My buddy Matt and I were looking for a couple of trophy hogs to end the summer on a high note. I started researching ranches up and down the State of California. We have hunted the central coast several times with good success but with the new condor zone we were looking for somewhere we could shoot lead. I had just picked up a Remington R-15 .450 Bushmaster specifically for hogs and that ruled out the central coast, central valley and all the way down to LA. We were impressed with the posted pictures on Hoss Hog’s website as we were looking for large boars with some big tusk. I had a couple of calls with Mike and was impressed with his knowledge of his ranch and his realistic view of our chances to take two trophies in one hunt. So we went ahead and booked the hunt.
Mike informed me that Cole would be our guide and was one of his best. Cole met us in Maxell and we followed him up to the ranch. The dates we had booked the hunt were September 27th thru the 29th. It just so happens that this turned out to be the hottest week of the year with temperatures exceeding 105 daily; not exactly ideal hunting weather. Cole had done a good job scouting the ranch the previous week and had a plan put together as he had seen a couple of large boars late in the evening near a pond and in the heavy brush. The first evening we saw many pigs but none of them were close to what we were after. In the morning, we spotted and stalked, again smaller pigs with a few good sized sows, but we passed. That evening a large boar came in towards the stand but winded us at about 150 yards out and ran off into the heavy brush. The last morning we were determined to find our hogs. We were crunching brush and looking for bedded pigs. We jumped a herd at about 7 am that included two large sows with a nice boar in tow. We put a plan together to ambush them and get in front of them. Cole was dead on with where they were heading. We let the two large sows pass and then came Mr. Hoss Hog Boar. I was presented a nice quartering shot and the 450 hit its mark lacing both lungs and cutting through the bottom of the heart. He went all of 10 feet before dropping. The boar weighed 220 pounds with 3 inch cutters. I now have an incredibly great trophy and was thrilled with our hunt. I think Cole was actually more excited than I was as we had been hunting very hard for 3 days and this was a great reward.
With one trophy boar in the bag, we headed out to seek another. The temperature was already rising and we knew we needed to try and find one bedded down in the thick brush or kick one out for a shot. Cole was determined to get us a second boar. We were trying every trick in the book to bag the second boar. We had actually given up at about noon and asked to return to camp to get out of the heat. Cole wanted to try one more spot where he had seen large boars bedded down before at the bottom of a hill in a dry creek bed deep in the brush. We put a stalk on the bed and sure enough there was a large Russian hog bedded down. Cole glassed the hog and could easily see the tusks on the boar and gave the thumbs up to take the shot. My buddy was shooting at 25-06 and put a perfect shot on the hog, again lacing both lungs. The hog never even moved. Matt had stoned the hog with a single shot. His hog weighted just about the same as mine with 3 ¼ inch tusks. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.
Our guide Cole made all the difference in the hunt. He had put in the time prior to arrival and obviously knew the ranch like the back of his hand. Cole hunted as hard as we wanted to and motivated us to keep going. This is what I expect of a professional guide.
I am extremely satisfied with our experience at Hoss Hog. In fact, it’s one of my most positive experiences in my 30 years of hunting. I live in Los Gatos and can tell you it was well worth the drive and I plan on returning to Hoss Hog many times. I hope to get out there again in the next couple of months. I would highly recommend this ranch if you are looking for a good time, with a chance at a trophy hog, and if your goal is a meaty hog it’s a no brainer.
Thanks again Mike and Cole! You run a great operation and do things the right way.
Rio Wheeler - Regional Sales Director, ePlus Technology.
Hoss Hog Hunting Adventures
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