Ladies Hog Hunt at Rack Nine Outdoors: Back row (L-R) Amber Markley, Shannon Markley, Charmen McAlpine, Michele Branning, Jennifer McKinney. Front Row (L-R) Cameryn Melton, Andrea Main, Nancy Jo Adams, and Michelle Harmes.

I had a hard time going to sleep Sunday night because my mind was still reeling over the happenings of the weekend. Eight women converged on the properties of Rack Nine Outdoors to hunt hogs. Over the last 2 months I have had the opportunity to scout and hunt hogs on this property and was even fortunate enough to remove two from the property with the chance to shoot several more.

The hog movement was a different story this past weekend; even after Terry Garrett of Rack Nine Outdoors spent an entire week scouting and shifting stands into areas with the most sign. A hog was not harvested this past weekend among these 8 hunters but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a grand time.

Friday started off with a dinner of baked wild hog in a homemade BBQ style sauce, Macaroni & Cheese, potatoes in garlic sauce, cream corn, rolls and a special treat of Jennifer McKinney’s homemade potato salad—with a KICK!! Shannon and Amber Markley brought a delicious homemade pound cake that Shannon’s mother made fresh on Friday. Needless to say, the cake did not last long at all…

What was left of the Pound Cake Shannon Markley's mother made for us on Friday.

After dinner, the ladies changed, grabbed their gear and were ready to head to their stands for their first afternoon hunt. The ladies were broken up into 3 groups and taken to their stands in 3 different vehicles. I was supposed to sit with Cameryn Melton but she was not arriving until late so I stayed at the lodge to greet them. Shortly after Doug, one of the guides returned to the lodge from dropping his group off, he noticed some hogs coming out of the cornfield and going down the road toward for the woods. He first counted 6 but by the time I raised the binoculars and looked, there were over a dozen. This made me really excited for the ladies on stand.

When it got dark the guides started getting a few texts for pick-ups but some ladies stayed out several hours after dark. There wasn’t much hog action at all on this evenings hunt. Some ladies could hear hogs and some even seen deer. I went out with Doug, one of the guides to pick up Charmen McAlpine. It was a fun ride out there and it made me want to be in the woods.

Who said a LADY can't be a LADY in the field...Charmen McAlpine sporting her manicured nails.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m.several women retired to their rooms, a couple ladies and myself were talking about how the full moon amplified the fields and how we should be out there hunting. I looked at the group and asked, “You want to?” A smile crept over their faces and one asked, “Can we?” I said, “Shoot yeah! We can ride around the road system and check fields.” Then one asked, “How? How are we going to get out there?” I looked at them and smiled and said, “Hank the HuntVe.”

I got up from the couch quickly and said, “Grab your guns and let’s go.” Michele B, Michelle H and Shannon hustled to their rooms to grab their guns then to the mudroom to put their boots on. I ran upstairs and changed into a camo shirt and pants, grabbed my ESPs, a flashlight and my rifle. I quickly ran down stairs and started looking for my boots among the long row of women’s hunting boots. Shannon and Michelle H were giggling like schoolgirls; Michele B was on the back porch waiting. I started giggling too when I realized we were acting like we were trying to sneak out of the house without getting caught.

Shannon looked at me and said “Strut & Rut! That is what we need.” I was still putting my boots on so I told her where the stash was. She quickly went and got 4 of them. When she brought them to me and showed me she had 4, I quickly laughed shaking my head and said, “DON’T show those to Michele B. Good Lord, she has so much energy her head will be spinning!” I guess Shannon found that comical because we both erupted in laughter when Michelle H started laughing at us for laughing so hard. Michele B poked her head in the back door and asked, “What are you all laughing at.” We had to push out the back door before we woke the entire house up.

We giggled uncontrollably like high school girls sneaking out to Hank. We loaded up, fired up a ThermaCell, ran through a quick gear check, turned the key on, I looked at the ladies and said “Let’s go choot-a-hawg” and Hank was headed down the driveway to the cornfields. We rode a little ways, stopped and listened, doing this several times while in the cornfields. We made it to the road system and started down it. We drove across a section of road that had huge baseball and softball size rocks where they were placed for the timber rigs to get in and out of the fields. It was awful noisy and for some reason we found that comical…maybe because we were lacking sleep; everything seemed funny as we giggled along. Surely we didn’t have a chance to actually see a hog, much less shoot one.

We stopped and decided we needed to take some photos…needless to say the flash from the camera blinded us the first photo so all of us looked like Chinese. So we tried it again…which cut Michelle H’s head off. So just one more time…nope, that one didn’t work either. So we decided we all needed to be much closer. Squeezing in, we started laughing, seeing spots, trying two more photos where one would have their eyes closed and another their mouth wide open. Finally, we decided to all get off of Hank and try a photo that way. It did not go as planned. So we decided if we all just looked down at the camera with our heads pushed together, maybe we can get everyone in the photo…..WE GAVE UP…with our sides hurting from laughing we jumped back on Hank and moved out of the area; anything lurking in those woods was definitely in another county after all that giggling. We definitely took some bad photos but it was fun, no doubt.

Trying to get a photo on our Friday night hunt...FAIL...the flash was SUPER bright.

So we thought we would try again...but we were all laughing so hard and I was holding my breath to keep from laughing...another FAIL...

We thought maybe if we took it from the back of Hank it would be better. Nope the flash was still REALLY bright on this dark night....another FAIL..

Squeeze in...another FAIL...and seeing lots of spots in the dark night.

At this point we were teary-eyed and just giggling too hard to care. Another FAIL.

This is the last one, we all said, mostly because we couldn't see and I think half of us wet our pants laughing and the others had stitches in their sides.

We rode around for about an hour and a half before we headed back. Michele B remembered a field with a flat bed hauler parked on the edge of it so we went there and got up on the flat bed and stood a while listening. We heard a few squeals over the fence in the corn. We walked up the road a little ways; nothing.

Friday....err....Saturday morning around 3:00 a.m. waiting on hogs in the field. Michele Branning, Shannon Markley and Michelle Harmes.

We finally headed back to the cabin, parked Hank and giggled all the way up to the back door, snuck in… First, we were busted by Andrea Main; she said, “I came down hunting y’all.” We went into the living room and said down telling her about our trip. All of the sudden the front door opened and Richard walked in. Phew!! We made it back in the nick of time. But we were already busted so we told him that we had not been to sleep. I think it was Andrea who said, “they have been hunting all night. And I didn’t get to go.”

What a fun night!! But it was time to get day two started….already!

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