There and Back Again: The Desolation of Haug


Like an army of Tolkien goblins crashing through the forest, I could hear the wild boar rumbling down hill.  Evil high pitched squeals of tortured agony and rage along with the guttural grunts and snorts caused a rapid rise in my heart rate.  Not squirrels or birds hopping in the dry leaves giving rise to false hopes.  Limbs cracked, hooves thudded and briers snapped as the rambling procession edged closer.  No, these were animals of considerable size. I moved my rifle into position silently, and peered through the scope to assure a clear line of fire.   on the stand.

My range finder told me in alarm-clock-red letters it was 123 yards to the large birch near the trail I figured the pigs would use to enter the pasture.   Confidently hidden, I was perched in a tripod stand on the back side of our ranch.  I wore no magic ring, just my black SmartWool merino base layers and camouflage neoprene waders–I was nearly invisible nonetheless in the shade and leaves of a pecan grove.   Middle Lilly Creek was full, making the neoprene waders a necessity, though I was fighting my natural sweating proclivities despite temperatures in the 20s.  But a risen creek was a good thing because it meant decreased hunting pressure.

Soon the anticipation was over and into the field burst a pair of black razorbacks nose to the ground pushing the sandy loam aside like bulldozers.   I aligned my cross-hairs on the fur covered shoulder of the boar as it moved hurriedly back and forth at the edge of the mirkwoods. The light was soft and through my scope darkness and latent muscular energy emanated from the beast.   Slowly, my finger steadily increased pressure until the sight picture was suddenly obscured as the second boar swung his torso violently  into the first sending them both onto their backs.  I stopped my squeeze.

As the swine scrambled to their feet I found my mark again and shot.  I didn’t feel the shock from the synthetic stock of my Tika T3 .3006  because I was distracted by screaming eerily reminiscent of ring-wraiths.   I lost sight of my target through the scope and the pigs sprinted towards me, one stopping 50 yards to the right.   I sent another 180 grains racing into the swine only to see him run the 70 yards behind me out of sight.

Distraught, I climbed from my hiding spot in the tree leaves, and started my search for blood.  I found none.   I cursed myself for missing at such close range.  Then elation.

discovery 2

A hill of black fur with steam escaping gaping wounds like smoke from an active volcano indicated my bullets had found their mark.  I approached the animal with respect, ensuring there would be no sudden reanimation and cause for a quick retreat.  Though an estimated 150 pounds, this boar was young.  Perfect for eating.

discovery 1

Gutted, quartered and loaded into my pack I began the half mile hike to my SUV.  No elves or dwarfs greeted me on my trek through the woods, but when I finally reached the vehicle a second breakfast sure sounded nice.


shoulder removed

tree limb


up close


sitting 3



  1. Great write up! As exciting as it would be to hunt boars around here I’m fearful of their impact on the other wildlife.

    Congratulations on your harvest, lots of good eating there.

  2. I liked this post before reading it, based on title alone. The post itself did not disappoint either. Nice work. We are told that we have feral hogs here in Michigan, but I have not seen nor heard of anyone having seen any. Enjoy.

  3. I am still pretty upset our big trip to hog hunt got cancelled on us. I looooooove pork, and I would kill (a pig) to get a chance to taste wild pork. I want to do this so bad! I assume it’s like hunting deer, only they’re uglier and louder? There’s an off chance we’ll be heading down there this Spring.

    • Mark they are destructive, but tasty. I’m glad they are at my family ranch because I neither ranch or farm. So a pig plowed field doesn’t bother me. Also, despite the growing pig population our ranch has seen an increase in amount and quality of deer since hogs arrival. That said, maybe they will one impact deer populations adversely.

      Homestead Dad I’m glad you liked it and I should have worked in more Hobbit references.

      Amber, pigs act different in different parts of the state. Where I hunted them in North East Texas, they are prone to leave an area after high pressure like elk. Where I live, South East Texas, they are so abundant you always see one. You can hunt them any number of ways, but this hunt was exactly like a typical whitetail deer hunt.

  4. Excellent post! The pics were enjoyable and made me want to drive south for a visit. The writing was exceptional as well. Thanks for the good read!

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