A Hog Hunt by Randy Rowley


In early February, Jimmy Cohenour and his teenage son, Jim Bob, and Eddie Lee Toohey joined Jesse, Tim, and Isaac Price, David Chalmers, my son, Ryan, and I for a three-day weekend FCS hog hunt with Texas Wild near Charlotte.  I killed two hogs, Tim shot a bobcat, and Eddie Lee shot a Javelina on Sunday morning – not great for nine of us.

After hunting two other ranches with similar fair to poor results, the Cohenour’s decided to develop their own hog ranch south of El Campo, near Blessing.  They bought 100 acres bordering the Colorado River.  I decided that I would take Ryan there for his 18th birthday.

The Cohenour’s ranch is divided into two sections.  They have an electric fence on the front half of their property that keeps about 60 hogs penned in.  The rear half of the property borders the river, where hogs are free to come and go.  Although most hunting is done by stalking, they also have several blinds to hunt from.

Ryan, his friend Kelvin Cheung, and I arrived at the Cohenour’s ranch on 12/29/02 (Ryan’s birthday) at about 6:00 PM.  Jim Bob, who basically runs the ranch, recommended stalk hunting but, as it would soon be dark, we asked to hunt from stands.  I hunted by myself.  Kelvin, who was an observer and not a hunter this trip, hunted with Ryan.  Shortly after getting into their stand Ryan and Kelvin had a herd of hogs come in to their corn and my hog bait.  A mid-sized boar fed on some slop just 10 yards away from their stand.  Ryan shot it in the head with his .270.  It weighed 152 pounds.  Ryan was very excited as this was the first big game animal that he had killed.  We skinned, dressed, and quartered the hog and then went to bed.

The next morning we decided to conduct a drive.  Jim Bob put me by a large fallen tree, to use as a shooting rest.   I laid my .25-06 on top of the tree and waited while Jim Bob went to a swampy area to hopefully drive some pigs towards me.

In a few minutes I heard the unmistakable sound of several animals running through the woods.  A herd of about 50 pigs ran broadside about 40 yards in front of me.  Thinking that I would not get a better opportunity I took a shot and hit a medium sized hog.  Ryan and Kelvin (who were observing from a 52? tall blind) saw the hog lie down and reported that fact to me via our two-way radios.  Thinking that the hog had expired, Jim Bob and I went to retrieve it.  This proved to be a big mistake.  The hog heard us coming and got up and ran off into thick woods.

Those who know me know that I absolutely despise wounding birds and animals.  I’ve been known to look for a wounded dove for half an hour – while ignoring dozens more that are flying over my head.  I believe that I have a responsibility to the wounded creature to retrieve it and if it is not dead to dispatch it quickly and humanely.

God made it clear to Adam in Genesis 1:28 (NLT) that we have dominion or are to rule over the rest of God’s creation.  Moses wrote, “God blessed them and told them, ‘Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.  Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals.’”  Part of the responsibility of being a master or ruler is to make quick and clean kills.

I was sick about wounding the hog.  I was also mad at myself for taking the shot in the first place and impatiently pushing the hog and not giving it at least half an hour to expire.  I was also kicking myself for choosing to shoot with my rifle, when I had my 12 gauge 3” magnum full choked semi-automatic shotgun leaning right beside me.  The fifteen .33 caliber 00 buck pellets that each shell contained would have been a much better choice for shooting at running game at that range.

We looked for the hog for several hours to no avail.  During our search we chased the big herd several times back and forth across the property.  Twice I had the herd running broadside 10 yards from me but I didn’t take a shot because I didn’t see the one that I had wounded.  Shooting another hog was out of the question at that point.  It would have delayed my responsibility to find the hog that I had wounded and dispatch it if it was not dead.  I just didn’t want the wounded hog to suffer while I selfishly hunted another.

But there comes a time when one must admit defeat.  We searched for another two hours.  Discouraged, I came to the conclusion that we were not going to find the wounded hog.  Not wanting to go home empty handed, I reluctantly decided to hunt for another hog.

Jim Bob and Kelvin did another drive towards Ryan and I, as we hid behind some big trees.  The herd ran towards us but diverted up a hill.  I ran up the hill angling towards them.  When I got to the top they again ran across my bow about 20 yards from me.  I picked out a decent sized hog and nailed him with my shotgun.  He ran about 50 yards and collapsed.  He weighed 135 pounds.

Seven days later Jimmy informed me that they found the hog that I wounded and finished him off.  I was greatly relieved.

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Bible Verse of the Day

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.