My friend Al has been trying to get me to go on a hog hunt for quite some time. For the last couple of years, it seemed every time we started talking about our fishing and hunting trips Al has to bring up a hog hunt.
A couple of years ago Al went on a hog hunt at Stone Creek Hunting Ranch in Edgar Springs, MO. He had such a blast he has been talking about going back again.
Last year Al put together a group of ten guys who went on the trip but once again I passed on the hunt. My wife, Ella and I were heading to Missouri that weekend so we stopped by the camp to see how everyone was doing. It was Saturday afternoon and everyone had already gotten their hog. I realized really quickly I made a mistake by bringing Ella to camp. As soon as we arrive, Al started working on Ella about going hog hunting in 2023. Of course, he was able to get Ella excited and so I agreed to come hunt some hogs. I would let Ella hunt and I would just do some videotaping.
As time grew closer, we had several people back out from our trip. I was talking with my uncle Glenn and he was getting back into hunting with his grandkids. Glenn decided he would take a couple of my cousins, his grandkids Lily Knox and Oscar McLaren. Adding the kids to this hunt added a completely different feel for me.
This trip took a special turn for me. Glenn was taught to hunt by my father and now I was going to spend some time hunting with him and help get my cousins addicted to hunting. I was excited for my daughter to spend some time with Glenn because unfortunately she didn’t get a chance to really know my dad and I knew she would get a sneak peak of what dad was like by spending time with his brother.
We headed out at 7:00am on Friday morning heading towards Missouri. As I met my cousins I realized the Bugos genes run deep. Lily and Ella had many of the same characteristics and even some of the same mannerisms. They probably didn’t like me saying “ you guys have the same chin” or “You guys have the same bushy eyebrows”. Each time I said it they both just kind of looked at me with no response.
We arrived at around 1:00pm and we loaded into our accommodation for the weekend. The cabin was amazing. The wall was covered with mounts. They had buffalo, fallow deer, bobcats, coyotes, rams, whitetails, hogs among others. The place was extremely clean, and we had our own chef for the weekend bob.
As soon as we were settled in we decided to split up and try a little spot and stock. I would take the two girls. Glenn and Oscar would go with the guide and Al and Tim would head out on their own as well. We started walking slowly through the timber looking for anything that looked like a hog. After a half an hour or so I could smell a hog. I couldn’t see it but I definitely knew one had been in the area recently. I told the girls to stay back on the trail and I would move forward to see if I could see the hog. A few steps later, a big sow got up and took off running. Right behind here were ten or so piglets running in tow.
We continued you on and after some time we look down the ravine and we could see a large group of hogs heading our way. We worked our way down to where we thought they would cross in hopes of getting a shot off. I set Lilly up and sure enough here they can. There were many big hogs in this group but one was white with black spots so I was hoping she would get that one. As she steadied her rifle she realized the focus of the scope had been knocked around. Unfortunately the group didn’t stop much, they seemed to be on a mission so we were unable to get a clear ethical shot.
We walked a total of 5 miles on Friday and I must say my legs were barking and so were the kids. We headed in for some food and then we would go back out and sit in a stand that evening. After eating we went out and spent the last hour of the day in the stand but unfortunately didn’t see any.
After eating a great supper of lasagna we sat the kids down and taught them how to play poker. When I was younger the family would get together and play poker a few times a year. We didn’t play hold’em. We played five card draw, seven card stud, black mariah and many other games when I was a kid so Glenn wanted to teach the next generation. We had a great time then we called it a night so we could get up eat breakfast and head out with the guide Saturday Morning.
After breakfast Glenn, myself, Ella, Oscar, and Lily all loaded up with our guide Sam and headed to find some hogs. Sam was an amazing guide that was absolutely great with the kids and worked his butt off to make sure everyone had a great experience. I can’t say enough about Sam, he goes above and beyond to help everyone there.
We were running the path around the perimeter when we came up over the hill we looked down and there was a giant boar lying there sleeping. Sam looked at Lily and said get out and get a shot at that hog. Lily got out of the buggy and found a good rest. The hog at this point was awake and looked up at us. He was a giant hog and he didn’t seem to be intimidated by us being there. Lily settled in for the shot and when she pulled the trigger the hog met its demise. After Lily got her hog, we put Ella up front and continued on to see if we could find one for Ella and then Oscar.
We saw several hogs over the next hour, but most were too far away and moving. As we continued on another trail, we saw some Hines, Fallow Deer and Rams. There is such a nice variety of animals to see which makes this hunt even more exciting. As we headed around a corner we saw a couple of hogs about 75 yards away on the hill. Sam took Ella to see if they could get a shot. The hog was about 60-70 yards away and I think Sam was a little nervous about the shot. Sam had heard me say several times that Ella is a dead eye. Ella raised the gun and settled in. The shot went off and the hog took off like a bat out of hell. I thought oh no, she missed. Then I watched the hog hit a tree head on. The tree broke off and the hog started rolling. Our group at the buggy started yelling. She put a great shot on this hog and at a good distance for a first time hog hunter. As I walked up to the hog Sam said “perfect shot” right up through the heart. As always, I was a proud father and the thrill of seeing her so happy makes every adventure so worth it.
We dragged the hog down to the buggy and now we set our eyes on finding Oscar a hog. We started driving around looking for another hog. We spent the next hour or two trying to find the right one. We saw a couple of small hogs but we were looking for a 200 to 250 lb hog. As we were driving over a ridge Ella yelled hog. None of us saw it so Sam backed up and got his binoculars out and sure enough there it was you could really only see a couple of black pointy ears sticking up. Sam grabbed Oscar and they went to see if they could spot and stock this hog. As they got within about 50 yards the hog stood up and Oscar let the bullet fly. We knew he hit it, but we could tell where. Ella thought it was a jaw shot and I thought it hit a leg. Sam, Oscar, and Lily began to track the hog. They tracked that hog well over a mile my following specks of blood. Once and awhile, they would find a small pool but mainly just drops of blood. One of the rules is if you draw blood that is your hog. We were all feeling bad for Oscar so we went back in for lunch.
As we were getting ready for lunch Al looked at me and said we had a problem. I said what problem. He pointed to my tire. I had a flat tire and had to change the tire and head to Walmart to get it fixed. Bad idea. I spent over 4 hours at the Rolla Missouri Walmart for a flat tire. To say I was fit to be tied was an understatement.
When I arrived back to camp, I heard they had decided to pay for another hog so Oscar could have another chance. Tim and Al already had their pigs so they decided to help Oscar and go see if they could find his first hog. Sam took Oscar out for another hog and of course Sam put him on one. Once again the hog was injured but didn’t pass away. Luckily Al found Oscar’s first hog and was able to finish it off so he was able to get his hog.
I can’t say enough about the hospitality we received from both Sam and Bob. Sam was the only guide there this weekend and he was able to get us all on hogs. He skins the hogs and quarters them for you to take for processing. The amount of work these two put in to make your stay amazing is second to none. The food was great and the company event better. If you are ever looking to go on a hog, fallow deer, sika deer, hinds, rams, or goats this is the place for you. I guarantee you will have the opportunity to harvest the animal. All you have to do is place the shot and the rest is history. Call Justin at Stone Creek Hunting Club 314-952-4346 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or check them out on the web at www.stonecreekhunting.com.
Until next month. May your sunrises and sunsets be magical!