The hog hunting show filmed in the Horn Swamp by Leigh and Travis
Creekbaum of "Scentblocker's The Chase" will air Tuesday
night, September 11th. This should be a real exciting show.
Look for them each Tuesday on the Sportsman's Channel at 6:30pm (CST)
and Sundays at 3:00pm (CST). You can also catch them Wednesdays at
6:00am (CST). You will not want to miss any of their season two
episodes which begin the week of June 25th.
The second half of the season had its high points for us in the
swamp. I did not hunt the week after the school hunt until the
weekend and it was unproductive. It is always disappointing to
have a day to stay with them and nothing gobbles. But on Monday,
an old bird got cranked up pretty well. We nearly had him in the
sights but he circled us and then we hunted him the rest of the week as
he roamed over a large area of the swamp and was in a different patch of
woods every morning. Finally on Saturday morning my father killed
him. He weighed 18 3/4 lbs. and had some big, curved spurs.
There was little wonder why he was so difficult to kill. He
certainly had some age on him.
For the next two weeks our hunting was
pretty slow. We had one gobbler that gobbled well one morning but
we could not coax him in range. There were days when we would hear
just a few gobbles from a turkey and other days when the woods were
silent. Tracks in the road were telltale signs that gobblers were
still there, but using your ears it was difficult to corroborate that
evidence. As the season waned, the gobbling from our birds did as
On the final Saturday of the season my
father killed his second gobbler of the season, a bird that gobbled only
once but came to the call after running some jakes around the woods for
Overall it was a pretty good season
as both of us killed two gobblers. With some pines that were
thinned back in the fall, I expected the gobblers to get out in these
open areas and really do some talking. That did not happen.
We heard a lot of gobbling the first weekend of the season and it went
downhill quickly from there. The cool weather that returned in the
middle of April was a nice reprieve from the warm and bug filled
mornings of late March. Usually the cooler weather will fire up
the gobblers and according to other local hunters it did, but it did not
have the same effect on the swamp's
Billy Malone and a boss gobbler.
My first turkey of the season.
My second turkey of the
I guided Steve Cosgrove from Detroit, Michigan for the Wilcox Academy
Benefit Turkey Hunt. We gave them all we had but came up short of
a turkey when the hunt ended Sunday morning. Saturday morning we
heard only three gobbles from one turkey on the roost but around
8:00AM we made a circle through the property and located a pair
that answered as well as another lone gobbler in a different direction. We set
up between them and the only question was which way to face, not knowing
which ones would reach us first. All three got real close but
apparently some hens intervened as they gobbled and gobbled. Steve
was moments away from knocking the safety off and killing his first
turkey. As he looked down the barrel of the gun rested on his
knee, I sat around the other side of the tree, looking over his shoulder
and coaching him to shoot as soon as one of the gobblers walked
out in view on the road in front us. They never did. We left
them alone for two hours and searched other parts of the property and
then returned. We coaxed an answer from them at 10:30 but they
were no longer interested in female companionship.
Usually late March and early April
afternoons are windy and it is hard to hear for much distance. This
weekend was much different as the wind was calm. Unfortunately,
the turkeys did not gobble at all for us in the afternoon, as is usually
the case with the birds in our swamp.
On Sunday morning we heard one
turkey gobble in the edge of a hardwood bottom. We circled through
a pine plantation to reach the hardwoods and apparently got too close to
the turkey. He shut up. We searched the property and could
find nothing else gobbling.
Our turkeys do not gobble
much or at all when the weather heats up. Once the lows reach the
upper 60s you can about count out much action from this flock.
Overall the school hunt went well with everyone hearing and working
turkeys throughout the weekend but there were only three killed and one
missed which is below average for this hunt.
An Easter cool snap is on the
way and it will fire them up again I expect. I think the weekend
looks real good for gobbling activity.
It has been a good start to the season for me, a season a bit unlike any
other that I can remember. After a very mild winter, spring
arrived a few weeks early. The turkeys started gobbling early and
the trees began budding early as well. When the leaves are fully
developed, the distance you can can a turkey through the woods
diminishes greatly. Normally this is a gradual progression through
the first half of turkey season and around the first week of April the
trees are pretty much full of leaves. When a turkey hits the
ground now, you better not be too far away or you just might not hear
I have been fortunate to kill two 3-year
old gobblers so far this season and have been on several more fun hunts
when the gobbler just did not come in range. As it appears now we
have a couple of gobblers that we are going to match wits with for some
time this season and I am interested to see, if either me or my father
are fortunate enough to get the best of them, what kind of spurs they
have. I know there are some ancient gobblers down in those woods
with some big hooks for spurs.
This coming weekend I'll be guiding my
old friend Barnett Serio on the 41st Wilcox Academy Benefit Turkey
Hunt. We'll be hosting about 26 hunters from all over the country
for this hunt. A little rain has crept into the forecast but
hopefully the turkeys will gobble and we'll have some fun along the
way. Stay tuned.
Nearly every turkey season brings circumstances that are different that
preceding years. Such keeps things interesting indeed. This
season the mild winter and early spring is the opposite of the two prior
cold winters and late arriving springs. We've cut and thinned
timber on our property and that will change up the behavior of the
turkeys and where we will set up and call and hunt the birds we
have. It is though the slate has again been wiped clean. It
should be a fun one and I'm looking forward to getting started.
