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June 6, 2011--Congaree Swamp Hog

Posted June 8th, 2011 at 07:20 PM by Creole
Updated June 9th, 2011 at 09:06 PM by Creole

Finally, after no luck on my 2010 hunts in SC, my first hunt of 2011 in the Congaree Swamp was a success, for which I am grateful to my host and friend Ray.

When turkey season on the lease ended at the end of April, Ray filled the feeders and it didn’t take the hogs long to begin feeding at them. On Thursday pm, when he went to check the feeders, he found that they had leaked and the corn had spoiled. He dumped it and refilled the feeders. Since it rained on Thursday night, the road was way to slick for us to get to the stands so we just waited till Sat pm to hunt, no tracks at the stand & nothing but coons, squirrels and beautiful indigo buntings along with the hoot owls. The stand sits on the road that runs along the property line of the Congaree National Momument and has two feeders, one to the right and one to the left, about 50 yards from the stand. Ray told me that this particular stand had been a good hog stand as they had killed 7 off it since January. That hunt was a brutally hot sit especially since I didn’t even hear a hog grunt or walk thru the woods.

Sunday pm, as we drove to the stands, we spooked a flock of turkeys that had been eating corn at one of the two feeders. Again, the weather was HOT, and as I sat and sweated I was grateful for the Thermocell and the cold beer I had to drink while I waited! Like the day before, coons, squirrels and the indigo buntings, BUT the turkeys were quite vocal, the hens yelping and clucking. At 6:30 the feeders went off, and due to a malfunction, the feeder to my right developed a short, throwing corn every 3 minutes or so till the feeder was emptied. Darkness comes quickly in the swamp and as the light faded, I could hear some hogs in the Monument in front of me. I kept looking down the road toward the feeders hoping that something would step out but nothing moved out of the Monument. Ray drove up to the stand about 9:20 and he had 2 nice young boars in the back of his truck, each weighing about 125 lbs. I never heard him shoot. We drove to the processor and visited with Scotsman McDonald; we arrived back at Ray’s home about 11:30.

When I finished my audit on Monday, I drove back to Lexington, changed into my hunting clothes and Ray and I headed back to the woods. We had the lease to ourselves. At 5:45, I was back in the same stand; we could see where a big hog had moved in during the night and fed at the corn at both feeders. The temp was much cooler and it wasn’t a bad afternoon to hunt. About 20 minutes after Ray drove off, I heard a hen cutting up in the woods to my right, then she came running down the road! She moved to the feeder and stayed about half an hour sharing the corn with the indigo buntings, cardinals, squirrels and even a rabbit. She finally moved off to the Monument in front of me; she continued to yelp and turkeys behind me answered her. I listened to the owls and the pileated woodpeckers. At 8:15, I saw movement at the edge of the road toward the feeder on the left. I eased the Ruger .270 up and a spike in velvet stepped out of the Monument and went to the feeder. His horns weren’t as long as his ears and as he shook and stamped, he looked like someone had “hot wired” him. I watched him feed for 20 minutes or so, then he threw up his tail and jumped back into the Monument. I kept watching but nothing moved. At 8:45, I saw a big hog cross the road to my right. He moved from the Monument, quickly disappearing into the thicket that flanked the feeder. It was past dark thirty. With the light dying and my heart pounding, I prayed and patiently waited until I saw the hog cautiously ease out of the thicket toward the feeder. He did not present a good shot. I was dialing down the Leupold scope and when I got him in the crosshairs, he was standing next to one of the legs to the feeder, right where I need to place the round. He took another step when I said to myself, "it's now or never". I placed the crosshairs, flipped the safety off, took a deep breath and squeezed. I ejected the cartridge and chambered another round then tried to find him again in the scope—no go. I didn't hear any crashing in the woods but I took the binoculars and managed to see him kicking under the feeder before I lost vision with them. I texted Ray—“PIG DOWN”; the time was 8:56 pm. It seemed like an eternity before Ray arrived. He stopped the truck at the feeder and I yelled at him, “Don’t know how big it is but it’s not a Webber Grill hog”. He was so excited, he yelled to me that he thought I had shot “Hogzilla”. He told me that he had seen that hog several times, but wouldn’t shoot him when he was by himself because he knew he wouldn’t be able to load him and that he had never seen that hog when anyone was hunting with him.

