Wild Pigs in California

Wil Askew and I made the trip down to Williams, California to hunt wild pigs with Jason Montagner of North Powder Outfitters.

Just getting down to Williams and getting our tags was an experience in itself. Aside from the searing heat, it took us 4 tries before we finally found a store that could sell us the tags we needed. The last store had everything in a small shoebox, which is different from the computerized systems we’re used to in Oregon. Once we had tags in hand, it was off to meet Jason and fellow guide Ralph Zingone, who was a great help on this trip, and a lot of fun to boot.

That first evening we glassed from the ridgetops and ended up closing out the day without seeing anything. However, I was able to talk to Ralph quite a bit about what to expect in the days to come. The following day we met Jason and Ralph at a lone tree on top of a plateau overlooking much of the valley just below us. From there we could scan the entire valley and hillsides in search of pigs.

pig1

Faraway Pigs

It was still fairly dark when we saw the first group of pigs on the far left of the valley, so we slowly made our way over to catch up with them. Unfortunately this group of pigs was too fast for us, and while we kept catching glimpses of them, they kept moving away from us. Around 8:30 AM we decided to make the trek back to the trucks. Distances are deceiving sometimes, and we ended up covering about more than 3 miles that morning. Around 9:00 AM the heat was already intense, so we headed back into town to eat breakfast, take showers, and relax.

That evening we were back at it again. Ralph and I went up on one ridge, while Wil and Jason went up to another. I didn’t know it until later, but Wil ended up taking a decent buck, while Ralph and I had spotted two pigs a couple of miles up the valley off the road leading to the bunk house. With that said, the chase was on…

wil-deer2cropped

Wil's Buck

It was going to get dark soon, so we screamed off the top of the ridge and headed towards the pigs. We stopped on the road leading to the bunk house, and spotted the pigs again about 450 yards away. At that point I had both rifle and camera in hand, and ended up throwing the camera at Ralph as I scrambled over the uneven, sun-parched earth towards the pigs. Finally we were 125 yards away when I stopped, took aim with my Remington 7MM, and slowly squeezed the trigger. Pig down!

Jeremy's First Wild Pig

Jeremy's First Wild Pig

Wow, what an experience that was! After several days of spotting pigs, racing through the valley, up and down the surrounding hilltops, I finally had my first wild pig. Wil got his the next day on an excellent spot-and-stalk, while I followed Ralph while he attempted to take a California blacktail. Unfortunately Ralph missed the shot, and looking at the footage later we realized that the bullet hit the dirt right in front of the buck, spraying dust in his eyes, causing him to turn away and run. That was a tough shot, as we were on the valley floor with a 45 degree angle leading to where the buck stood, and didn’t see the little mound of dirt that the bullet eventually plowed into.

I can’t thank Jason and Ralph enough for a great experience. I definitely plan to return some day. You can learn more about North Powder Outfitters right here on our Web site.

Share

About the Author

Jeremy Henricks

Jeremy Henricks

Jeremy Henricks is a fanatic when it comes to hunting blacktail deer and elk in his home state of Oregon. He is also the editor of Pursue The Outdoors.