I was out in the woods Sunday afternoon
and thanks to warm weather and ample rainfall the mosquitoes are as
plentiful for mid March as I can remember. Anyone venturing out
this season better take two Thermacells and plenty of deet. I know
It looks like youth season which was held
this past weekend was another great success in our area with plenty of
youngsters getting in on the action early. I'm glad to see
that. I'll try to feature a few pictures of successful hunts here
in the next few weeks.
After a very mild winter we are moving into an early spring and enjoying
abnormally warm weather for early March. The dogwoods in my yard
are already blooming which seems to be a good three weeks early.
Last year I recorded a frost on April 10th but I doubt we are going to
see anything like that this spring. I hope we do not. Once
everything buds out, a frost is certainly undesirable.
It seems that everyone that has
been near the woods in recent weeks has been hearing turkeys gobble and
the early gobbling activity dates back even to January. Even our
turkeys in the Horn Swamp have been practicing a little in February and
early March. Normally our turkeys do not get started good until
late March and early April, but this season is going to be a new
adventure. Youth season opens this weekend and the rest of us will
join in on the 15th of March. I'm looking forward to
Our local NWTF Chapter will be hosting
its annual banquet this Saturday, March 10th in Camden. If you are
in our area, please come out and support this great conservation
organization. We'll have good food and a good time. Contact
me for tickets at 334-525-0462. If you are out of our area, I
encourage you to look up your closest chapter and attend their banquet
For all you hog hunters out there,
Park Harris is hosting a Hog Round Up on June 1st and 2nd in
Camden. This event promises to draw hog hunters from miles
around. See his flyer at www.possumbend.com
and help us spread the word about this event.
The 2nd Annual Brad Powe Memorial
Hog Hunt is scheduled for the weekend of September 8, 2012. Keep
that on your calendar and join for another big event.
My friends Leigh and Travis Creekbaum with Scentblocker's The Chase tv
show returned this past weekend to Camden for a little more hog hunting
in the Horn Swamp. The hog episode that was begun last September
during the Brad Powe Memorial Hog Hunt needed just a little more video
to make a great show. Their producer wanted one or two more
I've never done much in the line of
baiting up hogs with corn. My method of hog hunting is to simply
find where they are feeding naturally and hunt them there. But as
soon as deer season was over I called our local game warden and got the
appropriate permit and then put out 3 hanging feeders at the edge of
greenfields that the hogs normally graze in anyway. I put up
Plotwatcher game cameras a week later and began the vigil. I knew
we would have about two days to get something--anything--to help finish
As the pictures rolled in I began
to get a bit frustrated by the lack of activity during the day and the
obvious feeding at night. There were hogs coming to the feeders
but on only one of them did a group come consistently during the
The weekend finally arrived along
with Leigh and Travis, cameramen Ben Richardson and Philip Pitts.
I hate to give away too many details at this point, but I will say my
efforts with the corn paid off to some degree and then when things got
slow I went back to what I knew would work. We went into the
hardwoods where we found them rooting and hunted them there. When
the smoke cleared---and those muzzleloaders do smoke---we had more than
enough video to make a great show. Both Leigh and Travis got two
kills a piece and I even shot one on video that came running in behind
us down in the hardwoods.
And now the video is in the
producer's hands and I can not wait to see how it is put together.
When you take out the commercial time, there are 23 minutes of the show
and packed in there will be 9 or 10 kills along with other footage such
as The Chase bus rolling into the Brad Powe Memorial Hog Hunt with a
police escort. The Chase is getting over 1 million viewers on The
Pursuit Channel right now, but is moving to The Sportsman's Channel
shortly. The new season will begin airing late this summer on The
Sportsman's Channel and the Hog Episode will be among the 13 shows
produced for this upcoming season. I'll let you know when to begin
looking for it, but go ahead and get the DVR ready to record all of the
next season's shows. They have some great ones in store. For
the actual schedule, go to www.thechaselt.com
and also remember to "like" The Chase on Facebook.
With two cameras rolling, Travis literally "smoked" a hog!
The Wilcox Area Chamber's Big Buck Contest awards presentation was held
in downtown Camden yesterday. The winner in the adult division was
Kirk Talbot. His buck scored 158. Jim Lawler won the Youth
Division. There were prizes given out for the top 5 in each
category along with a big buck of the month, a big doe contest winner
for December 31st, and a drawing was held for a fully rigged PSE
this link for photos of the event and photos of many of the
I'm in hog hunting mode at the
present time. I've gotten a permit to hunt hogs over corn through
the end of the month and have a couple of feeders running in hopes of
luring in some swine for some easy shooting. With the warm weather
we have had, the plots are growing nicely and the hogs are grazing them
pretty regularly. According to the Plotwatcher game camera though,
they are hitting the corn during the night. Stay tuned though as
before the end of the month rolls around I should have enough video to
complete another hog video.
Here are some more pictures of deer
from the area this season.
Wes Wiggins killed this buck in the closing minutes of the season,
but says he wishes he could have given him another year to grow!
Bennett Long killed this deer near Yellow Bluff in Wilcox County.
Simms Harrison and a buck he killed near Myrtlewood, Ala.
This was Simms first buck while hunting by himself. Congrats!
After quite a bit of undesirable deer hunting weather in January, the
final weekend shaped up pretty nicely. With lows near freezing and
highs in the upper 50s and low 60s, Mother Nature shined on us hunters
one final time to close out the season. I spent much of both days
in the tree and saw quite a few bucks--some chasing and some just
roaming. I did not see anything as big as I wanted to shoot but
did see a few quality 8 points that just did not quite make the
Though we have seen some cold and
frosty mornings this winter, overall it has been a mild one. Trees
are beginning to form their buds and farther south of us the azaleas are
already starting to bloom. I've heard more hunters talk of hearing
turkeys gobble in late January than I can every remember and I've heard
them quite a few times myself in recent weeks. We are poised for
an early spring indeed.
