BRIAN JOHNSON ON OUTDOORS: Bowhunting is a lot of fun
My favorite type of hunting through the years has been bowhunting.
I love almost everything about it. I love that it requires shooting practice in the offseason. I love that it is more challenging than other forms of hunting. I love the freedom that I feel when I am sitting 20 feet up in a tree. I love that I have to beat the animals sense of smell and that I have to get extremely close to the game that I am hunting in order to make a kill.
I love the sense of accomplishment that I feel when everything comes together and I am able to harvest an animal for the table. If I could only choose one weapon to hunt with for the rest of my life, I would choose my compound bow and arrow.
Fortunately, I don’t have to pick just one weapon for hunting. I am blessed to be able to hunt with compounds bows, traditional bows, crow bows, handguns, rifles, and shotguns. I get to hunt from ground blinds, tree stands, tripods, elevated box blinds, spot and stalk, and even occasionally from my vehicle. That’s right … sometimes I hunt from my truck!
Now before you get excited, I am not talking about the illegal redneck methods of road hunting. It is not only illegal, but dangerous to hunt from any public roadway. I do not condone this type of hunting at all.
The type of vehicle hunting that I enjoy is perfectly legal, and although it is not super challenging, it has proven enjoyable and has put sausage on the grill for my family on more than one occasion. The filling is an account of my most recent hunt that took place in this manner.
This particular hunt is not one that has been archived in my head from years ago. In fact it took place just this past week. The funny thing about it is that I wasn’t even really hunting at all.
Thursdays and Fridays are my days off, and I usually try to make the most of them. I typically go camping with my family or try to get in a little bit of fishing, hunting, and golf. If my wife has plans with her friends (she is my first choice of who to spend time with), then I will sometimes go for what I call a doubleheader. This is when I golf and fish or hunt all in the same day. If I do two of these things, it is a double but if I get all three done then that is a triple.
As I get older, it is getting harder to pull doubles and triples may be a thing of my past altogether. It takes a lot of effort to fish early, golf midday, and hog hunt the evening and into the night. In the words of an old Toby Keith song … “I ain’t as good as I once was!”
On this particular Thursday, I was feeling energetic and had my sights on a double. I had already played nine holes of golf and was planning to get in a few hours of bass fishing before dark. My wife had gone to town for the day and was hanging out with one of her friends. Apparently they got through a bit early and she called to see if I wanted to go on a dinner date with her.
My wife is way prettier and smells much better than any of my fishing buddies, so it didn’t take much convincing. I love to spend time with her and I was glad that she wanted to spend the rest of the evening with me. My double header would have to wait.
Once she got home from her day, we loaded into her SUV and went for what we guessed would be our last meal at the infamous Al-T’s restaurant. We both enjoyed the “dirty Herbie” and shared the events of our day.
At some point during the meal we started talking about wild roses. I told her that I knew where there were a bunch of them and if we had enough daylight left, I’d be glad to show her.
On the way to look at the roses, we had to make a quick stop by the house, and for some reason, I decided to grab my gun. The ranch that we were going to had been known to have the occasional wild hog and coyote, and the rancher wasn’t a fan of either. I figured that if I saw one, I’d do him and his cattle business a favor and take it out.
Upon arrival at the ranch, she opens the gate and we slowly cruise down the ranch road. The sunset is beautiful on this particular evening so we take time to get a few photos.
I am with the woman of my dreams and really enjoying the evening. As we continue down the road she yells out “there goes one!” I look where she is pointing, and lo and behold, there I see a nice hog running in the field.
By the time that I get the gun out and rack a shell in the chamber, it appears to me that he is long gone. Dan’Na can see much better than I can, and she is still able to spot the hog standing and facing us in waist high grass. As she points him out, I am ready to take aim and shoot. The problem is that my rifle had been in the cold air conditioning of her Toyota and when I took it out, the scope fogged over.
This 30-06 was previously her granddad’s gun, and he had enough foresight to put high-rise, see-through scope rings on it. I could still use the iron sights.
I calmly placed the sights on all that was visible above the grass: His head.
With one pull of the trigger, the beast was down.
My favorite part about this type of hunting? No tracking necessary. I simply walked 50 yards to the hog and drug him back to her 4Runner.
By now, this fat boy is out of breath and panting heavily. My bride asks me what I plan to do with the hog. I explain that I can’t do much, but that together, we can load it into the back of her vehicle. Fortunately, she had a blanket and a small trash back to aid in the process.
I spread the blanket out, put the bag on the hogs head, and together we heaved and hoed in order to get the big boar in the back of the SUV. Her nice, clean, limited edition SUV! Rather than pitch a fit as many wives might do, she simply smiled at me and laughed.
Before we left the ranch, she shared a video of the event with her friends. They told her that they had no words to describe it. She looked at me and said … “I do.”
Redneck! If not a true redneck, I am at least a little bit country.
As much as I love bowhunting, it’s hard to beat riding around on the ranch with your dream girl and a rifle waiting for a hog who happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I got my double and so much more.
Next week, I pick up the sausage from the processor! Life is good and God has blessed me beyond words!
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