Haney’s Ranch – The Charge

Before Christmas, 1988, Brad was home on leave from Ft. Knox, and along with my son-in-law, Mike Mitchell, we loaded up my Suburban and headed for Rick’s ranch. Rick had called during the week and said that a number of, Hogs had been rooting up one specific field and tearing up his fences. He had asked us for some assistance in “controlling” them. For mid December the weather was very warm. Short sleeves in Houston and just long sleeves in Abilene, but Rick mentioned, “A good “norther”is headed our way Sunday.”

Friday morning found us checking out some corn, bait, that we had helped Rick put out the night before. The Hogs had visited the corn during the night so we headed south to the Hog’s “favorite” field and sure enough, about 6oo yards across the field we saw them and began a roundabout stalk, trying to use the brush along the fencerows for cover. The last 100 yards was wide open so Mike took a shot, Boom, and the Hogs, 4, 200 pounders, were off and running, one considerably slowed by a pretty good hit from the .257 Roberts.
Mike hurried to retrieve his prize and Brad, Rick and I took off after the Hogs. We were all in good shape but after about a half-mile, it was no contest, with the Hogs easily outdistancing us and making it to the safety of an adjoining ranch and us with no permission to offer “hot pursuit”.

We put out more corn that night and with steaks cooked over Rick’s old timey, fired brick, bar-b-que pit, planned our next mornings hunt. We would split up in twos with Mike and Rick approaching the bait from the south flushing the Hogs north, providing Brad and me, stationary east of the hogs, we thought a 50 to 100 yard running shot. No problem with the iron sights Brad and I were using, but our planning didn’t include the cold front hitting a day early.

In fact the front hit just before sun up with the wind howling from the north and the temperature dropping like a rock. We had been dressed and eating breakfast when it hit so this required a quick addition of long johns to our apparel.

Out into the teeth of the storm we go and set up our ambush and waited for the Hogs. Our wait was a short one and the Hogs, probably 10 or more, exploded from the bait and scattered, headed toward the northwest, except for one that was headed our way.

Brad and I were about 5 yards apart and here came a Hog, a 200 pounder, right at me and I was square in the middle of his path of escape. Brad couldn’t swing on it for fear of hitting me and all I could do was get ready. The Hog charged closer and I put the sight on its nose, tracked down with its movement and the .223 cal., Ranch Rifle, Boomed and the Hog rolled right at my feet! The shot hit right above the Hog’s eyes and thinking back, I would have gotten “rolled up” by him if I had missed!

After another chase, Brad collected a nice one out of the bunch and we called it a day. With the “norther” howling, we cleaned the 2 and then loaded all three on to the luggage rack of the Suburban, tied them down securely for the almost 300 mile drive to Houston, bid Rick a fond good bye and headed out.

We had a tail wind all the way home, but the cold followed us and turned into sleet and rain by the time we arrived at my northwest Houston home and found to our surprise that our Hogs were frozen solid. Hopefully, we’d process them the next day.

I even had a water pipe freeze that night!

There were no unusual sounds or sightings on Friday night.