The Wilcox Area Chamber Big
Buck Contest will have an awards presentation on the courthouse square
in Camden on Feb. 11th at 1pm. At that point we will learn the top
5 winners in both the adult and youth categories. Certainly there
were some fine bucks killed in the area this season and I am interested
to hear how the winners shake out. My next update will include the
details of the contest winners.
Larry Howser and buck from the Horn Swamp
on the final weekend of the season.
Don Glass and a 9 point killed Jan. 23rd
near Lower Peachtree in Wilcox County
Keith Dixon and a Pennington, Ala buck
Rich Manry and a south Dallas County bow kill
If the forecast holds, it appears we are going to get in one more good
weekend of deer hunting before the season ends early next week.
After sitting in the heat all weekend running my Thermacell to keep away
the mosquitoes, I am looking forward to what the weatherman is
predicting. I think we'll have a great weekend to finish out the
season. It should be just cool enough to get the deer moving
well. Many of the best bucks I've seen while hunting have come on
the last weekend of the season, therefore, I always anticipate the
annual event with great excitement.
I spent a lot of time in several
different trees over the weekend and saw some little bucks coursing
around, tending scrapes, and hooking trees. I never saw a shooter
buck--in or out of range--of my arrow. A big boar hog slipped by
me at 50 yards in the fog Sunday morning but I could not quite get a
shooting lane lined up to launch an arrow at him. I tried.
He was a big target.
It seemed that Sunday afternoon the deer
moved better than at any time, though I did see movement in the dense
fog Sunday morning. Maybe they were moving before the approaching
storm on Monday and maybe it was just me being in the right place at the
right time, but from those that I have spoken with since the weekend, it
seems they witnessed about the same thing in their hunting.
Y'all keep the photos coming.
I'm sharing a few more this week and look forward to seeing many more
come in from this coming weekend. Email me at email@example.com
to have yours or your hunting buddy's featured here.
Shine Hollinger and a Wilcox County buck
John Helmers, Jr. and a Wilcox County buck from
the Darlington area of the county
Doug Talbot and a another nice Wilcox County buck
Dexter Drake and a buck from Marengo County
The 27th Annual Wilcox Academy Deer Hunt was a big success. Last
year I took over the reins of the hunt when Johnny Webb retired after 25
years as Huntmaster. In this second year in charge I enjoyed
getting to know our hunters a little better. Many of our guests
have hunted with us for many years---a few have been with us for 26 of
the 27 hunts. I am in awe and very appreciative of their
loyalty. They traveled here from eight different states and as far
as 18 hour drives to get here. Furthermore, I continue to be
amazed at how well our community comes together to host this host.
I had over fifty guides and countless cooks, deer skinners, and others
that did simple but necessary tasks to make the weekend
We were blessed with near perfect
weather. The cool front that brought lows in the lower 20s got the
deer moving and it was evident at the skinning shed. Ninety three
hunters killed 124 deer, 7 hogs, and one bobcat. There were 63
bucks killed including 18 that were 8 points or better. One of the
most impressive racks of all was a very wide and massive 6 point.
Link over to our Facebook
page as the weekend's pictures are already at that location.
Brock Simon of Lake Charles, LA, killed this big 6 on the
Wilcox Academy Hunt.
There have been some real
nice bucks killed in the area in the past week and we are certainly
enjoying the success that the middle of January can bring. My jaw
dropped when Eric Stallings, owner of Venison's Creations in Camden,
opened his walk-in freezer Sunday night and show me the stacks of caped
heads waiting to go to the taxidermist. The big racks were
numerous and impressive.
Sunday afternoon Kirk
Talbot killed one of the finest racks I've seen in quite some time in
this area. There have been other deer come from this area that
would score higher in recent years, but the width of this deer's rack
really increased its "wow factor" to me. The rack even
makes the deer look small, though it weighed 195 pounds. The buck
was a 10 point that will likely score in the 150s and would have been
closer to the 160s had he not broken a G2 tine. From New Orleans,
LA, Kirk has been hunting Wilcox County for over 20 years and this is
his best buck yet. He is going to have a hard time topping this
one. And yes, he does have a ticket in the Wilcox Area Chamber Big
Buck Contest and I expect this deer will be a contender for the top
Kirk Talbot's big 10 from Wilcox County
Kirk Talbot's big 10 from Wilcox County, his son
hunting partner for the day, Michael, posing with the
Kirk Talbot's big 10 from Wilcox County
Brett Agee rattled up this buck near Lamison, AL, in late
Saturday and Sunday found me in my climber, bow in hand. I saw a
few deer, a few more mosquitoes, and was just glad to be back in the
tree as the rut takes shape. The heat kept deer movement to a
minimum, but more chances lie ahead under better conditions and I look
forward to the remainder of January.
This weekend Wilcox Academy will be
hosting its 27th Annual Deer Hunt. We have over 90 hunters coming
in, some as early as Thursday. The weather is turning cool just in
time and I expect the deer to really move. I have a feeling we are
going to see a lot of good bucks come in this year. I'll have a
full report next week.
