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Obsessed Huntress
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PIGTALES-ADVENTURES IN HOGHUNTIN

THE H.L. PRIOUR RANCH INGRAM, TEXAS
MOUNTAIN LION

By Wendy White
PROSTAFF member for:

We hadnt been to Larys in about six months to shoot any hogs, so just the thought was exciting about going out and filming all the exotics he has while waiting for pig-thirty. Pig thirty if you didnt know, is that special time just before nightfall. I have to say of all the exotic ranches Ive hunted, this is the one I would call a real model for exotic ranching. It is very well managed for the animals, but more importantly, for the hunter who doesnt want to feel like theyre hunting in a petting zoo. The game is totally wild, and thats what I love about hunting there. You earn your trophy for sure, and in no way is it a given on a hunt that you will walk away with your animal in one trip. Thats hunting done right in my opinion. I wasn't there for the exotics though, but instead, hog removal service.
Butch had a spot in the bottom he usually hunted for hogs, and I had a spot on the mountain just at the top of the canyon Butch was in. My thinking was if he starts shooting, I double my chances of seeing hogs as they run up the canyon and disperse into the brush, along with a chance at the hogs that live on top of the mountain. It was always a good plan for me. It is also close enough to keep in contact on the radio so we can fore warn each other of hogs traveling towards each others area. I ride my four-wheeler when I go on top, and Butch walks from the truck.
This evening was more exciting than usual. Butch called me right away. While he was walking in, instead of walking up on hogs, he walked up on a mountain lion! Yes, a lion! He didnt have a chance to shoot since he was loaded down with his gear and doesnt have an arrow in place till he gets settled. He did though, have a .44 pistol holstered and a 7mm rifle, but the cat moved from behind a tree at one side of the canyon to the other, and when Butch tried to get a line on the cat, after dropping all his gear, all he could see through the trees is the cats tail twitching back and fourth. Then, he was gone. The cat had seen him before he saw the cat.

He called me and warned me so Id be looking for the big kitty, because it is not a usual thing to see a mountain lion in the hill country. Oh, man I was excited. I think the adrenaline kept me quivering all evening. I wasnt quite as interested in the hogs as I usually am. I have to say though, walking back to my four-wheeler after the hunt, in the dark, with bedded deer jumping and running was about as much fun as I could stand. I remember very well my hair standing up on my neck each time something jumped and ran. I did carry my pistol in my hand as I walked, but thats still as unnerving because you still have to identify and insure youre not shooting something youre not supposed to. Is it a charging hog, lion or just a deer? Whew! You also try and guess if you should make noise while walking to let everything know youre coming or not. Me, Im always worried about hunting in the same spot the next night so I try and be quiet, but then you gotta deal with the jumping and running of other game.

When I got back to the truck about 10 pm, I found Dr. Lary waiting to see if we were okay or if Butch was in a tree and needed rescuing. I didnt want to be the one to tell him about the mountain lion and get him excited. He was asking me again if Butch was okay back there, and I informed him I had spoke with him on the radio, and he was on his way out. Then, the scenario of Butch being ambushed by the cat and me having to explain to Lary while we were on the run to rescue Butch kept running through my mind. I figured Butch saw the lion, so he can be the one to tell Lary about it.
Butch walked up to the truck from the darkness, and my heart felt relief. I waited to see how he would break the news of the big cat and more importantly, how Lary was going to react to it. After all, Lary gets real excited about the hogs on his property, and when he sees them, he pulls out his fully automatic rifle and just plows. No tellin how hes gonna take this news.
First thing in the morning, we got a call from Lary. He had gone home and contacted the state trapper and they wanted Butch to go out to the ranch and show them where he had seen the cat. The bad part was it had rained all night so the chance of getting some good tracks was poor. Butch went and met them, but there was no more sign of the cat. Lary
cursed Butch for not putting down his crossbow and shooting the cat with the rifle, and still does to this day when he sees Butch. Im sure if he could have shot the cat with any weapon, he would have. It would have been very sweet if he could have done it with the bow though.

We wanted to find the lion so we headed back out to hunt that night. I did my usual parking the four wheeler and walking in. We were early, so I wasnt paying as much attention to my boots making noise on the rocks as I usually do. I was carrying all my usual gear and a five gallon bucket with some corn. Quite a load. When I walked around a bend in the road to head to my pop up blind, dam if there werent about 10 hogs there already. They were eating the corn from the evening before. Change of plans! Time to rock! I continued to walk slowly towards my blind, got in and quietly got my bag and crossbow inside. There was no time to set up the camera. I grabbed an arrow and loaded it as I knelt in the bottom of the blind, all the while, keeping an eye on the hogs. I saw a fat red hog, my favorite flavor.

I shot, and the pig ran off to the right in the cedars. I got my chair set up and recocked so I could take another one. Thats the beauty of hunting with arrows, but before I could pull the trigger again, I heard some noise crashing through the brush coming towards the other hogs. Ah, what is it? Is it the cat going for an ambush on the pigs? Please, please, please. Nope, it was the hog I had already shot and it ran back through the feeding area, and died right at the top of the canyon just to my left view of the shooting stage. 30 yards. Perfect. After that, the other hogs figured something was wrong here and left. Thats okay, now I have bait for the lion positioned perfectly. This was fantastic. I now had bait for the cat perfectly positioned, and a chance at the cat and more hogs.

