The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 3, 2006, 05:07 PM   #1
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
gave 'em the shaft (long story)

The morning was uneventful, not surprising as the moon was not behaving the way I wanted it to. Aaah but the evening, nights are always the best. Something about nature’s cruel trickery which goes back to the days before man harnessed fire and found a way to put in a small glass container. Dark is final. The morning hunts are only limited by our lack of patience, and those with the patience to stay afield till evening are limited by the same. Ironic how the last half hour is almost endued to be the most productive thirty minutes of a day; the celebration of sundown. Midday will offer a few surprises to those eager enough to witness such things, but the twilight is the great wicker horn which holds the cornucopia of nature’s tasty critters. That’s when this story occurs.

Approximately 7:15 in the PM the day of the bow opener, I was hung to the side of a plantation pine in East Texas, watching a few does nip at some new growth in a fresh cut timber windrow; a gentle and occasional breeze set me to swaying side to side, comforting. Does know everything at least thirty seconds before the rest of the world becomes aware. They broke to an alert position, stomped, and bolted from the scene. Being no rookie to the art of doe-watchin, I picked up my bow and readied myself, mental check list; fundamentals of shooting and mechanical schematics, ranges, and drop charts flew through my mind like the tornado scene in the Wizard of Oz. All is well, confidence is high and that is the most important part. Then is happens, like a nature show on PBS about Ants of the Amazon, pigs everywhere, for lack of a better word, swarming. The primary direction was dictated by the larger of the two sows, but the lead was constantly changing as the little ones seemed to have more energy than bearing. The two sows had recently birthed a huge litter each, close to forty pocket-poodle sized rats cut a swath through the underbrush pausing momentarily to push their noses under piles of pine needles or the occasional Black Jack leaf to root out whatever it was that caught the attention of their snout.

Now at full draw they pass directly under me. I hate this shot, when left with nothing else, take it…but there is always something better. Experience at the hand of previous failure tells me to wait, I listen. It is always easier to heed your own advice than someone else’s.

The first time this type of shot presented itself, I was very green to the world of bow hunting, I took the shot and it worked; Hammer of Thor style. This fostered confidence and to some extent arrogance. But put your self in them shoes, you make a notoriously difficult shot, center punch the spine and drive the broad head through the center of the pump after bisecting a pair of lungs, anchoring a fat doe to the ground with your point buried in the dirt and your quarry skewered in place, fletchings sticking out, dry, like a flag hoisted in conquest. Makes you confident, maybe overconfident, and maybe even supercilious. But when the pendulum swings back…the next two times I tried this shot I missed, once because the arrow fell off the string, that will knock the haughtiness right out of you.

Back to the shot… so I wait. At 22yds the optimal broadside shot presented itself. The rest happens pretty fast, a better story to be told than typed. There is honestly a lot lost in translation between thought and the written word, some sort of typegeist I assume, a ghost in the keyboard if you will. Often it limits the flowery vernacular due to spelling and stifles the creativity due to brevity. However the largest threshold is dictated by the perimeter in which my thoughts, memory, and typing speed all overlap. The result is often cliff notes of the way a story should be told. But it seems I digress, back to the shot.

Pigs keep their pumps a little farther forward than deer do so it pays to wait for them to open the pocket when trying to run an arrow through one, that’s where I was, waiting for that front leg to move…there it is. I watched the fletches disappear in the blackness and commotion ensues. Chaos. I don’t remember doing it, by my recollection, I shot and was instantaneously at full draw with a fresh arrow scouring for the shot, no time had elapsed, so I tell the story as such. From my perch my options are limited; if I can’t em see I can’t shoot em. Views of the fleeing hogs were obstructed by objects both near and far and to compound it, the scurrying of forty or so rats in the mix overwhelms the senses like looking at one of those pictures in which some people claim they can see some obscure image of Gandhi on a pogo stick or Joseph Stalin eating fried chicken, whatever, they don’t work for me. But they will make you dizzy and being dizzy in a tree some twenty feet off the ground is more than not good. I concentrate on the sow not painting the forest floor and find my shot. Dang that seems like a long way. Mental math and release…archery equipment does not afford the shooter the audible impact report, yea that whump sound that gunpowder will give, so I was not positive. She was moving at a good clip and by my eye forty-five yards out and doing the opposite of getting closer. I held about three to five inches high and swung the bow to follow her for the shot, my release was silk, but you question yourself. The shot was through an opening in the trees about four yards from my position and then through a larger opening in the trees that unlucky sow was running through. Double lunger pass through. Twenty yards from the frothy-pink arrow she piled up, hard: a furrow in the dirt about ten inches long stood as testament.