There have been some nice
bucks killed in the past week by area youth. I am happy to report
that all three of these youth had tickets in the Wilcox Area Chamber's
Big Buck Contest and I'll let you decide which one of these is likely
the new leader.
December 20, 2011
I got two more hogs over the weekend, each killed on morning hunts in
the Swamp. I focused my attention on the cane thickets in
different areas of the property, some larger than others. At each
place I found hogs. Saturday morning's hunt was perhaps the most
fun in a while. I heard young hogs grunting and went about a
thirty minute stalk along the edge of the river, using the steady north
wind in my favor. Rare is a time when we can enjoy a steady rather
than a swirling wind and it sure made the difference on this hunt.
As soon as I peeked up over the edge of the bank where it slopes off to
the water's edge, I saw a sow and little ones in a nest in a tiny
clearing in the cane thicket. I tried my best to set up the camera
before taking a shot but the thick cover and the lack of a manual focus
on my camera made it difficult. I was only 15 yards from then and
when it stood up to get a view of them with my back to the river, I am
sure my silhouette was visible to them. The sow stood up and
walked toward me, saw me, and spooked, but not badly. She ran into
the edge of the canes and got real noisy. Apparently a boar and a
sow in heat that I heard nearby moved our way and suddenly the cane was
full of hogs making a lot of noise. I stood by patiently, still
enjoying the north wind that masked my presence, sending my scent over
the river. I could see the cane moving back and forth 20 yards
away but could not pick out a big hog. The little ones came back
and forth to the nest but the sow did not follow. I wondered what
would happen if the hogs knew they had strength in numbers and could
overtake me if they wanted. It was one against many and I had only
a bolt action rifle. I trusted this would not cross their
They moved along the edge of
the cane and I slipped closer. Finally I got a tiny glimpse of a
large hog which I suspected was the boar and shot him. Indeed it
was the boar and he went down in his tracks. The other scattered
through the cane and down the riverbank.
Sunday morning I returned to this
area but heard and saw nothing. I went to another similar area and
jumped a couple of hogs, one of which stepped right out in the road in
front of me. Like Saturday, there was not time to turn on the
camera. I quickly decided to kill the hog and raised the gun
quickly and dropped it, a sow.
December 13, 2011
This week I share some pictures of area kills with you. Thanks to
all who have submitted photos. Y'all keep them coming. There
will be more action from our woods coming real soon.
Will Waechter killed his first racked buck
last weekend near Livingston, AL.
Chris Davis of Franklin killed this 16 point
Monroe County buck on
Dec. 3rd on a dog drive.
December 7, 2011
I should be finishing up the second hog video this week, however, my
failure to properly hit record and verify the camera was recording
Saturday morning means I am still short a hunt. Once the shot is
fired and you realize the camera was not recording, there is no setting
the hog back up for a "take two." The deal is
I spent both Saturday and Sunday mornings
stalking through some areas of the property where the majority of the
hog sign is. Saturday morning I tipped into a little patch of
hardwoods and caught a sow rooting. It was a cold morning with a
heavy dew which kept the crunch of the leaves under my feet to a minimum
and stalking pretty easy. I set up the camera, turned it on and
hit record. I have now learned not to do this with such haste as
there is a few second delay between the camera is turned on and you can
actually start recording. I have also learned to verify that
"record" is showing on the screen before a shot is
taken. My primary concern was keeping the hog from seeing me and
smelling me as it was under 30 yards away. So the end result was a
dead sow but no video of the kill. It was a fun hunt
Sunday morning was warmer with no
dew. I made more noise sneaking through the woods and this time
busted two hogs before I saw them. I did find a really good wallow
that I want to go back and hunt this coming weekend. I think it
will be productive.
We seem to have had more warm
weather than cold so far this season, but the rest of this week and
weekend should be a great time to be in the woods. We are getting
into the slow time of the season but with this nice cool down you never
know what might step into view.
Let me remind anyone hunting in
Wilcox or a county that touches Wilcox. The Wilcox Area Chamber is
sponsoring a Big Buck
Contest with some great prizes for the top 5 kills in both the
adult and youth categories. Make sure to visit the Chamber's site
for more details and get your ticket.
This week I have a few
pictures from our area readers to feature. Y'all keep them
Barrett Travis (6 yrs) killed her first buck,
a 7 point, near Camden.
Frank Jordan and a Marengo County buck, killed
on dog drive.
Danny Jordan and a south Marengo County buck.
November 30, 2011
Thanksgiving morning I set out in the big pines of the property in
search of hogs. Most of my hog hunts this fall have been
concentrated in the hardwoods but this time I had a hunch I would be
better served by going to the piney woods and checking for sign in that
area. By the looks of the rooting I quickly found, I knew I was in
the right place. One area of the pines has a lot of cane
underneath the trees in an area that can stay a little wetter than
average. I started my stalk in that direction and soon spotted a
hog along the edge of the cane thicket.
I was working on my next hog episode and
so I took my time in slipping closer and setting up the camera for the
shot. The hog, a sow, worked her way out into the big open pines
and then back to the cane and then back into the pines. As soon as
I got things lined up I took a shot at a distance of about 40
yards. She was walking and I had to hurriedly aim the camera, then
raise the gun and shoot before she got out of the frame. I hit her
closer to the gut than I had intended and she darted off into the
As soon as I got to where she entered the
cane, I made an interesting discovery. There in front of me was a
big pile of cane. It was about as big around as the hood of a
vehicle and the cane was piled at least a foot high. I kicked it
and the sounds of little pigs rang out from underneath. I have
seen similar piles of grass that I suspected the hogs were using as a
place to have their young, but I have never seen them make such a
structure to hide the young. I have always believed that predators
such as coyotes get their fair share of the little pigs and apparently
something is pursuing the pigs or else they would not have been hidden
in this manner.
