5 Things to do Before Summer

Show Notes

John is back in the mobile studio this week bringing you a pre summer check list. Before long it is going to get hot and dry, so there are a few things every game manager needs to get done before that time gets here. From tree stands to trail cameras, no matter if you hunt public or private, many of these things will apply to you. 

After the to-do list, John also shares some stories from his Sportsmens Empire hog hunt from a few weekends ago. Fellow podcasters came from Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri to hunt hogs in southeast Oklahoma. Many of the guys had never even seen a hog, much less hunted them, so it was a lot of fun for John to take them around and turn them loose on some wild hogs. 

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Hey guys and gals, welcome to the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast, brought to you by Arrowhead Land Company. Here you'll be educated, entertained, and equipped to get more out of your outdoor experience. So hold on tight because here we go.

And awkward music cut off again. Welcome back to the Mobile Studio, guys coming at you once again from Gulf Shores, Alabama, having the time of our lives. Baby's taking a nap right now, so recording another podcast for y'all and yeah. We got a good one here. This is gonna be probably short and sweet.

We're gonna cover five things to do before summer. Five things that y'all need to do before summertime gets here and before it gets too hot. Again, like I said, if you missed last week's episode, On vacation emperor Dan and [00:01:00] his court jester, Josh, as I like to refer to him as the guys who actually put this stuff out to y'all, they're about to be on vacation themselves and so trying to get a few episodes out for them so that we can all just enjoy ourselves.

So yeah, that's why this one's a little bit more rough cut. The audio might not be quite as good. I'm using my mobile setup here a little bit cheaper mic and my work computer instead of. Desktop. So that's the skinny. Not much of an intro. We're just gonna get right. I do wanna thank my partners, though, as always.

Arrowhead Land company, deer Lab, bravado, wireless and private water fishing. And then if we have some time at the end, I might talk about our hog hunt from a few weekends ago. I just realized I never talked about that on the podcast. A couple guys from the Sportsmans Empire came down, went hog hunting with me so yeah.

If we have some time at the end, might talk a little hog hunting. So that's gonna do it for this intro. We're just gonna jump on into it, all right guys. Like I mentioned today, we're gonna be covering five things to do before Summer Spring's coming to an end. We're almost halfway through [00:02:00] April at this point, and so it's gonna be getting hot soon.

The water's gonna be drying up soon, lack of rain and everything. So here are a few things that you need to get done before it gets truly hot, and summer really hits us. So number one, it's time to finish it. Those Habitat projects. Maybe you started some TSI work. Maybe like me, you did a nice fire break and haven't got to burn yet.

Maybe you started a water hole or planting some screening cover around your food plots. Whatever it is, it's time to get those finished up. It's getting pretty late in the year for tsi. Trees are already starting to green up and put leaves on. That's usually not a very good time to be cutting stuff.

Man, I know y'all have heard me talk about my struggle with burning this year. I made my awesome fire break. Used the dozer at about gosh, I keep forgetting. 30, 30 acres, something like that, that I wanted to burn and the weather in my schedule, just have not Timed out together. I actually looked at it last weekend.

A lot of the stuff that I dozed is actually starting to grow grass already in the fire [00:03:00] break. So if I do find a chance to get to burn it, I'm probably gonna have to redo the fire break at least, touch it up in a bunch of areas. Because we just had an early spring. And then be again, because of that early spring things are getting green already.

It's gonna be tough to get it to burn anyway. Still thinking about trying it just to see what I can get. There's a lot of areas that I'm gonna be burning that's, old dead vegetation leaves, stuff like that. So I think I could still have a decent burn. But again, the window on that is closing water holes.

This is a great time to put one of those in. But again, pretty soon the rain's gonna be shutting off and so you won't be able to fill it. Get that. Screening cover. I got my switch grass in two weeks ago, I think. So that was really cool, really excited about that. I th I'm trying to think if we gotten a rain on it since I planted it.

I got it in an hour before we were supposed to get a huge storm, and then the storm ended up pushing just a little bit north of us and we got very little water on it. But the ground was pretty saturated to begin. I used our new finishing plow. Just did a really [00:04:00] light plowing on it.

Kind of get that good exposed dirt. Put the, put or straightened out the rows and hit it again to get that nice seed bed. Ended up just broadcasting the seed cuz 10 pounds of seed on. Over two acres is just nothing. And so end up buying like a little hand spreader spread the seed and then ran the disc over really lightly one last time to cover it up and think I'm gonna be in good position there.

So yeah. Any type of habitat project you've been working on? Time to get it wrapped up because it's just getting a little bit late in the year. So number two. Number two is get your stands, blinds and feeders set up. Maybe you just ended up not hunting a tree stand very often last year cause it wasn't in a great spot.

