It’s spring break in Ptown, and we were fortunate enough to plan a trip to Oklahoma. I know, I know. Why Oklahoma? You see, I am a Camp Wild Girls Hunting Party rep. I sell Camp Wild Girls and Prois Hunting apparel. Through this, I met Tracy Splechter of the Outdoor Connection. She is also a Camp Wild Girls Hunting Parties rep.
Last October, Tracy arranged a hog hunt for the ladies, and I immediately jumped on board. Since the hunt would be right around the Little Gal’s spring break, Hank and I planned a little adventure for her. The two of them would go visit our friend Travis, and he would take them hog hunting, also.
Spring break approached, and our plans became concrete. We would all travel together, with me dropping Hank and the Little Gal off at Travis’ house and then heading south to my ladies’ hunt. In our last-minute preparations to leave for our spring break hunt, Travis informed us that in Oklahoma, youth turkey season would open the day after Hank and the Little Gal arrived! Wow! Things just kept getting better! We packed our gear, loaded up, and headed south to warmer weather and a spring hunting vacation.
The drive went smoothly and we were in Northern Oklahoma in no time. Thirteen hours! When we arrived, we visited with our friend Travis’. He was heading out to check his hog traps, and I had plenty of time, so I decided to ride along with them in hopes of seeing a hog right away. We had no such luck, but I enjoyed the visit anyhow. We returned to unload Hank and the Little Gal’s gear and then I was on my way for a three-hour drive south to meet the ladies for my Oklahoma hog hunt! It was another drive, but I was excited.
All the ladies arrived and were ready to head out to their stands to hunt by 5 pm. Our guides drove us out and dropped us off, and notified us they would be back after dark. They told us not to leave our stands. If we shot anything we were to text them and they would be there shortly. I climbed up and closed the door. I situated my gear and my gun and I took my range finder out and noted the distance to each area.
Then I sat quietly, and I waited. Wow, was I tired? I had driven all night, dropped my husband and daughter off, and then drove some more and now I had to sit still and quiet?!
I rotated and looked in all directions, searching for any movement. My eyelids grew heavy. I heard turkeys gobbling in the trees. I pulled out my binoculars to search for them. It would be great to see one even though I wasn’t hunting one. Nothing. Just gobbling, but I couldn’t see a bird through the brush. I rotated again, searching for movement. This routine continued on and on, over and over again. Then I caught it! Movement! In the middle of the field!
Whoa! What is that?! It sure wasn’t a turkey. I grabbed my binos again and looked closer. So cool! It was an armadillo!
Not exciting to some, but for me, it was. This was the first armadillo I had ever seen that wasn’t flattened on the road. So cool! I sat and watched him for quite some time. He walked and turned and posed for me, and I snapped away with the camera, happy as can be to have something showing off for me and holding my attention. Then he wandered off into the bushes leaving me with nothing but sitting and turning and looking for another movement.
Now I was having fun! Turkeys gobbling and armadillos rooting around. All I needed was to see a hog. I sat and stared and turned and scanned for movement. I grabbed the binos to look for that turkey that seemed to be making its way down the draw. Nothing. Then, WAY off in the distance, 579 yards away (yes, I know this. I ranged it too! ), I saw some tom turkeys strutting away. There were three of them, and they were having a great time dancing away. I tried for a picture, but it was a ways off.
After seeing those toms so far away, I was excited to see if the one I heard so close in the trees would make his way out and present himself. Then I saw more movement.
A hen right in front of my stand. Here I was so excited to see these birds that I kept hearing. I was anxious to see the tom, and I caught movement off to the right. I set my camera up and zoomed in, hoping to get another blurry shot of a tom. I clicked. That is when I saw the playback on the camera.
That’s no tom turkey! That’s a hog! I scooted my camera out of the way. There were eight hogs headed my way. They were running and bumping and fighting their way to the front. I carefully lifted my rifle and focused on one that ran past all the others to the head of the pack. When he was clear of all the others, I took a breath, focused, and pulled the trigger. He belly-flopped right on the ground as the rest of the group scattered and ran for the trees. I was so excited at how quickly everything happened. I sat and watched, ready to shoot again if I needed to. Sure enough, that hog jumped right up and ran. I tried for him again but missed him as he was on the run. I texted my guides that I had shot one, and just before dark, they came to help me look. We looked in the dark and never found any sign of blood or a hog. I was severely disappointed because I was sure I must have hit him since he fell, but alas, we couldn’t find any blood. After some time, they brought me back to the group at our cabin.
