Hunting Hogs With Dogs
I have to admit, when I got into hunting hogs I didn’t even know this method of pursuit and kill existed. I wasn’t born and raised in Texas and being from California, hunting was always something people frowned on. So, when I picked up hog hunting and became immersed in its splendor, I was ignorant to this primal and dangerous method. Well, that was then and this is NOW.
I found out about hog hunting with dogs while wasting time on YouTube one day. I was perusing the countless hog hunting videos when I stumbled upon one that opened my eyes to an amazing new world. I sat there mesmerized as I watched these dogs careen off into the thick underbrush and bay this giant hog. Once bayed, these “catch” dogs as I learned they were called, stormed in and latched onto its head. Finally, a Wrangler-Wearing’ guy with a huge knife pounced on the beast and drove a knife (well, maybe it was a sword) into its side. Ribbons of blood erupted from the slit as he kept driving the knife deeper. Soon after, the beast lay quiet and it was all over.
I remember sitting back thinking, holy crap! What in the hell was that? I watched it again. And gain. And after the fourth time realized that I had to do this! It was controlled chaos. It was really something to see the dogs work as a team. Each one having its own role to play. Just amazing. Check out the GoPro Video – just some rad stuff!
I had looked into it a few times in the summer of 2015 and most of the outfits were in South Texas. Quite a ways from me. So, I focused on my gun hunts but never really lost sight of my want to do this. Finally, when I joined The Texas Hog Hunters Association (THHA), I found an outfitter that had a group of guides in various parts of the states. I contacted these cats and within 10 days of contact, I was booked and ready to go.
It is at this point I have to give a HUGE shout-out to the guys at Rocking D Kennels. They are a great group of guys that really care about giving you the best experience from stem to stern.
The sun begins to set. Another beautiful Texas day passes into history. But on this evening, things are just getting started. As the sun traverses its path to the horizon, the sounds of dogs fill the thick air of dusk. These are the sounds of hog dogs. Dogs born of hunting royalty. Strong and determinate blood courses through their veins. The blood of predators. They have but one purpose; one goal: seek out and destroy. As I write this I can hear one of metallica’s best anthems ripping through my internal stereo…seek and destroy! The kind of energy gripping this scene is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It is raw, primal, exciting and somewhat eerie. You see, I am at a ranch outside of Murchison, TX and am about to embark on my first hunt using hog dogs. Sure, like many, I have watched many a YouTube video of hog dogs and their hunters pursuing, catching and finally dispatching their quarry. But this time, in this moment, I am that Hunter. I am the entity for which these canine executioners are working. I feel a great sense of responsibility as the dogs are prepared for the hunt. They are eager, willing and anxious to perform. I only hope to fulfill my duty as we speed off into the east Texas woods shrouded by the remnants of the Texas sun.
It all happens with a swiftness I struggle to comprehend. The chase/bay dogs are released into the woods already focused on the prize. The sounds of determined and purposeful barks echo through the darkening tree lines. They are moving..swiftly…purposeful. They have something. They are in pursuit. They move quickly covering hundreds of yards and never seeming to let up. We give chase. We are mere followers as the dogs pursue their prize.
Soon, the barks and howls reach a fevered pitch. The time for action is upon us. We escape the confines of our intrepid vehicles and with catch dogs as our guides, we navigate the thick brush and flora that carpet the land. We stop. Freeze. Kinetic energy that is palpable. The catch dogs strain against their holders wanting nothing more than to fulfill their lot in life. In a choreography of chaos, the catch dogs are released. In unison the two canine warriors infiltrate the thicket and deliver on their promise. The sounds of a wild hog in peril trumpets through the night. At that moment my guide barks a command to attack and we careen into the thicket at full gate. Vines, branches and suffocating flora attempt to impede our advances but with adrenaline and purpose as our lead, we slash through nature’s barrier and arrive on a scene of complete calamity. A boar, fighting for escape is pinned by dogs. Nowhere to go. My guide latches onto a hind leg of the snarling beast and commands me to do the same on the other limb. Once firmly in hand he ushers in the deadly implement. A shining blade with one purpose – the extinguishment of life. I grasp the handle, take aim and with the precision of a surgeon, I orchestrate a blow to the vitals of the proud beast. Within seconds his sounds and efforts for escape dissipate and he melts to the ground. Ribbons of Crimson blood cascade onto the ground. Vanquished. He is ours. We, and our canine infantry are the victors.
So that was my attempt at an artsy albeit accurate account of my first hunt using this method. Soon after, my little brother came out from San Diego and we went out again with Rocking D Kennels. This time in Graford – my little Bro scored a big boar and had the time of his life.
If you haven’t done this type of hunting, you need to. Look up Rocking D Kennels and book a hunt. Good prices, great guides and an experience you will never forget!