By Robert “Jason” Minton
I was raised in a small quaint country town in Texas. You know the town ... Four stop lights, a story in the weekly eight-page paper about the police saving someone’s cat.
Everybody knows everybody, and everything stops for three events: church, funerals and opening morning of deer season. Your whole summer and most of your hard-earned money is spent preparing for opening day and hunting other critters such as wild hogs, raccoons or coyotes.
I left town as a young teen-ager in search of my piece of the American pie with no idea on how badly I would want to return. I joined the Navy at 18, and have since joined the Coast Guard.
Unfortunately, hunting has been put on the back burner. Not intentionally, but by default. The majority of my time is spent with my wife, two boys and a military career. It is not easy finding a good piece of land to hunt near a large town on the east coast, and I am nowhere near familiar turf.
Thankfully, I still have some good friends back home who have gone out of their way to give me a helping hand.
Last winter, I received a phone call from one of those friends. Chris told me he needed my help. His “problem” was that he had more wild hogs than bullets, and they were tearing the farm land to pieces. He wondered if I could help.
It didn’t take long to answer! Hunting wild hogs may not seem too exciting, but let me tell you, when you haven’t been hunting in four years, it is! So I loaded up my camo and a borrowed .30-30 and headed south.
After spending some time visiting, it was time to hunt. Chris decided that since it was early afternoon and the hogs would be bedded down, we would hunt a huisache thicket. It bordered a running creek on one side, and a pecan orchard on the other.
Huisache is a tree native to Texas that grows short and thick — so thick at times you can’t walk between the trees.
Evidence of the hogs — rubs, wallows and trails — was everywhere. Ten minutes into the hunt, we were standing 20 yards from a pack of hogs that did not like the idea of us being there.
About 30 of them scattered, but one sow stayed snapping her teeth and letting out a long deep grunt. We were looking for a large bore, but I knew we were too close to turn our backs and walk away from this 200-pound sow. I fired, and the hog dropped where it stood.
Chris advised that we head back upstream. He knew of another bedding area that might produce a bore. After fighting through the thick underbrush for a good hour stalking the pack, Chris took a young boar from 15 feet away.
As short as this hunt was, it made for some great memories. The hunt also reminded me that there are several virtues carried by the American hunter that are rarely found in other sports, profession or walk of life.
Those virtues are respect, courtesy and the ability to give without expecting anything in return. If it weren’t for these virtues, this hunt would never have happened.