Beyond BOW Ladies Hog Hunt Aug 31, 2012
I love doing the hog hunts with the girls. Feral hogs are a major problem in Florida and if we can do good while teaching other women how to fill their freezer then we are killing two birds with one stone. These hunts provide experience guides for those that need them and an opportunity to learn skills in a low pressure environment.
Feral hogs are pretty ugly, it does not help that they smell bad and are very destructive. It is so much easier for a beginner to be thinking about pork chops and get introduced into safe hunting practices by harvesting a hog instead of a pretty doe eyed deer..
For this trip the hunt was sold out weeks in advance. Our youngest hunter was 19 years old and celebrating her birthday. Her parents joined and we had a bunch of other great ladies out for the hunt also. In addition we had a reporter from the Miami Herald that came up to do a story on our hunts.
Once everyone got all checked in, tents up and food in their bellies it was time to get out in the woods. Before dark young Taylor had a 200+ lb boar hog down! Everyone was so excited for her. When they arrived back in camp there was about an hour spent taking pictures interviewing her for her story and celebrating her trophy! Then the hard work started. She decided that she wanted Ellie ( another participant and owner of Willingham’s Taxidermy) to mount her trophy so they started skinning out the cape and quartering out her hog.
We all got to bed a bit late and it was only the first night. 4 am came early and we had everyone out to their hunting spots before dawn. While they were hunting I was cooking because I knew they would all come back hungry! No one got a hog that morning, but there was some near misses. After breakfast many just lounged around camp, took out the 4-wheelers or spent time on the lake fishing. A couple of the girls planted a fake snake to spook one of the guides – that ended up with quite a laugh at the end of the day! We had another group in camp down from Indiana for a gator hunt and they were preparing all their gear for the busy night they had coming. After lunch and naps we had some of our group ready to get back out in the stands – these were some serious hunters!
It was a very warm weekend, bugs were not too bad but it surely was hot! Not a good time for tent camping for sure! All the rain had the hogs active and close. We took time to set the hog traps so we had a better chance for all the girls to take home meat for their freezer. Soon we had everyone back out in their spots and dinner was cooking. The gator hunters were out on the lakes and ready for some action. We had heard a couple shots hoping that someone had good news, but when we brought them in at dark no one had any luck. Ellie had shot a hog but it could not be found. Others saw deer, turkey and raccoons but no hogs. After a good dinner and lots of visiting spirits were back up. Most everyone headed to their tents early but the few of us that stayed up got to watch the “Gator Boys” bring one in. More photos and storytelling, gator needed cleaned and put in the cooler and by 1:30 AM we figured it was time to get to bed.
Wake up call was for 5:00 – to my surprise no one wanted to hunt the 2nd morning, but all were up in enough time to go check the trap. They hit a bounty, 7 were in the trap! 50 lb hogs ready to harvest. it was time to get to work! Everyone helped with the skinning and butchering and everyone took home a hog for their freezer! by 2 PM we had broke camp and were heading home. A very successful hunt, lots of fun with new friends and good weather for the whole weekend – we could not have asked for more!
For more information on the Becoming an Outdoors Woman Program visit: http://myfwc.com/bow
For more information on future hunts check us out online at: http://www.notaclueadventures.com
For more photos from this trip: http://notaclueadventuresphotos.shutterfly.com/pictures/1127