Two sows in probably about fifteen seconds, upon gutting I discovered the first had a beautiful trihedral wound through the center of the pump, a tribute to patience. The runner had a similar infliction through the front lower quadrant of the lungs.

A good haul of meat as they went about 175 and 125 pounds. As for the rats, coyotes gotta eat too.
~z
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader

Last edited by zeisloft; October 4, 2006 at 04:18 PM.
zeisloft is offline  
Old October 3, 2006, 05:49 PM   #2
springmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2005
Location: Houston area
Posts: 1,823
what??????????????

Um...

Let me get this straight.

You knowingly shot two sows who had just had litters, and therefore effectively killed not only the two sows but every single piglet.

Enjoy your meat.

Springmom
__________________
I will not be a victim

home on the web:
www.panagia-icons.net (my webpage)
www.nousfromspring.blogspot.com (Orthodoxy)

"I couldn't hear you. Stop firing the gun while you're talking!" Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun
springmom is offline  
Old October 3, 2006, 08:26 PM   #3
2rugers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 21, 2005
Location: texas
Posts: 752
Very good shooting Z. I have just this year switched over to a recurve. Right now I am just waiting for anything other than a hot south wind to let me slip into the wods behind the house unnoticed.
I have yet to stick one with a recurve, but I have my fingers crossed.
Oh, and definitely do enjoy those delicious chops.
__________________
Pain Is The Quickest Teacher
2RUGERS AKA "HALFCOCKED"
2rugers is offline  
Old October 4, 2006, 09:00 AM   #4
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
Springmom, what I did was a community service, not a travesty of ethics. I realize many people (myself included) relish the opportunity to hunt feral hogs, but their populations need to be checked. You would not believe (or maybe you would) the amount of destruction these animals are capable of. Not only the present, here and now monetary losses to the ag community, but the potential for long term effects to all forms of CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations, dairies, feed yards and the like). The potential for massive disease outbreaks amongst the wildlife community which then spread into the domestic stock…no tinfoil hats needed, the prospect is real. I realize that with two arrows, I effectively (possibly) killed somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-42 hogs. Many think that is a good thing, however, as I have read many of your posts and realize you are no bleeding heart jonnie-come-lately to this truck stop on the info super highway, I respect your opinion and apologize if my actions offended you. However, and I type this as gently as possible, no malice in my stroke, please become more informed on the “plague” of feral hogs. I’m not saying kill em all, just kill a hell of a lot of em.
~z
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader
zeisloft is offline  
Old October 4, 2006, 09:03 AM   #5
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
Additionally, I am enjoying the meat. PM me for my recipe for enchiladas.
~z
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader
zeisloft is offline  
Old October 4, 2006, 09:35 AM   #6
springmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2005
Location: Houston area
Posts: 1,823
I am very informed as to the destructiveness of feral hogs, as well as their tasty ribs, sausage, and hams However, I still think that killing a sow that is still nursing piglets is not best hunting ethics. If I were going to kill the mamas, I'd have given some serious thought to harvesting the piglets as well. If they're going to die, I'd rather dispatch them quickly than let them starve or be eaten by predators. (And you know, suckling pig is a delicacy too...) If they're not picked off by predators, they'll starve. Hardly earth-shaking, ethically speaking...but not best practice, either.

Springmom
__________________
I will not be a victim

home on the web:
www.panagia-icons.net (my webpage)
www.nousfromspring.blogspot.com (Orthodoxy)

"I couldn't hear you. Stop firing the gun while you're talking!" Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun
springmom is offline  
Old October 4, 2006, 10:26 AM   #7
pwelsh4hd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 2005
Location: Idaho
Posts: 146
Mmmm, yummy...roast piglet....top notch!
pwelsh4hd is offline  
Old October 4, 2006, 10:29 AM   #8
springmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2005
Location: Houston area
Posts: 1,823
Think "apple in mouth, roasted on a spit"....

Better than "starving in the woods".....

Heck, one of the reasons we use in trying to get anti-hunters to understand the benefits of game management is that by culling herds we prevent animal overpopulation and thus starvation and sickness.

I don't really mean to mount some sort of crusade over this. But harvesting the piglets is better than leaving them.

Springmom, who's probably said more than she needs to on this topic at this point
__________________
I will not be a victim

home on the web:
www.panagia-icons.net (my webpage)
www.nousfromspring.blogspot.com (Orthodoxy)

"I couldn't hear you. Stop firing the gun while you're talking!" Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun
springmom is offline  
Old October 4, 2006, 11:26 AM   #9
Fremmer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 19, 2005
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 3,482
Zeisloft is a predator. He killed the sows.

One way or another, other predators (coyotes, foxes, owls(?), etc.) will kill the piglets, and/or scavengers (buzzards, crows, coyotes) will eat the dead piglets.

