2002 Hunting Season Images

(August 31st Through September 2nd.)

This is a video of a 205 lb Wild Boar Hog that I shot from about 25 yards.  Luckily I hit him right in the heart!  (See the below images to see what the heart looked like with the broken off arrow stuck in his heart.)  The shot was made just as the sun was setting.  I videoed this action with a headband camera (lens) system.  Unfortunately, while I was drawing back the bow and looking through the peep, the camera was not looking directly at the hog, so you will not see the actual impact.  You will see the hog run off into the marsh and crash with a big splash!  Hopefully, in the future I will improve on this system.  This is a 24 MB Real Media Video!  If you don't have a broadband connection, I would suggest that you start the download before you go to bed at night!

Enjoy!

See The Story Below!

(Click on the following image to download the Real Media video.)

Click Here To Download the MPG Video! (23 MB!) Click Here To Download the Real Media Video! (9 MB!)

Click Here To Download
the MPG Video! (23 MB!)

Click Here To Download
the Real Media Video! (9 MB!)

 

Photographs

Click Here For A Full Size Image! Click Here For A Full Size Image!
Me and My Boar Chuck and Dan with The Boar
Click Here For A Full Size Image! Click Here For A Full Size Image!
Another View A look at where the arrow
broke off in the heart!

The Story:

This hunt was the culmination of over six months of intensive physical therapy and serious positive mental attitude.  This story starts almost a year ago when I fell off a ladder and landed twelve feet below on the concrete.  Luckily, I only shattered my left elbow into about five pieces.  I could have very easily been killed or paralyzed.  This fall occurred right in the middle of last years hunting season.  (Only my second ever!)   My Doctor, although very supportive, told me in no uncertain terms that she did not know if I would ever regain normal use of my arm again.

Well, now that I had the hunting fever big time, and could not even move my arm because of the nine stainless screws and on big metal strap in my arm, all that I could do was read everything about hunting that I could get my hands on.  This quest for reading was an adventure in itself.  I read everything from the latest hunting magazines like Buckmasters to searching antique book stores for old out of print books.  My favorite book was "How to Hunt Deer" by Edward A. Freeman, printed in 1956.

With this said, I was determined to be hunting by this year's hunting season (2002).  I was determined to not only be able to hold and fire a rifle, but to use a climbing treestand and pull back a bow.  (Pulling back the bow and making a good shot would be the pinnacle of my success.)   I set forth on a challenge to myself and spent six hard months trying to get my arm back in shape.  I still cannot fully extend my left arm, but with the help of my friends, we retuned my bow as much as possible so I could at least "Hit the Pumpkin" at thirty yards.  (The Kill Zone.)

On Friday August 30th, my son Chuck and his buddy from his job (The Miami-Dade Fire Department) Dan Bolline and I went into the The Everglades National Preserve.  We spent Friday night in our popup camper on our friend Lucky Cole's property.  Lucky has a real nice place right in the middle of the preserve and has gotten it setup so that a few of his friends can just pull their campers in and hook up to electricity and water.  Lucky also has a real nice outdoor shower with complete hot and cold running water.  He also has a first class restroom with running water and electricity.  Lucky and his wife Maureen have everything setup perfect for his guests with everything set to a rustic outdoor decor and follows it up with many hours sitting on the front porch or around the campfire after a long days hunt telling long tales, smoking cigars and quenching our thirsts with plenty of ice cold beer.  (It just doesn't get any better than this!)

Bright and early at 0'Dark 30, the three of us set out to our predetermined hunting locations.  (We had pre-staged out climbing treestands and lock them onto the trees on Friday afternoon.)  Our plans were to spend the whole days on stand.  This is something that we have never tried, but all the research showed that really, this was the most effective strategy.  We had our backpacks stuffed with sandwiches, water, Gatorade and  candy bars.   (I personally also had a camcorder, batteries and a headband camera that I was experimenting with.)  We each had a Motorola Talkabout Radio and an earpiece so we could communicate with each other.  We used these radios to entertain each other and also to work as a team.  We were only setup three or four hundred yards apart and had vigorously scouted the area  utilizing satellite images, GPSs and all the latest intelligence available at our disposal.  (Not to mention months of tromping through the swamp!)  With all of this at our disposal, we could intelligently predict a nice pattern of where the animals might walk, so we strategically placed our treestands.

