Wild hogs, and lots of them. The area of the Gulf Coast of Florida where we often hunt has an abundance of wild hogs, so it's not uncommon to have an opportunity to take one but this season has been over the top so far....but lets start from the beginning of Archery Season.
Archery season started off hot and with the swamps and creeks with a good amount of water....not flooded but nicely topped off thanks to the very wet summer. The swamps were full enough to clearly define the islands and hammock edges, my personal preference.
Of course the mosquitoes prefer that as well and the heat, blood sucking insects and snakes combined to make it a challenging September to hunt.
The archery season started off on opening day, with a nice buck almost coming within bow range after a bleat and grunt caught his attention. Unfortunately, he hung up at about 60 yards behind some cover and would not budge. Makes me wonder if I should carry a collapsable doe decoy (?).
Not long after a had the opportunity to arrow a wild hog at about 30 yards, when two came across the trail to enter a scrub oak hammock where acorns were dropping. When one of the hogs was broadside I released an arrow with a Magnus Buzzcut broadhead that hit hard. Unfortunately, I was a few inches off And my arrow hit his shoulder plate. This immediately prompted the hog and my arrow to run off together. I climbing down and spent a significant amount of time looking for the hog and or arrow with no success. To successfully kill a wild hog it's best to hit the hog behind the shoulder plate while the hog is standing quartering away from you. This all sounds perfectly reasonable accept that the reality is the combination of the heavy cover and the fact that these hogs almost never stand still makes killing them during archery season a great challenge......... for me anyway.
As the archery season went on we didn't see many deer come within range. Here on the Gulf Coast of Florida, hunting public land it's rare to have an easy hunt. The deer density is low, the terrain difficult, etc.
Finally, one evening hunt, Paul and I decided to pack our climbers into an area where we had seen two bucks in preseason scouting. Late in the evening, with very little shooting time left a young buck worked his way towards me. The truth is I thought he was a doe. When he stopped for a moment and presented a broadside target I took the shot. It was a decent shot especially given, I had to take a steeply angled shot because I was elevated 30 feet or more in a pine tree. He only made it about 40 yards before crashing dead in some palmettos. When I recovered him I then saw the small spike antlers. He was legal during the archery season, but I would've preferred that he had been a doe.
Archery and muzzleloader season update to be continued........