The Hog That Just Disappeared
There are a bunch of feral hogs here in Texas. There’s no closed season and no bag limit on them either. For that reason, I’ve spent a lot of time hunting hogs over the years. I’ve had some great hog hunts, but a hog was the subject of one of my worst hunting memories ever.
My cousin and I were hunting together in a box blind during the summer several years ago. As is often the case in Texas during the summer. The skies opened up into an absolutely torrential downpour that afternoon. To our great surprise 20 minutes later, a group of about 12 hogs appeared out of the woods in front of us. It was still raining. Perhaps they were up and about in that rainstorm because it was a welcome break from the oppressive summer heat. In any case, my cousin and I decided to see if we could shoot a hog each out of that group. The plan was for us to both get ready, then my cousin would shoot first. After he fired, I’d shoot another one if I got an opportunity. Oh, and we decided to video the whole deal.
Things went according to plan at first. I set up my camera and we both took aim. My cousin’s rifle fired with a sharp crack and an 80-pound boar immediately dropped. The hogs milled around in confusion for a few seconds, but then another boar stopped for an instant in an opening clear from the rest of the group. I quickly aimed, squeezed the trigger, and fired. He dropped into the mud as well. The rest of the hogs took off into the woods. Let’s just say that we were pretty darn pleased with ourselves. It was still raining hard, so we decided to wait for the storm to pass before retrieving the hogs. During that time, we enjoyed a round of high fives and congratulated each other. We also decided to watch the video of how things went down.
After watching that clip a few times, I looked up and couldn’t believe my eyes: The hog I shot had disappeared. My cousin’s hog was still there (stone dead), but mine had vanished. We ran out into the rainstorm and confirmed that the hog had vanished. There was just a little bit of blood there in the mud where it had initially fallen, but there was no sign of that hog otherwise. There were also no tracks or blood trails leaving the scene either thanks to the torrential rain.
We looked for that hog for several hours later in the day, but I never saw a trace of it ever again. Wounding and losing an animal is a terrible experience. This experience was made even worse by the fact that I knew I’d screwed up big time and lost an animal I shouldn’t have lost. There are several things I wish I could do over again from that day, but there’s one serious mistake I’d go back and fix if I could.
It’s a very simple thing, but countless hunters make that exact same mistake each year and pay the price with deer, bear, elk, hogs, and antelope that are wounded and lost forever. Having that happen with a 70-80 pound hog was bad enough, but it would be soul-crushing to wound and lose a buck or bull of a lifetime because you made this mistake. Don’t let that happen to you. Among other things, you’ll learn exactly what happened to that hog and how to avoid making the same mistake I did in the terminal ballistics module of Hunting Guns 101.
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