The Great Texas Hog Hunt !

mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
2011/06/13 22:34:09

Here is the Trip Report for our recent (June 2-June 10) Hunting trip and Introduction to Texas for my 14 year old Grandson. We began planning this hunting trip last winter when the two Grandfathers decided that Chris would enjoy a visit to Texas, and a Hog Hunt would be a good reason to go. We signed up for a Package Hunt at a "ranch" near Gonzales,Texas, just a few miles from the Shiner Brewery.
We packed up and departed late Thursday evening, after Chris had marched thru his 8th grade graduation ceremony.

It was a long night behind the wheel, but we had lots of planning to do and the excitement of the trip kept us going all night. We had called ahead (the day before) to Mary at the Family Pie Shop about how early she might have some pies that we might be able to buy as we passed thru DeValls Bluff, Arkansas. She asked about our arrival time and then assured us she could have a Lemon, a Coconut, and a Chocolate Fudge pie ready to go at 5 AM. So at exactly 5AM we pulled into her dark driveway and I told my companions it was PIE-TIME ! They laughed at me and told me she probably went to bed and forgot the pies... Just as they said that the porch light came on and out came Mary, escorting us to the bakery-garage, and boxed the still warm pies for us on the spot. I think I scored a few points with the grandson on that deal. Mary had stayed up late getting the pies ready for us and was pleased that we were so excited about them.

We took the pies with us and completed the long ride to Temple,Texas for a good nights rest. No roadfood other than Petro Brothers Truck Stop CFS, which is one of the best CFS Breakfasts I find on the interstates.
Next morning found us meeting our RF Brother Bushie at Louis Muellers BBQ in Taylor, Texas, for the kids first intro to Texas BBQ. Chris tasted a variety of choices there, eyes growing larger with each sample.

Then Bushie Appeared with one of the famous Texas Sized Round Rock Do-Nuts !! That made quite a hit

We did locate the business card I posted on Muellers 'Wall of Fame' fourteen years ago, and attached it to a new one and posted it on the wall again.

After several interesting cultural stops in the area with Bushie and some interesting discussions about crops, farming and livestock with several locals at those locations, we parted company with Bushie and headed back to the motel to give the kid some pool time and let the Grandpa's catch up on a lot of missing nap-time.
We Made Lockhart the target for our BBQ search for the day. Smitty's didn't have anything other than sausage ready early in the morning, so we selected three rings of their great links and enjoyed what promised to be a great day.

A bit later we stopped in at Blacks BBQ.

Chris had learned the difference between 'Lean' and 'Juicy' Brisket, and was quick to order his Brisket "Juicy" ! He raved about how good all Texas brisket is and especially that offered at Blacks. Here's the sample we got there.

We managed to get the boy snagged on the 'Jack-a-lope' legend. Hoping he would get involved with a search for the elusive critter at the hunting camp later. He almost fell for it, but caught on before we had him hooked !
Then it was time to check into the hunting camp. The wild critters came right into the camp looking for food. In fact, the buffalo we saw that night followed us back to our bunkhouse and tore thru one bag of the 'Deer Corn we had brought with us for Hog Bait' 

After a great pulled pork dinner, and sighting in our rifles, we went out to our blind and got set-up for the night. Corn was spread along the dirt track to draw the hogs toward the blind as the sun set. 

Much to our surprise a group of 6 Buffalo came thundering into our area and began chowing down on our bait corn.
We put up with it for awhile, then Larry, our 'other' grandpa, went out and chased them away like a bunch of farm cows.

As soon as he returned they came back and worked over the corn pretty well. The only hogs we saw the first night knew how to dart among the Buffalo to get the corn without exposing themselves as targets. Since the price for shooting a Buffalo was about $2500, we were pretty careful not to shoot when any of them were around.

Chris was the first one to shoot a hog. He got his in the morning on a 'walk and stalk' in the woods. It weighed in at just over 100 lbs.

 Larry and I had to wait for the night hunt from the blind again. This time the Bison left us alone for awhile and we were able to shoot our hogs. Just after I got mine, a Water Buffalo appeared and blocked us from getting my downed hog. We finally had to call the camp crew to come out and force the Buffalo to move so we could load the hog up and get it back to camp.

