We arrived in the Gonzales, TX
area a day early and stayed at an RV camp reasonably close to
site. Before going to the site, we toured the small town
Gonzales, ate some local BBQ and did shopping chores. From
Gonzales, we went to the hunt site to wait at the main gate to
into the ranch for the actual hunt. The ranch handles many
these hunts and there is a formal schedule of events that
orientation (and gun safety), a "walk and stalk", dinner, night
hunting, breakfast and more walking.
WARNING: THE PHOTOS
ARE GRAPHIC IN NATURE, viewer discretion is suggested.
The photos below are what we saw.
Speaking of trailer trash, as
left the RV park, we passed a stationary trailer that was
used as a permanent residence. The person living here just
their beer cans out the front door of the trailer where they sat
we came by. I never saw the resident and frankly don't
to. I am guessing that they will be forced to act when the
impede their ability to get into and out of their "home".
remember, "beauty is in the eye of the beer holder".
On our way into Gonzales, TX,
road sides were covered in brightly colored spring
patch happened to be orange, but there were blues, purples,
reds and white flowers everywhere. We stopped in Gonzales
supplies, diesel and lunch at the local BBQ cafe. From
headed to the hunt site.
The gate at the hunt site had a
large steel hog on top of some holding pens. The owner of
site traps hogs on surrounding ranches (for a fee) and then
to his ranch and allows them to be hunted (for another
Then, if you actually shoot a hog, you pay a fee to have it
and frozen. An interesting business model.
Above, some of the other hunters attempt to figure out what the mog is. The mog gets respect anywhere it goes.
The hunt site was verdant green
and on the way to the bunk house, we passed this dozing
This was totally unexpected and we passed them again and again
As I was trying to recover from
seeing the buffalo, we spotted these elks in one of the stock
ponds. It turns out that there are a number of exotic
the ranch site, some from Africa and Asia.
The elk were not afraid of us
the noise of the mog. Mostly they were curious. Note
the one on the right only has one antler.
When I saw the zebra hanging
with the horses, I went into overload. This was the only
the property that we saw. After we checked in and got
did an afternoon "walk and stalk", which was really a "walk a
lot". We covered the entire perimeter of the 300 acres and
nothing. Not a shot was fired. We returned to the
for dinner and upon completion, we returned to the field for a
hunt" where we stayed in a blind scouting for hogs.
We did not have to wait
long. I saw a medium sized hog just down the road from our
position as we parked the camper for the night. I fired 2
from our (borrowed) .30/30, but missed both times. He was
at a fast clip and night was approaching so it was a tough
After we got settled into the blind, a small hog came into
It was almost fully dark and I was just able to make out the
sight against the darkness and managed to connect. As you
see, I hit the spine in mid-back. Frankly, given how dark
I was surprised to have hit him at all. Once you score a
you must call the ranch house on your cell phone and they send
recovery vehicle to take the hog to the slaughter house for
processing. As the truck was approaching, 3 good sized
into view, but sadly the truck was behind them, so I did not
clear shot. We returned to the blind and Kathleen and I
for 4 hours and saw nothing. This was somewhat surprising
the area had been baited with "deer corn" Indeed, the hog
photo above was preparing to chow down on the corn when I shot
The blind hunt is structured such that you can stay in the blind all night if you choose. Knowing this, we parked the mog/camper close to the blind so we could return to the blind just before sunrise and take another stab at things. We were in the blind a full hour before sunrise, but saw nothing hunt-able. While we were waiting, this elk came by to eat some of the corn on the ground.
After sunrise, we broke camp
drove back to ranch house for breakfast. After breakfast,
a morning "walk and stalk" and camp upon this Cape Buffalo in
trees. We gave it wide berth and walked well around its
Several of our hunting partners
who had been using shotguns with rifled slugs the day before
to high-powered center fire rifles for the day's hunt. The
above was shot with a .22/250 and one shot literally blew the
head "clean off". A one-shot clean kill.
I hunted with my borrowed
the first day, but the brush was so dense, that I decided to use
Brown 1911 .45 for the second day. We did not pass much
when this small "squealer" came my way, I bagged him.
tasty. This was my second kill and I was allotted 2 so I
"tagged out", but we continued to hunt since Kathleen had not
Big portions of the ranch open
areas were covered in flowers.
Given the dense brush, it is
to get turned around so the ranch labeled the trails.
One of our group
got this small size hog.
We went back to the ranch house
for lunch and Kathleen was getting bummed because she had not
hog yet. That afternoon, on another "walk and stalk", we
team hunt where we had drivers and shooters. Kathleen was
the shooter group and I was a driver. We managed to scare
pretty large herd of pigs and had them running toward the
shooters. We lost the herd in the brush and as we
re-acquire them we encountered another smaller herd that had
hogs. Kathleen crested a small hill and had a clear shot
Savage 99 lever action in .300 Savage. Several rounds
took this boar. Note the "cutters" (fangs) on this fellow.
down bleeding under a small mesquite bush. But, when we
to him, he attempted to charge, but she capped him with her
This one weighed in at 170 lbs.
As Kathleen shot
her hog, another big one started toward us. She was
her hog and I took my .45 and tagged this fellow. He is
big, but not as big as hers.
Mike took this nice sow with
Benelli .30-06 auto loader. The sow was part of the
that we encountered.
His shot was true; the entrance
wound is just below the ear.
The .30-06 left a massive exit
wound on the other side of the hog's neck.
The ranch hands drug the 3
to the pick-up point for transport to the slaughter site.
Kathleen's is one the left in the foreground; mine is on the
right. The sow is in the rear.
Mike inspects some of the
afternoon's kill at the butcher's shop. Mine is in the
foreground, Kathleen's is immediately behind. Note the
working in the background
The butchers were working
hard. I think that there were 22 hogs taken that
ranch does about 2300 hogs per year, on average.
After several big hogs, it was
Miller time and show and tell. Above, this gal shows
nice Ruger in 6 mm Remington. The gal stated that she has
deer, elk, caribou, bear and hogs with that gun.
I inspect a .223 bolt action
wrapped in camo tape.
He also showed us his Ruger Blackhawk in 41 magnum.
Above, Kathleen checks out a
custom M4 carbine in .50 Beowolf. This gun was all tricked
with a nice scope and a custom trigger.
The ranch house has both bunk
houses and small cabins. Above, the lamp shows basic ranch
On our exit from the ranch, we
passed this animal which I think is an Axis deer.
A final view of the Cape
or Water Buffalo. Whatever it is, it is big.
The hunt was fun, albeit quite a bit of
work. The final day was best as we both got large hogs at
of an exciting chase across several miles of the ranch.
most of the folks in our hunt group scored within just a few
one another, so we all got lucky. The hogs were
shooting with a handgun added another level of complexity.
in retrospect, with the dense brush, the handgun was the weapon
choice for me. We took our meat with us and had some of it
dinner the day we left. Since the meat was from one of the
it was rather tough and gamy. The small pigs found their
|Trip Home Page|
Photos and Text
Copyright Bill Caid 2010, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.