I opted not to hunt in the morning, and just rest for the next night. 2 of the guys did go out as they wouldn't be
there tonight to hunt. I went with Kevin Shinn to pick the guys up and look for another stand I thought I might
could get into later that day. The guys had not taken a hog, but we enjoyed our look around the Shinn Ranch on the 6-wheeler.
We found a stand way back on one of the creeks about 25 or 30 feet high I knew I could get into. However, I think the other guys
were not as confident about it as I was.
I went back over to the BDO III gathering and visited with everyone over there for a while.
They were having quite a bit of problem due to all the water from the rain, and it was still RISING. We talked and cut up
awhile, then I went back to the Shinn Ranch to rest up before going to my next stand that night.
About 5:00pm I donned my ghillie suit and sprayed down with the Scent Destroyer. After dropping John and Harold off at their stands
we got to my stand and I started up the ladder. In no time I was up in the stand with no danger of falling this time. It was easy to climb this one. It was built to my advantage
with the wide steps being made from wooden 2x4's. After handing my gun and pack up Kevin left me till pick up time, which was around 11:30pm.
I got my light attached to the scope and the wires all fixed up where I could pivot in the stand without becoming tangled up. Then I became one with the woods as the peace and quiet only nature brings
got inside me. Again I was watching wildlife of all types as I quietly sat in the stand. There were a couple of coons eating the corn from one of the two pig pipes that were situated close to my stand.
I watched them until just before dark. Then the peace and quiet took an abrupt turnaround.
The guys from the BDO III were going to hunt the area directly in back of me. There were 3 creeks to cross before they got to me. No one thought the hogs and dogs would get that close to the stand hunters but they did.
I heard a big splash about 50 feet away around the bend in the creek to my left. Then some of the dogs started barking. I don't know how many hogs came across. I could hear it all but see none of it.
About a minute after the first splash, I heard another big splash in the same spot. By this time the dogs were nearer and there were more of them barking.
I saw the hog coming towards me through the brush. He was trotting fast, not at an all out run but at a really fast trot. There were two reasons I didnt take the shot on this fairly good size porker. Number one was that all the guys and
dogs were in the same direction as the hog and I didn't know exactly where they were. Number two was I wasn't really sure of my ability to have hit the hog as fast as it was running anyway.
A couple of minutes after this hog had gone past me all hell broke loose. The dogs were about 50 feet away, and beginning the bay. Man they were hot on them hogs trail. The barking was so loud you couldn't hear yourself think.
This was the closest I had been to an actual bay and catch, but I still couldn't see. If I could have seen I don't think the adrenalin could have been pumping any faster. I was on pins and needles.
About this time the dogs pushed two hogs out on John who was shooting a 45-70. I had never heard one of these guns shoot, and I can tell you I was completely unprepared for the thunder that came from those two shots.
Immediately after the shots were fired all sounds ceased, probably even my breathing. But my breathing returned fairly quickly as about this time something came up in the tree stand with me. All I know for sure about that thing is that it was fast, I dont know which of us was the most upset, me or that thing.
I had just calmed down a little when Harold squeezed off a shot with his 30.06. I heard some more noise behind me and pivoted in my chair to see what it was. Three more hogs coming down the trail. The hogs heard me when I turned. One of the hogs looked straight at me and stuck his nose in the air and sniffed.
He didn't smell me and went calmly on by. I was sure proud of my Scent Destroyer right then. But again they were on the wrong side, and I didnt know where the guys and dogs were so I didn't shoot.
I still had a couple of hours left to hunt and everything was beginning to quiet back down. Finally the sounds of the Texas night started up again. The crickets, and frogs and such were all making their noises and I was about as happy as a feller could be.
Then I smelled the scent of a big boar up close, it stunk the whole place up. Then he GRUNTED or GROWLED, whichever you want to call it. All the small animal sounds shut down immediately after the grunt.
It was dark now and I was REALLY pumped up. I knew the boar I was wanting was ever so close. But I couldn't see him. I smelled the scent for a long time but he never came out into my shooting area. All too soon it was pick-up time and still the bigun hadn't came out.
I didn't take a shot all weekend, but it was not due to not being in the hogs. And even though I didnt even fire a shot, and I fell out of my stand, and several other minor inconveniences it was THE BEST HUNT I EVER HAD, of any kind for anything.
And I had Kevin Shinn and all the great folks at the Shinn Ranch to thank for it.
When the guys came and picked me up I learned that John had taken a pretty good size sow, and Harold had missed his shot at another hog. We got back to the bunkhouse and hung the hog up to be cleaned.
Tim Hicks came by just as we got back and started to clean the hog, Tim finished up the job and we compared notes on the hunt. All the guys at the BDO III heard that cannon John was shooting go off and thought it was me and the 7mm Mag I was shooting.
He had came by to see if I had gotten a hog, as all the guys were hoping I'd get one.
I would like to say thanks to Harold and John who were my Bunkhouse and hunting companions and they are great folks. They went through a little inconvenience I am sure so that I would be able to hunt. I am proud both of you guys got one.
I would also like to thank Tim Hicks, Les Walker, and Kevin and Susan Shinn, all these folks are associated with the Shinn Ranch in Quinlan, Texas. They have a great setup out there. They did a jam up job of helping me be able to have the best hunt I have ever had.
I am excitedly looking forward to going back soon.
The Shinn Ranch uses my Hog In Heat Urine at all there stands. They use the Texas Boars Dripper to dispense the scent with. There was a lot of hog sign under all the drippers and the feed stations.
Some of it was before the rain and some of it freshly done since the rain yesterday.
The Shinn Ranch operates from the close of deer season till the end of May. If you are in Texas at this time of year and want a chance at some big ole hogs give them a shout and tell them Hunter Claus sent you.
Have a great day and a better tomorrow. Thanks, Hunter Claus