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GRANT: I am excited to share another great turkey and hog hunt from Clay and I’s recent trip to South Florida and the strategies we used to get some fresh meat.

GRANT: The La Hamaca is a beautiful working cattle ranch and the mixture of pastures and timber creates great habitat and lots of edges for spotting and stalking and patterning game.

GRANT: I had already tagged two toms and a hog. But there’s lots of hogs in south Florida, and I was eager to try to get a couple of more hogs.

GRANT: Spotting and stalking hogs is one of my favorite types of hunting, whether it’s with a bow or a gun. During the late afternoons after we had turkey hunted, I was excited to grab my Prime, head out to those edges and try to put a stalk on some hogs.

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GRANT: One afternoon right as we stepped around a brushy corner, I spotted a good hog about 100 yards away right next to a waterway that was bordered by timber.

GRANT: (Whispering) We can probably make a little ground.

GRANT: (Whispering) Another one coming out past it.

CLAY: (Whispering) Yeah.

GRANT: (Whispering) If he goes around the pile, we’re scooting up there.

CLAY: (Whispering) Okay. Ready.

GRANT: (Whispering) He just plain went crazy.

GRANT: (Whispering) No respiration.

CLAY: (Whispering) Yeah.

GRANT: (Whispering) There’s some right behind the grass right there.

GRANT: (Whispering) Right here, right here, right here, right here.

CLAY: (Whispering) Nice shot.

GRANT: (Quietly) That’s what a double lung, pretty good-sized pig looks like.

CLAY: (Whispering) That’s a big one.

GRANT: (Quietly) That’s a good one right there.

GRANT: (Quietly) The old Deadmeat once again doesn’t let me down.

GRANT: It come out the shoulder. Spot and stalked that – that stalk took a long time. I mean. She was coming toward us head down; made a little progress. Finally, she turned, got behind a dozer pile. We boogied up there, got on the other side and just waited for her to come out. Made a good shot on that one. I could see blood coming out, but I always want to finish a hog ‘cause I don’t want to go in on that mess, trailing one this close to dark.

GRANT: She came over here and I zipped one through. That’s the second shot right there; the kill zone shot.

GRANT: Oh yeah. First shot, second shot right here. Heart. Second shot I just put in there getting both lungs. 35” Prime Black did the job. Again, folks, blew through a shoulder on this side and the other side. 52 pounds. Deadmeat broadhead, Bloodsport arrow.

GRANT: I should admit that through the years I’ve conditioned myself to aim extremely close to the shoulder on critters – so close that sometimes I fudge over into the shoulder. And that was the case on the first hog. I went through the back of its front shoulder and my arrow stopped on the far shoulder.

GRANT: All right. Shot it on the other side. And I don’t see arrows. Let’s see what happened here. There’s another pretty good one. Not as big as the first – oh! Look at that! It was coming to me at – I don’t know – 17, 18 yards. And I was aiming right off this shoulder and that, where it is, right here is the end of the shoulder. Goes in right here and I mean it – I ran it down the spine. Look at that! Look at the back leg. It’s all the way in the ham.

CLAY: Oh man.

GRANT: That’s penetration right there – especially for a hog. Holy mackerel!

GRANT: That arrow is going to have to go through, not out. But, two-fer. Two-fer Thursday on hogs here at the La Hamaca Ranch, south Florida. I’m going to tell you, folks, if you haven’t been to south Florida hog hunting, especially this time of year, the bugs aren’t real bad. It is a blast. I mean a — spot and stalk hog hunting with a bow is one of the funnest hunts I do.

GRANT: If you’ve ever been blessed to eat wild hog that’s been prepared properly, you know it’s delicious. And the reason is simple. Wild hogs eat a much wider variety of food sources than hogs raised in confinement.

GRANT: The La Hamaca’s rotational grazing management and frequent use of prescribed fire creates incredible habitat for cattle as well as many species of wildlife.

GRANT: They had recently burned a pasture and I thought that it would be a big attractant to hogs. In fact, the ranch’s wildlife manager, John, had shared with me that the pasture had been burned so recently and the vegetation was so short, it probably would be pretty tough to stalk within bow range.

GRANT: So I took my Winchester 350 Legend. This was my first hunt with the 350. Daniel had used it last fall to take several deer and it worked perfectly.

GRANT: But I was curious to see how it would work on a hog which tends to be much tougher to put down. As we came around the corner of one of the recent burns, we spotted a hog out toward the middle. But all we could see was the top of that critter and I suspected it was down in a waller.

GRANT: As we were stalking toward the hog, every now and then, I could just see its ears and maybe the top of its head and I was hoping it would provide a good shot opportunity.

GRANT: Suddenly, the hog stuck its head up.

GRANT: Let’s see what we got. Oh yeah. Whoo!

CLAY: Oh yeah!

GRANT: Yeah. Planted it. I mean planted it. The 350 just rocked it right there. And I’m gonna grab an ear and then we’ll get a buck cuff and see what we can do.

GRANT: The 350 Legend has been very fun and effective for us on both deer and hogs.

GRANT: I really like the shot and drop results. And that’s amazing considering it has significantly less recoil than a 3030 or a 243.

