Wednesday morning I was up and just about ready to leave the lodge when Richard said there were hogs in the back cornfield; two really huge hogs and 5 other good size hogs. I asked Richard if he thought we had time to sneak out there to them at the edge of the field. He said we didn’t so I took off to Jennifer and Andrea’s bedroom to get them up to go shoot the hogs. Jennifer got up and put on a pair of pink jogging shorts, her muck boots, a camo jacket and grabbed her gun. When she came down to the back porch, Richard and her talked about the best way to get close to the hogs. As we were driving away, Jennifer was trekking down the side of the cornfield to the hogs; easy to spot from a far distance with her hot pink shorts on. I wished I had taken a photo of her.

The day drug by slowly, mostly because I was sleep deprived and because I could not wait to get back out hog hunting. Andrea had taken Hank the HuntVe out and was hunting and scouting. At one point I was talking with her on her cell phone when she had to hang up quickly because several hogs came out into the corn field in front of her. She called me an hour or so later and told me she had taken a shot but they didn’t find blood.

That afternoon she called me to ask what time Shannon and Amber had planned on arriving at the lodge. She was seeing a large number of hogs. I called Shannon to tell her and we devised a plan where Shannon and Amber would meet Andrea at the cornfield gate and they would go out from there to the areas that Andrea was seeing the most hog traffic.

My only regrets is that I was not there to join them because I could not get off from work early. I did get the text on my way home that Amber had put two hogs on the ground and shortly after that text I received another stating that Shannon had one on the ground. I wished I was there to share the harvest but I was fortunate enough to share the excitement because they were just bringing the hogs out of the cornfield when we arrived. Here is Amber and Shannon’s exciting story:

Amber’s Story:

I was sitting in school ALL day just waiting for the bell to ring at 3:05! It seemed like it took forever but when it finally did, I hurried outside where my mom picked me up and we headed home to get our hunting clothes and headed off to Rack Nine Outdoors in Clio, Alabama. We were ready to leave my house when my mom asked, “Where are the keys?” I told her, “I don’t know, I didn’t have them!” When we finally found the keys, we headed to go hunting!

We had gone the previous night and saw a little boar. My Mom, Terry and Nancy Jo tried to talk me into shooting it but I didn’t have my own gun and was worried about shooting someonelse’s gun that I have never shot before. So Andrea shot it; it was her first hog—a nice 88-pound black boar.

The next day Andrea scouted all day, riding around and even sitting in a stand watching over the big cut cornfield. She had seen a lot of hogs and took a shot at two. When we got there we met up with Andrea and the guide, Terry. We rode around on the never-failing HANK the HuntVe! We had not been riding around 10 minutes when we saw hogs. It was a group of 10 or 12 hogs. Terry told us to get off and we snuck up to where they were. He set up the Bog Pod and got me setup. I was standing up and felt wobbly and unstable so I decided I wanted to kneel. He adjusted the Bog Pod for my kneeling position and he told me, “Go ahead and pick you one out!” I said, “Okay”. I started aiming.

There were so many that I didn’t know which one to choose but I finally decided on a black one! When I got the crosshairs on him, I pulled the trigger. It was one of the most exciting times of my life! He dropped and the group of hogs ran about 40 yards and stopped. Terry told me pick out another one and that’s what I did! This time I picked out a little red one! When we went to go look at them, everybody was telling me, Good job!”

We took I don’t know how many pictures! We loaded them up on Hank and went hunting again! We got to the other side of the cornfield and saw more! This time it was my mom’s turn. She got one too! We loaded all the hogs up on Hank and headed back to the cabin. We pulled up to the skinning shed and took MORE pictures. When they weighed the hogs, my boar weighed 98.5 lbs and my sow weighed 53 lbs. I was proud of them!

Amber Markley with her first two feral hog harvests and guide, Terry Garrett.

Shannon’s Story:
It had been a long hard day at work trying to catch up from missing the previous day, but somehow I had managed to get 3 days of work done in 8 hours. I rushed to pick up Amber and get home so that we could gather our camo and guns for our trip to Rack Nine Outdoors in Clio, Alabama, in hopes of harvesting hogs. Amber was trying to kill her first hog. After the truck was loaded I was missing one thing–the keys. I was getting extremely upset because I wanted to get Amber there before it got dark. After backtracking for about 45 minutes; we finally found the keys and off we were.

I was trying to make up ground so when I hit River Road in Ariton, Alabama; I was driving slightly over the speed limit. Amber asked, “What’s the speed limit?” I said, “I think 45 mph but I want to get you there because I feel like they will cross them roads before dark. She looked at me funny and then said, “We’ll what are you waiting for?”. We got to the lodge and grabbed our boots and asked Jennifer to go with us. Terry came in from bushhogging and said that he was going to sit in a stand but that we would go with us if we wanted him too. I told him “HECK YEAH, Come on!”

Jennifer decided to stay at the lodge and cook Jambalaya. Andrea was waiting in the cornfield on Hank the HuntVe to pick us up. We all loaded up on Hank and started around the field when Terry said, “There’s a pile of hogs, get your guns ready!” Terry and Amber took the lead to sneak up on the bunch while Andrea and I got on both sides, so we could shoot at the ones that crossed our paths. Terry got the Bog Pod ready for Amber and told her to pick one out and shoot it. She shot; hogs went running then they stopped and Terry told her to pick out another one. She did; it dropped in its tracks.

My heart was pumping so hard. I was so excited because my baby girl just got her first and second hog! As they were running for the woods, Terry said to shoot one; I threw my Browning up and let the lead fly. I missed but it didn’t matter because I was too excited for Amber. We took pictures and then loaded the hogs in Hank and headed on around the cornfield.

When we got to the bottom of the cornfield, Terry said, “There are some hogs!”. I got out and got ready—except for taking the safety off. Terry got the Bog Pod ready, or so he thought. When I put my gun on the Bog Pod, it was not locked. The hogs started to move so Terry said he would just hold it and for me to take a shot. I put my gun on the Bog Pod, picked me out a hog and “CLICK”. Oops! I hadn’t taken the safety off! REALLY?? So I took the safety off and replaced the gun back on the Bog Pod and took a shot. BANG! HOG DOWN! Poor Terry didn’t even have a free hand to cover his ears. The remaining hogs ran off down the road. I reloaded and went after them, but they got away; BUT not without me giving them something to think about—a little gunpowder and lead.

It was such an exciting hunt. We high-fived with Terry, took pictures, and loaded up my hog onto Hank with Amber’s hogs. Hank the HuntVe was loaded up with a pile of hogs and some happy Ladies in Camo. It couldn’t have been any more exciting being able to harvest a hog right after Amber harvested her first two hogs. We headed to the lodge to take more pictures and share our stories with everyone else.

Feral hogs loaded up in the front basket of Hank the HuntVe...they couldn't put them on the back of Hank because it was hauling too many excited Ladies in Camo riding on the cart.

It was the perfect ending to what started out as a hard day. We always seem to have a great time at Rack Nine Outdoors with Terry Garrett. I was so happy that Terry was with us on such an exciting hunt and for Amber’s first hog kill—-it made for a hunt to always cherish.

Shannon Markley with her feral hog harvest, guide Terry Garrett and workhorse, Hank the HuntVe

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