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GRANT: One of my favorite post-deer season, pre-turkey season activities is hog hunting.
GRANT: My friend, Conway Marvin, who owns Hosted Hunts, helped me find a south Texas hog and javelina hunt. I trusted Hosted Hunts because they put me on a great elk hunt last fall.
GRANT: With all the plans made, Tyler, Daniel and I loaded up the truck and rolled to south Texas.
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GRANT: It was colder than normal for south Texas during the first morning of our hunt. But it didn’t take long for Daniel and I to warm up.
GRANT: (Whispering) They're all pitching out right now. Here they come. Here comes a bunch right there. Here comes one right there. Oh my gosh. Here comes a bunch more. They're coming right in. They're coming right in front of us; right in front of us.
GRANT: (Whispering) February 8th and our first morning of hunt in south Texas. We’re hog hunting but listening to a great show of turkeys this morning. Great training for the upcoming turkey season. Turkeys may clean up all the corn that’s out for the hogs but it’s worth it just getting tuned up for calling for turkey season.
GRANT: This large group of hens and jakes fed around us most of the morning but we never saw any mature gobblers.
GRANT: We could hear plenty of gobbling across the creek.
GRANT: Heath and Lindsey Martin were hunting about 400 yards across that creek and they got to watch the show.
GRANT: Seeing all these turkeys and hearing the toms sure got me fired up for spring turkey season.
GRANT: I saw it last night. Of course, we came in after dark. (Inaudible) off their distance where they were (Inaudible).
GRANT: Good shot.
GRANT: After the morning hunt, we returned to the lodge, had some breakfast, then went out in the yard and shot our bows.
UNKNOWN: Good shot.
GRANT: Oh, looky there.
GRANT: Shooting with some buddies, especially those you don’t see too often, they tend to razz ya. It can be great practice for shooting shots under pressure. Like when you're hog hunting.
GRANT: A very common hunting practice in south Texas is called corning the roads. The guide simply drives the road, usually a square or a circle, and spreads just enough corn to attract hogs or javelinas out of bush into the road.
GRANT: That allows the hunters to have visibility and a perfect place to put on a stalk.
GRANT: As we were driving some ranch roads, we spotted a herd of javelinas in a right-of-way.
HEATH: (Quietly) Well, we’re down here in south Texas. We just come out for the afternoon to see if we can spot and stalk some javelinas. We hadn’t been here just a few minutes and we found a big group so we’re gonna sneak out here and see if we can get a shot at one.
GRANT: The group of javelina were about 200 yards away.
GRANT: Heath and Daniel quickly closed the distance while they were hugging the edge of the brush on the right-of-way.
HEATH: (Whispering) About 95. I don’t have a 95 yard pin. We better get a little closer.
GRANT: The large group was still out of bow range so they continued their stalk. One of the larger javelinas broke off the group and started walking towards Heath and Daniel. It stopped at 42 yards.
HEATH: (Whispering) 42 right there.
GRANT: Heath patiently waited for the javelina to turn and present a shot.
HEATH: (Whispering) No.
GRANT: As it often happens, the javelina turned the opposite direction and walked back towards the herd. Once again, Heath and Daniel crept forward.
GRANT: Then, the javelina started walking towards Heath and Daniel.
GRANT: Heath drew and prepared for the shot.
HEATH: (Whispering) You on him? He ought to go down right there. He’s done. 42 yards. We just got a big ole boar javelina out of that group. He could see us. He kinda came skirting down the edge and checking us out. He got a little too close.
HEATH: He’s not five yards inside the brush here.
GRANT: The Deadmeat worked perfectly and the javi only went a few yards.
HEATH: Almost got like a porcupine quills right there.
HEATH: Well, we just drug our javelina here out of the bushes. He just went five yards right there. We saw him in the, in the pipeline here when we was driving down the road. And Daniel and I was able to get out and spot and stalk down the trail here. We got within 42 yards of this javelina and, luckily, it didn’t take off before the arrow got there and was able to make a good shot. It just literally went four or five yards over there and stopped and fell over. So, those Deadmeat broadheads are just phenomenal.
HEATH: Everything I’ve shot with ‘em lately – or everything I’ve shot with ‘em since they’ve come out – has just, has been a really fast, clean kill. So, I’ve been very impressed with ‘em.
HEATH: We’re down here in south Texas having some fun – going to do some hog hunting; spot and stalking some javelinas. So, we got our first javelina of the weekend. It’s just the first afternoon.
HEATH: This evening, we’re about to go get in the blind and hunt some hogs. So, it’s a good start to the trip. We’ve got one down. Hopefully, we’ll have many more between us down here. Looking to have a good time.
GRANT: Well done, Heath. That was another great hunt.
GRANT: About the same time, we got a text that said Pruitt had spotted some javelinas on a different portion of the ranch.
PRUITT: (Whispering) We stalked up on that one. It’s about 20 to 30 yards and it kind of spooked off a little bit. Our guide got in the truck and drove on past and he dropped us off here. So, if we look (Inaudible) give us an opportunity.
