Saturday, March 9, 2013

Arkansas Razorback at High Adventure Ranch

On the edge of the Ozark Mountains lies High Adventure Ranch.  Here nestled in the  woods is a paradise of wild game, great guides, excellent food, and good lodging.  To make matters even better, they are really nice people and ready to make your stay and hunt a memorable experience.

The trip started for me several weeks ago.  I first surfed the web looking for a place to harvest a wild pig.  I started in Texas and moved north.  My goal was to find lodging, hunting, a qualified guide, and processing of the harvest.  I finally found what I wanted.   Texas had some great places, along with Oklahoma.  However, the drive down south was too lengthy, and whenever a trip is taken, a load of gear is taken along.  Paying a big luggage fee to the airlines was out of the question.  After all, I bought this stuff, and now it was time to take it with me.

I left on a Sunday morning.  The road was almost all interstate and a mere 430 miles to St. James, Missouri from the Omaha area.  Next morning after a short trip down Highway 63 to YY intersection and 6 miles later, there it was, the ranch.

East of this gate was the entrance to the ranch and a quick call on the cell admitted me to a wonderful experience.  I was met immediately by a ranch employee who took me up to the lodge where I stowed my gear.  Next, came my guide for the trip.  We sat down and discussed what I wanted to do.  The plan was to shoot a Russian Wild Boar, but after conversations with the guide, my mind was changed.  The Russian Wild Boar is a little strong tasting.  Therefore, he recommended I harvest a young Arkansas Razorback sow.  They make the best eating, and for me and my friends, that is what this is all about in the end.
The lodge where I was to stay.  It overlooked a beautiful valley.
A view from the lodge shows the expanse of the area and the timbered hill.

The area where I would be hunting was in excess of 3,000 acres of some of the most dense timber you have ever seen.  Shooting through this would not be an easy task.  The plan was to walk and stalk.  The hogs do not have the greatest of eyesight, but they do have a sensitive nose. 

We would move slowly through the timber scanning for a good shot on a nice size Razorback Hog.  If one was spotted and did not bolt off, I was to keep the timber in a line of sight between me and the hog and walk toward it till I could get a good shot. 

This was really tough.  There were several opportunities, and I pulled the gun to my shoulder more than once, but the hog would move off and was lost in the timber or mixed in within a group.  It was really hard to distinguish the target after that, as they were all black.

Moving up toward a ridge line where we could look down into the valley below, we spotted some really big Russian Boars.   They did not like us being in their territory and let it be known.  With the hogs snorting and growling, we just slowly backed away. 
Notice the blonde snout on each of the two hogs.  That is a marking for a Russian Wild Boar. 

We stayed along the ridgeline and the guide spotted a nice size Razorback.  She was moving along at a good clip.  The shot was only about 50 yards, but I had to shoot through an opening in the trees.  I flunked. Jerking the trigger on the shot, I sent the round right over her head.  The pig shifted into high gear and headed for the hills.  There was no blood trail, so it was obvious what had happened.  It is called missing.

We moved back toward a couple of pigs down the hill from where I had missed.   There stood a nice size young and tender looking female Arkansas Razorback. She had no little ones with her, so this was an obvious opportunity.  Not wanting to mess this shot up, a good stand of timber was between me and her.  A slow and cautious walk was made toward the hog.  At about 40 yards she moved into an opening and was totally broadside.  With my hand up against a tree to steady the gun, the round was squeezed off. 

There is nothing like the power of a 30-06 round with a Nossler Partition Bullet.  We had success.
Note the razorback hair down the back.
The guide called in a four wheeler and she was taken back to the ranch for processing.  You can have your meat processed right there and cooled, or just have it quartered.  With the blizzard fast approaching Kansas City, I just had it quartered, packed in an iced down cooler and was ready to hit the bricks after lunch. 

I never got a weight, but I filled a really big cooler with ice and quarters of the pig.

After an excellent lunch, I hit the road to beat the storm.  There are excellent opportunities of various game on the ranch and the personnel are very accommodating.  I had a really great time and hated to leave so quickly.  I'll be back.

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Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank


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