Went for Hog, Got Bull

Saturday morning I drove 2 1/2 hours North to Wilderness Unlimited’s Benz Ranch for a couple days of hog hunting. Heard some earnest grunting once but never could locate the source. Mostly it rained. And rained. And when the rain disappeared, a heavy fog rolled in that could’ve rendered a whole herd of pigs invisible beyond 30 yards. So I packed it up and limped home.

Limped?

Yes, because the day before, walking a hilltop road around 5500,’ I came upon a group of cows. Not being a farm person, I give cows a wide berth as I do any animal that big and that stupid. So I veered to the right, a little downhill. Most of the cows moved off with a flip or two or their tagged ears. Except one: a young bull, I learned later. I watched him over my shoulder. Then he stomped, one leg then the other, snorted and, head down, charged me! I hurried down the hill, looking back in time to see him at a good gallop, gaining on me. So I picked up speed, easily done on a downhill run, and the distance between us increased – 20 yards, 24, 30, a little more than 30. And suddenly I was falling, knees crashing into the sod and sticks, hands, then body next, tumbling over a couple of times. Ended up beside the big oak I’d been headed for, a lot faster than my feet could’ve got me there, and hid behind it. The bull stopped short of the oak. What do I do if this beast comes around the corner, I wondered, fire a warning shot? Get my wife the game meat she’d much prefer – beef? What’s the trophy fee for THAT? I glanced at my gun, only to see dirt and grass coming out of the muzzle. Quickly ejecting the round and yanking the bolt out, I prodded and blew the barrel clear of debris, peaking around the big rough tree as I reassembled the rifle. The bull was ambling back up the hill to his harem. Were they impressed with his show of bravado, or had all of them forgotten what the commotion was all about? Out of sight, out of bovine mind?

I took the long cut back, always mindful of where a good wide tree stood, watching equally for pigs and cows. Well, a little more for cows after that. Back at camp, I nursed my banged up knee with a little bourbon and vermouth in a plastic stem glass. An unsuccessful pig hunt? Yes, but once again, hunting had proved to be a surprise waiting to happen. No truer words than that.

~ by zenhunter on March 9, 2010.

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