I’ve been bowhunting for around 40 years now, and I have a lot of big game under my belt to include blacktails, muleys, bear, and elk. But, one animal has eluded me over the years…the wild pig.

Granted, I’ve never really had the opportunity to hunt pigs in a quality environment, since most of them are located on select parcels of private land here in Northern California. In February, I did have a two day treestand hunt for pigs in South Carolina with Mossy Oak Prostaffer Kenny Hollingsworth, and my Daughter, who had just become a U.S. Marine. We had no shot opportunities on pigs on that hunt.

In the Spring of this year, I was fortunate to meet a landowner who had a problem with wild pigs tearing up fences, rooting up the ground, and polluting his pond. I met with him on the property, and he gave me the grand tour. He had been monitoring the pond with a trail cam, and he indeed had pigs coming in on a semi-regular basis. I signed an agreement with him for the right to hunt, and set to work immediately putting up a treestand, and a trail cam of my own.

Coy Wolf

A rare CoyWolf caught on my trail cam

 

After several uneventful evening sits on stand, the pigs finally came in one evening, but on the wrong end of the pond. They made a lot of noise coming in…mostly blowing mixed with grunts. It became apparent I needed to move my stand.

As Summer arrived, the visits became more an more frequent on trail cam. But, it seemed they would come in either at night, or in the late evening for a couple days, then disappear.

August arrived, and I finally was able to pattern a group of pigs coming in every evening just before dusk. I had a good feeling I was finally going to get some action.

treestander

An afternoon sit, with the pond in the background

 

The pigs arrived at last light…and came into the pond like a freight train. They blew past the spot I was hoping for a shot opportunity, and began to wallow. I waited for one of the larger pigs to enter an opening down through some oak limbs. I heard the unmistakeable sound of a solid hit, and the pigs bugged out.

After waiting an hour, I climbed down, popped on my headlamp, and started blood trailing. The trail was very sparse, and I ended up marking the last spot of blood with an arrow, and coming back the next morning to try to pick up the trail.

The blood trail gradually improved, which gave me some encouragement; however, I had now tracked the pig for almost 400 yards, and the character of the blood did not indicate a lung or chest hit. The last blood I found was a good sized pool, overlooking the rim of a dry canyon. After crawling around on my hands and knees and trying to pick up the blood trail again, I decided to drop into the canyon and see if I could find the pig, or any clues at all.

last pig blood

The last blood I found, on the rim of the canyon

 

By the time I dropped into the canyon, it was ridiculously hot, way up in the mid 90s. When I got to certain sections of the bottom, I noticed a nice drop in temperature. It was in one of these shady spots that I had my next encounter

I was slowly making my way down the edge of the ravine in the canyon bottom, when suddenly I noticed movement just ahead…piglets!

I then saw an adult hog sitting like a dog, with its back to a cut bank. I dropped down, drew my bow, and raised back up to take what would have been a 15 yard shot. Unfortunately, the sow bugged out before I could get the shot off…and the piglets followed.

Dehydrated and frustrated, I made my way back out of the canyon. It seemed my pig curse continued. I can count the number of animals I’ve wounded and lost over the years on one hand…and this pig had just included my pinky finger! I can only guess I stuck solid shoulder blade, and hopefully the pig survived.

Not willing to quit, I kept monitoring the pond for pig activity, and as the dry weather continued, the visits became more regular again. On Labor Day Weekend, I decided to give the pond another try.

evening

Evening pig visits became regular as Summer progressed

 

Around 8 PM, I heard the pigs coming in. I had my video camera mounted on a limb, so I started it, and grabbed my bow in anticipation of a shot. I told myself I would wait for the perfect opportunity to draw this time, and I hoped the pigs would settle in and get comfortable…they didn’t! One of the big sows sniffed my tree (I had move the stand earlier in the day)..and they bugged out after about 30 seconds in the pond. My hesitation had cost me a shot opportunity (you can see in the video that I had a brief broadside opportunity on the far pig)

One thing I have learned about pigs…they are always moving, unlike deer that move and stop frequently. So if in an ambush situation, you must either be prepared for a quick shot, or attempt to stop the pig with a grunt or other sound.

I decided to give the pond a day off, and sit it again two nights later. My persistence paid off, and I heard a group of pigs approaching from the South, right as the last bit of light began to fade.

To my dismay, they avoided my end of the pond, and came out about 40 yards behind the stand. Though I had a lane, my failure on the first pig made me hesitant to take such a long shot. Then I heard something crunching the grass, coming from uphill on my right. To my delight, a young boar cruised out of the brush and gave me a great 30 yard quartering away shot, and without hesitation, I let fly.

My immediate reaction to the sound of the hit was “Oh God, that pig is dead”! I watched the pig head up the East trail, and then soon after heard him rolling and grunting in the brush at the top of the hill. I decided to give him 30 minutes before I climbed down to take the blood trail

bloodtrail

It was obvious the bloodtrail would have a happy ending

 

The bloodtrail was like a highway stripe…and in less than 50 yards from the point of impact, I found the boar dead and down. My arrow was intact with the Anarchy Broadhead blade down, and sticking up vertically in a bush a couple feet away, completed coated in bright red arterial blood…indicating a near pass through. The curse was lifted, I was one happy camper!

dead

pig and arrow were found together...50 yds from the hit

 

The Anarchy Blade made short work of this hog, cutting the big vessels right above the heart. The arrow entered through the meat of the left shoulder, and came out between the far shoulder and the neck. And that was shooting an Elite Compound set at 60 pounds, with a heavy Easton Gamegetter aluminum arrow. So far, I am very impressed with the penetration aspect of Anarchy broadheads on big game, as well as the tissue damage they incur due to their twisting action when they enter the animal.

exit

The exit wound from the Anarchy Broadhead was devastating!

 

A quick easy pack to the road, and my pig was on ice in less than 30 minutes. It was a healthy young boar, about 100 pounds, and I got some beautiful pork loins, pork ribs, and about 20 pounds of ground meat out of him. I was truly blessed.

bowkill shot

Bare bow, with fingers, 30 yds. Entry wound is in center of shoulder

 

Next adventure…my upcoming Colorado Archery Elk hunt. Stay tuned!