Eat More Pork

HEAD3Sponsored by: Atsko Products & Swhacker Broadheads,

By: bowhunting biologist Wade Nolan
By: bowhunting biologist Wade Nolan

Deer season just isn’t long enough. Even in some southern states where it is 4-5 months long that leaves over half of the year with thin bowhunting. This is exactly why I plan in a bowhunt in either Florida or Texas every winter. Unlike some whitetail hunts that set you back a couple or three grand, a hog hunt is usually a fraction of that, and just as much fun.

Some guys are talkers. Others are doers. I always make a plan and commit. I’m a doer. Here is what I mean. You and your bowhunting buds talk about going to Texas on a bowhunt this winter. Then you talk about it some more…then it is spring and nothing happened. Talkers are fun to talk with but I want to shoot some arrows. My plan is to locate a great hog place and go there over and over. My hot spot is Texas S Bowhunting Ranch in the piney woods of North East Texas. The owner, bowhunter Dale Fulmer, used to bowhunt hogs here.

I've always said, "God had arrows in mind when he made hogs."
I’ve always said, “God had arrows in mind when he made hogs.”

My bowhunting nut son, Cory and I drove down there with pork on our minds, plus I had other business in Texas. The lodge at this ranch has been remodeled by the new owner and the hunting is just as good as it’s always been. This area is heavy into agriculture and hogs are a nuisance. That means when you shoot these hogs you are saving a soybean or cob of corn. Makes you feel good to tighten the string.

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Hogs have a great nose and that’s about it. They can’t hear especially good and they’re eyes are perpetually 12-16-inches off the ground…grass level. This makes them easy to stalk. First, you need to spot them. I use a proven system where I use a waist-attached bow holder to support my bow and then I rest my binoc’s on the top of the bow. Steady binoc’s are necessary and there is not always a tree nearby.

Texas also has some great elevated platforms available to hunt from. Cory took a nice hog from this one.
Texas also has some great elevated platforms available to hunt from. Cory took a nice hog from this one.

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Camo is important to me, even though they are usually looking for food and not bowhunters. This pic with the red arrow made you focus your attention at the little spot at the end of the arrow, where there is absolutely nothing. What I wanted you to see is how effective the right camo can be at ten yards. This pattern is special order and it’s called Enigmacamo.com. It may be my favorite all around pattern.

This boar was waylaid on a stalk that required some circling ahead.
This boar was waylaid on a stalk that required some circling ahead.

Once I spot hogs feeding I like to observe briefly and determine direction of travel. Make note of the wind and get in front of them. If the hog or hogs are even a tiny bit downwind of you, it’s all over. I think they are nearly as good at detecting humans as a whitetail. I use all of Atsko scent suppression line.

The professionals at Atsko are scientists and I rely on science. Here I'm spraying down with Odor Oxidizer spray.
The professionals at Atsko are scientists and I rely on science. Here I’m spraying down with Odor Oxidizer spray.
Scent suppression is a three step process. First, clean your clothes, clean your body and spray down.
Scent suppression is a three step process. First, clean your clothes, clean your body and spray down.

There is often more than one hog’s eyes you’ll need to fool so practice a sneak draw, where you move like a wind bent branch while coming to anchor.

Always in a group, hogs have the benefit of many eyeballs. They are especially challenging if they are in open cover.
Always in a group, hogs have the benefit of many eyeballs. They are especially challenging if they are in open cover.

Yes, hogs are tough. The boars fight and God gave the porkers a cartilage plate over their shoulders to protect them from sharp tusks. That plate is also right where you need to place a broadhead. I have a plan for you that has worked for me. Shoot a mechanical broadhead designed to penetrate then open and pass through. I use a Swhacker mechanical.

Cory shot this porker from an elevated platform near a feeder. It traveled toward water but ran out of juice in 50 yards. It was an easy trail to follow.
Cory shot this porker from an elevated platform near a feeder. It traveled toward water but ran out of juice in 50 yards. It was an easy trail to follow.

If you shoot an open-on-contact mechanical you may want to tilt your head skyward as there are eyes in the sky that can help you locate your pigs. I have been on lots of hunts where bowhunters lose half of the hogs they hit. The problem is always the wrong broadhead and poor placement.

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Here’s why so many are lost. Hogs are friendly toward swamps and brushy areas. Blood trails are critical. No exit hole and you’re toast. The open-on-contact design wastes energy opening on contact, cutting a wasteful hole through non-lethal hair, hide and ribs and then penetrating poorly. My plan relies on science.

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I selected a two-step mechanical deployment design. Swhacker broadheads first penetrate and cut a one-inch hole with chisel blades for an inch or so then the big cutter blades swing open and virgin steel cuts through internal organs and then makes an embarrassingly large exit hole.

Entry, exit. Any questions?
Entry, exit. Any questions?

I don’t usually show gory pics but this is just pig skin, man-up. I lined up the entry and exit so you can see the two-step effect. Here is the chest of the hog before skinning. That’s a hole that sponsors no survivors.

This hog was a spot and stalk candidate. I circled downwind three times before the intercept worked. Don’t give-up. If they don’t smell you hunt aggressive and get in front. Once we had to drop back and run a big arcing circle around a lake to set up. Eventually I had a 30 yard shot at a feeding pig.

Not every pig is a monster. These are the tastiest ones
Not every pig is a monster. These are the tastiest ones

Cory never gives up and his last oinker was a nail biter. He had to cross a clearing and then kneel beside a tree for 15 minutes while they fed on acorns and nervously darted back and forth. Eventually patience paid off, he made a great shot and Swhacked another one.

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The real benefit of hog hunting trips is the organic pork. We all love it and just this past weekend some of this Texas S Ranch pork was introduced to my famous scratch BBQ beans and Wild Hog at a men’s gun and bow shoot at my farm. Even my friend, Steve McGranahan, the “World’s Strongest Redneck”, enjoyed my Texas beans. The volunteer Texas pigs fed a hundred hungry men… Oink, Oink.

For more please go to: Swhacker Broadheads

And: Wade Nolan’s Whitetail University