Time to take that thing down, move it somewhere else. If maybe you had a one of your blinds or something that just, something was off with it for me. One of mine, the cows rubbed on it real bad, and they pushed the front legs out and so it was like leaning forward all season long [00:05:00] and I never had a chance to fix it and didn't wanna take the tractor back there and disturb everything.

So I need to lift that puppy up and put some blocks under the front or something to raise that front end. Back up the trying to rest a gun on the window. Not gonna happen because it was way too low. So yeah, new stands, move, old stands, replace straps. That's a big. I don't replace the straps of my tree stands every year, but I try to do it every two years and max three years.

Kinda depending on what kind of tree it's in, if it's a smoother bark tree and it's not growing much, I might try to push it to three, but usually every two years I'm trying to replace those straps. If you have your feeders fences around them make sure all the wires are good.

Make sure they haven't rusted off. Make sure the pigs aren't getting in there or the cows haven't knocked 'em down. Just really get that stuff squared away because that's stuff that you definitely don't wanna do when it's a hundred degrees outside. I did that last year. I bought a bunch of panels mid-summer.

And I was out there driving tea post and dragging panels around in the blazing hot sun, and it just wasn't very [00:06:00] fun. So this is a great time of year to do that before it gets too hot. As I mentioned, the trees are starting to put on leaves, but they're not fully leafed yet. And so you can still see how things are going to be when fall rolls around.

See if you need to do any trimming or not. If you do hang stands. I don't do too much trimming this time of year that I do wait till the summer, until season gets a little bit closer. Because you just dunno how things are gonna grow and you don't wanna cut too much. I'm way more worried about cutting too much than not enough.

So yeah, move your stands, hang your stands, get your blinds ready, get your feeders ready. But maybe hold off just a little bit on the trim. All right, number three. This one's pretty obvious. It's time to put in those spring food plots. Ground temps are rising. We're still getting good rain, but that's probably gonna start going away pretty soon.

So if you put in spring food plots, we're coming up on primetime late April, early May. Great time to get that seed in the ground. I was actually talking to my my sister's father-in-law when I was up in [00:07:00] Nebraska. He's a full-time farmer. They do mostly beans and corn. And this year for the first time I'm gonna try to plant some soybeans for the deer.

So I was asking him a few questions cuz I feel like I want to wait as late as possible because I want some of that to, hold off until the fall. So I was asking him about, spacing row spacing how late I can wait, temperature, that type of thing. He's, so our our planter is on seven and a half inch rows.

He suggested that I tape over every other row to, push it out to about 15 inches. He said that's pretty standard. Basically if you get 'em too close, Even though you're getting more seed in the ground, it's just a little bit close. He does know some people who do that, but he recommended me.

Go ahead and do the 15 inch spac. And and then he, his suggestion was basically, wait as long as I think I can, but still have rain. He said, they'll still grow into the summer soybeans I don't know. I've never, I have zero experience with soybeans, but apparently they're fairly easy to grow.

If you have your good seed bed and [00:08:00] everything. And so he told me, especially if I'm trying to get, fall grazing so I can hunt over 'em like I said, wait as long as possible, just make sure that I'm going to get some rain on 'em, especially at the beginning, to get 'em kickstarted.

So yeah, no matter what you're planning, whether it's cereal, grains, soybeans, corn, whatever, It's getting about that time, it's probably already time or past time to plant corn. We have way too many hogs for me to try to plant a corn food plot, so I'm gonna try the soybeans. And I think my plan is to plant the whole food plot.

And then when we get closer to fall, I'm I can't decide if I want to like, take down half of 'em or just plant into half of 'em. I'm not sure how I'm gonna do that, just. But I wanna leave about half of it in soybeans and then the other half into more of a fall food plot. Wheat, oats, turnips, that type of thing.

The wheat that I planted last year is looking awesome. I was just up there a week or two ago and and it was really popping. So I got a lot of food out there right now, which I'm loving that. I'm [00:09:00] gonna terminate the wheat, gonna plant the soybeans, within a few weeks. Should have a nice green food plot.

I think I'm planting. Two different plots. One's about three acres, one's about two. The other the two acre one was an acre and a half, but I already went back there with the dozer and did some more clearing, took out some trees that were in the middle of the plot, took out some trees that were on the edge because I really wanted to push that to a full two acres.

Cause I think soybeans is, are one of those crops that you can plant. Too small. If you don't have enough acreage, the deer just gonna come in and wipe 'em out and they can't recover. They can't keep up with the browse pressure. So I push that out to two acres. I'm not even sure that's gonna be big enough.

But I'm definitely gonna try it. And again, I'm not too concerned with harvesting these beans. I want them there for the deer to feed 'em, attract them, all that good stuff. And so hopefully two acres isn't enough. I think the three acre one should be just, Both of those also, that's where I planted the switch grass for the screening.

So very excited about those food plots coming up this fall. Any other notes on [00:10:00] that? I think that's it. If you're gonna be plant F, fall food plots, now's the time. All right. Number. Four. This one's is we're gonna talk about trail cameras. I put on here basically just check your trail cameras to make sure they still work.

