TenPoint Stealth SS Crossbow

14 12 2013

TenPointCrossbows logoDue to cancer surgery 4 years ago, I am unable to hunt with my compound bow. That necessitated in my purchase of my original TenPoint Crossbow. They have, since that time, taken a great crossbow and made it even better!

stealth ss imageTenPoint recently came out with their new Stealth SS which is their shortest and most compact crossbow to date. It uses TenPoint’s XLT bow assembly and their new FSB stock to come in with an amazing crossbow that weighs only 6.8 pounds. Anyone who has used an older TenPoint  will appreciate the ACUdraw cocking mechanism handle that now has a home incorporated into the stock, no more leaving your truck without it. The ACUdraw also helps make quick work of cocking even though the draw weight is 185 pounds.

They also have improved safety measures including a finger guard, and they made the bow lighter, quieter; all in all an efficient weapon. The TenPoint’s 3x Power Pro-View 2 Scope is easy to sight in, and stays accurate. The short axle to axle length makes this crossbow ideal for blinds and tree stands, any place that has a confined area. The kinetic energy is right around 100 foot lbs, depending on your arrow and broadhead selection. Couple all these factors with the complete line of accessories, and you get a crossbow to fit all your needs.

Bear Hunt Erins 227

7 foot black bear taken in Saskatchewan with the new TenPoint Stealth SS
Photo: Diane Hassinger

I used the TenPoint Stealth SS on a recent black bear hunt in Saskatchewan. The night I harvested my 7 foot black bear, the hunting conditions for both the crossbow and for black bear were much less than ideal. We had a storm roll in right as we were leaving camp. The winds were fierce and the rain was coming down hard. My bear crossed within 10 yards of my tree stand, and I pulled the trigger on my Stealth. The bolt shot straight and true, passing through his huge chest and lodging in the dirt on the other side. I watched as he bit at his side, and only made it 15 yards before crashing in the undergrowth.

Florida 006

Diane’s 11′ alligator taken with the Tenpoint Stealth SS Crossbow.
Photo: Diane Hassinger

I also used the TenPoint Stealth SS on a recent alligator hunt in Florida. I had equipped the crossbow with an AMS Big Game Retriever Reel. Once a large gator had been located I placed a great shot from the Stealth SS using the Muzzy Gator Getter points. It took all 3 of us on board to load the gator into the boat. TenPoint had just helped me harvest a fantastic 11′ gator that weighed 450 pounds!

If you are looking for a crossbow, the TenPoint Stealth SS is a great investment. It boasts a MSRP of $1,219; which includes the TenPoint 3x Pro-View 2 Scope mounted on a 7/8-inch fixed dovetail mount, the ACUdraw cocking mechanism, Instant Detach 3 arrow quiver and ambidextrous quiver bracket, 3 Pro Elite carbon arrows with field tips, and an Instructional DVD. You can purchase the TenPoint Stealth SS at http://www.tenpointcrossbows.com/shop/shopexd.asp?id=479 or find a local dealer through the same link. 

TenPoint Logo is the sole property of it’s rightful owner and used within this writing solely for the promotion of products herein as requested by the product’s manufacturer.

Endorsement Disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed in these product reviews is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.

This post was originally published on Ladiesincamo.com at http://ladiesincamo.com/licpr/2013/10/23/tenpoint-stealth-ss-crossbow-diane-hassinger/

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Unforgettable!!

5 09 2012

This post originally appeared in the Ladies In Camo Field Journal.  http://ladiesincamo.com/fieldjournal.html

Unforgettable!  That is definitely how you would describe our family vacation.  Dale and I were joined by our daughter Shannon and her 2 children; Sarah 9 and Ryan 7, and good friends Mike and Vicki.  Both of our grandchildren have been involved with hunting since they could walk.  Each of them has taken deer and turkey on the Pennsylvania Mentored Hunt Program, Sarah took her last turkey with a crossbow.  This trip would be different; they would be hunting in Alabama and Florida for wild hogs and alligators!  We are blessed that we have 3 generations that enjoy all the outdoors has to offer.  Even more so, we have 3 generations of Lady hunters, 3 generations of Ladies in Camo!

