May 21, 2013
I’ve had my hot and cold attitudes about Tejon Ranch over the years, as they writhed and contorted to appease the environmentalists, to get approval for construction and development projects, and to get ahead of the lead ammo issue. But the truth is, it’s still a magical place and one of my favorite hunting locations of all time.
And it’s in California. I am not.
A California-based hunting magazine, Relentless 365, has started cranking out some really cool web videos on YouTube, and the other day I had the chance to view this newest release… Tejon Ranch Hogs. It’s about 21 minutes of footage of bow hunts all over the ranch, and it gives you a pretty good idea of what the dedicated hunter can find on this place. What made it particularly special to me was that I’ve hiked and crawled a lot of the same places you see here. It really got the old memories going, I can say that much!
Anyway, here’s the video. 21 minutes is a long time, in web terms, but this is SO worth sitting still for. Check it out.
May 15, 2013
While we’re on a run here, this is one of my favorite vids (and one of my prouder moments). The video tells the tale…
May 1, 2013
This isn’t a new video, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never put it here.
February 28, 2013
The Hog Blog went to Mississippi, he was lookin’ for a hog to kill
He was in a bind, ’cause he was way behind, and he was lookin’ to make a deal
He came across a young boar rubbin’ on a fence post and making a mess
The Hog Blog jumped up on a hickory stump, he said, hog, let me tell you this.
You’re a mighty fine specimen, but give the Hog Blog his due
I got a bullet of gold, against your soul, says I got more friends than you
The hog said, my name’s Wilbur, and it it might be a sin,
but I’ll take your bet and you’re gonna regret, ’cause I’m the most popular that’s ever been.
Then the Hog Blog opened up his case, and he said I’ll start this show.
And fire flew from the muzzle as he zeroed in his scope.
He tossed the empty in the creek, and it made an evil hiss.
But no one came to see the show, something was amiss.
When he finished, Wilbur laughed, well you’re pretty good old son.
But look around, you’re all alone, nobody didn’t come.
Then he played..
Corn on the mountain run boys run
Apples and berries gotta gitcha some!
Punkins and taters and watermelon too
And here came the hogs, two by two
And when he finished the Hog Blog smiled, grinned from ear to ear
and as those hogs came trotting in, he shot them far and near
Wilbur screamed, “you sonofabitch”, what did you just do?
But then the Hog Blog grinned, took careful aim, and then shot Wilbur too.
February 22, 2013
Now Rex, from the Deer Camp blog has been inviting me to come out and enjoy some of that Mississippi hospitality for several years now, but I’ve always had to decline for one reason or another. But every time, I struggle to balance responsibility against my desire to get out there and meet another blogger… and to hog hunt in another state.
Well, this year it’s all working out. The invitation found me between work travel, and with no hunting trips to organize. Of course, there’s a lot of work to be done around the ranch, but it’s nothing that can’t wait another week or two.
Besides, I hear there’s going to be a “world famous hog hunter” at the event this year. I can’t wait to meet this guy. I’d sure like to pick his brain!
February 15, 2013
Ian, one of the proud and few Hog Blog readers sent me a few photos from some game cams he’s been following in Sonoma County. I thought they’d be good incentive for some of us to get out of the house and into the woods this weekend. If this were my game cams, I know exactly where I’d be!
February 5, 2013
This is the kind of thing I go for, and one of the reasons I hate that I missed it this year… new ammunition, targeted for hog hunters and for the lead-free market.
I had to hear about it on YouTube…
What the hell am I talking about? The Remington Hog Hammer ammo was announced at SHOT 2013. It features the Barnes triple-shock (TSX) bullet, and will be available in seven calibers, from .223 Rem to .450 Bushmaster.
The new round appears to follow on the concepts introduced the year before last with Winchester’s Razorback XT, including a special propellant to reduce muzzle flash (for night time or low-light shooting) and nickle-plated cases to ensure clean feeding through the popular semi-automatic rifles (black rifles, modern sporting rifles, ARs, or whatever you want to call them).
Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to establish a relationship with Remington in order to get samples of their ammo. As a result, it’s not likely that I’ll be testing any of these personally to let you guys know what I think of them. If any of you readers gets a chance to put these things through their paces, though, I’d love to hear what you thought.
In the meantime, I do have a pretty good relationship at Winchester, so I will be trying out their latest Razorback XT offerings in my .44mag. I’ll let ya’ll know more about that one fairly soon!
February 4, 2013
Well, the Stupor Bowl is over. Traditionally, at least to me, that means we’re heading into the winter doldrums.
Waterfowl seasons wrapped up (or are wrapping up now) with the last of the youth hunts. Upland birds and small game are pretty much done (except here in TX, I guess, where there’s no closed season for squirrels or rabbits). Elk seasons are long gone, as are the seasons for whitetail, blacktail, and mule deer. Alas! What’s a hunter to do?
This is the time of year that always used to really get me down. The guns are put away. It’s too cold to fish (nothing personal to my readers who do this, but ice fishing is for crazy people). And, unlike a bear, I can’t even hibernate until these next tedious months have passed.
But then, for me, one thing changed all of that.