I kept great vigil watching for any movement in the cedars. After dark, it was tuff, but I was ready. Id stare at the dead hog, then the closest cedars. You know, when you do that you see things move that arent really there? Your mind really has fun with you. Each time, your adrenaline level kicks up to overdrive, then you evaluate it and realize its nothing and try to calm down again. I kept hearing in my head beating drums as if I were in Africa hunting cats. It was probably my heartbeat now that I think about it. Too bad I didnt have a PH for back up or anyone else who was proficient with a gun for that matter. Sitting alone in the dark with a cat in the area was stressful to say the least.

I didnt want to leave that night. I truly had already visualized the cat coming for the hog and getting a shot in the dark. I wanted that lion bad!
Then, the call from Butch came. It was time to pack up and go home. Disappointment in not seeing the lion set in, but I still had a hog to take home with me, and I still had to make the walk back in the dark to the four wheeler once again, and do the hair standing up, hand on the pistol thing.
I went and retrieved the dead hog, loaded it on the ATV, and met Butch at the truck. I asked if hes seen the cat or any sign of him on his walk in, but he hadnt. We were both disappointed. So, heres a thought. The cat was never killed and is still in this area. Within this area, is the Hill Country Youth Ranch just full of young city children exploring the woods. Just think-That cat is out there in the cedars. Watching. Waiting. Hunting. Hmmm.

UPDATE: A 165 POUND TOM WAS CAUGHT IN A SNARE A FEW MONTHS AGO NOT FAR FROM THIS RANCH. THIS PARTICULAR RANCH RAISES ENDANGERED AND SUPER EXOTIC SPECIES OF ANIMALS.
 

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In California, of course we can't kill cats, and man there are some big kittys here...we can't even track them, DFG calls it harrassment...this is becoming a issue here, due to the fact the cats are now moving into urban areas, attacking joggers, and dogs ie...still nothing we can do...pretty soon we will be overun with them....I seen some tracks the other day that just blew me away...it almost like now days when you go out here, you feel they are watching, we are a little more on gaurd for them, there have been more and more attacks....They are waiting, watching and lurking!!!

Good story GG....:)
 

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Great story and congrats on the Hog.
Maybe next time on the Lion.
 

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Obsessed Huntress
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Discussion Starter #6
Since this was buried in the beginning and several hog hunters are now onboard, I'm resurrecting this one again.
 

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Michigan Crossbow Federation Moderator
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Who has more fun than YOU???:):D Texans are so lucky that they get to hunt more than one animal with the same setup. I find that anticipation and sightings are more exciting than actually getting the game sometimes. At least I go back to camp smilin' when that stuff happens. Thanks for resurrecting this story for us.
 

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Cats

It's interesting, where I was hunting 2 years ago in Medina (Half way between Median and Vanderpool) they were spotting a large cat real regularly. I was the only one out there in the summer hunting and talked the ranch manager into letting me try for it. I shot a couple of small hogs for bait, set them out and never saw anything but vultures. I left the dead pigs laying there and two days later got word from the ranch manager that the dead pigs were all ate up from coyotes, they didn't see the lion again that summer. I am looking forward to hunting season starting up, all my apps are mailed in and I will be getting ready for post reports on hunting up at Fort Hood!

Jake
 

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Obsessed Huntress
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JakeinTX said:
It's interesting, where I was hunting 2 years ago in Medina (Half way between Median and Vanderpool) they were spotting a large cat real regularly. I was the only one out there in the summer hunting and talked the ranch manager into letting me try for it. I shot a couple of small hogs for bait, set them out and never saw anything but vultures. I left the dead pigs laying there and two days later got word from the ranch manager that the dead pigs were all ate up from coyotes, they didn't see the lion again that summer. I am looking forward to hunting season starting up, all my apps are mailed in and I will be getting ready for post reports on hunting up at Fort Hood!

Jake
Jake,
There are 3 cats in the Medina area that I know of. I got on a ranch I heard they were at, traded work, and at the last minute, the owner says " don't shoot the lions". Crap! That's why I was there! He had seen two chasing deer the week before. It was between Medina and "the Pass" hwy 16, outside of Bandera. FM 1340? Butchs parents used to live there. I love the Medina area. It's where I shot my first deer and hog.
 

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Great writing, GG! I enjoyed every word of it.
 

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Another great story, Wendy. Felt like I was there with you. I wouldn't want to have been out there alone wondering if that big cat was going to pounce, whew!! Congrats on that hog. :eek:
 

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Swine population reduction specialist
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Great story Wendy..

The Priour ranch is off hwy 41 ? I believe I have flown over it and have some pictures somewhere. It's not far from the Hunt Lodge off 1340.
 

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Obsessed Huntress
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Discussion Starter #13
BlackBoarDown said:
Great story Wendy..

The Priour ranch is off hwy 41 ? I believe I have flown over it and have some pictures somewhere. It's not far from the Hunt Lodge off 1340.
No, it's off of 27 between Ingram and Mountain Home. Behind the Lazy Hills Ranch and Resort. It's really called the H.L. Priour Ranch.( Dr. Lary Priour) The Priour Ranch off of 41 is his dads place. Dale Priour. Across hwy 41 from the Y.O. Ranch. Wow, amazing someone else knows this area. That is too cool.
 
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