In addition to the three we hunted, we got two young pigs (about 70 lbs each) to be used for whole roasts

Then we loaded up, took 50 lbs of Pork to Greens Sausage House in Temple to be converted into Jalopena Cheese Links, which will be shipped shortly. The rest is with a processor here in Indiana being prepared for our family use.
It was a long drive home but we wanted to get the meat out of the iced-coolers and into proper refrigeration in the 100 degree weather we were 'enjoying'.
We awarded the grandson a trophy for shooting his first ever Hog and left him full of memories that none of us will forget. It was quite an experience !!

Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/14 03:20:16
What a great trip! Thats the kind of bonding your Grandson will remember and talk about the rest of his life!
ann peeples
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/14 04:06:28
I have been waiting with bated breath for this report from you, Al. Sounds like it turned out even better than epected. What a fantastic opportunity you and the "other"grandpa shared with Chris.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/14 07:47:28
Great report and excellent pics Mr. Mayor.
Big fan of the lever action rifle!  Is it a .30-.30 or a different caliber?
There is nothing even close to this in the People's Republic of Maryland, you have it very good indeed in the Lone Star State!!
Fire Safety Admin
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/14 08:18:00
As usual, Al's pictorials, write and experience was super.  He called me yesterday and went over his experience.  I was glad he shared his wonderful experience with his grandson and us.
Thanks AL
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/14 08:27:22
Chris used a Marlin 30-30, Larry had a Marlin 44 Magnum lever-action and I kept the 12 gauge in it's case and used my Winchester .308. Here's my Winchester. It did a fine job on the hog with one shot.

Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/14 10:20:42
I'm glad you and your grandson had a great time, and he enjoyed himself in Texas. You all made some farmers and ranchers happy too, getting those hogs.
One of the local stations here in San Antonio did a story about the wild hog problem here in the state. Lot of ranches have buffalos.There is one out near Poth and one near MCQueeny with a lot of them.
Filet Mignon
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/14 15:10:44
Awesome!!!!  nuff said!
Filet Mignon
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/14 15:33:44
What a great adventure!  This is something that your grandson will always remember...................................a treasured memory it will be.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/14 19:26:20
Just a side-note about Truck Stops along the Interstates. For years the Flying J chain of truck stops had a cafe/roadhouse diner as an integral part of each truck stop. We enjoyed the Chicken Fried Steak (12 oz) Breakfast, served with hash Browns and 3 eggs and toast for under $10. The meat was breaded on-site and cooked  to order.
Recently Flying J dumped their restaurants and are now using Denny's or Subway at their locations thruout the South and Midwest. They merged with the Pilot Chain who uses the same "low-quality" chain-food.
Petro Brothers, another truck stop chain still uses its own kitchens, and we found the CFS at the two Plaza's we visited to be quite good. The Breading was very crusty and had some snap and spice to it, The meat was thick enough to require a knife to cut it and it tasted like beef ! You can order the regular breakfast version, two eggs-hash browns-and an 8 oz steak or boost it to 3 eggs and two 8 oz steaks. The larger portion goes for $11.00 and is a great meal if you need to "refuel" !
  I seldom endorse chain food, but when I am zipping down the Interstate and need food and fuel, I look for a Petro brothers if the mood is right !...And 3 AM in the morning on I-40 in Arkansas was the right time and place !
ann peeples
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/14 19:55:23
I agree, Greymo. Spoke to Al earlier, and his grandson will have that trophy, along with fantastic memories, for the rest of his life. What a testament to family....
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/14 22:35:58
Best $10 I have ever spent. You should have seen his face when he opened the box.  It reads-
First Place Texas Hog Hunt
 June 2011 
Chris Bowen

