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Late January 2003 ....... Day Two ***** Day One ***** Day Three

Ron woke us up early. We hurried and dressed for the day. Coffee was good. Ron, Darrell, Tod and I would head out north in the direction Fred had success in. Larry and Fred was going to have a slow morning then head out sightseeing and see if they can get a few ground Squirrels and maybe a Coyote.

There was a faint light coming in the sky to the east. It looks like another sunny So Cal day. Something I'm really not used to, SUN that is. Also recent rains and snow had the sagebrush and other plants in bloom and looking springy. My eyes were watering and felt like they had sand in them.

We eased along very slowly in the new Ford as it got light enough to see. 4 sets of Eyes sweeping the brushy steep hillsides on this north / west facing range. Higher up into the Fir and Cedar stands. The temp was cool in the low 30's. Snowdrifts crossed the road in several places. Fresh Piggy sign was everywhere. But no Pigs. Back down in a big valley and up across an open south-facing ridge continuing in a northerly direction. As we eased along we sighted a large Boar running sidehill below us. Darrell and I got out and headed down in that direction, on foot, while Ron and Tod took the rig on down the road aways. None of us saw it again as we hooked back up and headed on down the road. Lots of fresh Hog sign since the last rains. We cross a valley bottom and see several groups of Turkey near the road. We see evidence of Fred's kill the evening before. We head up and out to a ridge top with plans to come out the bottom (of the canyons) on the 'water pipe road'. Several Deer and Grey Squirrels were catching the morning sun. Soon in a valley off to our left Ron spotted a small group of Hogs, cattle dotted the hillside. We left the rig and eased down through a rock outcrop on the barren south slope. There was cattle between the Hogs and us. Spooking the cattle would surely spook the Hogs. We held up in the rocks above the Hogs at over 100 yards. Tod knew it would be a long shot for the old 3030 (model 94 that has been in the family since the '50's). Ron handed Tod his 7mm. Tod took a good rest and touched one off. A miss and the Hogs hearing the echo ran straight for us. As they turned and ran up canyon Tod picked out the same Hog in the bunch and as it turned broadside, led it a little, and touched off another round. Down the Pig went. I jumped up and tried to get a sight on them as they ran up the draw. To fast and too far. Ron says, "there's a big one, up the hill". I put the scope on it at over 200 yards. I was looking into the shady side of the hill with the 10am sun shining on my lens. I could not see the cross hairs and just centered the Hog in the scope. The 338 spoke. "Missed just behind him". Wipe my watering eyes. There he is again a little further up the brushy hill. Not a good sight again, looking more direct at the sun. Wait for the shot, take your time. There it is, he stops for a moment. The 338 speaks again. "Missed, just over his back, one inch" Ron shouts in a low voice. The Boar disappeared in the oaks and brush.

While Darrell and I go up and get the truck and bring it closer Ron and Tod head down for Tod's Pig. Tod was one happy camper. A great shot on a running Hog. After the photo session we drug the big Sow sidehill to where we could get a rope on it. After some hand signaling and pulling with the rig the Piggy was up to where we could load it in the pickup. A long rope is key to Hog retrieval at Tejon. Along with having a signalman and a person with the Hog, to keep from having hang-ups. We gutted the Hog, loaded it up and headed on down to the 'water pipe road'. We glimpsed a Yote sneaking away using the brush as cover. There was plenty of fresh Hog sign along the lower end of the water pipe and were it leaked the Hogs made it a wallow.

It wasn't long and we were back to the Camp and had Hog #2 skinned and hanging. A good lunch and a short rest we were out for the evening hunt. Fred had a great morning out on the roads with Larry.

That evening Fred went with Darrell, to spot some new ground for us. Ron, Tod and I headed back to where we went the first evening. It wasn't long while glassing a hillside we heard some hog talk down in the draw below us. We glassed and watched a few in the steep draw below planning a stalk. Then on the ridge top across from us just below where we had drove up was a group of 20+ feeding along a green grassy meadow. We got back in the rig and headed back up and around. We got out and started the climb down the hogback ridge to the spot they last were. As we got there they were not. We eased off to the brushy side of the hill. There they were, some feeding below at 100 yards or so. We eased into a rock pile and I took a good rest. The ground was steep and broken up. They would appear and disappear as they fed sidehill and away. Then they spooked and bolted. Wait a minute. Here they come back. Small one and another. Then a good one, no shot. Ron and Tod were glassing from just a few feet above me from the rock pile. Ron sights a big one. I get it in the scope. I can only see it's upper back and can't tell if it's facing left or right, but Ron and Tod see it well. It's a shooter. I don't have a good sight picture and don't want to move because they were just spooky. I decide I'll try a shot at the very top of the back. The 338 echoes across the canyon for the third time today !!! There is a Piggy stampede and they're all gone in a flash. I don't feel good about the shot. We ease on down to the spot. No pig, no blood only tracks moving out. We comb the area well as dark falls. A clean miss. We make our way to the top of the ridge and the rig. I am tired, the sun, the pollen and the thin 4000 to 6000 foot dry So Cal air is hard on this SE Alaska sealevel boy.

Another good evening back at camp with Darrell and Ron cooking up some great Tacos. And looking at tapes of past Tejon hunts. And telling hunt stories. And having a few Pale Ales. We will give it another try tomorrow morning. Even if we don't see another Hog we have had a great Tejon time.


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Johnnie Laird
Muskeg Excursions
PO Box 9513
Ketchikan, AK 99901-9513

Tel. (907) 225-9513