I'll go first, and after the better stories are told I will put the pics up to show it.
Got there exatly when I said I would, and before too too long I was at the cabin and getting acquainted with buddies, both old and new. First thing in the morning AS and I took off and got onto a hog right at first light, but it was moving faster than we were so we headed off to plan B. About a half hour later I was 31 yards from a yote, at 30 he was mine. He must have sensed my intentions because there was a huge patch of poison oak and a tree tween us, but he bailed off down the mountian.
I headed the same way he went and within minutes I saw pigs, it was time to sneak in and hammer one. Four big pigs and a few little ones, but the grass was real tall and I couldn't determine which pig was mamma so I glassed looking for tusks. After much wishing I wasn't able to make tusks appear, but had close encounters with all four big pigs within 30 yards, but was still unsure of the size of the little ones, and no idea which one was mama. They were also accompanied by a half dozen or more cows so I was being very careful to not spook anything.
After an hour within my effective range, and more than five close encounters with the bigger pigs at about 25 yards I got to see the size of the little ones and they were much bigger than I originally thought so I waited for a shot, but as soon as I told myself that they were well weined and all the big ones were fair game, the gig was up and the cows and hogs took off.
I slowly worked my way down and met up with AS to regroup and finally meet the man himself, Chopper. I really regretted not taking the first shot I had at the pigs, but knew it was the right thing to do, and given the fact I hadn't yet met Chopper, I was glad I didn't have wet sow blood on my hands. Hindsight being 20/20 that first opportunity at 50yds should have been an arrow inbound, but I am glad I did what I did, even though that was my only pig sighting the whole weekend.
With the help of the veterans I was able to stay in the general vicinity of pigs the whole weekend, but after that first morning they were always in the thick cover well out of range, where only their sounds could be picked up.
I have hunted pigs in four or five states now, and in California this is the third ranch I have hunted. I have had the luxury of sharing camp with many folks, and many were from right here on JHO. I can say without a doubt that the group of guys this weekend were as good a bunch as I have ever had the pleasure of hunting with. We had good food, great BS sessions, and even better beer. The cabin was awesome, with one of the best views I have seen anywhere. Chopper was a blast and knew that ranch upside down and inside out, and his family was great as well. I reckon that area was hand carved to be as beautiful as anywhere in the country, and I only wish I had hunted it a few years ago, instead of being the last new guy to hunt it.
I finally realized that I was hunting the wrong side of the ridge from where I should have been, I saw pigs that first morning, but the opposite ridge would have been better, I totally dropped the ball on that one as I just misread the intel I was given.
All in all I had a blast, summer pig hunting is tough as after hunting all day and getting ready and cooking afterwards you are left with only a handful of hours in the day, so I am tuckered out, but enjoyed every minute of it.
Thanks guys, it was a pleasure, and Chopper enjoy the retirement.
sounds like you got some good hunting done on Choppers place, wish i good of been there with you you guys. sounds like you did some great stalking too, got up close to some piggies! good story Bearclaw, and cant wait too see the photo's and here the other stories! gotta crash! talk to ya later Bro!.........tra