First Hog Hunting Experience Ever
I thought I would share my first experience hunting hogs. Since this was my first hunting trip with a rifle in 20+ years I decided to use a pro to help keep me safe and teach me all about this creature I have heard so much about. After a lot of reading and thinking I decided to go with Jerry Russell (Russell Outdoor Guides – RussellOutdoorGuides.com)
One day after reflecting, I found that I was starting enter the middle phase of my journey through life and wondering how I got here so fast. Not being a glass half empty type of guy, I was happy that I have been truly blessed with experiences, earned opportunities, good health, great wife, and three wonderful daughters. I really wanted to get back into something that I grew up doing, loved, but not done in a long time, and wanted to start it again with someone who really knew it well.
With all that said, I find that we all get caught up in our busy lives and sometime forget about what really makes us who we are today. It is not the job we do, the material things in life, how much money you make, etc., rather the experiences that shape us to be who we are. Having been raised out in the country (Midwest), served honorably with the US Marines (first Gulf “conflict”) and experienced so many other things, I wanted to try something new to add to that list. Not getting caught up in any of tv hype, or really much of a thrill seeker anymore, but wanted to try a “hog” hunt for the experience.
I will state that many people hunt and/or hire guides for many reasons. Mine was not to go after the biggest trophy or the most kills (though I am 100% sure he could have made that happen) it was for the experience and learn a few things.
Without going into all the details of the trip (2 nights, 1 day), I would rather talk about what I experienced for those who like me are looking either to get back into hunting, do their first hog hunt, take their kids out for the first time, or just need a place to hunt. From the moment I got there Jerry made me feel very welcomed. He has this mix of being easily approachable, confident in his skills, well spoken, funny, hard working, and just a nice guy. I really think he could get along with anyone he met (provided you’re not a total smuck).
After a lot of online research and talking with Jerry I learned something about hunting . There are what people call free range hunting, and “other”. For those who don’t know, non-free range is basically an enclosed hunting area (in many cases they look bigger than what they are). I personally wanted the chance/risk of open range hunting (more sporting in MHO), rather than a sure bet that I could shoot something just to shoot it cause the animal has no place to go and was locked in. I am convinced a good guide in an open range was better than a so-so guide in an enclosure because they had to truly have the skills to make it successful. The other thing I found out about Jerry is he is very passionate about a couple things – helping the wounded warriors (big plus in my book being former Marine), getting children into hunting/ fishing, and archery. He loves the outdoors, has spent A LOT of time there, understands it, and wants others to experience it for all the great things it is.
In the end, I got a pig, learned a few things, had a bunch of laughs, and what I came out for – a really great experience. I know I will be back, and might even bring one of my daughters – I am hooked for sure.
Bottom line, highly recommend him – plain good guy, knows what he is doing, will work his tail off to make it the experience you want, and best yet he serves to help the community.