Every year it seems like I lose, one or two usually end up buying one or two a year. But you just wanna make sure that they're still working. If the batteries are dead, put new batteries in them. Put a SD card in there, set 'em up in your living room, backyard, whatever you want.

Walk by it a few times. Wait a couple minutes, walk by it again, and just make sure that it's taking pictures. Because I have experienced it several times. You put a camera out there, you leave it for, a month, two months, whatever, you come back and check it. N zero picture. It happened to me this year, actually.

And it's silly me. I thought it was just the, that I'd forgot to turn it. Or turned it on, so I flipped it back on, left it for another month, came back, still zero pictures. It said it was working. It just wasn't Make sure they're actually taking pictures. If you're gonna store them for a little while, make sure you take all the batteries out [00:11:00] of them.

Make sure the SD cards are cleared because you don't want to, use the same card over and over again. Eventually gets full and then it won't save any more pictures. So make sure you're clearing the SD cards, checking all the pictures. And then also one last thing on the trail cameras is, Evaluate where you're putting them.

Because if that camera's out there and it's not getting pictures of deer or target buck, then it's really not doing you much good. Yes, you can learn a little bit from that. You can learn that the deer aren't there, like they're not using that area. But if the deer aren't using that area, There's no reason to have that camera there.

So I had I think three cameras actually this year that I had put out trying to find the 2% buck, the big deal that I'm after. I thought for sure he was using this one ridge. So I had one at the top. I had one at the bottom. I had one like a creek crossing trail. Trying to just learn this deer and how he's using the property and basically didn't get pictures of him or really many other deer on any of those three.

And so this coming year, I don't wanna [00:12:00] just waste my time and waste a camera on a spot that isn't doing anything for me. N I'm not just talking about, taking tr, taking care of your trail cameras in this little segment here, but I want you to evaluate how you're using them, where you're putting them, and are they doing.

Anything for you. Yeah, now's a great time. Do some scouting on the ground. Do some scouting on the map. Maybe there's another place you can put 'em where they can be much more beneficial and you can learn a lot more. And so evaluate where you're putting the cameras. All right, number five, we're blowing through these.

Number five is shoot your bow or your gun, whatever it is you're gonna be hunting. Shoot it. Now is the time to improve your shooting skills, not three weeks before hunting season or during hunting season. If you're wanting to, extend your range or just make, get better groups, improve your form, whatever it is, now is the time to do that.

And for me personally, I do way more shooting in the spring. Than I do in the summer, because let's be honest, it's just hot. It's not near as fun to go out there when [00:13:00] it's, 95 degrees and standing in the stu in the sun and shoot your bow. And so spring is a great time to hone your skills, improve your skills and just practice.

Just get comfortable with your equipment. That way when it is super hot, hopefully you're still shooting, but you're more maintaining than trying to improve. Because again, it's usually all I can do to stand out there and shoot a dozen or two arrows before I'm just drenched with sweat. Now with with my daughter and stuff, I'm not, I don't have as much time to.

Just free time in the evenings and so now is a very good time to get out there. Like I said, whether it's your bow or your gun, doesn't matter. And just shoot and practice and try to improve your skills. Okay guys, we ended up blowing through that list pretty quick and I don't wanna leave y'all with too short of a podcast this week.

So we're gonna recap the hog count from a few weekends ago when a couple of the guys from the Sportsman's Empire came down. Man, it would've been last like November, December, somewhere in there. We [00:14:00] had a a Sports Empire meeting and so we had all the guys on a Zoom call and stuff.

I just threw it out there. Cause a bunch of the guys have been hinting that they'd love to come down and hunt hogs. And so I just threw it out there to the whole group. Anybody who wants to come down and go hog hunting, I'm gonna pick a weekend and we're gonna do it. So there's so many guys that I knew trying to find a weekend everybody could do it will just be impossible.

And I just looked at my schedule, picked a good weekend that would work for. And just threw the weekend out there to see who could do it. And again, I threw this out there back in like December. So guys kinda had time to plan. Ended up having three guys come down. So it was Nick from the Hunt War podcast, Andrew from the oh two podcast, and Dan from the Nomadic Outdoors man.

And Dan actually just came down super last minute and he only got to stay for one night. But yeah, that was awesome to get. So I'd never met any of these guys before. We'd all talked on Zoom. I'd been on a couple of their podcasts. I'd had some of them on my podcast, but we'd never actually, In person and we all kinda laughed when we all first got together.

We were like [00:15:00] joking about how oh, I imagine you to be taller. Like I thought you were older, stuff like that. So it was fun getting to meet a couple of the guys. And I'd I'd been working a few weeks in advance to get things set up. And basically what I had done was I filled up all my deer feeders, and again, most of these feeders I have pinned now.