One of the other ladies with us, Katie, had gotten her first hog. We celebrated her success as I sat baffled at my miss. I never miss. Never say never, right? The ladies cheered me up, ate fajitas, and celebrated our vacation. After much fun, we all headed to our bunks. I went to bed thinking about how that hog dropped and how I would need to look for blood in the morning.
Morning came in no time, and I was ready to return to my same stand. The guide dropped me off in the dark and said I would hunt in the morning, and when it was time to go in for breakfast, we would look for blood and a trail in the daylight.
That morning I sat all those hours and questioned and questioned what had happened the night before. I heard the toms gobbling in the trees again and saw does and nothing more that morning. When my guide came back, I took him directly to where I had seen the hog drop. We walked in circles and zig zags, looking for a single drop of blood. Nothing. We walked the trail in the direction the hog had run and found nothing. We discussed what had happened and decided I had missed it. I reluctantly headed back in for breakfast.
I called Hank and discussed what had happened when we both had an epiphany. I hadn’t sighted in my rifle! In all the driving and excitement, I hadn’t stopped to think or take the time to sight in my rifle. Yes, I carried it in a hard case, which was handled safely, but I was at a new elevation. I texted my guide and asked him to get me immediately. I had to shoot at a target.
My guide picked me up and took me to their range to sight in. I squeezed one off, and it hit low right. The wind was blowing pretty well, so the left-right of my shot could be off, but it’s the up-down I was concerned about. I squeezed another one-off. Just low of center. Now when I say low, I don’t mean a couple of centimeters. I shot those two shots, which were about six inches below the center line. WOW! What a rookie mistake not sighting my gun at this low elevation! We finished sighting in, and I felt a lot more confident that I probably did miss that hog. I wasn’t happy, but with no blood and a gun that was way off its mark, I was ready to hunt again.
That evening I went to a new stand and was excited to see more hogs so I could get my second chance. I climbed up and got settled in, and the wind blew and rocked my stand.
I grabbed the range finder and binoculars and was set and ready to go in the event I saw another hog. With the howling wind, I wasn’t sure I would see anything. I received a spark of hope when I saw a hen come out to the feeder.
She fed around and then made her way off into the trees. I saw another hen, and then another came running directly in front of my stand. No hogs.
I saw light and dark images over the horizon on one side a while later. At first glance, I was excited that it could be hogs. After close inspection and one lifting its head, I saw it was more of those whitetails.
I remained hopeful that a hog might come out as I sat in the rocking stand. I sat and watched and sat and watched. I spun and watched the wasps as they ducked into the blind to escape the wind.
Many wasps flew in and out and out and in. I looked for hogs and watched the wasps. The sun began to go below the tree line, and I knew it wouldn’t be long before this evening’s hunt would be over.
We returned and celebrated many great stories about the stands, hunting, and various other hilarities. The ladies were so great to hang out with! We visited until the late hours and then plopped our heads on the pillow.
When morning came, we were all up and ready to go again. The guides took us all to new stands, and we all knew this morning we had to be serious. This was the last hunt!
The wind was still howling, and the new stand I was in was rockin’. I hoped to see another hog and get my second chance as the light began to shine, and I saw four whitetails in the field in front of me.
I set up and was ready as soon as shooting light came. It wasn’t long before those whitetail deer feeding in front of the stand headed off into the trees. I watched as various critters came and went.
First came two turkey hens.
They fed and groomed themselves as I sat at clicked away, taking their pictures.
I saw a beautiful, bright red cardinal.
He posed for me while I caught him on my camera.
An amazing blue herring swept the creek, fishing his way the whole way down. I was so awe-struck by his beauty that I didn’t even lift my camera. I don’t think a picture could have even done him justice. This final stand sure was a beautiful one. I was pretty pleased to see so many critters moving around.
Before long, I was being picked up and heading back to the cabin. The group had bagged two hogs in the two days. Not bad at all, considering the high winds we dealt with. The ladies were cheery, but there was some sadness that our fun weekend was already over. We had some fun memories together, and can not wait to do it again. If you ever get the chance to join a ladies’ hunt, you will love it!
Here are some pics of a little fun we had in between hunts.
Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.
Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to get outside, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.
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