Little did we know that the animals didn't use all this equipment and had no idea that they were supposed to be where we were!  Ha!

Well after all the diligent planning, I climbed up into my stand and promptly noticed that I had forgotten my sandwiches!  Well, I had three liters of water in my "Camel Back" and one Snickers bar that Dan has gratefully picked up at the last minute.  Only 14 hours more to go!

So I sat in this one promising location and nursed my water and this one Snickers bar until the sun went down the following evening.  I never saw anything and as far as I know, nothing ever saw me.  We did keep in touch with the radios and it was a beautiful day in the woods.  (Any day in the woods is better than a day at work.)    At least we had Lucky's to go back to and recover for the evening.

Back at Lucky's, we talked strategy and licked our wounds.  Tomorrow would be different!  After a little deliberation, we decided to move our stands to what we knew would be better locations.  0' Dark 30 again and off to the woods.  (This time I brought two days of sandwiches!)  I also pulled out my secret weapon!  I took a doe decoy, planted it in front of my stand and juiced it up with estrus (the rut had started).  This time I would be on the edge of a prairie where all the animals had been spotted yesterday, just out of range.

Another beautiful day in the woods.  Even when it poured down rain, it was beautiful.  I sat there all day long and again saw nothing.  (The animals must know that hunting season has started!)  Chuck was starting to get restless and was collecting our other partner's (Omar) treestand lock that he had left at the base of a tree.  

The sun was setting in the west and the last light was fast departing when I heard the unmistakable sound of something sloshing through the water.  (Almost everything is under water in the swamp.)  I told Chuck and Dan that I heard something coming my way.  I pushed the remote controls for mt headband camera, adjusted the headband and slowly stood up in the stand and took my bow off of the limb that it was hanging on.  I did my best to see what it was, then I said "It's a pig!" into the radio.  Chuck said "Shoot it!" and I said that I would if it kept coming my way.  I had previous laser'ed a few landmarks with my new Bushnell Legend Laser Range Finder and had a good idea of the distances that I could shoot.  Thirty yards was my limit.  This pig kept coming my way and even looked up in my direction, but he never slowed down or missed a beat.  (This has been my experience with wild pigs, they rarely stop moving.)  The pig was jus clearing a branch of my tree and getting into my fire lane when he saw my decoy.  He froze for about one second and must have been thinking, "What the hell is that!"  At this time, I was drawing back my bow and reciting in my head "Look through the peep, look through the peep!" (Another long sad story!)  "Twenty five yards!   Between the top two pins!   Hit the pumpkin!"

Without even thinking about it, I triggered the release!

The pig grunted and I was surprised to see the feathers stuck right behind his left shoulder, right where I thought his heart should have been.  The pig took off like a freight train and ran for about 30 or 40 yards, then came to a crashing big splash in the middle of the prairie!  I muttered "Heart Shot!" into the walkie-talkie and advised Chuck what had happened.  Dan had his radio get wet and fail, and had no idea what had just happened.

I slowly and methodically got all my gear together and climbed down and out of the tree.  It was past dark when I got down and by then Dan and Chuck had met me at the base of the tree.  Dan said that he had heard the grunt all the way across the prairie and thought it sounded like a pig.  I tried to tell him that I had shot a raccoon, but he wouldn't but that story.

We gathered up what we had and made our way across to the pig.  He was much bigger up close and later weighed it at 205 lbs.  Being the old man in the bunch, Dan and Chuck volunteered to drag the pig back to Lucky's.  I carried all the backpacks and three bows.  It was really hard work for both of them and I really appreciate them being there to drag this monster back in.  (Not to mention the camaraderie.)

