken her up on it!
She said she’d not seen any hogs that morning and was beginning to get discouraged when the ram stepped out.
“I just thought, just do it! SO I did”
She’d lobbed an arrow into him successfully but it didn’t drop him. She trailed him until she found him and was able to put another arrow in him.
We followed her to where he had fallen. And at that point, the proverbial bottom fell out. SHEETS of rain began pelting us from the treetops. There were rivulets of water running down my arms and off the bill of my hat.
Billie and Amanda pulled him out of the gulley and we headed back to Billie’s to get the 4wheeler to bring him in. By the time we’d reached her house we were soaked through.
I squeezed the water out of the tail of my shirt. There wasn’t a dry centimeter anywhere on any of us.
They went and got the ram and brought him in. He was magnificent.
Amanda was THRILLED! Success is a sweet thing.
Cassandra and I didn’t have a happy ending….the torrential rain washed any hope of a blood trail away and my boar was not to found. The rain also prevented Cassandra from participating in an evening hunt.
It didn’t matter! A friend had success….I was very happy for her. Her first hunt ended with a beautiful ram. What a trophy!
Billie cooked some of the meat for all of us the next night extending the occasion. It was truly a terrific weekend. I couldn’t have asked for a better one!