With year-round seasons, generally liberal limits, and huntable populations across several states (including Hawaii), there’s a reason these are my favorite animals to hunt. They can be a great challenge to hunt, especially in places like CA where you have to get out into the backcountry to chase them, and they’re awesome on the table.
They became my preferred game, and are also the raison d’etre of this blog. So…
If you haven’t tried it yet, and cabin fever is already setting in, then there’s no better time than now. And if you’d like to learn a little more about it, shoot me a line right here in the comments. I may not have every answer, but I’m pretty handy at finding the resources to help you get what you need. On top of that, there are a bunch of pretty experienced hog hunters reading this blog, and I expect they will have some thoughts and suggestions as well.
So pull the guns out of the safe, or the bows off the rack, and let’s get ready to do some hog hunting!
January 13, 2013
This is a little different for me, as usually I’m the one making recommendations and doing reviews. However, I’ve received a couple of emails lately asking for guided hunt recommendations, and I realize that I’ve been pretty much out of the loop… especially when it comes to CA hog guides. Of course I still have my standard recommendations, Bryson-Hesperia Resort (Deedy and Karin Loftus) offering semi-guided hog hunts down near King City, and fully guided huntign with Mark and Colby Williams (also in the King City area). There’s Tejon Ranch in southern CA, of course, with both their Wild Pig Management Hunts and guided/semi-guided hog hunts. And my old friends at Native Hunt are still in operation as well.
But at least two people have been asking about hunts in Sonoma County, and while I know there are outfits there, I know nothing about them. And other than that, I don’t know who’s still in business, who has changed contact information, or who’s joined the party with a new outfitting and guide business. So here’s the question to you, good readers:
Can you recommend hog hunting guides in your neck of the woods… whether it’s California, Texas, or anywhere else in the country?
September 27, 2012
A little while back, my friend Dan Goad wrote to tell me he’d be trying out a new, lead-free shotgun slug. The DDupleks slugs are made of solid steel, and come out of Latvia. I had actually spoken with one of the representatives from the company at SHOT, but wasn’t able to arrange to get any of the ammo for testing. I had some pertinent questions regarding the expansion of a steel sabot (there’s basically none), and its effectiveness in putting down thinner-skinned game, like deer. The representative reassured me that European hunters have been using these slugs for years with great success on wild boar, moose, and reindeer. But I believe what I see, and before I decide to either promote or dismiss a product, I need to see it at work… or at least get first hand reports from a reliable source.
Dan is pretty reliable, and he tested the DDupleks ammo the old-fashioned way… he purchased his own ammo and went hunting. Here’s his report:
Well, I’ve just finished my deer season at Vandenburg Air Force Base and I successfully filled both deer tags and one pig tag using the DDuplek Mono32’s.
As you recall, these were the Latvian solid steel slugs I found to be so accurate in my Remington 11-87. In fact, my two partners, Chuck and Jim raved about how accurate these were in their shotguns. Chuck managed several keyhole groups at 100 yds.
I promised you a review on they performed on game and so here it is.
As with most slugs, it has a parabolic arc like a mortar. The difference between 50 and 100 yds is 8-12 inches. We believe we overshot quite a few deer at close range. The first few deer we shot at, we weren’t sure if they were hard hit or not. They jumped or moved like they might be hit but took off rapidly enough that we felt it might have been a grazing shot. Very little blood (if any) on the ground. Could have been a function of that parabolic arc.
The pig I shot was at close range, about 25 yds and the slug went in just below the spine and it rolled it over. The hog promptly got back to its feet and took off. I followed it into the heavy brush and eventually cornered it at about 5 feet where it made its stand. Let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you’ve confronted a wounded hog at that distance. It’s cleansing for the soul! Then I remembered I had a gun and put another into the shoulder, and then another into the skull.
Post mortem indicates pass thru on the spine shot, and the slugs remained inside on both the shoulder and skull shot. Amazingly little meat damage and absolutely no deformation of the slug.
The first buck I shot in the chest, slightly off center, at around 40 yards. That animal ran about 60 yards and I lost sight of him in the brush. Fortunately I was able to locate him without the benefit of a blood trail, because there wasn’t one. The bullet had transited the body and exited just before the hind quarter. All the blood remained in the body cavity.
The second buck was a very similar scenario. Chest shot at about 50 yards. The slug entered the right shoulder and transited the body, lodging in the left hindquarter. The deer ran about the same distance, 60 yards, but I was able to see him fall. When I walked up to him, there wasn’t a blood trail or any blood coming from the entrance wound. Once again, there was very little meat damage.
Now Chuck was pretty upset on the performance and went back to the Federal Barnes Tipped TSX (now discontinued) and shot a doe that went down like it was pole axed. Jim swore he wouldn’t use the Dupleks again after he lost the blood trail on a buck he shot and he eventually went home empty handed.
In short, the accuracy is great, it does kill deer but don’t expect DRT performance or a blood trail. Expect to watch the animal run and eventually die from internal blood loss. If you can live with that, it’s good ammo. If not, you’ve got ammo that’ll punch through trees, bushes, engine blocks and the next wave of zombies.
I’ll leave it at that. Thanks, Dan, for an excellent and detailed report. If any of you other readers has experience with other lead-free ammo, especially new offerings on the market, sing out! Would love to hear how it worked for you.