I climbed down out of the stand and walked over to see what I had nailed. He WAS big, covered in mud. Ray complimented me on the shot placement and he made some photos with his camera before the work began. Fortunately Ray had a home made winch, and we began the task of trying to get that hog into the truck. It took us 45 minutes; the winch almost gave way, but we finally got him loaded. Off to Scotchman McDonald’s again where we made some more photos. Scotchman McDonald was absolutely thrilled and told me that he admired a woman who hunted and one who could kill! The hog weighed 225 lbs; his tusks were worn and one was broken.

Ray laughed and told me that there was no middle ground with me—either it was a little grill pig or a big hog. He told me he was glad that I had taken this one out, that he figured him to be at least 5 years old. He said it was the largest hog shot from that stand. Ray also told me that the president of the club was very excited about that hog being removed from the Monument and told Ray to bring me back to hunt ANYTIME, he liked the way I killed big hogs. We got home after midnight. Nothing like a great hog hunt in SC!

The next morning, we discovered that most of the photos Ray made with his camera did NOT turnout well. I’ve attached the best of the photos.

I’m saving the tusks and the tail. Hog is being made into sausage.

I’m very grateful to my friend Ray for giving me the opportunity to hunt with him, for putting me in an awesome stand and for loaning me his rifle with great optics. All they need to do is step out. . . . .and with a bit of luck, I get to send the text Ray is waiting to receive: “PIG DOWN!”

Remember, it's not the kill, IT'S THE HUNT!
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Total Comments 7


  1. Old Comment
    Thunderchicken's Avatar
    Great story Mrs Lynn thanks for sharing
    Posted June 8th, 2011 at 08:43 PM by Thunderchicken Thunderchicken is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Boscoyo's Avatar
    Great story Lynn. Almost like I was there with you. Heat and skeeters are hard to deal with but in the end, turned out to be a great story and memory. Glad you had a chance to experience it!!
    Posted June 8th, 2011 at 09:17 PM by Boscoyo Boscoyo is offline
  3. Old Comment
    No. 2's Avatar
    That was really good Mrs Lynn!
    Posted June 9th, 2011 at 06:59 AM by No. 2 No. 2 is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Redbug's Avatar
    Hey Lynn...That's great! I hope to see you next time around!

    Posted June 11th, 2011 at 07:44 AM by Redbug Redbug is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Creole's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Redbug View Comment
    Hey Lynn...That's great! I hope to see you next time around!

    Me too! I feel so blessed that Ray lets me come hunt with him on ya'lls Club (which is AWESOME!).

    I was lucky Dave, you know how it goes. . .lucky the hog came out, lucky the scope gave me the crosshairs and lucky my shot was good. it could have been a real nightmare in that swamp. . .as I'm sure you well know.

    I hope to see you when I come hunt again later this year.

    Posted June 11th, 2011 at 10:09 PM by Creole Creole is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Redbug's Avatar
    I hope Ray won't get mad if you hunt one of my stands, too. When I put my feeders out I will need some big hogs cleaned out around my stands, too. Someone has to protect the corn! That would be funny to see us fighting over whose stand you are going to hunt from...See you soon...
    Posted June 12th, 2011 at 04:14 PM by Redbug Redbug is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Creole's Avatar
    I hope to see you again at the Club when I'm back in SC. You might have to provide me a rifle if Ray won't let me shoot his .270 LOL! As you know, Ray is the best host ever!

    I'd love to hunt one of your stands. Just being allowed to hunt on your Club is a privilege and I feel blessed that ya'll share the experience with me. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to hunt "the Monument", it is such an awesome experience every time.

    We'll just play it by ear. Ray gives me "carte blanch" to shoot whatever comes out with regard to the hogs (deer are another matter, I know the restrictions).

    We'll have a good time, whatever comes about!
    Posted June 13th, 2011 at 07:38 PM by Creole Creole is offline

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