If a predator other than Zeisloft (like a coyote) had killed the sows, the piglets would have remained for predators and/or scavengers. Either way, this is the way nature works. In the wild, if mamma dies, there's a good chance baby will die, too. That's not good or bad, that's just the way it is. It was not unethical to kill the sows despite what might happen to the piglets.

To each his (or her) own. I don't think that it is a matter of ethics; instead, it is a personal decision each hunter has to make about what he or she is is comfortable with. JMHO.

Last edited by Fremmer; October 4, 2006 at 01:40 PM. Reason: grammmmmar
Fremmer is offline  
Old October 4, 2006, 11:36 AM   #10
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
Every shot is a wildlife management decision.
~z
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader
zeisloft is offline  
Old October 4, 2006, 03:10 PM   #11
FrontSight
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2005
Posts: 1,712
I salute you, not only on your kills, but also on your writing skills!! Amazing
FrontSight is offline  
Old October 4, 2006, 03:28 PM   #12
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
Well thank you, I come from a long line of story tellers. The greatest compliment I received on story tellin was from a buddy who said “if you cant experience it your self, hope z was there and ask him to tell you about it.” My Great Grandfather would be proud. Again thanks.
~z
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader
zeisloft is offline  
Old October 5, 2006, 10:20 AM   #13
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,346
springmom, if I still had the old family ranch down below Cuero, I'd actively hope that killing the sows would cause the death of the piglets. The simplest reason is that no rancher wants his pasture to look like a bunch of drunk backhoe operators ran amok. It's far worse if you're a farmer; the crop damage from feral hogs can make the difference in one's quality of life itsownself. Oh, and I about forgot: If you're in the sheep/goat business, feral hogs will kill and eat lambs and kids.

From the standpoint of hunting ethics, sure, I can see mixed emotions about shooting a sow. And that's why doe-hunters look for a "barren doe": No fawn. But it's really a lot better to think of feral hogs as edible cockroaches--and cockroaches are a lot easier to deal with. We've made a game out of killing feral hogs, but they're still varmints, not game animals in the accepted sense. Again, think "cockroaches".

If those piglets were anywhere near weaned, the only future hazard they really face is reduced protection from coyotes, and I'm cheering for the coyotes.

Art
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old October 5, 2006, 10:24 AM   #14
springmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2005
Location: Houston area
Posts: 1,823
You know, Art, somehow the phrase "edible cockroaches" is going to put a serious dent in my enjoyment of that ham I've got thawing in the refrigerator. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

Okay, okay, I surrender I was indeed thinking in terms of a deer hunter, more than a rancher. I do know that pigs do the "drunken backhoe" job on fields, and I see your point.

But I still think that harvesting and eating the piglets is better than leaving 'em to feed the coyotes, because then you have to go hunt down the coyotes anyway and you can't eat THEM

Springmom
__________________
I will not be a victim

home on the web:
www.panagia-icons.net (my webpage)
www.nousfromspring.blogspot.com (Orthodoxy)

"I couldn't hear you. Stop firing the gun while you're talking!" Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun
springmom is offline  
Old October 5, 2006, 01:14 PM   #15
Capp35
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2, 2006
Location: Lone Star State
Posts: 195
Sorry, but I have to lean more to Springmom's side on this.
No animal deserves to starve to death.

As for the earlier mention of the sows being gotten by a preditor and the piglets dying anyway......
We all live in Texas. Tell me of one predator here, that can take down a full size pig?

Besides, that was not the smart or profitable way to get rid of them. If they were trapped (VERY easy to do), you could of made $500 - $600 as well as feeding alot of people in the future.
Capp35 is offline  
Old October 5, 2006, 03:15 PM   #16
springmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2005
Location: Houston area
Posts: 1,823
Well, that's true enough. Gander Mountain can't keep pig traps in stock, they sell so well. A lot of folks apparently agree with your idea.


Springmom
__________________
I will not be a victim

home on the web:
www.panagia-icons.net (my webpage)
www.nousfromspring.blogspot.com (Orthodoxy)

"I couldn't hear you. Stop firing the gun while you're talking!" Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun
springmom is offline  
Old October 5, 2006, 03:24 PM   #17
rem33
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2006
Posts: 1,528
Hey capp if ya want something to eat the pigs, your welcome to come up here to Idaho and take all the wolves with you you want.
rem33 is offline  
Old October 5, 2006, 03:35 PM   #18
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
Capp35, I have been trapping hogs for about 10 years now, it helped pay for ALOT of my college. You find me a buyer willing to pay $500-$600 for forty pigs weighing about 3# each (live weight) and I’ll give you half. Every buyer I have dealt with (7 buyers in 4 different regions of the state) WILL NOT take pigs under 80#. I have honestly tried to GIVE 40-60# hogs to the folks at the buy stations, they flat wont take them. Nothing under 80#. If you know anyone who will pay between $4 and $5 per pound, please let me know. I’ll do all the work and as I said, I’ll gladly give you half.
~z
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader

Last edited by zeisloft; October 5, 2006 at 04:55 PM.
zeisloft is offline  
Old October 5, 2006, 03:53 PM   #19
springmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2005
Location: Houston area
Posts: 1,823
That's interesting. Is it because they don't want to have to feed the pigs and raise them up to adult size, or because the young ones are too small to butcher commercially, or what?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Springmom
__________________
I will not be a victim

home on the web:
www.panagia-icons.net (my webpage)
www.nousfromspring.blogspot.com (Orthodoxy)

"I couldn't hear you. Stop firing the gun while you're talking!" Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun
springmom is offline  
Old October 5, 2006, 04:41 PM   #20
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
I can not say for certain but would assume their rational would have to do with two main aspects: the cost associated with feeding them out to a viable weight, and the permitting Fed, State, Local, EPA, TCEQ, USDA… that goes along with operating a CAFO (confined animal feeding operation). Processing plants require A LOT less paper work, especially when the meat is shipped overseas.
All fairly educated guesses, I have no actual facts, just a vague understanding.
~z
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader
zeisloft is offline  
Old October 5, 2006, 05:31 PM   #21
2rugers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 21, 2005
Location: texas
Posts: 752
Well, the price has just recently gone up. .40 cents a pound in stephenville the last time I sold some. You are right Z, they do not want to pay for the feeding of the smaller ones. $6 a bag for a 50lb. bag of hog grain and they go through it fast.
Throw in some ol'roy dog food for added protein and they get to the cutoff weight alot faster.
We have 3 big boars that weigh around 350 lbs. apiece that we are going to slaughter for ourselves.
Several sows that weigh over 300 lbs. that we are ready to sell and 7 or 8 piglets in the 50 lb. range that we have to feed to get to selling weight.
Anyone want to buy some pork?
__________________
Pain Is The Quickest Teacher
2RUGERS AKA "HALFCOCKED"
2rugers is offline  
Old October 5, 2006, 05:54 PM   #22
Capp35
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2, 2006
Location: Lone Star State
Posts: 195
Not sure about the piglet situation, but I have a friend that traps them on the prison fields down here, and he gets about $100 a hog. Been with him several times and it was soooo easy to catch them.
But not to put them on the trailer.
Ok.. well trap them and eat the small ones yourself. Put them on a spit.
Your telling me there weren't any young boars to shoot?

Rem33,
We have Bobcats, Cougars (small number) and coyotes here. Aside for some wild dogs getting a sheep or two of ours, not much else down here as far as preditors.
Would love a large wolf pelt though. Send one down here.
Capp35 is offline  
Old October 5, 2006, 10:27 PM   #23
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,346
I have a bit of difficulty with the idea that these piggies are bound to starve. If they don't have Mama's protection, they'll be food for coyotes, hawks, maybe coons--and some, likely, will survive.

Coyotes and buzzards gotta eat, too...

Nature is pretty much "Waste not, want not."

Art
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old October 6, 2006, 08:35 AM   #24
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
Capp, Yes, I’m telling you there weren’t any young boars to shoot. Are you telling me you can definitively tell the difference between a young boar and a young sow when looking down on them from 22-25’ up. I cant, the only way I knew them to be sows was the presence of the piglets. What does your buddy do when he traps a sow and has a bunch of piglets outside the trap? You can’t just scoop them up, it’s like herding cats. And as far as eating the little ones myself, these were 3# at best. Just right for mother nature, I doubt any starved.
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader
zeisloft is offline  
Old October 6, 2006, 09:01 AM   #25
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
And as to the predator that can take down a full size pig: me.

However, these sows were not full sized. I have often seen wet sows of this size class taken down by coyotes. The wet sows I have encountered are usually emaciated or at least worn down and thin. Weak. This IS the standard prey of the coyote. The piglets are often snatched by coyotes, bobcats, owls, and raptors. I have seen hogs taken at the waters edge by alligators. I have followed mt. loin tracks across pig trails and found cache piles of half eaten hogs of the 200-250+ class range. Still not full sized, but that is another capable predator. A sow with a litter is basically a dinner bell walking through the woods. The act of birthing and tending (nursing) 10-20 piglets weakens the sow. Predators exploit weakness. So if anything I took the main course away from the predators and left them only dessert.
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader
zeisloft is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12372 seconds with 7 queries