And so basically I opened the gate and brought a T post with me, drove a T post in the ground to hold the gate where I wanted it, and I opened them about a foot to foot and a half, about 18 inches. And kinda did it for two reasons. One a lot of these pasture stuff, cows, And so I didn't want the cows to get in there.

And two, that opening works is like a funnel. The hogs can only come in through there. And the big thing is once you start shooting, they can only leave through there. And the first evening it actually worked out just like I imagined. Dan had a group of hogs come in. He had I don't know, probably about eight, come in the pen.

There was more coming out of the timber actually. But one of the big sows realized something was up. Smelt him, saw him something, the wind was [00:16:00] like perfect. But anyway, she was onto him, so she kinda started trotting towards the opening and Dan realized that and took action and led into this group.

And so he downed the big south his first shot, he downed a smaller pig with his next shot that kind of blocked the gate, created a bottleneck just like I had drawn up. He ended up shooting, I think two more. Yeah, two more. No one more. While they were running away out in the field, he shot one more, that kind of one more small one that got trapped in the pin.

He's pretty sure he hit a couple more, but they, made it off. So he ended up getting four outta that group, which was pretty darn good. They had all asked me like, what I thought would be considered good, if a big group came in. And was at the feeder and stuff, and I told him three three's pretty darn good.

I'd be pretty happy with that. So he got four, so very impressed. He was just shooting an AR there. So yeah, he had the one big sow, a medium sow, I think, and then two smaller, probably 40 pound. Hard to call him a piglet, but [00:17:00] not. Mature yet. So yeah, so right off the bat we had four pigs down, so that was pretty awesome.

So we run to dinner real quick and get some food. And then went back out for the evening with some thermals and the guys have been asking me a bunch of questions, obviously leading up to it. And obviously they were all hoping to get one in daylight. A couple of 'em brought their bows and stuff and I told 'em, daylight is possible, but it's tough.

It's a little tougher. But I told 'em, don't worry cuz we're gonna get some pigs. At the worst case we're gonna go out with thermals and I can almost guarantee you that we're gonna have some. So Andrew had actually brought a thermal for this trip and then we had mine, so we had two thermals, four guys.

So we get out to the ranch, we're rolling down the ranch road, and I mean within four minutes we see a nice looking boar eating outta one of the feed troughs actually. And so we're, trying to kinda get things organized and he heard us, saw something and kind of took off running. And so I was like, all right, we're gonna go up to the next gate, go through it, and we can hopefully try to cut [00:18:00] 'em.

So we get up there, we get through the gate, we get out, we get all the thermals ready to go. And we had done a walkthrough at the house, this is how we're gonna approach, this is how we're gonna line up. We're gonna do a 1, 2, 3 type thing. Usually if there's a group if there's a single, we'll just pick a guy, that kind of thing.

Just go over all the safety things. I was actually glad that we only had two thermals because just, the more shooters you have, the more dangerous it gets. But two is very easy to manage. You can get them up side by side. I told 'em if the Hulks start going one way, you can shoot for a little while, but eventually, whoever's on the opposite side just gonna have to stop shooting.

One of my big safety rules is just don't move once the shooting starts. Guys always wanna try to run around and get in position and move around people, and that's when people get hurt. So especially if you're, hunting with new people whether that's new people that they have never thermal hunted, or just a person that has thermal hunted but you haven't hunted with, and, y'all don't have like your system down.

It's just very important to, to stay in one spot. So anyway pull through the gate to the next pasture. Pull up little ways. Turn the thermals on. We're scanning, looking around, [00:19:00] and we can't find that hog. But I just happened to look on the next hillside, in the next pasture, I see one load hog that just popped out of the woods, and it's like, all right guys, like we got one back there.

Trying to figure out if it's worth just walking or if we wanna drive. And then I see another one, and then another one. So we got three pigs out there. I was like, all right, sweet. Pretty excited. And then Andrew, who had the other thermal, he looks over to our left. He's Hey I got one.

And so I turned that way and I can tell right away, it's big, it's a big O bore, out there by itself. I don't think it was the one we had seen at the trough, but it was a, Even larger, but we're heading towards the trough. And so I skim back to the right, and by this time there's probably eight pigs coming out of the woods in that other group.

But they were further away. There's a pretty big creek between us and them. And again, I'm looking at this boar and I just know it's massive. And it's pretty darn close. Like we're basically in shooting range and so I make the executive decision like, Hey, let's go after this boar.

[00:20:00] And so we take off heading to the left. Wind's pretty good. We know where he is headed because of that. Get up and we close the distance to about, I'm gonna say 1 20, 1 50. It's really hard to tell distance when you're looking through a thermal. But Andrew had this gun, he was zeroed in, very confident in it.

We had a bipod for him and everything. And so he gets ready, hogs walking along, and it stops, gives him a good shot and he shoots and boom, we hear it. Hammer, we can hear especially bigger hogs. Really any hog though, their skin is so thick. Like when you hit one, you hit it and he smacked this thing.

