From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Chain Ranch redeux or Redemption is at hand times two

Back in January I wrote an entry about a hunt my wife and I had at the Chain Ranch in Canton Oklahoma. My Brother was there as well and I closed the piece with the promise that I would post about his success as well.

Jim and I had been to the Chain Ranch before and he had failed to connect on a Hog he deemeed worthy of his effort.

This time he was out for redemtion with a capitol R.

From Thursday afternoon the wife (She Who must be Obeyed) and I had hunted together from the same blinds until we both harvested the game we were after on Saturday morning. The rest of that morning and part of the afternoon I spent butchering my Fallow deer and getting the hide and backstraps off of her hog.

Early Saturday evening I was told by the wife I needed to spend more time with my brother elected to go out to the blind with Jim while the wife stayed at the lodge and cooked some of "Sizzleen" (Yes she named her pig, see previous post here).

We interrupt this story to bring you the following

My brother is right handed and left eye dominant so he shoots southpaw. Due to the price of left handed guns he had for years put off buying a suitable firearm for someone so afflicted with this malady. Like many he just used a right handed firearm from his left shoulder.

In phone conversations prior to our hunt I had extolled the virtues of my Mossberg SSI-Ones and being a break action rifle it is reasonably suited for left or right hand shooters. He dutifully checked them out and was impressed to the point of aquiring one in 30-06. Topped with a Leupold 3-9 telescope he now has a firearm that works exceptionaly well for him.

We now return you to the regular scheduled story

We were dropped off at the same blind that the wife and I had both scored from that morning. After getting things in order we, in hushed conversation, caught up on things brothers who haven't seen each other in a while catch up on when the "wimmen folk" ain't around. Since this was probably his last evening to hunt there was also a bit of tension as to whether he would have to go home empty handed again. As with his last hunt he had seen a lot of hogs, just none that he wanted to harvest.

It was getting near dark when a herd of pigs broke out into the open and began feeding. We judged their size and Jim decided at least one of them was big enough for him to harvest. As he slowly eased his virgin Mossberg SSI "thutty aught six" out one window in the blind I was watching with fingers stuffed tightly in my ears out of another window at the hog I thought he was going to shoot.


At the sound of the shot and thinking he had some how missed a sixty yard shot I watched the hog run off apparently unharmed.

"He's down, he's down I got him".

Leaning farther to the side for a better view there was indeed a big black hog sprawled on the ground. He hadn't shot the one I thought he was going to.

It was then the unthinkable happened;

That big pig got up and started to run off. Instantly my mind began to reel with the panic induced images of me, flashlight in one hand and pistol in the other, tracking this hog through thick brush in the dark. Two seconds later my chest heaved an involuntary sigh of relief as the old boar piled up stone dead at the very edge of some thick cover.

"Yea that's what I am talking about".

We were elated. Trading high-fives and grinning ear to ear we began to notice that the herd of hogs was apparently unphased at the crack of Jim's now proven rifle. We got settled back down and watched as they slowly began returning to the field to feed. One pig which was as nearly as large as the one he just shot went to Jim's now deceased pile of pork chops and started rooting at it.

It was at this point the following hushed conversation took place;

He; "I am going to shoot that one too."

Me; "If you do I'm not cleaning that one, you can do it yourself or pay Newly to do it".

Note: I had agreed to clean and butcher ONE hog for him if he got lucky.

He; "I gotta get another one, it is redemtion for the last time".

Me; "Okay go for it, but I'm still not cleaning it, I might butcher it though ...maybe".

Jim drew down on the the second pig that was rooting at his first, as I plugged two fingers back in my ears, and fired.

Climbing the Stairway to Hog Heaven

The pig he shot did the sharpest military about face I have ever seen and took off running. When it had gone about thirty yards it appeared to run right into a ladder and began climbing it. Its front feet came off the ground as if it were trying to climb the stairway to Hog Heaven. When it reached the full apex of height it simply toppled over backwards and lay still.

Two down and dinners done

Voluntarily skunked for lack of size the first time he was at the Chain Ranch Jim properly redeemed himself by taking two pigs of about 200 pounds each in about two minutes with two shots from a new rifle on his last night to hunt.

Mean while back at the Ranch

When we got back to the Lodge the wife came out and asked if he had gotten a pig.

She was momentarily crest fallen for him when said;

"No I didn't get ONE".

(Insert lengthly pause for effect here while we supressed the giggles)

"I got two".

At that she went over and gave him a brotherly-in-law punch in the arm for the short lived deception and a hug for his success.

Good Bread Good Meat Good Gosh let's eat!!!

After we got the meat hung we cleaned up and sat down to a wonderful meal of fresh pork backstrap, potatos and vegetables lovingly prepared by Mrs. Gun while we were out being brothers.

While we ate one of the ranch hands field dressed and skinned the bigger of the hogs. After dinner Jim and I went out and did the same to the other one. The rest of the evening was spent sitting around the lodge imbibing just KeyStone or two and refining our tales of the hunt for future telling.

Now the Real Work Begins

Sunday Morning dawned early and it found me with knife in hand reducing the rest of the wifes pig and Jim's two into cooking size portions. All of the usable meat was then vaccuum sealed and put on ice for the trip home by about one in the afternoon.

Taking a Picture Break

Yes I brought a vaccuum sealer with us. The packages were dated and marked with the cuts they contained so that all we had to do when we got home was put it in the freezers.

The Ranch has a hoist set up right out side a meat locker and butcher room. It is available for the hunters to use in processing their own game or the ranch hands will do it for you for a fee. The meat locker comes in handy if one hunter lucks out early and has to hang around a day or so for a companion to bag his trophy.

The Chain Ranch

I have had a great time at the Chain Ranch in the past and expect to again in the future. If you are looking for a reasonably priced Hog hunt I suggest you get a hold of;

Property Owner Newly Hutchison (580-886-2910) or

Ranch Manager Jerick Henley (405-820-4056)

They also have Whitetail and Mule deer hunts as well as any number of exotic animals on the ranch, so if you can't afford that trip to Africa the Chain Ranch may be the answer to your bagging some of the game from the Dark Continent.

Note: I haven't gotten any freebies or any thing else for hyping the Chain Ranch on my web site. We have been paying full fare on all our trips there. I have had such good times at the Ranch that I am delighted to write about it on these pages. Newly and Jerick do know about this site and check in here from time to time.

Do me a favor though, if you call for information or to book a hunt tell them you read about it here.

Let them know word of mouth advertising works.


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