GRANT: I pulled it out of the waller by its ear, but man, you don’t want to drag a pig very far by its ear. It’s tough work. So I just applied the old buck cuff. I guess we need to call it a pork cuff on there.

GRANT: The other thing – if you’ve never been around hogs, they’re real stinky. But you can just put that on there and stand up pretty straight and you can make good progress with that.

GRANT: I had tagged two Osceolas and several hogs, but Clay still had a turkey tag in his pocket. So it was time for me to grab the camera and follow Clay around as he chased some turkeys.

GRANT: The day before we’d seen a group of toms hanging out near a small patch of timber and thought that would be a great place to start Clay’s hunt.

GRANT: As Clay called on the Redeemer, we could hear gobblers and hens.

GRANT: Unfortunately, it sounded like the hens were between us and the gobblers.

GRANT: We stayed put until both the toms and hens had flown down. We felt our best strategy was to see which direction they were going to head.

GRANT: Every now and then we’d still hear the toms gobble. It sounded like they were about 300 yards away in a different stand of timber.

CLAY: (Whispering) I think we just skirt down over here and get this – get to that (Inaudible).

GRANT: (Whispering) Yeah, yep, yep.

GRANT: They seemed settled in that area, so Clay and I decided to cut the distance. We moved west about 150 yards, found a small opening in the timber that was perfect for setting out the decoys.

GRANT: Knowing there were hens with those toms, Clay put out the HDR hen, as well as the Quarter-Strut Jake and the jake had the aggressive head. The strategy was if the toms would get close enough to see that jake decoy looking aggressive, they’d come in and want to put a whipping on him.

GRANT: It wasn’t long before a single hen appeared.

CLAY: (Whispering) The gobblers are back behind those trees, coming out.

GRANT: Clay called a few times and the hen called right back.

GRANT: That exchange seemed to get the toms fired up.

CLAY: (Whispering) I’m trying to get those gobblers to get out where they can see the decoy. There they go. (Inaudible)

CLAY: (Whispering) Oh yeah, they see it now.

GRANT: We had to remain extremely still as the hen came to Clay and I looking for that hen that had been calling.

CLAY: (Whispering) Yeah!

CLAY: (Quietly) Man, that was – that was absolutely incredible. That was just beautiful. I mean, that – that’s probably the best show you’ll ever see. I know the best one I’ve probably seen.

CLAY: (Quietly) Unbelievable. Nothing better than seeing, first the hens coming through in there and they’re just kind of yelping. Then you could see the fans and those red heads coming through the trees there. And finally, the rest of the hens started working this way and those gobblers followed once they saw the decoy.

GRANT: Yeah that was…

GRANT: They just, right to it.

GRANT: …(Inaudible) over there. It was awesome, Clay.

CLAY: It was awesome, man.

GRANT: Congratulations.

CLAY: I gotta go see this thing. I’m gonna unload the gun. Man, oh man!

GRANT: There are several great lessons I’d like to share from Clay’s hunt.

GRANT: During the early portion of the breeding season, turkey ranges can be relatively small, especially in areas with good habitat – food, cover and water close together. We had spotted these toms the day before and felt strongly they’d be close to that same area.

GRANT: Second, being patient and knowing when to cut the distance was one of the keys to Clay’s success.

GRANT: It was tempting when we heard ‘em gobbling to get up and try to cut the distance to the next timber stand. But likely we would have spooked those birds off the roost, and they may have went all the way across the pasture to another location.

GRANT: Rather than risk alerting the turkeys by cutting the distance right off the bat, we stayed put, listened to ‘em as they kind of moved around, waited for ‘em to settle down in one area and then made our move.

GRANT: There is certainly a chance if we’d stayed long enough at the original site, turkeys would have worked around that other patch of timber and made their way to us. But as it was, we were confident they were all the way on the other side of the timber and it was ideal cover for us to make a move.

GRANT: Clay and I had many great hunts in south Florida at the La Hamaca Ranch.

CLAY: (Whispering) Are you kidding me?

CLAY: (Whispering) Nice shot.

GRANT: We saw a lot of critters and enjoyed some beautiful south Florida sunrises and sunsets. Had great meals throughout the week, but maybe most importantly, was able to get a lot of fresh, organic meat.

GRANT: I’ve already reserved my spot to hunt with John next spring. If you’d like to hunt at the La Hamaca, contact John Horn at the information on the screen.

GRANT: We’re in a period of rapid change and a lot of anxiety for some folks. And a great cure for anxiety is getting outside and enjoying Creation. But the best cure is taking time every day to be quiet and listening to what the Creator says to you.

GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.

CLAY: (Quietly) She was just kind of barely open just a little bit. And I thought, “Well, if I can get her kind of fired up, or …”

GRANT: (Quietly) I was so afraid when you yelped. I thought, “Oh, my gosh, she’s gonna come over here.” And if she is, I don’t – I was hid by here through the camera. It looked like she was only about 10 feet out there.

CLAY: (Quietly) Oh yeah. She was – I mean, she was right there. It was awesome. She had no idea, either.

GRANT: (Quietly) I was, I was just hiding behind the camera going, “Oh, my gosh.”

CLAY: (Quietly) Yeah.

GRANT: (Quietly) And she walked right over here and I’m like, “Don’t look at her. Don’t look at her.”