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About rianpie

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  1. rianpie


    Hi, I started a new thread for recaps (to make them easier to find - I went searching for prior years' writeups as research for this trip!)
  2. Hi all, I’m Rian. This is my first post to the forum. I’m from Flagstaff. This was my first hunt EVER- I found out about it when I attended BOW in January. I had a great time, though I didn't “tip over” anything. Sharing my experience here... Super short version: I had fun, I learned a lot, I didn't get a pig, and I’d like to go again next year! Having trouble adding pictures, so here's a link to my photos on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rianpie/sets/72157632802393131/detail/ Long version: I arrived around 7 pm Thursday. I brought a tent, but Amanda offered me one of the ‘guest’ tents TJ had set up, which was WAY nicer than my tent (and had a cot and a small space heater!). Thank you TJ! (also thanks to Peggy for a camo shirt, and Doug for his very cozy camo jacket) Dropped my stuff and joined the group for dinner. Was introduced to my mentor, Bill Deshaw. That first night I slept poorly, and around 4 am, the coyotes woke me up. They ‘sang’ long enough that I sat up and recorded some on my iPhone! In the morning, met up with Bill and two other ladies, and we headed out into 36B. Bill led us around to numerous water tanks/holes to look for signs of javelinas, and taught us what to look for, how to tell how fresh the tracks are, and how large the javs might be based on distance of tracks from the water’s edge. When we weren’t near watering spots, we were on high lookouts with our binoculars, “glassing” for javs (I learned lots of new terms on this trip). The first day, we saw several coues deer, cows (up close and personal), and a coyote. We didn’t spot any javelina all day, but one of our last stops seemed promising, and Bill found more recent tracks at a nearby water tank. We headed back to camp, with a plan to return to that final spot the next morning. Saturday Up and at ‘em. The night before, two more guys drove down to camp to help out for a bit. Stan and Dave came with us for the morning- They had to drive a couple hours each way- and had to leave at noon, so it was REALLY generous of them to come! So we all drove out to our lookout spot, a hill with a 360* view, and started glassing. About 30-40 minutes in, I spied a coyote. As I called out what I saw, another coyote popped into view, and a big jackrabbit leaped out of a bush and dashed away. The coyotes didn't pursue. I swear they were standing there looking at me. They were so big that I asked “are there wolves here?” Bonnie laughed, but then looked through my glass and admitted she could see why I’d say that- they were big! The coyotes were about 440 yards away (per Bill’s range scope). There was some excitement at the prospect of trying to harvest one. While Bonnie was looking for ammo for one of her guns with a long enough range, Dave was looking around more and saw a group of campers/picnickers not terribly far beyond the coyotes. We knew immediately we wouldn't take a shot with people that close. Given the presence of people on that side, I relocated myself to look at the opposite side of our lookout point. There was some BS’ing going on after the excitement...so it was that shortly after, Bill and I were the only ones actively glassing when BAM, there they were- 4 javelina on a hillside. “I SEE ‘EM!” I yelled before my brain even really registered. Looking more, we saw at least 10 on that hill. Bill had said that hunting is “Hours of boredom for a few minutes of pure adrenaline” and he was right! As soon as I saw them, everyone’s energy changed. We started planning our approach, and gearing up. Dave came with us. Stan stayed on the hilltop with a walkie-talkie to watch (Bill had its mate) We stalked over, wind in our faces. They’d decided that a longer-range muzzle loader would give me a better chance at a hit, so Bonnie gave me her muzzleloader and a stand to rest the end on. I got set up about 100 yards away (I had to move a bit, because Dave was taller than I- I couldn't see over the crest of the hill in between us and the pigs). The plan was that Bill, Bonnie, and Misty would get closer (50 yards) and the girls would use their handguns. Bill would use a call to try to keep the javelina close, and we’d all fire. The whole time they were working their way closer, I was keeping pigs in my sights. As they fed and wandered, about 4 passed through my crosshairs. Dave and I were anxious for Bill to give us a ‘go’...then the pigs started cresting over their hill and I didn't have a shot. Dave (who is 6’7”) told me there were more walking up the hill and they’d be in my sight soon. I kept my focus right at the edge of the smaller hill blocking. And that’s when Bill gave the go ahead. Shots were fired, pigs ran. I didn't have a shot. A couple javs ran down into the brush between our two groups. Dave and I worked to relocate so I could be ready for a shot, but the pigs ran before I was set up, and I didn't have a chance to sight them in time. RATS! We tried to trail them for a bit, but they were well-spooked and had disappeared in the brush. We eventually headed back to our hilltop to see if they’d regroup after some quiet, but we didn't see them again. Stan and Dave had to leave. We glassed some more, and then checked out a couple more areas further on, before heading back to camp. In the rehash of the event, some lessons emerged: 1) Having 2 different ranges of fire (100 yd and 50 yd) made it difficult to coordinate 2) We got greedy. Bill regretted not letting me shoot first (since I’d spotted them) and having Bonnie and Misty be ready to try to nab a runner. 3) Know how to safely and quickly un-cock your gun if you need to move. 4) I’m not great with a scope - couldn't quickly find my target through it. Sunday morning, we planned to go straight back to our hilltop, which I now dubbed ‘javelina point’. I had planned to leave by noon, so was worried it would be a fruitless venture. This day, it was Bonnie, Bill, and me, plus Linda (mentor) and Ellie (hunter). The drive to our spot is an hour long. We got there, and gave a quick scan, then started setting up to glass for real. I didn't even have my lenses attached to my tripod when Ellie found them! We immediately started getting ready to stalk. This time we all 3 had muzzleloaders. We hiked out, with Linda staying on the hill with the walkie. We got set up, and Bill said “Have at it, ladies”. I lined up my shot and pulled the trigger. Big puff of smoke. Javis started running. Bill started using a call, and got a big one to turn around and head our way. Ellie fired a shot, and doubled over---she had her face too close and the scope hit her HARD. The pig ran by, about 20 yards on my right. I had the presence of mind to consider pulling my 9mm off my side and trying to hit him, but I wasn't confident I’d be fast enough and was worried about safety- Bill had told me to stay down because Bonnie was off to my right. Also at that point I thought my one shot was good, I felt like I was on target, and through the smoke I hadn't seen what happened to the pig, so I didn't think I should be shooting at another one. Bill had to run for supplies to patch up Ellie - the scope cut was deep, though it didn't bleed too bad. After she was OK, we went to check for blood sign but didn't find any...so yeah, I missed. We tracked a little ways, but weren't seeing any sign of them and needed to get Ellie back, so that was the end of my hung- Linda, Ellie and I headed back to camp...then I had a long drive back to Flag. (Bill and Bonnie stayed to track the herd, and I hear they at least found them again) My lessons for Sunday: 1) I need to work on target/shooting practice 2) I need more guns 3) Don’t put your face too close to your scope! 4) Calls do work, so be PREPARED for a second chance Overall it was a real adventure. Bill was a great mentor, I really appreciate the time he spent with us and the knowledge he shared (along with jokes and stories). I enjoyed the company of all the ladies, too. Thanks Amanda and crew for organizing this event. I’d never have ventured out on my own, so I’d say it was a success!