There were at least eight little pigs
about eight or ten inches long that ran out from under the cover after
much encouragement from my part. They ran off into the thick
cane. I tracked the sow and eventually recovered her. In so
doing, I found several more of these cane piles nearby. None of
them held any pigs at the moment, but I suspect they were used in recent
weeks. The whole hunt will be coming soon to a YouTube video, the
Second Hog Hunting Episode.
Thanksgiving Day hog kill
Jason Haynes of Marengo County killed this hoss of a buck over
Thanksgiving weekend. This is a "free range" buck killed
in the Black Belt of Alabama. Jason preferred not to disclose the
exact location of the kill. He said that he was hunting another
really big buck (but not this big) that he had photos of on a game
camera. He did not not this bruiser was in the world until the day
he killed him. The buck weighed 220 lbs., sported 15 points, and
green scored 190 3/8.
Jason Haynes and a 190+ buck from the Alabama Black Belt
November 22, 2011
The hogs are making themselves scarce these days and my one hog hunt of
the weekend turned up nothing. I did get in one deer hunt. I
saw one small buck while sitting in a little stand of oaks that were
raining acorns. There are so many oaks raining acorns around the
property though, it is hard to pinpoint any area that is better than the
next. I am seeing quite a few scrapes which is interesting for
this time of the year in Alabama.
Thankfully we got an inch and a
half of rain this past week which was pretty well spread across the
county, so everyone's food plots, including ours, are doing much
better. Though the warm days we have had seem a bit unseasonable
for November, they are good for getting these plots going now that we
have some moisture.
Thanksgiving for me has always been
a time to spend some extra time in the woods. Part of that time
this weekend will be a campout at the cabin with two friends and their
sons. We'll have three adults and 5 little boys between the ages
of three and six for an overnight at the cabin. There will be no
serious hunting going on, just serious fun. I'm looking forward to
Have a great Thanksgiving and let
me hear how things are going in your woods. I would certainly like
to share your successes here with our other readers.
November 15, 2011
A quarter inch of rain fell last Wednesday after I had planted our food
plots the prior day. I planted in the dust and a quarter of an
inch was good but not nearly enough to get the job done. Hopefully
more will come in the next couple of days. Hunters across our area
are wishing for the same thing. With gun season opening this
weekend, very few people have any plots to hunt over. Those that
planted early in September got a good rain from the tropical storm that
hit Louisiana and moved this way. Those plots came up and have
mostly hung on through this dry weather. Those that did not plant
at that time do not yet have much green to show for their efforts at
Every drop of water on our property
is gone. Thankfully the river provides drinking water for the
animals. Hogs, that really like a good wallow hole, are out of
luck these days. With no water hole to concentrate the hogs and
lots of acorns spread all around, the hogs seem pretty much scattered
and the overall population is down at this time on the property.
That is a good thing, for all except someone trying to hog hunt. I
got out twice this past weekend and searched for hogs and found
The 3-day youth deer season in
Alabama seemed to have gone very well this year with lots of area youth
killing deer this past weekend. I think this is a great idea to
let the youngsters get the first crack at the deer before the regular
season opens on Saturday.
Let me know how things are going in
your woods and I'll post it here. See you next week.
November 8, 2011
I finally got the video edited and loaded to YouTube of my hog hunt a
week ago. Go to this link.
Also, take a look at my neighbor, Garrett Gaston, and a video
he and Brian Daniels made while bowhunting, called "Dutch Bend Doe
I am looking forward to filming Episode
Two of the hog hunting videos but it might be a while before that is
completed. Though the acorns are raining down in the hardwoods,
water has gotten so scarce that the hogs are also becoming scarce as
well. We still have the river for drinking, but hogs love a spot
to wallow and right now there are not many places left with any water at
all. Unlike turkeys, they don't care for
It looks like that today,
barring any breakdowns, I'll finally plant our food plots. There
is a bit of moisture in the ground for the quarter of an inch of rain
that fell last week and I am banking on getting a little more on
November 1, 2011
I had a good hog hunt on Saturday morning and currently am working on
editing the video that I made of the hunt. Stop by again on
Thursday and I should have the video on YouTube and linked from this
page as well.
Another week has gone by and we
have still gotten no rainfall. The last cold front was yet another
dry one and there is not a good chance of rain in sight. I looks
like I'll be setting a record for the latest food plot planting ever on
our property. Stay tuned.
October 25, 2011
I spent Saturday hunting near Ozark, Alabama with friend Bryan Deloney.
The weather was cool and crisp and we hunted some beautiful woods but
did not get a shot at a deer. Sunday afternoon I made a quick hog
hunt in the swamp and once again saw acres and acres of fresh sign but
this time the hogs were nowhere to be found.
We still have not planted food plots and
I would like to do so on Saturday but this week's rain forecast looks
pretty slim and there is not much else in the 10-day forecast. I
don't mind planting in the dust as long as the prospect of rain is
good. Most everyone in our area has planted their plots by now and
many hunters tell me their plots are hanging on but in desperate need of
water. I do not believe I have ever planted this late, but
there is still time to get it done.
For many years I have gotten
requests for more information on our permanent hog trap design and in
particular, the guillotine door trigger design. Finally I have put
together a four minute YouTube
video that better explains the door and trigger. If you
are interested in seeing, just click over at this link.
