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Centerville Texas, appropriately named being half way between Dallas and Houston, is a classic small rural city in the rolling hill country in SE Texas. It's also home to several high fence game ranches and an easy 2 and a half hour drive from my home north of Dallas. I'm just getting back into "outdoor sports" after almost 35 years so year round hunting opportunities is a pretty great thing from my perspective.

My first ever Xbow hunt started well before sun rise Saturday morning. Weather was great for a July day, perfect in my mind for getting into the woods looking for big hogs. Cloud cover created a welcome overcast morning with almost no wind and mother nature was gracious with a comfortable 75 degrees at 5:45am.

My stand was a 15' elevated open top stand built among hardwood, small brush and tall pine mix. The hardwood and brush gave me great cover from below and the taller pines were a pretty good back drop.

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Three small boars were the first to show at about 25 yards. I went through the motions of setting up a shot but at this point in the hunt I knew I had to hold out for something bigger. By sunup another young boar with two yearlings had passed so I was pretty happy this was a good stand and optimistic the morning hunt would be good.

A few minutes before 6:30am I began to hear hogs off in the brush in front of the stand, about 50/60 yards out and they were heading my way. After a few minutes a group of 12 boars of all sizes and colors rolled in and they were on a mission to find food. I was really excited to see that this group had one significantly larger boar and I quickly decided this one was it. It took 3-4 long minutes for the right quartering shot to develop and then it was a pretty easy 22 yard shot. The Storm did it's best, the arrow entered 4 to 5 inches behind the hog's right shoulder about mid-body, passed through both lungs and exited the front lower left side of the hog. The big boar and the group scattered and crashed through the underbrush in an instant.

I was very confident the shot was good so I waited about 10 minutes for the woods to settle and got down to retrieve the arrow. It had passed through completely, unscathed and was covered in blood. Let me go on the record (based on one hunt.....), I really like illuminated scope reticals and arrow nocks. They helped me setup a good shot on the hog, track the hit in the scope and find the arrow easily.

A quick look in the direction the hog bolted and I found good blood immediately. Not familiar with the ranch I decided to get back in the stand and wait for the ranch guide to help track the hog. An hour seemed like forever to pass but we got together and started tracking. It didn't take more than a couple minutes for our guide to spot the hog piled up under some thick brush. The 225lb boar hadn't gone 20 yards. The Black Eagle Executioner and Grim Reaper mechanical broadhead had done a great job.

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I was joined on this hunt by my son in law, future son in law and his father. All great folks, careful hunters and really excited to be at Tall Pines for the 2 day weekend hog hunt. Throughout the weekend we took boars with rifles of various caliber and 9mm handguns, the later an experience that was adrenaline filled. It was very educational to see the performance of these weapons first hand on the animals, but really rewarding to see how well a modern crossbow can perform against a very formidable animal.

A tip of the hat to Tall Pines ranch owner Keith, his family and guide Brian. They provided great service, were friendly and accommodating folks delivering a great Texas wild boar hunting experience. Tall Pines ranch is off the beaten path a bit east of Centerville, thankfully just out of cell phone coverage, on 150 acres of managed high fence property. A nice place to hunt feral hogs, other exotics, very affordably and run by good folks interested in delivering great hunting experiences.

OK, I'm ready for deer season. How many days to September 24th? ;)
 

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very good story very good pig
 

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Congratulations! Sounds like you had a great hunt.
 

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Sounds like a fun hunt with some good success. Good hog! Congrats.:)
 
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Congrats, good looking hog!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. It was a great way to get in the woods and hunt in June. We're very fortunate to be able to do that here in Texas.
 

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Great story and congrats on the hunt, great boar. I got a question and this seems to vary for different parts of the country, how's the meat taste? In this area, people eat the feral hogs but I know folks in Florida who don't and elsewhere who do. Curious about Texas. Also the word here is sow tastes better than boar the theory is because once the boar start to smell rank that scent gets into the meat. I don't know as so far I've been on three pig hunts and not porkers....yet.
 

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Great story and congrats on the hunt, great boar. I got a question and this seems to vary for different parts of the country, how's the meat taste? In this area, people eat the feral hogs but I know folks in Florida who don't and elsewhere who do. Curious about Texas. Also the word here is sow tastes better than boar the theory is because once the boar start to smell rank that scent gets into the meat. I don't know as so far I've been on three pig hunts and not porkers....yet.
Thanks CR. The hunt was great. A nice memory and I hope, great pork too.

I think the key to pork is their diet and secondly, their habitat. I'm not an expert on Texas hogs but I'm learning more all the time.

I've heard the same about boar vs sow meat and told that even buzzards won't touch a boar. In the case of a rancid, poorly fed boar, he's probably not good table food material.

Two local meat processors say both boar and sow can make fine table pork. They saw that the color of their fat and meat tell the tale. I'm sure thier smell is also a clue. White fat vs yellowish and pink meat vs darker red are the first signs to look for.