Our 3 generations of Ladies in Camo; Shannon, Sarah and Diane

We started our trip at Racknine Outdoors in Clio, Alabama.  Sarah was spot and stalking with me, while Ryan sat in a blind with Shannon.  Sarah was a real trooper.  While we were trying to get on the trail of the hogs, we worked on skills; picking up trails, identifying tracks, identifying different sounds and plants. Several times we were able to get close enough to hogs that we could hear and smell them, but never got close enough for a shot.  I had her lead us out of one area at dark, following the ribbon trail, and we found the boat no problem.  Later Terry told us that he has had to find several men in that area that couldn’t find their way out.  She has a great internal compass that is right on the money!  The one morning we did sit in a box blind, and had a buck come close enough that I could have tripped it, and a doe grazed within a few feet of us.  She took many pictures that day, just thrilled to be in the woods.

Moving onto Florida created a unique set of adventures for us.  Our first night, as we anticipated alligator hunting, we had a storm front move in and dump a huge amount of rain on us.  So instead of hunting, we became well acquainted with the local restaurants.  The next day, the sun was shining and the gators spent the day sunning themselves.  Capt. Billy Henderson, of Deep South Outfitters, went over crossbow operation and safety with everyone, and we took turns shooting at a water bottle cap.  The kids popped it up in the air while Dale and I pinned it to the ground.  The crossbow bolt is attached to a float, so everyone needs to be aware of where the rope is located in relationship to your feet.  The harpoon and also the bang stick were explained, and Shannon and the kids practiced the motions needed to use them.  We went through a few scenarios of how the gators might present themselves, and where to place the corresponding shots.  Being as all of our hunting is done at night, Billy explained how the eyes would reflect the spot light, and how they should come into the call.  Once everyone felt confident, we were off to the river.

We hunted the Kissimmee River that night and Ryan was up first.  The entire evening we had heat lightning lighting up the sky.  Occasional we could hear the rumble of thunder resonating across the flat ground, still to far off to be a threat.  Several gators were spotted, and halfheartedly responded to Billy’s call.  They would hang up at about 20 feet and go down, never to be seen again.  Finally a healthy 7 footer came in and presented a good shot.  Ryan wasted no time, and spined the alligator and ended his hunt.  A perfect shot!  He helped with the taping of the jaws and feet, then clicked his tag into the tail.

Ryan with his new buddy! His 7′ alligator.

Next up was Shannon, who was also on her first gator hunt.  Again several responded to the call, but would drop out of sight before a shot could be taken.  Eventually a good size gator came in, and after a lengthy battle, she managed to land herself a good solid ten footer!  By this time, we were getting short on time to get Ryan’s into a cooler or lose the meat, so we called it a night and high tailed it for the processors.

Shannon with her 10′ gator

The next evening we were once again hunting the Kissimmee River, but this time they were letting water out of the dams to prepare for Hurricane Isaac, which was anticipated to drop massive amounts of rain on this area.  Where we had seen well over a hundred of gators the night before, this night they were few and far between.  Sarah was on the front of the boat; Dale was with her to help with the lines.  They had a gator come close to the boat, then quickly duck into the brush near the bank.  To everyone’s surprise Sarah was able to place a fantastic shot through the branches and soon she was bang sticking her own 9 footer!

Sarah’s 9′ alligator

The pressure was now really on me.  We went for over an hour without having any gator come anywhere close to us.  Near the end of the night, with a storm front bearing down on us, I had a good gator start to come in.  At 30 feet away he started to hang-up and took a deep breath, indicating to me that he was ready to dive.  I took a chance and fired, hitting just behind the skull right before he sank into the depths.  He immediately went into death rolls and tangled the line up tight around him.  I managed to harpoon him after 2 failed attempts, being as he was still rolling.  After a quick shot out of the bang stick, I was taping his mouth and hind feet.  We took off toward the dock, and made it to the truck just second before the sky opened up and started dumping a tremendous amount of rain on us.

Diane’s 9′ gator

The next day we tried hunting wild hogs with dogs, something none of us had ever done before.  While we took our rifles with us, we ended up using the spear that the guide provided.  We pursued them riding in a swamp buggy with the dogs racing in front of us.  The dogs really worked together tracking the wild hogs, then a 3rd dog was released to help grab them by the ears.  Once the dogs had control of the hog, we would move in to spear the animal.  This allowed us the opportunity to harvest 5 good meat hogs, and have some really great memories!  While I love eating wild hog, the ability to help get a few of these destructive animals out of the swamps really makes it worthwhile.  Filling the freezer with fresh sausage is an added bonus!