So it turns and starts running off and Andrew's shooting the ar sends another round through it and boom, we hear another smack. We're like, all right, sweet. And the hog reacts like it was definitely a hit. And so it's going along and we kinda lose it in some brush. And it finally pops out in a little clearing and this thing sits down like it's hurting.

So it actually sits down on, its on its butt. And I'm, trying to guide it. And he's Hey, [00:21:00] between this gap, blah, blah, blah. He's sitting down, but. Put another one in 'em. We don't start, we don't stop shooting until they're down. And so he puts a third round in it. And this thing I expected to just roll over dead.

This thing gets up and keeps walking. And so by this time it made it into this little ravine where we lose sight of it. So we're running back the other direction, trying to cut it off, trying to get ahead. We're looking, we're not seeing anything. And then finally, at the property boundary, right at the edge of the woods, we see this pig again.

And so we're like, hurry, he's getting away. And Andrew sets up and for a fourth time shoots this pig. And smack, we hear it. And once again though, this pig just keeps going and he mixed it into the brush. And so we get up there. We're, looking for blood, looking for anything we can find.

We're scanning into the woods. We're good friends with this neighbor. I know that he's not gonna mind if we cross to his side of the fence especially after our hog. And but we ended up, we, we looked for a while and could not find this thing. And like I said, he's [00:22:00] shooting a six five creed more, put four hits in it.

And this thing just tanked its way through and made it to the cover. So we ended up not recovering that pig. A bummer. I hate to keep saying this for Andrew, but it was a really nice looking bore. So we scanned around a little bit. That group, they probably heard the shooting ran off a little bit all right guys, let's, let's keep going.

Move on. And so we we go back out, come around from a different angle. I was scanning and a coyote popped up outta nowhere, like 30, 40 yards from the truck. And the other guys, they they didn't have hunting licenses cause you don't have to have a hunting license for hogs, but you do have to have one for coyotes.

So shoot the, I shoot the coyote. So that's cool. Gonna got a coyote. Keep going back and we go, we're almost to the back of the property on the west side of the property. And I see a single hotspot out there. It's like, all right, guys. Can't tell if it's a deer or a hog. It's facing us, but I'm gonna say it's probably a hog.

So we get a little closer and I'm looking, zooming in. And it turns to the [00:23:00] side, and I can tell, all right, we got another hog. So not quite as big as the first boar, but definitely a decent size boar, out there by himself again. And Dan had killed the hogs at the feeder. Nick had, put some rounds into a pig.

I was like, all right, Nick, it's your turn. Nick's gonna shoot my again, so I clipped the thermal on the. We're walking up. He's got the bipod, he's ready. And I'm, I can hear his breathing picking up big time, so I'm like putting my hand on his shoulder. Hey man calm down. Like we're good wind's good.

Everything's good. Can't see us. And so we get up a little further and we get to I'm gonna say, 80 ish yards and the pig's in the next pasture. But, so we get up pretty close to the fence. I don't wanna get too close. Got the thermal on the gun, hand it to Nick. Nick's getting steady.

We got Andrew as a backup shooter. And so I'm whispering to Nick Hey, he's not going anywhere. Just wait for the good shot. Take your time. And Nick's sitting there and all of a sudden I hear the click safety goes off. I'm like, all right, sweet. Go time, in the bag. He shoots and I immediately hear this twinging [00:24:00] and I kid you not guys, I don't know what the chances of this are, but that 3 0 8 bullet hit the barbed wire fence between us and that pig snapped the wire completely.

The. It goes flooding the hog like looks up, takes off running. It, didn't hit him. It, the bullet deflected. Andrew, right on cue, he shoots, we hear a smack. He puts one in it. I think Nick's gun had actually jammed our run over there. Yanked the bolt back and I say, you're good.

He gets up, he shoots and hits it here. Not allow smack I think Andrew puts one more. And this thing again, is just trucking along. I guess they were just because it was going away, I guess they were just shooting it in the butt basically, which is, all you can do. I don't know what was going, I don't know what was going on with these pigs, but they just had supernatural powers for some reason.

And so that ho he gets out of shooting distance. We run jump in the truck, open the gates, go in there after him, and he'd gone off this hill. So we're looking, we're scanning. Can't find him. I finally see a hotspot right on the [00:25:00] edge of our pasture and the neighbors where again, it gets thick.

And and they, I wanna say one of 'em threw a hail Mary out there, 300 yards, something like that. But didn't hit it. And then he took off into the brush and pig number two. Also got away after, again, at least three rounds in him. I don't know what the deal was. I, Nick was shooting hollow points outta my gun, which is what I always shoot.

I love hollow points. That's just what I use for pig rounds. Andrew was using I believe he was using ballistic tips. Not a lot of experience with those. But yeah, like I said, these things are just, they were both big mature bores, super tough and I'm sure they probably died, but nowhere close to where we could find them.

