The Ladies in Camo rifle hunt with Rack Nine Outdoors brought ladies from Pennsylvania, Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, North and South Alabama. Nine women participated in this hunt and four were successful at harvesting, another hunter took a shot at a wonderful 8-point and everyone saw deer, coyote, bobcats and/or feral hogs.

This hunt started off with a successful harvest within the first few hours of daylight….you can’t ask for better hunting than that. The fellowship was priceless, the food was divine and the lodging was cozy and comfortable. Terry Garrett and Doug Dressler were amazing in making this a memorable hunt for these ladies. We had a wonderful bonfire Saturday night and spent time sharing stories and laughs while sitting around it…we even attempted to sing a few songs. Talking Carl on Michelle’s iPhone definitely did a better job at signing…

Diane Hassinger harvested a nice buck on her first morning and went on to harvest a 130 pound sow her second day in the field; you can find her amazing and inspiring story, with photos, in my blog at https://njadams1.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/guest-post-diane-hassinger-shares-her-success-of-her-hunt-and-of-life/.

Jeanne Peebles harvested a big mature doe, dropping her in her tracks. Jeanne had several wonderful hunts in the shooting house she was in, getting to watch deer frolic in a water hole and several deer that came through her field. Hopefully she will write a guest post with some of her photos in the near future.

Jeanne Peebles with her big mature doe harvest. What a great shot...dropped her where she stood. Photo Credit: Terry Garrett, Rack Nine Outdoors

Amber Markley, our youngest huntress shot a doe on Sunday morning making a perfect shot at 248 yards…fantastic!! Just like her Mother, Shannon Markley, a dead-eye. Kudos to Shannon for raising Amber in the outdoors and mentoring her. Amber is accomplished beyond her years in the sport of hunting and we are so proud to have her on our hunts.

Amber Markley, the youngest huntress in the group, shot this mature doe at 240+ yards. Photo Credit: Terry Garrett, Rack Nine Outdoors

Jennifer McKinney had a nice 8 point visit on her Friday hunt, but was unable to make a successful shot. That happens in the sport of hunting and we all hoped that the buck would return and Jennifer would get another opportunity; but it didn’t happen.

Michelle Harmes was fortunate to see a small bobcat at her stand. She, however, was not lucky enough to harvest a doe or buck on this hunt. Hopefully Michelle will share her hunt with you through another guest post here on my blog.

Pat Hendrixson from Indiana had some does and a few young bucks visit her stand on this hunt but did not have a shot opportunity at anything she wanted to harvest. I was hoping that Pat would have the opportunity to harvest a bobcat; which she has wanted since I have known her.

Tammie Knopp experienced her first stalk hunt on hogs on Saturday. Tammie said, “Oh my gosh! I was so scared and excited at the same time. I can’t wait to do it again!” Terrie Garrett, lodge owner and guide, told me that they were surrounded by hogs but were in very thick woods and just could not make a clean shot.

I, too, experienced my first stalk hog hunt on Sunday. I have to admit there is something very eerie about walking within 10-15 yards of a sow with piglets and other juvenile hogs all around them. You never know if a sow will charge you or not. I followed Terry as we walked, stopped and listened–following the sounds of hog movement and feeding. We got on a group of hogs within 45 minutes of the start of our hunt. We were in the woods with thick palmettos, various other bushes and very little clearing. I was thinking to myself that picking a shot in this type terrain is going to take skill and I would have to be ready to take the shot quickly and accurately.

At one point, we stopped and sat on a downed tree. Terry could hear hogs in the distance and he said we would have to close in on them slowly by stopping and listening and moving with them. We came to a good size wauler hole that had soupy mud and stagnant water in it. Terry explained to me that his son, T.J., had shot a hog earlier in the week and they tracked the blood trail to this mud hole. The hog had laid down in the mud hole, stopping up the wound and moved on. I have heard so many similar stories.

As we walked, Terry finally caught movement and we made our way to within 10-12 yards of several hogs. There was a large black hog and several juvenile hogs rooting through the leaves that had fallen on the ground. Terry asked me if I could take the shot. He told me to shoot it right behind the ear so we would not have to track it. I couldn’t get a good shot, so Terry told me to move over a step or two…I did and I saw a smaller hog snatch its head in our direction. Terry said, “Don’t move.” That little one will see you.

When the smaller hog walked forward, rummaging through the leaves with its snout, I had a clear shot of the black hog…however, it was not going to be in the ear since it’s head was behind a tree; but I felt confident that I could make a good shot and it would not run far. I took the shot and the hog dropped where it stood.

The woods erupted with the sound of leaves scattering in every direction. WE WERE SURROUNDED!!! Hogs were running every where. Little hogs squealed as they ran into big hogs. Big hogs grunted as they ran over little hogs. A small red hog had crossed in front of the hog I just shot and Terry told me to take the shot. I shot under the hog and watched through my scope as it jumped in the air and took off running like a hot iron had poked him. He was gone in a flash. It was a clean miss.

I cycled another round into the chamber and Terry went to pointing…over there! There’s one! Just as I would raise the gun, it was gone. Terry pulled my coat sleeve in another direction; over here! See it? Shoot it if you can! Poof! It was gone as quick as it appeared. At one point he motioned to be quiet. We could hear the hogs circling us. We moved to one side and you could hear them move a quarter circle around us. It was almost as if they could hear our footsteps in the leaves, mistaking it for other hogs and were trying to come into the sound.

Terry said to me, “If I had a hog grunt, I could call these hogs in.” You can bet the next time we go stalking hogs he will have one–I will see to that. WHAT A RUSH!! We walked up to the hog I shot, a 120+ pound sow. Terry had the sow gutted quickly and he drug the hog to the edge of the road system so it could be picked up. We walked back to Terry’s truck talking about stalk hunting…I have to admit, I can’t wait to do that again. A total adrenaline rush.

My first stalk hunt on hogs was successful. A 120+ pound maiden sow.

By Sunday afternoon, several of the ladies had already left for their trip home. We had a small group at dinner and we reflected on the weekend and the fun we had. I told the ladies about a beautiful blue coyote that I had seen on one of my hunts and we all agreed that we needed to book a coyote and hog hunt in the next few months.

Another fantastic Ladies in Camo hunt…new friends were made, the food was divine, the fellowship was awesome and the hospitality that Terry Garrett and Doug Dressler of Rack Nine Outdoors showed us was outstanding. I cannot wait to hunt with these ladies again. Check out the announcement just posted for a hog hunt at Rack Nine Outdoors in February, 2012; don’t miss this opportunity to come hunt with Ladies in Camo at Rack Nine Outdoors.

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