Sam’s first Hogs with Slingshot
I originally came to Florida in pursuit of a feat that had never been done before: to harvest an alligator with a slingshot. Yes, I said slingshot. The slingshot I was using had a sixty-pound draw, is designed to shoot an arrow, and has an attachment for an AMS Retriever bowfishing reel. I have taken many fish with it in the past, but that was nothing compared to the crazy idea of using it to get an alligator. The first night out I missed a strong nine-foot alligator, but I was soon on to another. I made a great shot and secured my place in history as the first person to harvest an alligator with a slingshot. With one alligator in the boat, I now wanted a bigger one. In a few hours my second slingshot alligator was brought into the boat.
Word of my accomplishments must have traveled fast because by the next day John Loper, a local sheriff, approached me and said he was telling a few of his friends about my killing spree. One of these friends happened to be Bob Joyner, the owner of Hog Heaven Preserve. Bob thought John was stretching the truth about my alligators and told him if I had really shot an alligator with a slingshot he wanted me to try my luck with a wild boar. John contacted me again and asked if it could be done. Of course it could! The next question he asked was I interesting in being the one to do it? I jumped at the chance and made arrangements to meet John at 6:30 A.M. the following day.
With the wild boar hunt on, and less than half a day to prepare, I ran to the nearest Bass Pro Shop and bought six arrows, six Magnus fixed blade broadheads and a hip quiver. I removed the AMS retriever reel from the slingshot and took a few practice shots; I was amazed at the power and accuracy I was achieving. I went to bed with full confidence that if given the opportunity to a shoot at a boar I could seal the deal. Even though I went to bed sleep didn’t come easy with the anticipation of what I was about to do. Would my shot be true? Would the slingshot have enough power? Would we see any hogs? The morning could not come soon enough.
We met up with John bright and early and followed him to Hog Heaven. There I met Bob, the owner, and Donnie, my guide for the day. I had confidence in my abilities, but I could tell Bob and Donnie didn’t share my feelings. We sat down and discussed what I needed to make this slingshot hog hunt a reality. I told them my plan was to spot and stalk the hog, preferably to within fifteen yards. Donnie assured me he could get me that close, all I had to do was make sure my slingshot could finish the job. John agreed to film it all so we would have proof of what we were about to try: A HOG HUNT WITH A SLINGSHOT.
We started our hunt, and I could sense Donnie felt I had bitten off more than I could chew. He strapped on his revolver and made sure it was loaded; then I glanced at John and he too was loading his pistol. I began to wonder if I really could pull this off. We spent the first three hours trying to silently walk through the woods and palmettos, all the while watching hogs flee as we approached.
Soon we rounded a corner and there were about fifteen hogs, mostly little guys and a couple of small sows. Donnie told me to make a stalk and see if I could get close. John followed behind me with the video camera as I made my way towards the sleeping hogs. At about twenty yards I spooked two small pigs and their squeals did not go unnoticed by a few of the sleeping pigs, which in turn stood up and started moving around. It was then that I noticed a good size boar off to my right about eighteen yards. He was behind a palmetto bush and could not see me, but the bush also obstructed my shot. I moved in closer and cut the distance in half. I stood there waiting for the boar to step out. After what seemed like an hour, but was probably only about two minutes, the boar stepped out and proceeded to lie down. I drew the slingshot and let the arrow fly.
The shot was true. The arrow entered just behind the front shoulder and went partially through the opposite side. The hog flopped over, squealed, and I quickly nocked another arrow. This time the arrow landed behind the front shoulder. Once again, history was made. I partook in a moderate celebration, and I am sure my shouts were heard all the way in Southern Georgia. We got to work loading the boar up and took it back to the lodge where it weighed in at an astounding 132 pounds. As soon as it was gutted and put in the cooler Donnie said, “If I hadn’t seen it I never would have believed it,” and with a big grin he said, “Now lets go do it again!”
This time I knew I had truly gained Donnie’s confidence because he left his revolver in the truck. We searched high and low for another hog, but being it was high noon and about ninety-five degrees, Donnie said the hogs were all holed up. Fortunately he knew where some would be sleeping, so we made plans to make a pig drive. Donnie set me up on a trail, and then he made a big circle to the far side of the bedding area. He started walking towards me, and it wasn’t long before it sounded like four freight trains were coming right at me. In the blink of an eye, approximately twenty hogs made their way past me. A couple of minutes later another group came by, but this time a boar presented me with a shot. I released the arrow, and immediately I knew it wasn’t as good of a hit as I would have liked. I watched until the tall grass and bushes stopped moving about seventy yards out. Donnie made his way to me, and I told him what had happened. He told me to stay put and he would sneak ahead and see what he could find. Sure enough, the boar was lying right where I had seen the grass stop moving. Donnie watched the boar while I cunningly approached and placed another arrow behind the front shoulder. The boar only went another sixty yards before tipping over.
Two boars was all I needed to prove that my slingshot was, and is, a great choice for hunting hogs. While we were loading my second slingshot boar onto the buggy I asked Donnie if we had time for me to try and harvest a hog with my recurve bow. I was glad to hear him say, “We can sure try!”
We started walking again, and it wasn’t long before we came across some pigs feeding in the distance. I followed the same plan that had worked for us earlier in the day, and I started a stalk. When I was about ten yards away I picked out a black sow and let another arrow fly. It hit home with a loud thump, and after a short tracking job I had my first hog with a recurve. What an amazing day! I was on cloud nine, and just when I didn’t think things could get any better they did.
While loading my third pig of the day onto the buggy, a big, and I mean BIG, sow stepped out onto the dirt road about eighty yards away. I knew I had to try and make a stalk.
Following slowly behind the large sow waiting for the shot was a slow process. Soon I made the decision to try to circle around to head her off. We skirted out around constantly trying to keep track of where she was headed. Once I was sure I was ahead of her, I knelt down behind a small bush and waited. It wasn’t long before she showed up. At about twelve yards I stood up and drew my bow. She caught the movement and bolted! In a flash…she was gone. I watched her run about eighty yards and stop. Then, in a stroke of luck, she turned around and started running back towards me. This time I was ready. She stopped in almost the same spot. In one fluid motion I stood, drew, and released the arrow. I watched as it entered behind the shoulder and buried up to the fletching. The stunned sow spun around and took off, but she didn’t make it far before she toppled over. Hog four down, and I was ready to call it a day.
If you are looking for excitement and a new challenge give slingshot hunting a try.