Hunting Memories

Father and Daughter Wild Pig Hunt

On March 4, 2000, Brittany McCullough (top photo) and her father, Richard McCullough, each took a nice hog.
The Hunt Story
by Richard McCullough

This was my daughter's first hunt in which she would actually be pulling the trigger on one of these mean, foul-breathed, funky-smelling California wild hogs. We booked our hunt with Mustang Guide Service out of King City.

At first light we saw four hogs and one very nice 200-pound sow that went over the hill toward Hwy 101. After another 10 minutes driving on the wet ranch roads, we spotted a boar going down into a canyon. We all piled out with my daughter staying by the trucks to mind the store on that part of the canyon with her Remington Model 788 in .243. One of the bowhunters in our group headed down the canyon with the guide and a dog to hopefully arrow the hog, and I went over on the ridge above him to watch on that side. After about 45 minutes the hog headed out of the canyon and my daughter Brittany took a shot but the hog kept going. Another 20 minutes passed and the bowhunter had his hog.

We hunted that ranch till 10 a.m. and saw no more pigs, then we went to another ranch. We got to a high point and were glassing when a herd of approximately 60 hogs was spotted a mile away.

We headed over in trucks and ATVs to the spot where the hogs should be and they were there. The guide and I were on one ATV and we were the only ones near them when we spotted the big boar leading the pack and, boy, was he big — about 250 pounds plus. We headed toward the boar with the guide telling me to cap my muzzleloader (I was using my T/C Treehawk 50 caliber using my 400-grain Keithnose HP Conical). We headed the hog off. I jumped off the ATV and creeping like a mouse, got 15 yards closer. The hog looked at the ATV, wondering what to do. I knelt down, pulled the hammer back, settled the front blade just to the right between the middle of his chest and his left front leg, and fired.

I swear he did 10 donuts, fell down, got back up and made it to the road before dying, and yes, I was reloading all the time. Besides being tough, I don't know how he made it that far, his insides were like mush.

He would have been a nice mount except both his bottom tusks had been broken off and only showed an inch. One of the top ones was broken, too.

It was now 11:30 a.m. and time to give my daughter some help. We needed to find the hogs again, and after an hour we did. A nice 125-pound boar went up the hill, with us and a couple of dogs after him. The dogs bayed the hog and we finally got to the top of this vertical hill and got Brittany in place for her shot. We got the dogs off the pig and she shot it the head. This was her first big game kill and plenty of pictures were taken.

At the end of the day, five hunters had four hogs and the fiftth went out to get his with a bow.

My personal preference is to not use dogs except to get hogs out of thick brush. That is what the guide does 99% of the time. As this was my daughter's first hunt, though, I chose to use the dogs to keep the hog from going any farther in the thick stuff and as a measure of protection to keep the hog at bay.

Now my daughter is on Cloud Nine and can't wait till deer season.

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