October 18, 2011
The first weekend of bowseason brought some real nice weather to
Alabama. Nothing like what we'll have for the second weekend, when
temps are expected to drop even more. I never made it out with my
bow, but did take two trips to the swamp to hog hunt. Stalking
hogs is second only to turkey hunting in my book and with acorns
dropping and hogs on the move, I could not resist another hog
hunt. In addition, my time to hunt was short and a hog hunt gave
me the best chance for some action in a short amount of time.
Saturday morning's hunt was to last
about an hour. I made a big loop around the dried up pond we call
the Duck Pond and was almost back to the truck when I spotted a group of
hogs feeding along the edge of a hardwood bottom. I quickly dialed
in on one and dropped him. The others did not spook but walked a little
closer to me and I shot the second hog. At that point two more
smaller hogs broke to run across the bottom in front of me. I
dropped one of them as it raced past me. On Sunday morning, on
another hunt that was just an hour and a half long, I found another
group of hogs feeding on acorns in a different area of the
property. I sneaked close and took out the first hog and again the
others held tight though I could not see them through some brush.
I finally did see one and held my fire waiting on a little more video
footage before I shot, then something went wrong with the camera and it
shut off. Before I could get it back on the hogs busted me as the
wind shifted and they took off. Some glitch in the camera I had
attached to my rifle caused us to miss the video footage of the hunts
that I wish I could show you. It would have been pretty exciting
video. The camera is going to be replaced and the show will go
on. Stay tuned. Some really cool films are still
This weekend I'll finally get to
the woods to bowhunt a time or two. I'll have a report next
week. Here's a few pictures from my hog hunt this past
If you are hunting Wilcox County or
a county touching Wilcox, make sure to buy your Wilcox Area Chamber Big
Buck ticket. There are some great prizes this year, paying the top
buck each month, the top 5 overall in both the adult and youth
categories, a Dec. 31st big doe contest, and a drawing for a PSE bow and
everyone who participates. Click over to this link
for more information.
Three from Saturday morning
One on Sunday
October 11, 2011
Bowseason opens this Saturday and the weather forecast is pretty
seasonable for opening weekend. We are not expecting that typical
opening weekend cold front that has occurred so many times, but lows
around 50 and highs at 80 should be reasonably comfortable weather for
stirring around in the woods.
My family went to Orange Beach over
the weekend and we stopped by Alligator Alley in Summerdale, just north
of Gulf Shores. Alligator Alley is a tourist destination where you
can see over 200 big gators and lots of small ones up close. The
owner, Wes Moore, feeds the gators three times a day in front of a
grandstand and puts on a fun little show. When we were there, he
was feeding the last of the hogs he took back from the Brad Powe
Memorial Hog Hunt held in Camden a month ago. Take a look at
little video I did of the place at this YouTube
link. Your kids would love to see this place.
I am going to mix in a little
hog hunting, deer hunting, and work in the Swamp over the weekend.
Let me know how your opening weekend goes and good luck!
October 4, 2011
Our second hunt in the swamp with Travis and Leigh Creekbaum filming for
Scentblocker's The Chase was not nearly as productive as I had
hoped, but successful nonetheless. They squeezed in one more day's
hunt before their schedule was booked for the rest of the year.
The woods where I had seen numerous groups of hogs the prior week only
gave up one boar to us. That was, however, a fun and exciting hunt
with Travis making the killing shot on this hog. You'll have to
watch the Hog Episode next summer for the remainder of the details of
that hunt. Our plan is for them to return again in February for
one more round and I think once that is done we'll have one heck of a
show for their second season.
When we took photos of
Travis's hog, I suggested we have a little fun and set him up in the
Hogzilla pose. Later, we realized we never posed differently for
the picture, so here's the only one we have of the hog in the
woods. The next hog you kill, you can have the same fun by making
the hog look bigger than he really is. Just take a couple of steps
back from the hog, kneel down, and then let the photographer put the
camera close to the hog. Using depth of field in your favor, the
hog will look like the next Hogzilla. After all, that is pretty
much how Hogzilla was born.
William Malone, Leigh and Travis Creekbaum
With all the acorns on the trees, I do
believe the hog hunting is going to "bust loose" real
soon. Some of the nuts are beginning to fall on their own, but as
that pace picks up and the big overcups get on the ground, the hogs will
be in the hardwoods and easy to pick off. I have a new camera
(Thanks Leigh!) attached to my rifle that I'll be filming some hog hunts
on my own. Stay tuned for some YouTube videos coming real soonl.
This week we give a big "congrats" to Land Reaves, son of Ed
Reaves who grew up in Camden with me. After practicing all summer
with his bow, 11 year-old Land went on his first bowhunt in Georgia over
the weekend and killed a nice buck. With Land in a ladder stand
and Ed in a loc-on beside him, the buck came in about 30 minutes before
sunset. Land made a good shot at 26 yards and the buck dropped 150
yards later. The club members had been trying to kill this buck
for three years. It only took Land one afternoon. Great job
Land Reaves and his first bowkill on his first bowhunt!
September 27, 2011
For the first time in some years, there have been some landscape changes
to the Horn Swamp. A stand of timber that was roughly 35 years-old
was clearcut late this summer. I have memories as a young child
seeing a drove of turkeys feeding in this area amid windrows and bare
dirt. The years that followed saw the area become a nearly impenetrable
briar thicket, the home to many deer. I spent many a day hunting
the edges of the thicket, waiting on the deer to emerge, hoping one day
the briars would be shaded out and I could easily maneuver into those
woods and drag out all the big bucks.