Sarah, Vicki, Diane, Ryan, Mike and Shannon after a successful day of wild hog hunting!

That evening the tails of Hurricane Isaac hit us, so instead of hunting, we spent the evening in the hotel lobby in an impromptu Hurricane Party.  The power kept going out, so it was still an early evening.  The wind howled all night, and the rain flooded all low areas.  We were under tornado warning most of the night, and police brought several families to the hotel because of flooding to their homes.  By morning the hotel, that had been almost empty the day before, was filled with people seeking refuge from the storm.  The next day was no better, winds were high and the rain continued.  Bowling for the kids, and gambling for the adults helped fill the time.  Surprisingly Dale won enough at slots to spring for dinner for everyone.

The next day was still bad, but we only had 2 nights’ left and still had 4 tags to fill.  We were hunting Lake Okeechobee that night, and there was a heavy chop on the water complicating things even more.  We started our hunt under a double rainbow, which left us with lots of hope that a big gator would be our pot of gold!  After a few sightings of gator eyes, one came in within a few feet of the boat, and Mike let his bolt fly.  The bolt hit solidly, and the gator took off with the float trailing behind.  We caught up with it in a bed of hydrilla.  With Billy holding the line, Mike poised with the harpoon, Dale started quickly pulling the mounds of hydrilla that was wrapped around the line.  As soon as he opened up a clear area, Mike stuck the gator with the harpoon, and we were able to get control of the situation.  Hit with the bang stick, wrap the mouth and legs and the 9’ gator was tagged.  We tried for another, but conditions were deteriorating quickly, again.

Mike with his 9′ alligator

Our final day to hunt, the sun was shining and the wind died down some.  It seemed we would finally have a good day to go out.  WRONG!  Shortly before we were to leave, the skies opened up and the winds once more started to blow.  We still had to go.  We headed south to a dock on Lake Okeechobee and kept our finger crossed that maybe, just maybe we could get out on the water.  The water was still really high, and cotton mouth snakes were in the parking lots.  We killed one, and saw several more that other people had dispatched before we got there.  I hate the idea of being around poisonous snakes in the dark!  I would much rather face an alligator than a cotton mouth!

Vicki did not have long to wait at all, the boat was barely launched when she got on an 8 footer.  She managed to get her shot made before the rains started, but we still had to harpoon the gator, shoot it with the bang stick and get it in the boat during a pouring rain.  By the time this gator was in the boat, everyone was soaking wet and covered with mosquito bites.  We retreated to the truck, and hoped for a break in the weather.

Vicki and her 8′ gator

After what seemed like an eternity, all of the food and drink in the truck was consumed, and the weather finally gave us a break.  We searched for a long time to even find an alligator; the weather was pushing them deeper into the water.  We caught a glimpse of good size eyes a very long way off, but we had to try.  Slowly we crept up using only the trolling motor.  I think this gator was confused as to why anyone in their right mind would be out on a night like tonight.  Confused or not, he presented a shot that Dale could not refuse, and our 7th alligator was tagged for the week.  Whew!  We had to work hard for all of the gators we took this week.  We still have one tag left that hopefully we can make it down after September 12th to use.  Our tags were for the 2nd week of the season, but after September 12th any unfilled tags may be used again.

Dale’s 9′ alligator

We are passing on our love of the outdoors to our kids and grandchildren, teaching them skills that are not taught in our schools.  Good or bad, this trip was what memories are made of.  We had a lot of wonderful experiences that we got to share with our family and friends, we got to laugh and cheer each other on.  Three generations of our family got to enjoy the hunting, fishing and fun that this trip had to offer!  We harvested 5 wild hogs and 7 alligators, and filled our freezers for the upcoming year.  How can you go wrong with that!

www.racknineoutdoors.com

http://www.dsooutdoors.com





2011, A Very Good Year

30 04 2012

This post was originally posted on Audacious Women.  http://andreamain.com/2011-a-very-good-year/

2011 marked my come back to hunting, following my recovery from a bilateral mastectomy due to breast cancer.  I felt like I had 2 years to make up for, so I wanted to hunt everything, everywhere!  Rifle hunting was fairly easy to pick back up, but archery eluded me for this year at least.  Thank goodness for cross bows!

