Mia’s Oklahoma Hog Hunt

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 she 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 as well.  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.

Beautiful sunrise in Northern Oklahoma

Beautiful sunrise in Northern Oklahoma

The drive went smooth and we were in Northern Oklahoma in no time at all.  Thirteen hours!  When we arrived, we visited with our friend Travis’.  He was just 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 5pm.  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.

View from first stand

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 at all.  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!

Woa!  What is that?!  It sure wasn’t a turkey.  I grabbed my binos again and looked closer.  So cool!  It was an armadillo!

Armadillo

My first live armadillo sighting

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 his 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.

Toms strutting way off in the distance

Three toms strutting way off in the distance. Yes, I know they are a little hard to see, but hey, I had to get a pic anyhow.

After seeing those toms so far away, I was excited to see if the one I was hearing so close in the trees would make his way out and present him self.  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 just then I caught movement off to the right.  I set my camera up and zoomed in hoping to at least get another blury shot of a tom.  I clicked.  That is when I saw the playback on the camera.

Hogs coming around the feeder

I zoomed in and clicked and then noticed those were hogs running this way!

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 clearly 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 and 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 ever.  We celebrated her success as I sat baffled at my miss.  I never miss.  Never say never right?  The ladies cheered me up and we ate fajitas and celebrated our vacation.  After much fun we all headed to our bunks.  I went to bed with thoughts of how that hog dropped and how I would need to look for blood in the morning.

Morning came in no time at all and I was up and ready to go back to my same stand.  The guide dropped me off in the dark and said I would hunt the morning and when it was time to go in for breakfast we would look for blood and a trail in the day light.

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 and walked circles and zig zags looking for a single drop of blood.  Nothing.  We walked the trail the direction the hog had run and found nothing.  We discussed what had happened and decided I had missed.  I reluctantly headed back in for breakfast.

I called Hank and discussed what had happened and that is 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 carry it in a hard case, and it was handled safely, but I was at a new elevation.  I texted my guide and asked him to come get me right away.  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 good, 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 and BOTH were about six inches low of the center line.  WOW!  What a rookie mistake not sighting in 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 clearly way off it’s 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.

Shadow of my stand

I never did get a picture of the stands we were in. Here is a silhouette of it on the second evening.

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.

Hen

A turkey hen came out despite the strong winds

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.

A while later, I saw light and dark images over the horizon on one side.  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 white tails.

White tail does

White tail does over the horizon.

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.

Wasp

A wasp that share the stand with me.

There were many wasps that 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 and this evening’s hunt would be over.

Oklahoma sunset

I knew there wasn’t much shooting light left as I watched the sun drop below the tree line.

We headed back and celebrated lots of 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 in no time at all.  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 held hope to see another hog and get my second chance as the light began to shine and I saw four white tails feeding out in the field in front of me.

White tail deer feeding in front of the stand

White tail deer feeding in front of the stand

I set up and was ready as soon as shooting light came.  It wasn’t long before those white tail deer that were feeding in front of the stand headed off into the trees.  I watched as various critters came and went.

First came two turkey hens.

Turkey hens

A hen straightens her feathers after a wind gust.

They fed and groomed themselves as I sat at clicked away taking their pictures.

I saw a beautiful, bright red cardinal.

Cardinal

A beautiful cardinal came to visit.

He posed for me while I caught him on my camera.

An amazing blue herring came and 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 just 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 in a ladies hunt, you will love it!

Here are some pics of a little fun we had in between hunts.

Cattle charging

Kirstie stands strong as the cattle charge toward us.

Dancing on the ceiling

We try to sleep and Katherine dances on the ceiling.

Spiders waiting for Tracey to come to this stand

Spiders waiting for Tracey to come to this stand

Miniature donkey

The miniature donkeys just couldn’t wait for us to come pet them! There are about a dozen of them.  They are the land owners pets.

Wasp spray

Tracey’s favorite weapon while in the stand.

Our bunks

Our bunks

Prois/Outdoor Connection hog hunt 2011, Mill Creek, Oklahoma

Prois/Outdoor Connection hog hunt 2011, Mill Creek, Oklahoma. Tracey, Katherine, Kirstie, Katie, Mia and not pictured, Stacey!

Ready for the next adventure!!!

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