Here in Northern California everyone knows it gets HOT!!! Hunting in the California heat is just something you get accustom to doing, albeit the older I get the tougher it is on my mind, body and soul. Our recent hunt this past weekend was a perfect example of how brutal it can be and how we simply are at the mercy of mother nature. We knew when Jason booked his hunt a few months ago that a wild pig hunt in July out of Redding, California could be a fool's game, but together we were willing to roll the dice. As the hunt date quickly approached our weather man was pounding us with weeks of 100 degree days, any little break would be nice.
We had no option but to adapt. It was evident the majority of our hunting day would be lost to high temperatures. The plan was too hunt super early and as late as legally possible. If we hadn't taken a hog by 10:30 a.m., we'd escape to an air-conditioned space, a luxury the animals simply did not have.
Those who know me best know that I preach there is no justice in hunting. You can work hard, you can do everything right, do all the little things and still be left without the fruits of your dedication and labor. Of course, you'll always have the memory of the pleasures and hardships of the hunt. It will just be on some occasions that the tangible harvest and that additional feeling of accomplishment will evade you. That fine line that separates a successful with a harvest against those without is timing. Timing is Everything, while it's often said that you make your own luck, a partially true statement, which you do with your hard work, scouting, groundwork. These are essential to success, but really if you zig when your suppose to zag and you through your timing off. You may have just missed your window of harvest success.
Jason and I had a plan for this hunt. It was based on the scouting and trail camera information collected by Shelley & I prior to the hunt. Our plan seemed solid, we'd done all the things we needed to do to create our own luck. We saw hogs, we saw boars but our timing was off. Always a chess game, we possibly zigged when we should have zagged in the warm morning hours. It all changed at about 9:30 a.m., the temperature was nearing 98 degrees, our treks had left us hot, sweaty, thirsty and seeking refuge from the sun. We would stalk back into a pond that we had been at previously in the morning, this time however our timing would be perfect.
As we stalked into the pond we had a slight breeze hitting us in the face it wasn't much, it felt similar to a hair dryer on high heat but low flow. We took up a vantage point above the pond, I quickly took note of the wakes moving from the tules that nearly engulfed the pond on the south and west sides. It was evident that something was lurking behind the 7 foot tules. I figured it would be hogs but it wouldn't surprised meet if a huge California Black Bear would of come lumbering out of there either. After about 10 minutes our suspicions were confirmed with the snorting and barking of hogs as they waded in the muck and water busting tules and communicating amongst themselves.
This behemoth boar was the first one to shoulder his way to the shoreline, as he emerged through the tules Jason was ready. At the report of the rifle, he instantly dropped three-quarters up onto the advancing bank. Simultaneously numerous other wild pigs bolted from the mucky water they had been using as a summertime retreat. This massive wild pig would easily exceed 360 pounds, he was 7' 2" from nose to tail and 53 inches around the chest just behind his shoulders. Not only was he staggering in body size, from his jaws massive tusks protruded. Amazingly his left side top tusk had broken which allowed his bottom cutter to grow long and curly unabated by absence of his top tooth. His right side was equally impressive in a more natural style, it had great length and circumference. He is by far the biggest wild boar any of our clients have taken. It will be a mark that won't be displaced anytime soon.
We want to congratulate Jason on harvesting such an awesome wild pig. We are very appreciative that he and his wife chose a hunt with Shelley, I and SC2 Outdoors. When it was all over we got lucky, we laughed, enjoyed each others company and made the life long memories on this hunt, we persevered some brutal heat and summertime conditions and our timing was impeccable. Hunting isn't ever easy, even when it seems to be at times.
Get out there and enjoy every minute, time is passing by all to quickly.