I started the year off hunting for whitetail deer on Anticosti Island in Canada.  My husband and I hunted with Safari Anticosti, and enjoyed every minute of it.  The first day, my husband spotted a really nice buck as I was being dropped off where I was to hunt.  He told me to make sure I got him, I told him I would.  I positioned myself on a steep bank overlooking the river, and waited.  Eventually 2 doe come out to feed on the river banks, so I was hopeful that a buck would follow.  They fed for a long time before I finally spotted the buck from earlier.  I had to wait for him to cross the river, and come near the does, before I could get a good shot.  I squeezed off my shot and watched him disappear into the tall grass.  After waiting what seemed like forever, I went to track him.  I found the blood trail easy enough that is until it he crossed the river.  It took a few minutes of searching both sides before I found the trail again.  When I finally walked up to him, I could not see his head.  Any part of it!  He must have died in mid leap, and took a header into the soft muck surrounding the river.  I couldn’t move him, so I started to dig him out.  Finally I could see his antlers, and excitement really settled in.  I had to wait for my husband and guide to show up after dark to get him drug out.  He was a huge bodied buck.  When he was hung in the meat shed, his head was to the ceiling and he was almost sitting on the ground.  By the end of the week, I knew I had the biggest buck in camp.   When we got to the airport, it became obvious that I also had the biggest buck from the island!  I had also taken a doe on the last day, to fill my tag with some good eating.

Safari Anticosti Buck

Our next hunt was for alligators with Deep South Outfitters in Florida.  The temperature was only in the 40’s, not at all what you would want for gators.  We went on a short boat ride before Billy started to call.  Instantly we had a gator rushing toward the boat.  In no time it was within a couple of yards of where I was standing, with the crossbow.  I shot, and there was no splashing or action of any kind.  While I feared I had missed, Kenny realized I had spined it.  This was the most adrenaline packed hunt I think I have ever been on!

Florida Alligator

Immediately after getting home from Florida, I drove to Illinois with my daughter Shannon.  We joined a Ladies Archery Hunt at Eagle Lakes Outfitters.  Vicki Cianciarulo was trying to get to film footage for The Choice hunting show. I was using a crossbow with a handicapped designation, which I was not happy at all about.  Hunting was really slow for the first couple of days, to hot, to windy.  Finally I had a nice buck start down toward me, but a doe stomped her foot and snorted at him, so I place my bolt into her.  She ran only 20 yards or so, but right into the lane that I would be picked up on.  My kind of tracking and dragging!  Eventually 3 doe were shot for the group, 1 was also lost to coyotes, and I had a buck that we could not locate the blood trail on.

I finally got to hunt at home, and took my granddaughters out in the stand with me.  Sarah has been hunting for a couple of years, but this was Ginger’s first exposure to it.  On the evening of the first day of rifle season, Ginger was with me when I took a doe.  She was so excited; she is now intent on taking her hunter safety certifications so she can hunt with me next fall.

I happened upon a Ladies in Camo hunt at Racknine Outdoors in Alabama, at the last minute.  I flew down for a buck, doe, hog, coyote hunt.  My first morning, I was able to take a nice 8 point buck that was feeding about 80 yards out.  He had come into the clearing and made a scrape right in front of me.  I also had 2 young buck sparring and playing.  After I shot, the young buck continued their play for another 15 minutes or so.  I have never hunted anywhere that a gunshot didn’t clear the area of all deer.  The blood trail on the 8 point was almost no existent, but we did locate him about 75 yards from where he was shot.  The next day I was stalking hogs, when I located a group in the pines, they were about 75 yards out.  I had a large sow cross an opening that I had, that was about the size of a coffee can.   I took the shot, and watched as she only went 2 or 3 feet before she dropped.  I tried to get on the hogs again, but they joined a group totaling over a hundred, and even with that many hogs, I could not get a clear shot at any others.

Alabama Buck

I know I title this 2011, but I am including the first half of 2012 also, since it all is part of the same license year.  I joined another Ladies in Camo hunt at Mountain View Plantation in Alabama, in January.  This was a tough hunt.  Only one buck was shot, and that was by my cousin Eva.  She is a new hunter, and I had taken her along to help her get experience.  We also hunted quail, which is always a good time, and shot the 5 station they have.

Racknine Hog

February had me back at Racknine (My favorite place to hunt!).  This time was a couple’s hunt for hogs and coyotes.  What a wonderful group of people we had at this hunt.  Alabama had had some severe weather, including tornados shortly before we arrived, and the hogs had made themselves scarce.   By then end of the weekend only 1 hog was shot.  We really had to work hard at this hunt.

