By Deneshia Larson of The Natural Addiction TV
Do you ever have those moments when you are wondering if maybe you have possibly made a bad decision? No? Me either.
Seriously though, we have done some hog hunting with dogs in Georgia and South Carolina and it can get a little crazy. But they say everything is bigger in Texas, so when we got the chance to head out with River Bottom Trackers in Newcastle, Texas, we immediately packed our bags and headed that direction, having little idea of what we were taking on.
Truth be told, we visit the great state of Texas every chance we get because we love it there! For several years now, we have made multiple trips per year to Texas for both work and pleasure, enjoying many parts of the state. From the beautiful green hills of North Texas to the Palo Duro Canyon to Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Ft. Worth, College Station – there is nothing about the state that we don’t enjoy. Yes, even in the summer time. This was our first time going to the Newcastle area and we were beyond excited to go! We had heard that the pigs in that area grow to massive proportions and we were anxious to find out if that was true.
We were scheduled to meet up with Shaina Besherse and Emily Brakebill then head out around 5:00 PM. Just before we left the motel, black clouds rolled in, the wind began whipping, lightning was all around us – it was an incredible storm…….for about fifteen minutes. Then the clouds broke, wind died, humidity was up to a hundred percent, temperature was over ninety degrees – perfect hog hunting weather. Alright, so maybe a tiny bit of sarcasm. No matter, we were still going out. As we drove to the meeting location, we were able to see some of the devastating flooding that had taken place in the area in the weeks before our arrival. There were places where the roads had been blocked off and some of the rivers were so swollen that they had far exceeded their banks. Everything looked like one huge waterway, there was no definition of where the rivers and creeks were supposed to be. We were slightly concerned about having to run around in the dark in flooded areas, because some of the places looked pretty deep.
Fortunately, when we connected with Michael Moore of River Bottom Trackers, the flooding was not quite at the same level as the areas we had driven through. That being said, there had still been considerable flooding and the wheat fields in which we would hunt had standing water in most places, sometimes up to our knees and under that was a few inches of mud. Running through that muck chasing dogs from 7:00 PM until 4:30 AM, we were completely whipped. I cannot remember the last time I was that tired!
We started out by driving up and down dirt roads, watching the fields and waiting for the dogs in the back of the truck to give some sign that they smelled or saw any hog activity. I had heard about the hog problem in Texas, but had never really witnessed it until that night. We would be driving down the road and would see groups of them walking around in fields! I have never seen anything like it. The dogs would be let out of the truck and would chase the hog, baying it until it could be caught. We caught a total of nine that night, with the largest being 300 pounds!!!!!!!! He was absolutely huge, I am pretty sure I could have ridden him (if he had been agreeable to it and I had some sort of serious lapse in judgment). It is hard to choose a highlight of the night, there were so many. Was it the three hundred pounder or the hog that ran right at our group with the dogs behind it, parting the wheat like Moses and making us take off in all directions? Or maybe the several hundred barbed wire fences we crossed (there had to be at LEAST that many)? Pants being ripped? Boots full of water? Face plants in the mud? It sounds like the worst time ever honestly, but it was absolutely fantastic! We had such a great time – wonderful company, fantastic guide, excellent dogs, took several hogs……it doesn’t get much better than that for hog hunting. I am definitely adding this to my list of reasons to love Texas and am already looking forward to the next time!
If you want to watch the whole adventure unfold, be sure to tune in to The Natural Addiction on Pursuit Channel beginning in January, 2017!
Growing up in South Georgia and North Florida, Deneshia Larson was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time in the outdoors from an early age. Learning to fish and then hunt as a child, she has always had respect for the outdoors and is passionate about sharing that with others.
She enjoys freshwater, deep sea and inshore fishing and has hunted in multiple states (including Texas!), going after game such as whitetail deer, feral hogs, alligators and her favorite game of all – waterfowl. She has also hunted in Canada and will be hunting in Australia in October, 2016.
Deneshia is an accomplished cook as well and, with the exception of animals taken during predator control, is serious about using the game she takes. Deneshia states, “Something had to give its life for us to have this meal. I’m going to give it the respect it deserves by preparing it well. Of course, having the trophy is always nice too! I’m certainly not opposed to that!”
She has written for outdoor publications and her television show, The Natural Addiction, will begin airing on Pursuit Channel in January, 2017.