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Old September 10, 2009, 01:59 PM   #1
simonkenton
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A Story of a Pig Hunt

When I lived in Georgia I lived in a little cottage down along the Oconee River Swamps.
These swamps flooded every ten years or so, so nobody could live down there.
In normal weather, it was just flat land near the river, the ground was not wet, you could walk around fine. Very heavily wooded, lots of oaks. Just loaded with turkeys, deer, and wild hogs.
We were in a 1,500 acre hunt club that was a 3 minute drive from my house!
Believe me, sometimes I ask myself, Why did I move to the mountains?

One day, I was just hanging around the house. John and Bud were down hunting in the swamp.
They came up to the house about sunset, they wanted my help tracking down a wounded hog. Of course, the first thought in my mind was "Why didn't y'all track down the hog yourselves?"
But, I wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth, I was the right man for the job.
I got the 1911 Colt and a big flashlight, off we went.

The deal was, Bud was using my Civil War Zouave replica. He shot 150 pound hog with the .58 round ball, knocked him dead.
But, he hadn't seen the 125 pound hog behind the first pig.
He had hit that pig, hard, as the ball passed through the target pig.
But it had run/limped off into the swamp.

We left the Civil War gun at my house. There was a blood trail, but it was very thin. Only a little drop of blood, every 5 feet or so.
Bud was a great tracker as he was a bow hunter. Bud and I were in the lead, we were on our hands and knees, you couldn't spot the blood standing up.
I had the pistol and Bud had the light.
John was right behind us, he had his .35 Marlin lever action, quite a good hog rifle. John was standing up, that way, when crunch time came, he could shoot right over us. I felt pretty safe knowing that John was backing me up with that big Marlin.

By now it was completely dark. I can say, it is spooky being down in that swamp at night, going after a wounded hog, you are 3 miles from the nearest house. We tracked that pig for an hour, very slow going, not much blood.
Finally, I saw the hog! It was 25 feet away, that was as far as you could see in that swamp. Bud held the light right on the pig and I fired!
I hit the pig, he was spinning around, squealing like hell, looked like his hind legs were out of commission. I pulled the trigger again.
Nothing.
The damn .45 had jammed.
I yelled out "John, get to work with that Marlin!"
Nothing...
I yelled "John!"
"John?"

Bud and I looked back, John was gone! We later learned, that a few minutes before we spotted the hog, John had snuck back to the truck, climbed in and shut the door. That was when I found out why the two of them hadn't gone for the pig by themselves.

Well, that was tense, Bud and I were looking for some trees to climb, but the pig was messed up, either from my shot, or from the big round ball, all he could do was spin around, but he was snorting like hell. Bud stayed right there and shined the light on the Colt.
I got the pistol cleared in a minute, felt like an hour, Bud lit the pig up again and shot the pig again, lights out.

You really learn a lot about a guy in a crunch. I learned that I could trust Bud with my life, and I learned to never go hog hunting with John.
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Old September 10, 2009, 02:23 PM   #2
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Are...you...kidding...me??? What kind of a friend does that?? Without even saying a word?? The very least he could of done was tell you that he had to leave before he left. Was he that paralyzed with fear that he could not speak or grunt or point back to the truck before going?
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Old September 10, 2009, 02:28 PM   #3
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Sounds like it was time for a "John" hunt after the pig was down.
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Old September 10, 2009, 02:39 PM   #4
simonkenton
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I thought I knew the guy, but you really get to know a guy in a crunch.