Osceola Turkey

Turkey season finally arrived, and we were off to Florida, to hunt with Deep South Outfitters again.  I filled my 2 tags with Osceolas.  The birds were not responding to calls, so I sat in wait near a well-used trail to a feeding area.  Finally I had 3 toms come into view, and when my guide said they were shooters, I shot!  This was my first Osceola ever!!  I took another jake before I was done, but then I got to hog hunt while my husband tried to fill his tags.  I had crept into a tree stand before light, listening to hogs not more than 30 feet away!  By the time I could make out dark shadows, I had a dozen hogs in front of me.  It was nerve racking to know the hogs were right there, and it was not light enough to shoot yet!  I don’t think I waited more than a minute once the sun came up.  I picked a big red sow with black spots.  She was almost underneath my tree stand, not exactly the shot I would like to take.  While the angle was extreme, she only went about 30 yards, before she piled up under the palmettos.  What a great trip!!

Florida Hog

The weather completely turned against us after that, so we headed to Racknine again for some more hog hunting!  Ladies in Camo was having a couples hunt so we joined them.  Dale and I were spot and stalking when I had a hog grunting and squealing, just as the hog was coming into view, Dale shot.  I thought he had shot the hog, but he was facing the wrong direction when I turned to him.  My first thought was that he was screwing around, until he showed me the dead coyote.  From my angle I could not see the coyote approaching.  Later that morning, we joined 2 other hunters to go after hogs in the palmettos.  We had gone a couple of hundred yards into the woods, when you could hear hogs grunting and squealing.  I climbed onto a leaning tree (about the only way I can climb a tree!) and scanned the area for the hogs.  I could see for about 20 yards, and we now knew the hogs were further than that.  We slowly made our way toward the herd and positioned ourselves to take a shot.  Jeanne was trying to get a clear shot on a nice gray hog, but it never presented a good shot.  Meanwhile I had a small black hog that I was going to shoot, when a much bigger hog crossed in front of it.  I told everyone I had a shot, and took it.  The hog dropped in her tracks!  That was the easy part.  We now had to drag that hog back to the HuntVe through swampy muck.  We all worked hard to get it out.  Dale and I were the only ones left to hunt the next morning, and Dale was able to take a big boar.  This group of 5 hunters, at Racknine, had managed to take; 1 turkey, 1 coyote and 3 hogs.

Racknine Hog

Each hunt I am finding that I am getting stronger, and more like myself.  I keep pushing myself to build back the muscle that was lost.  This upcoming hunting year is pretty well filled already, I have 5 hunts scheduled, with hopes of more.  My next hunting season starts in June when we are going bear hunting in Saskatchewan, and this fall I will be going on my first archery hunt with my compound bow since my surgery.  I am already pulling 40 pounds on my bow, I would like to be built up to 45 lbs. before archery season begins.  With work, I will be there!  Sometime I feel like the 6 million dollar woman, I am getting faster, stronger, better!





Hog Hunting Basics

25 04 2012

Originally posted on Ladies in Camo Articles.  http://ladiesincamo.com/hoghuntingbasics.html

Since Ladies in Camo is giving away a 4 day hog hunt to one very lucky person, I thought a few basics on hog hunting would be in order.

Feral pigs are known by many different names; wild hogs, wild boars, Russian boars or even razor backs.  They are hooved animals that range in size from 75 pounds to a high of around 440 pounds for a large boar.  They look a lot like the domestic pig, only with longer coarser hair, with the adults sporting a mane that has thick coarse bristles.  They range in color from the blacks, grays, reds, browns, to pale tans.  They may also have belting or spotting in these colors.  Black is the predominate color.  Their snouts, which are long, flexible and rugged, are used for the never ending rooting.  They will eat most anything they come in contact with, which can include any type of grains, nuts, acorns, roots, mushrooms and even dead animals.  Their feet are cloven, similar to a deer’s hooves, but more rounded and flat tipped. The boars can have tusks that can be 3 to 5 inches in length.  They use these to establish dominance, and because of this, they have developed a shield comprised of cartilage, scar tissue and callus which becomes thicker and stronger as they age.

Piglets of all colors

Feral hogs have a very keen sense of smell, and a good sense of hearing.  Their eyesight is thought to be poor and nearsighted.  They are quick runners and swimmers, able to run up to 30 mph.