Across the state there are open range wild hogs and managed property hogs. The later were once wild but have been caught and the boars only are sold to ranches that offer hunts. Their diets are a mixture of corn from feeders, wild vegetation and whatever they can find and these hogs surely make the better food. My hog was taken at Tall Pines and along with another 30-40 boars, he's been a resident here for a couple years. He didn't smell, was pretty clean and visibly parasite free. In fact all of the hogs we took were pretty nice animals.

Tuesday I'll have my processed pork back and I'll let you know how our boar meat turned out.
 
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Great to hear and excellent info on fat and meat color to go along with the sniff test. Funny you mentioned parasites. Had a kid I was talking to tell me about a bear hunt he and his brother went on in the nearby mountains. Long story short they took an almost 600 pond male black bear, needed a tractor to get it to a flat spot to field process. A soon as they opened him up , worms everywhere, kid had pics. Worse as they thou g t about salvaging the pelt parasites and sores were visible under the fur. The whole animal was worthless. They called the game warden who came out took one look and told them this won't count against your tag, just bury it. Until I heard that I just never ran accross an animal with parasites but thanks to you and that kid I'm on the lookout now. Thanks.
 

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The trip across Dallas to Kuby's was a wonderful test of patience with just about every traffic condition a metroplex can offer, but well worth it. We ended up with almost 100lbs more meat than estimated because there was virtually no spoiled or damaged meat to throw away. A good sign of the care Keith took cleaning, skinning, quartering and getting the hogs on ice.

So the freezer is full. I filled a 150 quart cooler with shoulders for pulled pork, tenderloins for steaks, backstraps for boneless chops, bratwurst, mild and spicy breakfast links, mild and spicy Italian links, regular and jalapeno-cheddar summer sausage.

The backup freezer if almost full.....

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The kitchen freezer is as well.
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Let's eat!

Ya'll come on.....
 

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Man that looks good, by the way Gamp Sports have the black bow snuff in stock I can't find the thread that guys are looking for the black. I did list it in the Scorpyd xbows.

Jim
We've had a really good turnout with the Pork. Just yesterday my daughter made a pulled pork sandwich dish that had BBQ mixed with apple pie ingredients.... Sounds odd but it was fantastic.

Thanks for the tip on Gamp.
 
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Looks like you had a great time, I am jealous.

I have been thinking of hog hunting in Texas for a while. I just cannot bring myself to pay hundreds of dollars to hunt a pest. If I ever go it will be at the invitation of a landowner or on public land. I am busy scouting various public lands in Texas using Google earth and other sources. If I ever go down I will be taking a trailer along with a freezer and a generator. If I bag some pigs they will be processed, packaged and put in the freezer for the trip back to MN.
 

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Looks like you had a great time, I am jealous.

I have been thinking of hog hunting in Texas for a while. I just cannot bring myself to pay hundreds of dollars to hunt a pest. If I ever go it will be at the invitation of a landowner or on public land. I am busy scouting various public lands in Texas using Google earth and other sources. If I ever go down I will be taking a trailer along with a freezer and a generator. If I bag some pigs they will be processed, packaged and put in the freezer for the trip back to MN.
It's an interesting game animal. I enjoyed it and wasn't sure exactly what to expect. Now, if "the hunt" is the single goal there should be plenty of open places in Texas and even Oklahoma (a little closer to MN) that you can find to hunt. Shooting several hogs (generally smaller) is very possible. If "the hunt and food" are the plan, I'd suggest a managed hog population vs. purely wild. Good pork is all dependent on the animals health and it's diet. It's certainly not impossible to harvest healthy wild hogs and nice fat Sows are generally a good bet.

Come on down about mid. Febuary. The weather is usually pretty nice.
 

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Thanks for sharing your great experience. Good job painting the story, felt like I was along. Congratulations on a nice hog. Enjoy the dinners!
 

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I have been looking at OK and TX but I find one of two types of places. So called ranches/outfitters literally having hunters shoot domesticated pigs or guys charging a very high price to shoot hogs. That is why I am looking at public land. Meat is part of the hunt for me, with the costs associated with hunting I need to offset that cost by getting as much meat as I can. I generally like to have my meat cost work out to be around $2 a pound when its all said and done. Thanks for your tale of your hunt, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
 

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Finding the right place to hunt hogs is a process that requires some experience and education. As I understand it, in Texas, a managed/fenced ranch that sells hunts for wild hogs will be populated with all male pigs (boars) and none of those can be domestic. That was a surprise to learn. Populations fore these ranches come from in state trapped hogs they buy. There's quite a few of those places to choose from. Lease land hunting (open range) is another story and that's where it gets dicey on pig quality and population. And in some cases that's where you would find the true "hunting" experience.

Tall Pines was on the lower end of the price spectrum for a high fence ranch property. There was a $300 minimum charge for two hogs if you booked their ranch for the weekend. That gave you 200 pounds of hog. Additional weight adds a $1 per pound. Skinning and quartering adds $30 per animal. We harvested 5 with a total weight of just under 800 lb. We took away 360 lb of quartered hog which ends up being about $2.7 a pound. We stayed on their ranch 2 nights and they fed us which added $75 per person. It was nice weekend and we all had a great time so we tipped them a bit as well. The total was right at $4 a pound. Well worth it looking back.
 
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