So the guys have been a little discouraged now we've been on some pigs. They've had some opportunities who hadn't quite capitalized on. And so we we keep going. We're driving through the pastures, not having much luck. But this time it's probably two 30 ish in the morning, something like that.

And we decided like, [00:26:00] all right, let's check this one more spot, and then we're gonna head to the house. It's getting late, so we check out the last spot, not seeing anything we're. Basically packing up and my phone buzzes and it's my cell cam in the very back and there's pigs at the feeder.

And so I tell the, I give the guys the option. I'm like, Hey, completely up to y'all, but right back there little ways. There are pigs at a feeder if y'all wanna try to go get on 'em. So they kinda talk amongst themselves, decide they're there to, to hunt pigs. And so we decided to go for it.

It's not easy, this is like my back deer hunting type area. Not super easy to get back there. You gotta go through this big deep creek. You gotta go up this big hill. You wind your way back there. So we finally get back, fairly close. And we get outta the truck, we park a good ways away.

Cause at this point, I'm feeling bad for 'em cuz I just, I know they're disappointed. They drove all this way to get on some pigs. You can see the frustration in their face. And so I'm doing everything I can to try to, help him out. So we park pretty good ways away. We go over the guns.

I [00:27:00] had a spare ar in the backseat that I gave to Dan and I brought my flashlight. And so the plan was for, get set up on him, let Andrew and Nick light into him with the thermals. And then after they got shooting, I was gonna turn the light on so that Dan, I didn't have a thermal on that ar just had a red dot.

So I'd turn the flashlight on and hopefully he could get some shots to you. So we go creeping up, creeping along, and we get, fairly close. The wind's good and everything. We got some nice taller grass between us and them. And they look through the thermals and, they start freaking out.

Cause it was a pretty big group. I wanna say it was 20 of them at least. But there was this one pretty big tree that I really wanted to get around, and this my fault we'll get there in a second, but I just, I didn't want them to start shooting. And then the pigs go behind this tree and they lose them and stuff.

So I, I made the decision to go a little bit further. So we did. About the time we got past that tree, we're out in the food plot at this point, out of the thicker grass, taller grass. And all of a sudden, I and [00:28:00] again, I don't have a thermal, so I can't like watch, I can't see the pigs reactions or, how they're acting or anything like that.

I'm just gonna have to, I'm just going off of what they're saying. And so we get past the tree and I hear one of 'em whisper, like they're. And so they obviously saw us probably since we got out in the open. We had a pretty big. And so I tell 'em, hurry, get set up and start shooting. There's, no time to waste.

And and so Dan's yelling at me to turn the light on and I'm trying to wait to let the, Dan had already killed four. I'm trying to wait and let the guys who hadn't shot yet shoot and use the thermals. And so finally they start opening up. Turned the light on. And there was, the wheat was just tall enough and the pigs were just far enough away that the light didn't quite reach there.

You could see some flashes, but you couldn't, it was hard to like, focus in. So Dan didn't really get to shoot, but Nick and Andrew, they both emptied their mags. Bullets are going everywhere, pigs are going everywhere and stuff. A couple of 'em, when they got to the fence, it was almost like they hit a brick wall.

They kept stopping even though the bottom wire. 18 inches off the [00:29:00] ground. And I watched one of 'em shoot like a smaller pig. This one slightly larger pig kind of runs around. I hear Nick shoot and I hear a thud. So I'm confident that, he hit one. And so anyway, so we're, the kind of, the smoke clears everything.

Their guns are empty, the pigs are gone, and we start looking around and we. We're just not finding any they're using the thermal, I'm using the flashlight. And and I was like, man, I know I saw a small one go down up here. So we go up. Sure enough, there's like probably like a 12 to 15 pound, like still red, little piglet that they had taken down.

And that's the only one we're finding. And and they're like, there's no way. There's no way. We only got one little piglet outta this bunch. And so we're, looking around again using flashlights, thermals, everything. We're not finding anything. And then I think it was actually Dan who was like, Hey, I got some blood.

So we go over there and sure enough, some little specks of blood. And so we're looking around, we're shining the thermals flashlights, but where they're looking into is, incredibly [00:30:00] thick. It's it's the edge of the canyon. It's like my bedding area, my my safe zone. It's just kinda where I don't really go into, and it's thick for a reason.

And so Dan and Andrew end up climbing the fence and they're looking, they find some more blood, so they're feeling, you're more confident that there's a pig down, I think. I think Dan found some like intestines, like some stomach matter type stuff. So they know there's a pig back there hurting.

And so they, they decide that like they're going after this thing and they literally end up on their hands and knees crawling through these briars and under cedar trees and stuff through super thick stuff after this wounded hog. And so me, I'm kinda like, I don't know if I'm gonna go in there.