The sows can breed as young as 6 months of age, with gestation of around 115 days.  They can have litters ranging from 4 to 12 piglets each time.  Estimates are that a single sow can produce over 1000 offspring in a 5 year period.  That in itself is how hog populations can quickly get out of control, and can cause serious damage to crops and vegetation.

In Alabama you will need a small game hunting license to hunt for hogs.  These licenses can be bought for a few day hunt or for the entire year.  While you do not need to have the license displayed, you must have it on yourself, and have identification with you.  Licensed hunters can shoot pigs year round and there is no bag limit on the hogs.  You can purchase your license online at  https://www.alabamainteractive.org/dcnr_hf_license/welcome.action.

Hogs often will appear in food plots, hardwood bottoms, or pine woods.  You can determine when they have been in an area based on the rooting that may cover a large area.  I have been in areas that resemble a rototilled garden, the rooting was that extensive.  You may also see trees that the hogs have been rubbing on to scratch an itch, remove the dried mud or even parasites from their skin.  These trees may have mud several foot up the trunk, and there may be pieces of hair stuck in the bark.  Wallows will be present in wet soils, basically an indentation holding mud or water.  Feral hogs feed most heavily in the early morning and late evening, spending the rest of their time sleeping or relaxing in their mud wallows.  Since wild hogs do not have sweat glands they use the wallows to cool down and to also rid themselves of fleas or ticks.  You may even be able to smell a sweetness like maple syrup when you are near a group of hogs.  Keep in mind the hogs frequent some of the same areas as cottonmouth, rattlesnake and copper head snakes.  You will probably want snake chaps or boots to protect yourself.

The hunting of wild hogs is done several ways; tree stands, blinds, still hunting, with dogs or spot and stalk.  Most all weapons have been used to take hogs, from bowie knives to high power rifles.  Typically compound bows, cross bows and rifles are the weapons of choice.  Feral hogs tend not to be aggressive toward hunters, but they will charge if they are cornered, injured or if their young are threatened.

From the tree stands and blinds, you will need patience.  The stands are typically positioned to ambush the hogs either on their way to or from food plots, bedding areas or water.  This method is the most common, and great success can be had hunting this way.  I recently had 15 hogs around the tree stand I was in.  I was able to take my time, pick the hog I wanted, and make a great shot.  You also will have the advantage of being up high enough to see where your hog goes after he is shot.

Spot and stalk is done on foot, going to where hogs are known to frequent.  While stalking, you can get away with rustling leaves, but try to refrain from snapping twigs and branches.  You can usually hear hogs squealing and grunting from 40 yards away or more.   If you walk slowly, stop and listen often, and keep the wind in your favor; you may be able to get within shooting range.  Do not expect the hogs to stand still for you though,  they are in a constant state of motion.  Recently 4 of us stalked to within 20 yards of a herd of hogs, and watched for several moments, undetected.  Only one good shot was presented and taken.

Still hunting involves the slow deliberate movements, looking for tracks, listening for sounds, watching for signs.  The accepted method of still hunting covers a mere 100 yards in an hour.

Once you have located your hogs, shot placement is of the utmost importance.  Like any animal, hogs will perish quickly with a well-placed shot.  Their thick hides, shields and thick fat create a tough barrier for broad heads or bullets.  A broadside shot should be placed in the shoulder area, lower is preferred.  A broken shoulder will put the hog down, and give you time for a follow up shot if needed.  When quartering away, place the shot to penetrate the vitals between the shoulders.  A neck shot works well for a rifle.  Some employ the head shot, but if you are not confident of this shot, go for one of the larger body targets.  If you are hunting for meat, take a smaller hog or two.  The larger boars, while impressive, are tougher and less tasty.

I tracked a group of hogs that easily numbered around 100, in every size imaginable.  They were making enough noise to cover any sound I was making.  I had several groups on 3 sides of me; this was a pure adrenaline rush!   Don’t let yourself become distracted by the numbers of hogs, still shoot at a spot on one hog, not just at a group of them.

Shot Placement on Hogs

Yearly, feral hogs do nearly $90 million in damage to crops in Alabama alone, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. This problem isn’t just isolated to Alabama. Feral pigs are in 44 states and at least 4 of the Canadian provinces.  They do about $1.5 billion in damage to farm crops nationally each year.  This is all the encouragement I need to hunt hogs as often as possible!  Whether you are in a tree stand or on the ground, there is nothing quite like hog hunting.  Watch out though, it becomes an addiction!