Last edited by simonkenton; September 10, 2009 at 02:54 PM.
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Old September 10, 2009, 04:55 PM   #5
2damnold4this
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Wow. I guess you did learn who you could trust.
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Old September 10, 2009, 05:13 PM   #6
Dave P
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One way to learn what your friends are made of!
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... still waiting for that stimulus to kick in ...
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Old September 10, 2009, 05:15 PM   #7
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What about Bud, tho? Did he know that John would run away, based on what you said about why the two of them didn't track the piggie by themselves...?
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Old September 10, 2009, 05:16 PM   #8
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I feel better when all of us on a hog doggin run have a dog in the race... But I have seen and hunted ONE TIME with a guy who was hollerin on the Motorola... "GET TO ME DOGS THE HOG WILL KILL "EM!!!" All while drivin around in his duramax... I got on the radio and told him "Git outta the truck, fat boy, and take the shortcut like we do..."
When I take a guy for his first doggin' as a guest, me and junior tell it like is and offer to let them decide how much participation they are willing to take on. If a guy wants to offer no more than watching, we are fine with that.
Basically we have 3 levels of participation that may change how many experienced folks we want along.
You can just watch so a 3rd hand is great. You can offer to help pull off dogs and will explain in advance how to do so. You are also invited to git in their and grab the stinky end of the hog. If you opt to handle the hog, me or junior will be right behind you offering advise and watching your back ready to get in there with you if you can't figure it out or if you back out. When it comes to a guest on their first live hog capture, we cannot expect every guy to get thru it... It is such a rush and many are just not able to fathom the details when we tell them... Heck, one guy got such a rush he let go of the hog to turn and throw up:barf:... When we got the hog tied and did our high fives, he said nothing in his life including military combat gave him that same adrenaline rush
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Old September 10, 2009, 05:29 PM   #9
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I have got to pay you a visit one day before I shuffle off this mortal coil, hogdogs!

Do you guys ever wear any kind of protective clothing? For wreck diving we have kevlar gloves...am wondering if arm or leg chaps would be a good idea, or if that just makes it impossible to run around in the FL heat and restricts your motion too much as well..?
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Old September 10, 2009, 05:44 PM   #10
hogdogs
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Since my rollover and arm injury, I wear a pair of cheap rancher leather gloves to protect a spot on my palm that is grafted skin from abrasion like climbing fence posts cause...
Other than that, blue jeans and a long sleeve shirt do pretty well protecting from the briars. Many have tried snake chaps just to retire them due to the heat. When it is cool enuff for the chaps, the snakes are hibernating
The catch dogs wear the real gear... 3 or 4 layer "cut collars and vests". These will have 2 layers of kevlar inside 2 layers of heavy nylon. A new product is called turtle skin which is replacing one layer of kevlar.
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Old September 10, 2009, 05:55 PM   #11
simonkenton
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Bud didn't know that John would chicken out.
In fact, I knew John better than Bud did.
I imagine that what happened down there was, when Bud hooked up with John and told him there was a tracking job, John of course didn't say, "I am terrified. Get somebody else." Which would have been the truth.
Instead, he probably told Bud, "Let's go get Simon, he is just a five minute drive away, he is real good in the woods and he has that big pistol, two guns are better than one," something like that.
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Old September 10, 2009, 06:00 PM   #12
hogdogs
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Simon, I would remain buddies with "john" just so I could rib him very regularly about chickening out...

And to think that my son was 17 when he got to "free tip" a 200 pound sow that made the mistake of running near him... He didn't really get to tip her as he caught her in a shallow swamp facing her holding those ears. All the while he had hornets stirred up at his back getting stung and he held on to her until help arrived.

Brent
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Old September 11, 2009, 12:41 AM   #13
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Well, what does John have to say for himself? Did he apologize? Did he say why he left without saying a word and put you in danger?
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Old September 11, 2009, 08:24 AM   #14
simonkenton
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We drug the pig back to the truck.
I said, "John, what happened to you?"
John looked down at the floorboard and mumbled "I went back to the truck."
That was it, pretty pathetic. John didn't apologize. Pathetic.

We never talked about it after that. John and I were Paramedics in that small town. If I had told any Paramedic about it, it would have gotten all over town.
The Paramedics would have never let John live it down, including some who were even more gutless than John. I mean, guys who didn't have the guts to go hog hunting in the first place would have made fun of John. Those guys hadn't earned the right to do that.
Also, he would have gotten a bad nickname.
So Bud and I would get a laugh talking about it...

"John, get to work with that Marlin!!

John!!

John??"


For years, Bud and I would say that back and forth to each other, like the script to a movie, and get a belly laugh.
It was pretty funny in hindsight, since nobody got mauled by that pig.
But Bud and I never told another person about it.

As for John, I still worked with him, I still went to parties with the guy, and went deer hunting with him many times after that. But never again hog hunting.
John was a good guy, he was just a coward.

Last edited by simonkenton; September 11, 2009 at 08:29 AM.
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Old September 11, 2009, 10:12 AM   #15
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Wow, fear is an amazing thing. I can understand running back to the truck, but not the "silently" part.
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