Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
The below blog entry is a guest blog entry posted by Andy Hahn
When friends work together toward a common goal we can accomplish amazing things. I have severely limited mobility because of ALS, but my good buddy Ron Wagner always finds the time and energy to help me enjoy the outdoors. In April 2009 we were hunting at Bang?s Paradise Valley Hunting Club in Ehrhardt, South Carolina, when I told Ron I wanted to take a hog with my Horton Hunter HD 175 crossbow. Our timing was perfect because another guest at the lodge was Matt Miller of Covington, Virginia, who works as a pro-staffer for Horton Crossbows. Although he was at Bang?s to pursue turkeys, he gave up his own hunting time and volunteered to help us that morning. Another friend, Matt Lindler (editor for National Wild Turkey Federation publications), joined us to take photos. Our guide, Tom Collins, mapped out a game plan in the dirt like a sandlot quarterback.
?There?s a game trail here...Set up the blind on this side of it. The hogs bed down in the swamp here. I?ll give you guys 20 minutes, then I?ll come in from this end to push the hogs your way.?
Matt M had the pop-up blind open by the time Ron had wheeled me through 50 yards of mud and deadfalls. Ron quickly assembled my BE-Adaptive gun support and stood by to aim the crossbow with my scope camera/monitor system. Tom tromped through the swamp and his plan worked?sort of. Several hogs went past us, but they ran by too quickly for a shot. Then Tom called on the radio to tell us he saw two hogs hiding in a brushpile. Knowing that hogs tend to sit tight when burrowed into cover, he asked, ?Can you guys get Andy over here?? If the hogs hunker down, we?ll go after ?em; we call this method ?squat ?n stalk hunting.? Ron grunted my wheelchair through 150 yards of palmetto scrub, over logs and around fallen branches while Matts L and M carried the crossbow and other gear. One of my tires went flat from a thorn we picked up somewhere along the way. When Ron apologized, I told him flat, muddy wheelchair tires are much better than clean ones that never go outside.
When we found Tom, he pointed at a nasty brushpile and said, ?One of the hogs is right there.? Where??? Oh...There! All I could see was a dark spot through a 10-inch-diameter opening in the tangled branches. Ron affirmed he could thread the needle at a range of 20 yards and send a bolt through the narrow gap. I trust my point man, so we set up for the shot.
Studying the image on my scope cam, we held a powwow with Matt M to determine where to aim. We estimated where the ribs would be, but the shadows made it a tough call. I squeezed the cable release and the bolt disappeared in the brush. We saw the hog?s rear legs twitch, but we couldn?t see the bolt. Had we hit it?
Our second bolt deflected off a branch and careened away harmlessly. The third one stuck the pig but we couldn?t tell exactly where. We had no more bolts, so somebody would have to walk up and check things out. Matt L stood to our right, with his pistol drawn. Tom stood 20 yards to our left, holding his .44 mag revolver. Matt M, carrying Ron?s 9mm pistol, went behind the brushpile.
?I see tusks on that boar,? he warned.
Then he jammed a 7-foot branch in the pile to flush the hogs. I said, ?Somebody yell PULL! When the pig runs we?ll have pulled pork.? A 130-pound sow stepped out, looking for a victim. She paused, chose Tom and charged directly at him. He tried to sidestep but the hog veered to keep him in her path. POW! Tom fired at a range of 3 feet and closing fast. He hit it between the eyes and had to jump aside as the hog, dead on its feet, tumbled under him. The other hog, which turned out to be a 135-pound boar, never moved. We discovered that the first broadhead had penetrated the skull just behind the right ear for an instant kill. (I guess we can call that shot a ?no brainer.?) Our third shot had struck the hip of the already immobilized hog.
Back at the lodge I almost fell off my wheelchair when Ron asked, ?Hey Bang, do you think Jeremy [of Three Mile Creek Taxidermy] can mount that boar with the arrow stuck in its head?? When we returned to Bang?s later that year, we found that Jeremy had indeed prepared the mount to meet Ron?s request.
Here?s how it looks: Our Squat ?N Stalk Arrowhead Hog.