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Up Close and Personal

HamilBy Rayford Hamil

-- I won a trip to Gonzales, Texas, for a hog hunt. I had never hunted them before, even though I have hunted over 50 years. Needless to say, the 7-hour drive was not a lot of fun as I was so anxious to arrive.

When I arrived at the ranch, Steve, who is from Pennsylvania, was designated as my hunting partner. We headed out around 8 a.m. on a spot and stalk hunt that covered about 500 acres. Within 45 minutes, Steve took a shot at a hog with his rifle. Steve's shot hit the hog in the hindquarter. The hog ran down into a ravine as Steve's second shot missed.

Immediately, I joined Steve, and we began tracking the hog. Tracking the hog was difficult because there was not much of a trail left behind for us to follow. After about 45 minutes of tracking, we heard a noise ahead of us in the brush. There was a lot of high grass and mesquite we had to walk through. Steve went off to the right, and I went left.

I heard Steve say something as I looked up from a track. Steve started hollering for me to SHOOT! When his words finally registered, I looked ahead to see a 265-pound hog charging at me. It was 15 yards away and running full blast!  

The slide safety on my Remington 870 was not cooperating at all. Eventually, I coaxed the safety off and took a shot from my hip. The blast connected and spun the hog around. But it was coming back for more! The hog and I were up close and personal by the time I shucked another shell into the chamber. The only thing between me and that hog was the barrel of my shotgun. I shot again with the barrel stuffed in the hog's nose.

I have to tell you, an experience like this had the ol' ticker pumping with excitement!

Rayford Hamil
Grapevine, Texas

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