No. Nick's kind of the. So we're standing, standing out and then all of a sudden I hear he's right here. And and then I hear like a click and he's gun guns jam. And then I hear a pop from a pistol and I hear something running through the brush. And so me and Nick are standing next to each other and I [00:31:00] hand him my flashlight and I pull my little nine millimeter pistol.

Cause you know, it's coming towards us, towards the opening. And it comes up right to the edge and stops. We can. Wheezing and, struggling for breath. Can't see. And so they're tr they can see it. So they're trying to shoot it again, but they don't wanna shoot at us. And so they're like directing us to go to the side and everything.

Nick runs back to get my thermal, but the gun was empty so he couldn't, the gun was worthless, but he, so he just brings the thermal, we're looking with the thermal and everything. And again, we can hear it breathing and we don't know how big it is. I, I heard Dan say we can't communicate real well, but I hear him say it's not that big, but it's not small either.

So eventually I just climbed the fence. I work around, I can finally see it. I can tell it's not huge, and I know it has, at least one, if not multiple. Larger rifle rounds plus the pistol round that Dan put in it. I pull my pistol, get the flashlight, walk up on this thing, get up to it.

Turns out it's probably, I don't know, I'm gonna say 60 pounds. 60 70 pounds. And get up close enough. [00:32:00] It's hurting bad. So I get up close to it and finish it off with my pistol. And and then poor Dan and Andrew, belly crawl again under all the briars and stuff to get out there. And so I think they were still a little disappointed that they only got two out of the pack.

We actually found out later I went back to that field I guess two days later to plant my switch grass and found a third pig that they had killed that we just weren't able to. And so again, like probably more dead pigs, those are just the only ones we found. But, so they ended up getting three out of that.

At the time we thought it was only two. And so day one we wound up with six, six pigs. Yep. So pretty darn good day. And by the time we got back there, shot found the pigs, loaded the pigs, all that good stuff. It. 4:30 AM I'm pretty sure. I think we didn't make it back to the house till about 5:00 AM.

And yeah, we had already gutted Dan's after dinner before we went out. And so we got back, took the guts out of those two small ones real quick and and got 'em hung and then went to bed. So yeah, [00:33:00] next day we slept in. Obviously, like I said, we didn't get to bed till about five five.

Poor Nick couldn't sleep very well, so he was actually up about seven 30 or eight, I think, and and got to work on cleaning those pigs. And I gotta hand it to Nick, a big, he's, he the hunt of war, for those of you who don't know, he runs like a cooking podcast. And that was a big reason he wanted to come down because he had heard the narrative just like I had that pigs were no good.

There's this newer wave that, maybe they can be good. And it's how you cook 'em and take care of 'em and everyth. So that was really his main goal for the trip. Yes, he wanted to shoot some pigs, but he wanted to cook these things too. And so he ended up cleaning all six of those pigs.

He brought down a torch and everything. He laid 'em on a pallet and burned all the hair off and then scraped them. And unfortunately, I was still asleep because I was exhausted when he was doing all that. So I didn't get to watch the whole process. But I caught enough towards the end to figure out what was going on and I'm very.

Oh, excuse me. [00:34:00] I'm very excited to see what he does with these hogs. He's already sent me a few pictures. He sent me some pork chops he had made that just looked delicious. Last night he sent me a roast he had made that also looked delicious. He said that the fat just melted in your mouth.

The flavor was awesome. And so he has done good and I can't wait to hear more about it. I know he is got a podcast or a YouTube video coming out soon and I'm really interested in that. So yeah, that day, like I said, we were pretty much wiped. We ran to lunch. We recorded a quick podcast and then it was already time for the afternoon hunt.

And so Dan actually had to leave, he had to get back to Missouri for his. And so it was just Nick and Andrew left and myself. And so yeah the second evening we get out there and as I'm dropping Andrew off at his blind, He mentions like he's not feeling super good. Like he, he said his stomach wasn't feeling great.

He didn't think it was that bad, but he just kinda said man, something seems off. So drop him off and then drop Nick off. And then I go [00:35:00] back towards the back. I was more going for like coyotes than hogs. They've just, they've been getting after the calves and the cattle and stuff.

So I was trying to take out some co. So sit in the blind for, I don't know, probably 30 minutes, something like that. And then in our group text, Andrew sends us a text saying, just threw up outside of the blind. And so I was like, Hey man, do I need to come get you? Not a big deal, are you hurting and stuff.

And he's oh I think I can make it. I think I'm okay. And so I'm like, all right man just let me know if I need to come get you. So probably another 30 ish minutes go by, 30, 45 minutes. And Andrew text me again and he is like, Hey, I need to go to the house right now. And so I climbed down, not a problem.

And this is all in like our group chat. So I'd tell Nick, I was like, Hey man, you keep hunting, you hunted out. I'll run, get Andrew, take him back to the house and come back and get you. And he says, Roger that. So run, pick Andrew up. And poor guy. He was hurting. I could tell. Not super talkative.

