The Lake Uno Mas Hog Hunt by Randy Rowley


On 4/3/92 at 7:00 PM 13 men and four sons left Austin for a weekend hog hunt.  After a stopover in San Antonio we arrived at Artesia Wells four hours later.  We only had 15 miles of dirt roads to transverse and then we would be at our destination – the Uno Mas Ranch.  Unfortunately it had been raining in south Texas and the dirt roads were now mud.  Paul Wilson’s Ranger drowned out after a mile, several vehicles got stuck, and a turn off was missed three times.  Four hours later we had made only about 10 miles.  At 3:00 AM both axles of Kevin Font’s Suburban got stuck in front of a cattle guard.  The men from five of the vehicles decided to pitch camp next to Kevin’s stuck truck and await daybreak.  Paul and I decided to try to find the ranch.  We thought that we found it but weren’t sure so we camped by the side of the road until morning.

Saturday began with the stuck Caravan freeing Kevin’s truck and proceeding on.  However, Steve Watkins’ truck became stuck after a mile.  We decided to abandon four of the two-wheel-drive vehicles and shuttle the men and equipment the remaining four miles to the ranch in the two four-wheel-drive vehicles.

We arrived at the ranch around 11:00 AM, ate lunch, and rested.  Around 1:00 PM the weary group began to scout the 10,000 acres and put out corn.  I took two first time guests – Tim and Jesse Price with me.  I had left my rifle back at camp because the ranch hand told us we wouldn’t see any hogs until dusk.  Tim and Jesse had the foresight to bring their rifles along.

As we were driving along we saw a bunch of dark shapes in a field a couple of hundred yards ahead.  Our binoculars revealed a heard of about 30 adult hogs and several piglets!  We stalked up to about 100 yards from the pigs, who were happily grazing, and oblivious of our presence.  Tim and Jesse knelt by a wooded sign that said “Oat Pasture” and used it as a rest, making sure that they picked out different hogs.  They agreed to fire on the count of three.  I said softly – One…two…three.   Kaaaaabooooooom!  Instantly Hogs were running in every direction!  We looked for blood but couldn’t find evidence of a hit.  Some of the startled herd ran in front of a group of hunters in Randy Slagle’s Z71.  Shots were fired by that party also with the same results.

After hunters were dispersed to stands good results were finally achieved.  Keith Miller downed a 210 pound boar with a 120 yard lung shot.  Kevin Font downed a boar only slighted smaller than Keith’s with a better than 200 yard head shot.  He also shot a 100 pound sow with a 198 yard neck shot.  Two other hogs placed themselves in harms way but were missed.

After dinner, we began to drift off to sleep around 11:00 PM.  However, we were awakened around 2:30 AM by an approaching thunderstorm.  We decided to get the heck out of Dodge and quickly packed.  Due to limited seating some of the men had to wait at the ranch with some of the equipment for later pick up by the two four-wheel-drive vehicles.  At 8:30 AM Randy Slagle’s Z71 was the only truck to make it back and that was only because Larry Dowden pushed it the last two miles.  Much of the equipment and Randy Slagle’s trailer had to be left at the ranch.

As we were driving out Randy’s Z71 started to slip off of the road.  Four of us had to climb a barbed wire fence and push Randy’s truck to keep it from sliding into the fence.  We finally made it out to the highway around 11:00 AM.  The entire exodus from the ranch to the highway took over eight hours.

Incredible as that sounds, it was only by God’s grace that all seven vehicles were able to make it out of the slop (although Steve Watkins’ truck would only run in low gear and I would need a new differential a few months later).  It’s a good thing that we left when we did because the storm dumped around two inches of rain.  If we had waited I’m quite sure that we wouldn’t have made it out any time soon.  During the course of the weekend none of the seven vehicles escaped from being stuck.  Yet throughout this entire ordeal no one got mad, no one verbally or physically attacked anyone else, and not one unwholesome word escaped anyone’s mouth.  There was disappointed aplenty to be sure, but there was an absence of outward sin.

Categories : Stories

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