The day did come when the pines
shaded out the briars and I happily sat down in the open woods with a
great view. Unfortunately, the deer were gone. As I learned
as I grew older, once the cover is gone so are the deer. Sure,
they passed through from time to time and I did have success there, but
they now spent most of their time in other areas that now provided more
cover and had more browse. But the open woods did bring turkeys
and we had some great hunts in the years that followed. Then came the first thinning and
then the second. Briars and small saplings returned, not to the
degree it was at one time, but thick enough for the turkeys to move out
and some deer to move back in. And then this summer the saws
returned. The cycle will now repeat itself.
We had another stand that were
thinned over the summer months and yet other areas that will be thinned
in the coming months. Deer patterns will change, stands will need
to be moved. Turkeys will be found in the spring in areas we have
not hunted them much in the past. Change has come to the
I had a fun hog hunt on Saturday morning. Attempting to both shoot
one with my bow and film it using the video portion of my point and shoot
camera, I struck out through a hardwood drain just after daybreak. I
started seeing hogs right away. I spotted the first group feeding
under a red oak but they began to move away before I could get in
range. On along I spotted another hog and tipped close to him as he
was rooting along the edge of a dried up bottom. With the camera
rolling on a tripod I launched an arrow and gut shot him. The video
was nothing special as it was zoomed in, a bit grainy, and he was behind
two small trees when the shot was made. Though you can clearly see
the hog, you can't see the arrow hit him. I tracked blood for a ways
and then it played out. I never found him. I have some more
ideas to do a better video real soon. Stay tuned for better results.
In the meantime if you want to see that little video, go to this link
Travis and Leigh will be back at the end of the week to hunt a few more
hogs and hopefully wrap up their hog hunting episode. I'll let you
know how that goes next week.
September 20, 2011
There's a new online outdoors talk show each Tuesday night at 7pm.
Tune in tonight for Camphouse Counselors with Big Daddy Lawler and Hale
Smith. Go to www.outdooralabamalive.com
and follow the links. The event is broadcast from Marengo County,
Alabama and will cover topics of interest in our area.
From my treks into the woods thus
far, I am certain we have a big acorn crop this fall. All
varieties of oaks seem to have a bumper crop. With plenty of food
to eat, this often makes deer hunting a bit tough as there is no single
source of food to pinpoint. I, however, like this scenario as it
brings the deer out of the thickets and into the hardwoods where they
are easier to hunt with a bow and arrow. And it brings out the
hogs as well.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for
some moisture this week. We've had yet another dry summer and with
food plot planting time upon us, some rainfall is desperately
needed. Three tenths fell at my house last night and the chances
look good for the next few days.
The action is about to get
going in the Horn Swamp so stay tuned here each week.
September 13, 2011
The 1st Annual Brad Powe Memorial Hog Hunt was a smashing success over the
weekend. Fifty hunters spent parts of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
trapping, shooting, and using dogs to chase down as many hogs as could be
found. In the end 117 hogs had been brought to the weigh
station. Steven Harvell of Yellow Bluff took home the prize money
for two of the categories---most hogs (21) and biggest hog (257
lb.). Mike Colquett of Monroeville captured the trophy for the
The final event of the weekend was a
big cookout and awards ceremony at the Pursley Creek Hunting Club in
Possum Bend on Saturday evening. A crowd estimated at 300+ turned
out for a night of fun and food. The feast consisted of wild hog,
catfish, chicken, and the all fixings that accompany such a fine
On hand for the weekend were
Ron Landis and his partner Jerry filming for their show, In the Woods
with Ron and Jerry. Their show airs on the Sportsman's
Channel. They filmed a successful kill as well as other footage from
the weekend that will air on their show next year. Freelance outdoor
writer Clay Richardson came down to do an article for Alabama Outdoor
News. The hog hunting magazine Bayed Solid was also
represented and will have an article in their next issue about the
event. The lead "celebrities" of the weekend were Travis
and Leigh Creekbaum of the show Scentblocker's The Chase which airs
on the Pursuit Channel. In my opinion Travis and Leigh are the
fastest rising stars in the outdoor show arena and it was great to have
them here for the hunt. They had just returned from northern Canada
earlier in the week where they killed four caribou.
My job was to put Travis and Leigh on
some hogs. We started our hunt soon after they arrived Friday
afternoon. For the past two weekends I had seen hogs coming out in
an open, dried up pond in the hardwoods of the property. We went
straight there and quickly found some hogs. In just under an hour of
hunting Leigh dropped her first hog and Travis also got a kill, both good
footage for a future show.
We hunted hard the next morning and
found some hogs in the woods but sometimes getting the camera lined up
with the shot does not happen as easily as one would like. With the
big event occurring Saturday evening, we did not get to hunt the afternoon
which would have certainly been the most productive. We returned on
Sunday morning and found some hogs feeding in an overcup bottom. We
tried to sneak into position as quickly as possible but apparently their
feeding time was ending and they walked off toward the river to likely bed
up for the day before we could get close enough for some good camera
We then went to an area of the
property that is one of the most unique places I've seen in this
area. A cypress swamp that obviously held water for many decades has
dried up in recent years. It is a somewhat spooky looking place and
absolutely beautiful as well with cypress knees rising over six feet from
the forest floor.
