Discussion in 'LUKE CLAYTON' started by Luke Clayton, Aug 14, 2008.

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    Luke Clayton New Member

    by Luke Clayton

    Luke Clayton

    Commerce, Texas - My buddy Kenneth Talent can best be described as a globe hopping bowhunter that has packed his trusty Mathews bows to environs as diverse as the plains of Africa, the mountains of New Zealand and Australia’s Outback, he’s also spent plenty of time chasing game and adventure in North America. Kenneth owns the Circle T Bowhunting Ranch in north Texas, not far from Greenville. This rugged piece of real estate, traversed by the Middle Sulphur River, might seem a bit tame to Kenneth but for myself, and countless other bowhunters, it’s a mecca for hunting wild hogs.

    Photo by Luke Clayton

    Earlier this week, I was visiting with Kenneth about an upcoming trip for elk in the Bitterroot Mountains and our talk turned to practice for upcoming hunts. “Been shooting your 3D targets a lot?” he quizzed. “You know there’s nothing like getting out on a bowhunt for wild hogs to hone your hunting skills for the upcoming hunting season. Why not get up early in the morning and come out and do some stalk hunting? It will be cool during the first hours of daylight and you should be able to get some fresh pork for dove hunt barbecues!” Thirty minutes before daylight the next day, I met his guide Timmy Romines at the lodge.

    I had a couple of options for the morning hunt, actually three. I could have climbed into a treestand and waited to see if any porkers would come to corn, hit the woods along the river in search of a monster boar (this is where the big ones hang out, especially during the summer months), or glass the fields for hogs rooting out in the pastures and, using the woodlines for cover, attempt to stalk within bow range.

    My decision was a no-brainer. As Timmy drove me back into the interior of the ranch, I was planning on getting out at the junction of a ranch road and the river and stalk into the wind along the watercourse. Then, in a field a few hundred yards ahead, we spotted a sounder of about 20 hogs busily rooting for grubs and tubers. “Just kick me out here, Timmy.” I said as I looked the porkers over through the binoculars. “I’ll make a big circle through the woods and attempt to find a well used trail the hogs might take when they decide to leave the open field and head back into cover. You can head back to the lodge and I’ll call you on the cell phone if I get one down.” As I eased out of the truck and began my serpentine half mile stalk that hopefully would put me within bow range of one of the hog’s exit trails, I noted that Timmy wasn’t going anywhere. He had his binoculars out and planned to watch this show!

    As I slipped along a few yards inside the protective cover inside the woodline, I would occasionally stop and glass the distant hogs. They appeared to be busy eating and I hoped they would continue to do so until I got into position, downwind and adjacent to one of their trails. As I walked along, I noted many trails leading from the field to the cover of the woods. I decided to wait, downwind of the hogs which were still a couple hundred yards out, and watch the direction they decided to head when they finished feeding in the soft soil. Then I would move quickly, hopefully get within bow range of one as he exited the field. The hogs began leaving the field for cover and, as luck would have it, they decided to depart the feeding area 180 degrees across the field from my position. The entire sounder departed the field, with the exception of a couple of little 70 pounders that were perfect for my upcoming BBQ! The problem was that they were both out in the center of the field, which was relatively open with the exception of an occasional taller bush or clump of weeds. I made a short alteration in my course, and began the stalk from downwind.

    Stalking is my favorite way to hunt wild hogs. Everything has to go just right for a stalk to be successful and with the porkers out in open country; I had my doubts about the outcome of this one. They kept their heads down, feeding and only occasionally stopped to look up. I moved EVER so slowly when they were rooting and froze when I saw a snout come up. I noted the hogs were slowly working their way toward a little clump of weeds, about three feet high. Keeping this bit of weeds between the hogs and myself, I made it to the cover and stopped to watch the show. Over my shoulder in the distance, I could see Timmy and the truck. He had been watching the stalk from the beginning. It took the hogs a good ten minutes to get within my self imposed bow range of 30 yards but they kept coming as though they were on a string.

    Photo by Luke Clayton

    I drew my bow and slowly leaned my body around the weeds, centered the appropriate sight pin and sent the arrow tipped with the Grim Reaper mechanical broadhead on its way. I prefer a quality mechanical broadhead such as the Grim Reaper because it flies exactly the same as the practice points and, with three razor sharp blades that open on impact, is lethal on game. The shot was good and I had my dove hunt BBQ pig on the ground. In a few minutes, Timmy made it to me with the truck and said he watched the entire stalk and kidded that the hunt could have lasted well into the morning, had I chosen to hunt along the river. The entire hunt took less than an hour and I was out of the woods before the Texas summer sun had time to make things uncomfortable. All hog hunts aren’t this easy but I’ll take my wild pork any way I can get it. Stalk hunting is by far my favorite method.

    Contact The Circle T Bowhunting Ranch online at www.circletbowhuntingranch.com or give Talent a call at 972-529-0832.

    Listen to Outdoors With Luke Clayton at www.catfishradio.com and check out the new fishing videos at lukeshotspots.com