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Hog hunting with Canadian friends w/short video: May 19 & 20 2016

This hog hunt began as a trade for a Canadian black bear hunt. On the FL Sportsman Hunting forum a new member, Matt from New Brunswick, Canada posted that he & his wife would be visiting Florida and he wanted to trade a Canadian Black Bear hunt for a Florida hog hunt. Well……I had a few feeders still going with hogs still coming in so I contacted him and we worked out the hog hunt details. All I needed to do was to get the hogs a bit more committed so I stepped up the baiting frequency & duration and in a couple of weeks had hogs hitting 5 stands with some regularity.

Having never met them before we traded emails, texts, phone calls and photos. Seems we had a lot in common to include each having children of which we both like to do outdoor adventures with.

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Matt & his children

In my book anyone who has young kids and does outdoor things with them has gotta be a good person so we invited him & his wife to stay at our home for a couple of days and we’d see about playing with some hogs and showing them around our cool little area of Florida (children staying home with the grandparents).

Fortunately over time the pigs cooperated at multiple stands just in time for the Canadian’s visit………………………below are some representative photos.

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A wide variety of colorations …..(I like the gray pig)

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To include this amorous pair doing their part to maintain a target rich environment …….

Up north in Canada their spring black bear season is about to start. Here are a couple of game camera photos from their stands:

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With this being their first trip to Florida I thought it would be a neat perspective to show them around via jetskis. Arriving mid-morning Thursday we hopped on jet skis before the afternoon’s hunt and we headed down the Ditch to St Augustine later having lunch on the water at Beaches at Vilano (great burgers & fish sandwich). Dodging an afternoon storm we made it back in time to be on the stand at 4 pm. At 82 degrees it was warm but the mosquitoes haven’t been bad just yet - although the no-see ums & deer flies can be a pain.

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Running the Ditch to St Augustine


Thursday afternoon:

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New friends!!
Matt & Erin before taking a stand

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Reviewing strategy

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Surrounded by pigs before we got to the stand (Matt was holding out for larger pigs)

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Leaving them in the 2 man stand. I had a hard time walking out as the pigs were walking around everywhere.

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Selfie (Erin’s a trooper!! She later hung tough in the rain)

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Lil’ DPMS 5.56 black rifle with an XLR 250 Kill Light (in Canada they can’t hunt with these black rifles)

Around 6:30 pm the sky is ominous and begins to rain. At 6:50 pm the sky opens up and it increases in intensity with BIG rain drops. Around 7 pm the feeder goes off and within 5 minutes this sounder of 9 pigs make a showing.

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As the pigs settle in Matt is quick on the trigger……….
Here’s a 1:03 minute video of the hunt (don’t watch this if your queasy…….).

https://youtu.be/4xoiQM4ftzY

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A passel of pork……

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Friday: Having stayed up till midnight just talking, Friday morning was gonna be a Florida beach day for Erin, who collected shark teeth at Mickler Beach & swam in the Atlantic while Matt and I pulled game camera memory cards from all of the stands and filled a pig pipe in preparation to night hunt a large boar. After reviewing the photos we had a couple of stands to choose from and decided to go with the stand I call Danger.

Friday afternoon: It’s interesting that when we came back to the house there is a sounder of 8 pigs adjacent to my neighborhood’s property and we drive up to within 15 yards of the pigs as they are rooting the ground up. In my neighborhood they are once again starting to roll neighbor’s lawns and I’m getting emails from residents about their hog problems……seems I’m gonna have to start back trapping the neighborhood piggies again. Feral pigs in Florida seem to be everywhere and it’s a big problem.

Friday night: Hunting a different stand Matt’s hoping to get a large boar out of a sounder of these 12 adult pigs (there’s a lone BIG boar that hooks up with this sounder):

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At 5 pm a doe and 2 fawns walk through the area for about 5 minutes and they don’t bust us. The wind is swirling so that’s encouraging. Around 6 pm a good sized lone pig comes in from an unexpected direction 15 yards to our side but it’s thick and at first we can only see a small tree moving as it’s rooting around. We finally see it as it works past us but the wind swirls and in an instant it vacates the area. Matt at this point is getting an appreciation of how good hogs are at using their sense of smell. At 7 pm the feeder goes off and it goes off again at 8 pm. We turn on the red LED area light and can see the feeder area 42 yards away as light is fading. Ten minutes later Matt hears them and they begin to come into the feeder area. It’s hard to count but there are at least nine full size adults & they are jockeying around and moving erratically. Using the green Kill light on the medium setting Matt is waiting for a good shot where it won’t wound another pig but after about 4 -5 minutes they wind us and it’s game over. We cut the hunt short as they are returning to Kissimmee where they are staying and they won’t arrive back at their hotel until 1 am Saturday morning. It’s been a fun couple of days!!

It’s neat that we met as strangers but now leaving as good friends!
I frequently tell my children that You’re rich when you have a lot of friends.
That was fun!

Hoo Yah!!

Brian

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