I actually, I had to pull over one time and let him throw up as we [00:36:00] were leaving the property. I offered, I was like, Hey, do we need to go to Walmart or Dollar General get you something, some Pepto or something like that. He's man, I just need bed. I was like, all right.

So driving back to the house and he, I'm talking, he goes straight upstairs and goes to bed. He pour I, I can't he act, we were trying to figure out what was going on. I was like, man, maybe is it food poisoning from lunch? And the only thing he had that none of the rest of us had was a salad.

And so we thought it might have been food poisoning. He said he'd been sick a few weeks before. And he, this is how bad it was. He said he hoped it was food poisoning because whatever sickness he'd had a few weeks ago was worse. And like I've had food poisoning and I can't imagine too much worse than that.

So anyway, get him in bed. Ended up he ended up being all right. He, we didn't have to bring him anything. He slept through the night, woke up early next morning and hit the road. So yeah, luckily he wasn't too bad. So anyway, so I head back to, to pick up Nick and I had just gotten back to the property, gone through the first gate and my phone buzzes and it was him.[00:37:00]

And I think the first text said tank coming in or something like that. And then immediately followed up was, bro hold it like brute down or something like that. And so I'm jazzed. Yeah, so excited. He was shooting my ar with the red dot on it, so fly back there. I'm driving way through way too fast through the pastures cuz it's getting dark.

I wanna try to get some good photos for him and everything. Get back there to him. And sure enough, he had taken a pretty nice bore. So we, laid him out, got some nice pictures and everything ended up having to drag him uphill to the truck, which was not super fun. But he was, he, he was down in a creek bed and there was just no way to get the truck closer.

So luckily Nick had this cool little packable drag thing. And so we drag it up the hill, loaded it up, and it's about dark at this point, probably eight o'clock, something like. And just to let y'all know how tired these guys were from the night before. As we're getting in the truck, my phone buzzes and it's a different cell cam and there's a group of hogs on the other side of the property.

Pretty big [00:38:00] group, probably 15 pigs or so out of feeder. And, but it's just me and Nick at this point. And I was like, Hey, man completely up to you. We can go after him or, do whatever you wanna do. He just looks at me, he's I think I'm good. Like he got his, definite one pig.

He already had four coolers full of hog meat and he was like I think I'm good with this one. And and so I respected him for that. He wasn't there to just kill him and drag him off and leave him. He was there quite for, really the opposite. He wanted to prove that, that you could in fact, clean them and eat 'em and do all that stuff.

So definitely my hat's off to him for that. So we headed back to the house, got that last pig gutted and cleaned and everything. He had, I forgot about this part. He had taken the loin tenderloins out of the big sal that we had killed the day before and put 'em in a chili lime marinade.

And so after we got done gutting that hog, he went inside and fired up the. Cooked that thing with some, with a side of green beans. And let me just tell you guys, those tenderloins were amazing, super [00:39:00] tender. The flavor was crazy. One thing that man I've just never really been around like a real chef.

Nick would describe. What you were about to taste and like in detail, he'd be like, first you're gonna get this and then you'll get this kick come after that and blah. And it was just, and it was every time, it was exactly what he described. My palate is not near as robust, I guess as you would say.

As his. But man, it was delicious. And so I definitely was inspired by Nick. I think I said that on his podcast. Definitely inspired to try to do more with these wild hogs because if put a just a little bit of work into it, they can be delicious. One of the big takeaways I took from that Tenderloin though, was not only how delicious it was, but was the size.

Like when you buy a port tenderloin in the grocery, They're usually at least, 12 inches long probably four inches thick, something like that. This thing was, this came out of about a 240 pound sow. We decided, and this, these things were like [00:40:00] maybe eight inches long and like at the max, two inches thick.

And so it just made me like realize how big domestic hogs are compared to wild hogs. So anyway, random side note. So yeah, like I said when the guys hit the road we had decided they had killed seven hogs. I ended up finding the eighth hog later after they left, unfortunately.

But yeah, and for basically two nights three to four guys, eight pigs, not too shabby. So yeah, that was that weekend. I think we're definitely gonna try to make it a yearly thing. Hopefully these guys will spread the word and we'll get some more of the Sportsman's Empire guys coming down to Oklahoma to experience it.

But it was an absolute blast and I had a great time. I think they had a great time. It was really cool. Also just talking about like the different hunting cultures. We had four guys there from four different states, so we were comparing rules and regs and hunting cultures and everything like that.

So just a really neat experience. So anyway, guys, I hope y'all enjoyed my five things to do before summer. I hope you [00:41:00] enjoyed these hog stories. I don't know why I struggled right there, hog stories and I think that's gonna do it for this week. Like I said before, I'm on vacation right now, so I hope the audio is okay.

I hope y'all are enjoying it. I hope you're having a good spring. Get this stuff done before summer and until next time, I will see y'all right back here on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast.

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