by Ted Nugent
I stink. I mean really, really stink, like ultra PU bad. There is a putrid, rank musky essence to my very being that repels all living things, except other stinky things. And what really stinks, I actually like it. You see, I just ambushed, killed, gutted, dragged, photographed and heaved a most beautiful four hundred plus pound nasty mud soaked, urine saturated monster Austrian boar out of my rain soaked forest in Michigan, then hugged the beast lovingly for photos, then I helped lift him onto my truck bed and hang his bloody carcass in my Polar King walk in cooler for the night. I am one, bloody, muddy, sweaty, soaked, stinky happy bowhunting idiot, and I couldn’t be happier. I love bowhunting for wild boar, and tonight was the night of nights. I can hardly stand myself. I smell wild.
It all came about rather abruptly as I was unpacking my bowhunting safari gear from a nonstop global bowhunting dream excursion that took me to South Africa for plains game, back to Ontario, Canada for another black bear, up to the glorious wilds of Northern Wisconsin for a giant whitetail and back to my ancestral Michigan swamplands for the continuing backstrap saga.
Still dizzy with a sense of drained exhaustion, I figured there was no way I could hunt today due to the heavy rains pelting my pole barn since early morning. As I stepped to the barn door to shoot some arrows from my new Martin AlienX compound bow, I was surprised to see a patch of lighter sky and a temporary halt to the rainstorm. Aha! An opening to go for it!
I immediately called BigJim, my main VidCamDude for our Spirit of the Wild TV show, and the hunt was on.
We tossed bows, arrows, boots, camo, vidcams and raingear into the truck and put the peddle to the metal Baja’ing for the old Nugent family game rich hunting grounds at Sunrize Acres in Jackson County, Michigan. It had been months since I had been there, and I was hankering for a hopeful rendezvous with our amazing pure Austrian wild boar that run wild there. My last three hunts there were porkless, and I was determined to end my skunking on my own wild boar preserve. It didn’t make sense. I have owned and hunted this incredible piece of southern Michigan farm country for more than forty years, knew it intimately, loved it wildly and knew it was just a matter of time before I picked the right place at the right time.
Though there are those ignorant loonies who refer to game preserves as “canned hunts”, those of us with any experience at all know all too well how foolish such an assumption is. Hogs are hogs and hunting is always hunting. Fact of the matter is, my hunting journals prove that far more hog killing opportunities have occurred on unfenced hog grounds in Texas, Georgia, Florida, California and Hawaii than on Sunrize Acres. There is no fair chase. The hogs cheat.
Jim and I chose a double ladderstand at the edge of a woodland waterhole where we had planted a variety of food plot seeds along the eroded banks. The entire shoreline of the pond was rooted up, tracked up and wollowed up. It was clearly hog heaven.
We chummed up the best shooting locations with C’Mere Deer and Three Day Harvest bait, then settled in hoping the rain would hold off till after dark.
Three hours later I was figuring my skunking would continue, when Jim tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the open fields to the east where plenty of daylight remained.
Even at 75 yards it was evident that this was one amazing boar. The beast stood like a defiant, grizzled statue looking into the darker woods, then would take a few cautious steps before pausing to examine his domain again. As the giant hog approached the edge of the woods, he began rubbing his long, silver and brindled coat on a maple sapling, causing the four inch tree to wobble violently, the leafy canopy shaking back and forth to the rhythm of the pigs torqueing mass. At forty yards, he paused again, then slowly ambled to the edge of the mud for a noisy slurp of water.
I was poised for a shot if he gave it to me, but fortunately after a few guzzles of murky pond scum he headed our way with his nose full of C’Mere Deer. Luck turned bad as the huge boar fed directly behind the tree for what seemed forever, offering no shot whatsoever. Light was fading and time was running out. Jim filmed, I waited.
I very quietly asked Jim if he still had decent vidcam light when the beautiful pig turned slowly to its right and began to walk off. As is nearly always the case, he stopped again with a large tree covering his vitals. Jim filmed, I waited.
Instantly he took a step forward clearing the tree and I drew back my arrow, picked a spot and let er rip in a flash. Speaking of flash, the tracer round light trail of my Lumenok was a beautiful thing to behold in the misty dusk of the dark woods, as my arrow zipped across the 35 yards and sliced into the boar’s left hip, angling hard into his chest.
With a squeal and a deep grunt, he sprung into action as I nocked my second arrow just as swiftly. He floundered at his rubbing tree where my second arrow intercepted him midship, the glowing Lumenok’s telltale impact clearly visible.
It all happened so fast, I wasn’t sure if either arrow was on course for a double lung kill shot, so Jim and I climbed down and tip toed to where the second arrow connected. As I picked up arrow number two by the glowing Lumenok, I simultaneously saw and heard the boar just 20 yards ahead as it flopped his last flop in the deep weeds and grasses just outside the forest edge.
I was ecstatic! The beast is dead long live the beast! Jim and I danced a little pig jig for a not so little pig, dragged the behemoth out into the clearing, and paid our last respects for this gorgeous runaway BBQ locomotive on the hoof on film.
This old warrior was the essence of wild boarness. Over 400 pounds, long, gnarly, course silver, grey and calico hairs, deep heavy chest, long narrow hips with a elongated snout, singing, rangy tail and some pretty handsome ivory protruding from his prehistoric proboscis. And of the defining factor for all pigdom-the nostril flaring aroma of the whole ordeal.
Here’s the not so stinky part: even though this old boar was so ugly he was beautiful, and the olfactory stimuli was for true swine lovers only, do not think for a moment that all this adds up to unpalatable table fare. On the contrary, it is my personal experience and that of hundreds upon hundreds of fellow hog hunters I have guided and or hunted with myself, that even from these old bruisers, the pork is delicious.
I gutted him thoroughly, hosed him out clean, hung him by the snout in my Polar King cooler overnight so that all blood and fluids drained completely out of him, skinned him carefully, removing every last hair from the carcass, then took him to Joe Nagle, a gung-ho dedicated professional butcher in Homer, Michigan, where the beast was lovingly and ultra cleanly cut up into family sized portions with tender loving care.
Clean and cold is IT for quality BBQ pork my friends. Most of the white fat is trimmed off the meat, but wild pork fat is clean, organic and sweet, so don’t trim it all off, do keep some on for cooking ease and flavor. The rewards on the grill are so worth the effort we put forth when we hunt hard for those always thrilling hunting encounters.
To book a hunt for a pure Austrian wild boar, visit tednugent.com or contact SUNRIZE SAFARIS at 517-750-9060.
On this hunt, Ted used his Martin Rytera AlienX bow set at 50#, a 400 grain GoldTip Nuge arrow tipped with a 100 grain Magnus BuzzCut 4 blade, Sims LimbSavers, sight, drop away arrow rests and accessories, Scott release, Bushnell optics, Mossy Oak ScentLok clothing, Boggs rubber boots, Old Man ladderstand, Hunter Safety System vest, Code Blue scents, C’Mere Deer powder and 3 Day Harvest, Outdoor Edge SwingBlade, Glenn’s Deer Handle, Polar King cooler, Bad Boy buggy.