To say the least, we had a good time back on Lucky's porch that night!

(September 21st.)

Click on this image for the 29 MB MPG Video! Click on this image for the 11 MB Real Media Video!

Click on the above image for the
 
29 MB MPG Video

Click on the above image for the
 11 MB Real Media Video

"Murphy's Hunt":

This video was taken while I was on-stand.  You will see that this deer is considerably smaller than the previous wild boar.  Our Everglades deer average around 70 to 100 lbs.  The deer was also a little further away from me.  (About 30 yards.)

This was just one of those days where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong!  First, the remote control on the camera broke and I had to manually turn on the camcorder, plug in the remote headband camera (the battery will run down otherwise), then I had to stand up, pick up my bow and shoot at the deer.  (If only it was so easy!)

Wrong!

When I picked up my bow and looked through the peep at the pins, I noticed what looked like a spider web!  It wasn't a spider web, it was the fiber-optic illuminators on my pins!  The top one had broken off and was draped across the other two at a 45 angle!  Well, this blew my mind and my concentration.  Then I had to make a grunting noise with my own mouth to stop the little 4-point buck that was chasing after a doe in estrus.  When he finally stopped, I had to mentally calculate the distance by looking at some pre-determined land-marks.  I figured around 30 yards.  I rested what used to be the 30 yard pin on the deer's kill zone and fired!

Wrong!

It was actually about 35 yards!  The arrow hit the water right underneath the buck!  To make things worse, when I fired the arrow, the bow reverberated with a "TWAAAANNNNGGGGG!"  (I had mounted the remote mini-camera right under my "Doinker".  (The stabilizer!)

I had actually wedged it under the stabilizer and duct taped it into place.  (Not a very smart thing to do!)  Well, the resounding vibration and weird sound blew my concentration again!  Even though I blew the shot, I got on the walkie-talkie and told Omar that a buck was running his way.

With that said, I was very surprised to see the buck reversing direction and coming back my way again.  This time he ran directly in front of me and was at an even closer range.  This time around 20 yards.  (This is more like it!)  I had to stop him from running and again grunted.  It took two or three grunts, but he finally stopped.  

Right behind three trees!

I thought that there was a big enough space between the trees for me to "Hit the Pumpkin", 

"TWAAAANNNNGGGGG!"

Wrong!

The second arrow stuck dead center in one of the trees!  The buck never flinched.  He finally started loping off to a trail on my right and I knocked a third arrow.  This time as I fired, I knew that this was just a "Hail Mary" shot and I would never have a chance, but I had to do it anyways!

This arrow actually hit pretty close to him, but 3 inches to his rear.  As this little buck slowly walked into the palmetto head, I could have sworn that I heard a little chuckle.  (I think that little guy was laughing at me!)

Ha! 

*****

FYI,

I am ordering a new 8 MM lens from "Action Sports Cams".  Hopefully this will let me move up a little closer to these animals.  All of the videos and their technologies are experimental for me.  Hopefully in the future I will be able to improve the quality of my videos.  These videos are compressed and reduced in quality to allow for them to be posted on the web.  If you are interested an this type of video documentation, check out http://www.actionsportscams.com  or call and ask Roger.

Click here to see the full sized image! Click here to see the full sized image!

I shot this 135lb sow on the move at 113 yards!

Here is what it looked like from my stand.


Click on this image to see the 600 yard view from my 45' tall tree! Click on this image to see what it looks like to look down from that tree.

Click on this image to see the 600 yard view from my 45' tall tree!

Click on this image to see what it looks like to look down from that tree.


Click here to see the full sized image! Click here to see the full sized image!

This is actually Mike's second deer!

Another picture of Mike's second deer!


Click here to Read the story about the Dik-Dik!
Our Final Hunt Of The Year In
Alabama! Click On This Image For
The Full Story!