Hog hunting with dogs just might be the ultimate adventure in North America, especially when you’re toting a handgun and starting down a trophy boar at eye level! That was the case for me (a first in my many years of hunting) during a midday break from an early season whitetail bowhunt with Lee Lightsey near Venus, Florida, here recently.
This 3-part blog series about hunting Florida’s Trifecta (alligator, hog, whitetail deer) started last week with the recap of the best alligator hunt that anyone could ask for. That morning hunt was immediately followed up with a quick lunch break and then back to the swamps in search of a trophy boar hog and some fresh pork for deer camp.
Our guide the afternoon was Blake Godwin, a born-and-raised Floridian who is one diehard hunter. He does it all: gators, hogs, deer, doesn’t matter, and he is awfully good at it.
We had just one companion for this adventure, Alma, one of the best hog hunting dogs I’ve ever seen work a scent line. After fetching Alma from her kennel, Blake told us how he had her trained to not only sniff out the hogs as they were wallowing in the shade of this scorching-hot day (highs were in the upper 90s), but she was also trained not to bark until she had a hog bayed.
It didn’t take this pig hunting dog very long to find her quarry.
Alma is a mix between a Jack Russell terrier and a black-mouthed curr. We had only been driving on a swamp road for maybe 10 minutes when her little ears perked up and she sprinted for a palmetto thicket. One-one-thousand. Two-one-thousand.
“Arrrewww!” Alma bellowed.
“Is she on one already?” I asked, incredulously.
“Yep. Maybe more than one, actually,” Blake responded. “Let’s go!”
On the morning’s alligator hunt, I was toting a Thompson/Center rifle. This time,I opted to head into the thick scrub with nothing more than a Smith & Wesson Performance Center .44 Mag. revolver. Yep, this would be my first time hunting while using a handgun.
I had been on exciting bowhunts for hogs before, and those all ended well with close-up, clean shots at meat hogs. When we got closer to Alma’s barking, we realized this time would be way different.
“Oh man!” Blake exclaimed as he saw the focus of little Alma’s attention. “That is a MONSTER!”
My heart rate immediately spiked as I inched closer, revolver at the ready.
You can watch what happened next. Now, before you click that PLAY button, please realize that this is the first time in my many years that I’ve actually feared for my life while hunting. So please, excuse all of the bleeps we had to edit into this clip!
Next week: Check back for Part 3 of this series: the hunt for a very wide 8-point buck. I’m still in shock that this all happened over the course of just one day of hunting with Lee Lightsey.