Not long after we dropped off
in the bottom Travis spotted a boar working his way along one little patch
of water left in between the cypress and gum trees. The cameraman
from Friday and Saturday, Ben Richardson, had to return home Saturday
night so Travis was running the camera this morning as Leigh drew down on
the hog with her rifle. At about forty yards Leigh shot the hog just
as he emerged from behind a big stump. Her shot hit a limb and
grazed the boar's leg. He let out a squeal and disappeared, then
emerged from around a big cypress and headed right for us. Leigh
shucked another round into the bolt action rifle and dropped him with a
head shot at 8 yards. It made for quite a video and is certain to be
seen at some point on the show.
Our overcups look to be
loaded this year and in about two weeks the hogs are going to be flooding
down into the bottoms. I'm going to let them settle down for a few
weeks and Travis and Leigh are hopefully going to get back for another
quick hunt and capture a few more kills for a future show. After
that possible date, I look forward to taking some youth back there to have
some fun and kill their first hogs. I do plan to do a little
stalking with my bow as well.
Here are a few photos from the
weekend. See my facebook
album at this link
for many more pictures from the weekend.
As the camera rolls, Leigh kills her first
Travis Creekbaum, William Malone, Leigh
Sneaking through the cypress knees.
Jess Martin and Mike Colquett and 19 hogs from
their 2 traps Saturday morning.
The Chase...headed to Wisconsin...and then all
over the country this hunting season.
September 7, 2011
What a fine weather forecast is projected for the weekend and the Brad
Powe Memorial Hog Hunt. This hunt is the first of its kind in our
area, seeking to raise monies for a scholarship fund in the name of our
late friend Brad Powe of Camden. Hunters will be out in the woods on
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings shooting and trapping every hog
they can find to enter in the contest. Prize money will be awarded
to the one who brings in the most hogs, the biggest hog, and the ugliest
hog. Headquarters for the event will be the Pursley Creek Hunting
Camp in Possum Bend, on the west side of Camden. The last chance to
register as a hunter is today. If you are interested please call me
today at 334-525-0462. Please note that you do have to hunt on lands
you have access to.
On Saturday evening at 6pm
there will be a big cooking following by the awards ceremony and
performances by local entertainment. Everyone is invited to this
event and the meal is provided for simply a donation to the fund. Also on hand will be Travis and Leigh Creekbaum who
have a hunting show on the Pursuit Channel called Scentblocker's The
Chase. In addition, Ron Landis will be on the scene filming a
segment for his hunting show, In the Woods with Ron and Jerry. Wes
Moore, owner and operator of Alligator Alley, in Robertsdale, will be on
hand accepting any unwanted hogs to take back to his gator farm for gator
food. On Saturday morning from 7:30 to 9:00 AM, Big Daddy Lawler
will be broadcasting his outdoors radio show, Getting Outdoors, live from
the scene on WJDB 95.5 FM.
I'm looking forward to taking Travis
and Leigh to the Horn Swamp on Saturday. We'll be trying to get both
of them hog kills on video. Leigh says she has never killed a hog
but has always wanted to. They are just returning from north Canada
where this past weekend they filled four caribou tags.
It is going to be an exciting weekend
and I'll have a complete update for you next week.
September 2, 2011
Welcome back to all of our readers of the Horn Swamp Online. As the
summer begins to fade away and fall appears on the horizon, I'm looking
forward to sharing another hunting season with you.
For those of you hunting Wilcox and the
surrounding counties, make sure to get your Big Buck Contest Ticket from
the Wilcox Area Chamber's Big Buck Contest. There are two separate
divisions this year. There is an adult division and a youth division
(under 16). There are some great prizes for the top five winners in
each category, plus a Big Doe Contest on December 31st, a drawing for a
PSE bow, and some other opportunities to win.
We had two exciting weekends in
mid-August here in Wilcox County as the first legal alligator hunt was
held. Spanning the course of two weekends, the 50 lucky tag holders
hit the waters between Monroeville and Selma and killed an impressive
number of big gators, including the new state record. Keith
Fancher's 14 foot, 2 inch, 838 lb. gator is the largest gator killed
during the alligator hunts that were begun several years ago and also held
each summer in the Alabama River delta north of Mobile and on Lake Eufaula
on the eastern side of the state. Keith killed his gator in Wilcox
County on the second weekend of the hunt, just downstream of where Pine
Barren Creek enters the river.
During the hunt, forty of the fifty
tag holders filled their tag. Nine of the gators were at least
twelve feet long, five were in the eleven foot range, and nine were in the
ten foot range. The top weights were 838 lbs, 720 lbs. 661 lbs. and
Jamie Thomas and friends with a 13 foot, 1.5 inch, 604 lb. gator
Keith Fancher and the new State Record gator, 14 ft. 2 inches, 838 lbs.
Next weekend I'll be participating in the Brad Powe Memorial Hog
Hunt. A close friend of mine, Brad lost his life this past spring in
an automobile accident on the way to his hunting camp in Coy,
Alabama. This hunt will raise monies to fund a scholarship in Brad's
memory. The hunt is expected to draw quite a number of people and
will last for three days, concluding on Saturday. There are three
categories --most hogs, biggest hog, and ugliest hog. Entry fee is
$50 per hunter. Hunters will hunt on any lands they have access to
and will assemble in Possum Bend for the weigh-ins. If anyone is
interested in participating with us, please send me an email and I can get
a flyer to you with the complete details. You must enter by
Wednesday, Sept. 7.
Stay tuned for more updates from our