Shot Placement Image;  http://www.texashuntfish.com/app/view/Post/10379/Shot-placement-on-hogs





Gator Hunting with Deep South Outfitters

20 04 2012

This post originally was posted on http://www.ladiesincamo.com Tails of The Hunt

We arrived in Florida to temperatures in the low 40’s, not a great time to start a hunt for alligators with Deep South Outdoors. The first night was too cold to even consider going out, but Capt. Billy was able to help fill our time with bow fishing for mullet. This was our first attempt at bowfishing. After so many years of shooting at a target, it was hard for me to shoot below it. My attempt was not impressive, but I did manage to hit a fish-once!! The next time, I will do better, I promise!

The next evening was my chance to hunt. After a short boat ride and instruction on the crossbow and what was to come, Capt. Billy started calling and spot lighting, and immediately we were rewarded with big splashing not far from our location. This alligator was rushing to the boat very aggressively. When the gator was only a few feet from the boat, Capt. Billy told me to shoot. I pulled the trigger and thought I had missed! There was no splashing, just quiet. Then Kenny started yelling “she spined it!”. There laid my alligator right where I had shot it. I finished it off with a bang stick and helped tape the mouth and rear legs. This portion of my hunt from the start of calling to pulling it into the boat was about 3 minutes, a very intense adrenaline packed 3 minutes!

Dale’s hunt happened the next evening, and was as different from mine as you could get. Capt. Billy called and called, moving frequently, but the water and air temperatures were very cool. Finally the calling brought movement in the weeds. Very slowly, cautiously this alligator crept into our sight, stopping often, always quietly.

Finally when the gator was about 8 foot from the boat Dale shot and the splashing and thrashing was on! After the gator calmed down somewhat it was pulled up to the boat and shot with the bang stick. Dale taped the mouth and legs and we were off once again to butcher shop. As well as our hunts went with the weather being against us, I cannot wait to go again when the air and water are more comfortable.

http://www.dsooutdoors.com/florida.html

captbilly@dsooutdoors.com





Florida Hogs

14 04 2012

This post was originally posted in Ladies in Camo Field Journal:

Today was a wonderful day to be in the woods of Florida. The smoke has cleared, the sun hid behind some clouds, and there were hogs! Going into the tree stand this morning I could hear hogs rooting and grunting in the dark. Shortly after I arranged myself in the stand, I could see the dark shadows of hogs darting around in the still dark morning. It was exhilarating to know there were that many wild hogs just waiting for sunrise and my shot. Shortly after sunrise, I counted 12 hogs in front of the stand, and there were several more behind me. They were all carbon copies of each other in size, but no 2 of them were colored the same. I watched and filmed them for 30 minutes before I decided I could wait no longer. It was actually a dilemma deciding which one I wanted to shoot. I finally settled on the red sow with black spots. She was positioned almost directly underneath the stand. I located her in the scope of my new Savage Lady Hunter rifle and squeezed off a shot. I could see her buckle, but she took off with the others. I texted my husband and Billy and waited for a few moments, then went to track her. I didn’t have to go far, and I found her laid out under palmettos.

There is something about hunting wild hogs that just causes an addiction with me. I just can not get enough of it!

Diane's spotted sow


Capt. Billy Henderson

http://www.dsooutdoors.com/





Osceola Turkey

13 04 2012

This post originally appeared as part of the Ladies in Camo Field Journal:

The turkeys in Florida are like a lot of the country’s birds, ahead of schedule. The birds are just not acting and reacting like normal. We had a couple of gobblers answering us yesterday, but none really interested. Today, the weather was a lot cooler, but we had dense smoke from a controlled fire covering our whole hunting area. The smoke made it difficult to breath, and everyone left with stinging runny eyes, and a rawness in our throats. Those poor animals have no relief from it.

Dale had a gobbler hang up at 200 yards. Maybe tomorrow for him.

I managed to get a shot on a young bird, this was my first Osceola Turkey! He came into my line of sight, making a beeline for the decoy.

Diane's first Osceola Tureky

Tomorrow I will be sitting in a stand that has had some hog activity recently. Hopefully the smoke clears and the air is once again clean. Make sure everyday you “love the life you live”!