Junior Burger
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/17 10:36:15
Hey Al,
Great Report and great food. It looks like everyone had a great time and got their fill of hogs and food! Your grandson will remember this trip for the rest of his life. Good Work!
... RyanW
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/17 12:03:55
Thanks Ryan,  and Welcome to Roadfood.
Friends, Rysn wrote up his visit to the same hunting camp/ranch that we visited. His report really helped us prepare for an activity that I had never done before.
Thanks again, my young friend. Your notes contributed to our success !
BTW --Two of our meals at the camp were centered on Wild Boar contributed by a hunter who wanted a trophy, not the meat from his kills. One of his hogs weighed well over 350 lbs. I had heard that when a pig gets that big it tends to be very tough and 'gamey', but this pork, slow-cooked for over 12 hours, was tender as the best store-bought pork. Great flavor and quite lean, it did need some BBQ sauce to give it enough moisture to be fork-tender. 
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/20 16:28:22
At the end of most of my trip reports I usually do a bunch of Statistics to show what all the fun cost.  In this case the two Old Guys split the costs and covered the grandkid in their two halves... 
Time gone- Thursday June 2 10 PM to Thursday June 9 11am.
Mileage-------------------------------------- 2800
Total Trip/Hunt Costs-----------------@ $2600
Pork brought home- ----------------------- 240 lbs
Pork Sausage shipped from
Greens Sausage House ---------------------50 lbs
Misc costs- ammo-"Gear"-Snacks
  and food, Beer, batteries etc.
  outside of the camp. -----------------------$300
So we paid close to $3k for a week in 100 degree weather to shoot 5 Hogs. Would we do it again?  You Bet we would. This is indeed one of those Master-Card "PRICELESS" Moments !
the grillman
Double Cheeseburger
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/06/20 16:56:59
Nice report and pics.   I enjoyed both the bbq and the hunting pics.  One of my dad's Winchester deer rifles was just like yours, Model 100, .308 Winchester caliber, only with a Weaver scope, 4X if I recall.  I sold it several years ago, along with my .30-30 Model 94, which I rarely used, to buy yet another Browning shotgun.  While I enjoy the shotgun, sometimes I wish I hadn't sold the .308.....
Fire Safety Admin
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/07/06 08:13:59
Sorry I missed this the first time around Al, as it was posted while I was on my own trip out West.  What a fantastic few days you and your family had and this is something that your grandson is going to remember for the rest of his life.  You deserve a trophy for Grandpa of the Year!
The pies certainly look wonderful and kudos to Mary Thomas and family for being up and getting ht epies to you so early.  The Family Pie Shop is a remarkable place.
And now you have me jonesing for some Texas bbq and I was just there a little more than a month ago!
Thanks for the great report!
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/08/11 15:51:35
Your report makes me not only green with envy, but HUNGRY!
Did the Jalepena Cheese links make it back from TX yet?
Looks like you all had a real good trip and you are right it is one of those "priceless" moments.
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/08/24 21:24:52
Excellent post. Thanks. I also learned the hard way that "juicy" brisket was the way to go.
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/08/25 21:23:09
Great hunting trip report. Thanks for sharing it all.
I am hoping to go on a hog shoot this year as I am just above texas. We have some hog hunting here in Oklahoma.
Like CajunKing I am curious- How are your jalapeno cheese links?
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/08/25 22:39:33
That's one hell of a great report, Al. Many thanks. Btw, That huge beef rib your grandson, Chris is holding at Louis Mueller's looks incredible.
And, I love the picture of Bushie carrying the box of fresh doughnuts from Roundrock.
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/09/10 12:33:33
Great report, Al. I'm sure your grandson had a great time. It was also great to see bushie whose company i enjoyed on my texas trip three years  ago.
Hot Dog Empire
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/11/18 19:19:01
Would you mind sharing the ranch you hunted at? I know there are 1,000 + in Texas.......but none that have the glowing endorsement of someone on this forum. I am planning a hunt for mid next year. I was thinking on PA, but I would  certainly drive further for a quality experience!
""Edited to add""     THANKS!!
post edited by Hot Dog Empire - 2011/11/18 19:20:11
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:The Great Texas Hog Hunt ! 2011/11/18 20:50:49
H D Empire
Here's a link to their web site. We appreciated the personal attention of the staff and the small number in the camp for the time we were there... on the down side Watch the nickle and dime "ALA Cart" charges that seem to add a lot to what appears to be a fairly low cost hunt. Some of them are negotiable or can be covered with "Barter items"
It looks like we will make a return trip to the same hunting ranch next Spring. My wife wants to show she can get a bigg Hog than I did !!