GRANT: Pruitt and his dad, Norman, had spotted some javelinas but the javis busted off in the brush. So, they got out, stood in the brush waiting and sure enough, the javis came back.
GRANT: It didn’t take long before a big javi came feeding up the road.
PRUITT: (Whispering) Ooo, that’s back.
GRANT: Pruitt felt his shot was a tad back so they gave it a bit of time before taking up the trail.
PRUITT: So, we stalked up on these javelinas, about 30 to 40 yards. We kind of spooked him a little bit at first. So, our guide dropped us off and he kind of, uh, drove off a little bit. We had one come out; spooked again. And then that big one just came out about 20 yards. We didn’t think he was gonna come any closer; so I just went ahead and took him to a little gap I had. And I think I heard him fall over here. So, we’re gonna go find out.
GRANT: Once they found blood, it didn’t take long.
PRUITT: There you go dad.
NORMAN: You good?
PRUITT: Uh, he came up to about 15 yards and we got a shot on him. Uh, ran about 50 yards and laying here now.
NORMAN: Lay that bow down. Let’s see some teeth or something. Sideways (Inaudible).
GRANT: Great job, Pruitt. I love watching you and your dad enjoying the outdoors.
GRANT: Daniel Stefanoff and our intern, Tyler, got settled into a blind later that afternoon.
DANIEL: (Whispering) It’s the afternoon of our first day down here in south Texas hog hunting. We’re set up in a pop-up blind overlooking the feeder. They’ve had hogs in here every night. So, Tyler and I are hoping we can get it done.
GRANT: Lots of birds migrate to south Texas to spend the winter and they had a show of several cardinals feeding on the corn.
GRANT: It’s always fun watching critters but Daniel and Tyler were sure hoping a hog would show up before dark.
GRANT: As the sun set, they saw a black figure come out of the brush.
DANIEL: (Whispering) Ready?
GRANT: It was a hog.
DANIEL: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Don’t move.
GRANT: The hog moved about and crunched on some corn while Daniel patiently waited for a good shot opportunity.
GRANT: It looks like an easy drag on this critter.
DANIEL: (Whispering) We are on the board here in south Texas. Got a hog down right in front of us at 31 yards. Super excited. We didn’t think anything was gonna show up tonight but had a single come out. Launched the Deadmeat; dropped it right down in front of us.
DANIEL: We had a successful wrap up to our first full day of hunting down here in south Texas. Couldn’t be happier. Got this sow on the ground at 31 yards. Let a Bloodsport fly and the Deadmeat did its job.
GRANT: Great job, Daniel. You got some nice pork to take home to your family.
GRANT: When you watch Daniel’s shot in real time, you can barely see the hog’s reaction. When you watch it frame by frame, you can tell that this hog drops and turns before the arrow arrives.
GRANT: For your information. Daniel shoots a 65 pound bow with a 31 inch draw length. His arrow was scooting. And the hog almost got out of the way of the arrow at 31 yards.
GRANT: It’s easy to understand why game species may be a little alert around bait. When game species get on a pattern of going to the same place, it’s easy for predators to pick up the pattern of those game species.
GRANT: I’ve partnered with some folks to better understand why and how critters respond to shots. As this research progresses, I’ll keep you up to date so we can all be better hunters.
GRANT: While we were in south Texas, we saw lots of different critters – hogs, javelinas, all kinds of birds and even a coyote. If you and your buddies would like to go on a hog hunt, do what we did, let Hosted Hunts do some research for you.
GRANT: While we were in Texas, one of our interns, Jacob Hamilton, was back at The Proving Grounds doing some important work.
JACOB: I’m at The, uh, Proving Grounds doing soil samples and I came across a, uh, dead, shed buck. Obviously, he was shed. Not sure what got after him but he hasn’t been here too long. It don’t look like. Coyotes maybe. Young deer.
GRANT: Jacob was unable to determine the cause of death due to the state of the carcass. Jacob’s find is a reminder on how tough it is to survive for wild critters.
GRANT: The weather conditions throughout most of the whitetails’ range this year have been fairly harsh. Without good cover and food, no doubt, wildlife populations have experienced a lot of stress.
GRANT: It’s easy to forget wildlife often faces serious challenges every day.
GRANT: Recently, a friend of mine sent me some pictures that showed just how challenging survival can be for a whitetail deer. If you look at these pictures closely, you can tell this buck has a broken leg.
GRANT: Two coyotes tried to take this buck down right in front of this trail camera. Fortunately, my buddy got another picture of the same buck the next day and he appeared to be okay.
GRANT: Deer are extremely tough critters but I don't know if this buck will pull through the winter.
GRANT: We can't protect wildlife from all of the challenges. If we did, they’d be domesticated animals. We can reduce the stress and increase their odds of survival by providing quality cover, quality forage and working to balance predator and prey populations.
GRANT: Each week the conditions are changing and we’ve got news and updates to share. If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to the GrowingDeer newsletter.
GRANT: Whether you're traveling this week or staying at home, take time every day to enjoy Creation. But, most importantly, find the time to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you.