Hey, do you want to go on a wild hog hunt in Texas no less? The call came in late November and as Bryan spoke with his Sergeant visions of wild hairy beasts with long tusks filled their heads. They agreed on inviting a few more of their fellow officers and soon the plan was in motion. The guys spent the month of December looking forward to and planning for their first pig hunt. Well, their first as a group anyway. Bryan had killed a pig just after high school graduation but that seemed like a lifetime ago. Now it was January ten years later and suddenly it was time to load the truck.
The Suburban loaded real nice with the rear seat removed and hitched to it was a twelve foot trailer that carried a Polaris 4x4 and a deep freeze. Various boxes and bags of camouflage clothes, rifle cases stuffed with a favorite gun and whatever food would go with wild pork chops. They seemed to be prepared as well as they could envision, given they would be hunting in daylight and at night with spotlights and night vision, which is legal there... Bryan just wanted to get going and when the time came the four of them climbed aboard and departed. Four guys, all cops who worked the county in and around Dodge City, Kansas, they really needed this break.
Bryan had chosen his trusty patrol rifle, a Ruger 556 in .223 and had fitted it with a Redfield red dot sight scavenged from his dad’s Redhawk .44 magnum revolver, which was on his hip. A little bit of custom fitting and he was shooting holes in holes at the range.
The trip went quickly as they eagerly switched the chore of driving among themselves while the others undoubtedly slept since they were, after all the night shift and were used to sleeping the day away so to speak. The Deputies from Kansas had always worked hard running traffic, investigating accidents, gang crimes and drug deals and even tracking down a bank robber earlier that year. But this hunt was a chance to do something different, something exciting and memorable. Something they had never done before as a group.
They arrived at the ranch and after stowing their gear they got right to it. Meeting with the land owner they agreed on a plan for the first afternoons hunt and set about finding their stands.
Sitting in a ground blind under what would have been an elevated deer blind earlier in the year, one could hear pigs squealing off in the brush a hundred yards away. The feeder in front of the blind promised some action about dark, but when it went off the only thing to come running were Cardinals. They broke for supper and decided to return later that night.
Things, as they sometimes do went awry from there on. Only one pig was taken that night but with it came a report of poachers. The land owner did not enlist the help of the party of hunting cops, he didn’t have to. They all immediately began doing what they do best, hunting man.
Now, hunting man may seem a somewhat morbid term to use in a hunting story but the reality of it is that is what law enforcement is and has been since the first man was appointed by his peers to find the bad guy who had wronged someone else.
Bryan had come from a long line of cops as his father was a Kansas Deputy, his Great Grandfather was the Pawhuska Oklahoma City Constable and another grandfather down the line was a Deputy U.S. Marshall. Truth be known the entire hunting party had it in their blood.
So the boys in blue camo set about their task and over the next few days rounded up a total of fifteen poachers in numerous groups. Apparently the place was lousy with them. They killed no more pigs but they did succeed in making a lifelong friend of the landowner and impressed the local Game Warden to boot.
It might seem a more fitting ending to this story to say the landowner refunded their money but after all they did hunt and take a pig under his guidance. But then one must consider the chosen profession of the hunters. As it turned out they paid a modest fee to travel to Texas and do what they do best, enforce the law. But this time they did it in the Texas landscape dodging the scrub brush and washes while riding in UTV’s and pickup trucks, communicating with cell phones and walkie talkies. Not quite like the Marshals and Rangers of yesteryear but doing the best they could with what they had. I’ll bet they had a blast.