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The Fall 2014 South Florida Hog Hunt that almost was not.

BigDanSBigDanS Senior MemberPosts: 6,992 Senior Member
On September 30, 2014, after negotiating for three weeks prior, I sent a $1000 deposit check to Hawg Wild Ranch.

http://hawgwildranch.net/

My Fishing and Hunting group has hunted here at least three times in the past, and we booked from Friday November 21st through the morning of Sunday the 23rd , 2014. We had eight hunters booked for Friday night, and five for Saturday night, including one person flying in from Texas.

On Friday Nov 14th the wife of the onsite manager calls me and tells me the owner of the property has decided to use it Saturday and we will not be allowed to hunt. While I am in shock, I explain we have a contract based on our accepted deposit and I want to speak with the owner. The owner , Ken Earnest, does not call me. On Monday the property manager, Brian Kelley, tells me the owner doesn’t care and we will not be allowed to hunt Saturday. Since I have someone flying in, I scramble and find a different operator, Outwest Farms that can take the group of five on Saturday, and book two rooms at the Best Western in Okeechobee, FL.

We discuss cancelling, but Hawg Wild already has $1000 of our money.

After travelling 140 miles from home, I arrive first of our group, and Mr. Brian Kelley informs me that the owners will not allow us to spend the night in the bunk house Friday night, so now not only are we not hunting Saturday or Sunday, we have no place to sleep Friday night! My camp master has food for eight already bought, and ready to make. And the other seven hunters are also traveling about the same distance.

Dan gets the bad news from Brian Kelley.

BrianKelley_zpsa2a8031d.jpg

Again I scramble and the Best Western in town can accommodate us with four double rooms Friday night. Whew!

The group decides to negotiate, that Hawg Wild should accept our $1000 and allow us to hunt Friday for no additional fee. Mr. Kelley has no room to negotiate with the owner Ken Earnest, who has never returned my call. We request a refund and Mr. Kelley who writes us a personal check for the $1000 deposit. Mr. Kelley was put in a very bad position by Mr. Earnest, and needless to say we will never go back to this property.

At 2:30 pm I call Outwest Farms and ask is they can accommodate eight hunters immediately and the the owner says “come over right now!”
Outwest Farms is about 40 minutes from Hawg Wild Ranch. To say we are all in a bad mood is understatement. I had been planning this group hunt for three months, and we felt really let down.

We were going to hunt from stands and blinds on 600 acres at Hawg Wild. Outwest Farms is a swamp buggy hunt. The owner, Lee Lightsey is a very industrious and well known local in Okeechobee.

http://floridahuntingoutfitter.com/

We arrived at Outwest Farms at 3:00 pm. Sunset was at 5:35 pm and last light 6:00pm. We weren’t hopeful that we would meet our goal of 8 pigs, one per hunter.

Our guide was “Bit”, an experienced operator who knew his farm really well. We loaded up the swamp buggy with eight hunters, two dogs, and one guide and off we went.

Bit, in the front, bringing us in at last light.

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"A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:

Replies

  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    Outwest is also a gator farm. The cleaned carcasses of the kills are fed to the gator ponds and you seriously have never seen this many 12 ft plus gators on one spot! All of us were in awe.

    The swamp buggy taking us out.

    huntwagon_zps74ed0df4.jpg

    So between 3 pm and 6 pm, one by one, we caught up to seven pigs. Five boars and two sows.

    Dan and the stainless 45 70 ready for action

    dan4570hunting_zpsc01da5d3.jpg

    My stainless Rem-lin 45-70 was used by a new hunter in our group, Jason with my reduced power loads. He popped off about 12 rounds before a fatal hit. His partner also used it to drop one boar with one shot. We used a combo of guns between the eight of us, 45-70, 30-06, 44-40, and 30-30.

    “Deadeye” Bob Straille, five for five in the past three years, open sights on his 30-30

    Caddybobtakesashot_zps61abf650.jpg

    Bob T and his one shot 45-70 kill boar

    BobTwithhis4570shot_zpsae10f9ba.jpg

    Newbie Jason burning some rounds chasing his boar, hey! Those are cows!!!:

    Joshonthehunt_zps4b9389c0.jpg

    Camp master Bruce K with is boar:

    bruce_zpsfea3e7a7.jpg


    The guides cleaned our kill and we headed back to our hotel at 7 pm. It was an outstanding hunt and save and we have nothing but respect for Outwest Farms, Lee Lightsey, and The Best Western in Okeechobee.

    We cooked our camp meal of salad, venison chili, and rice, topped off with fudge marshmallow chocolate cookie, and beer. Full and satisfied we all turned in. Much to my surprise the beds at the Best Western in Okeechobee were among the most comfortable I have ever slept on.

    Dinner around the pool with the guys…

    campdinner_zpsdb4d23e6.jpg

    After breakfast with my Rotary group , they dispersed at 8:30 AM happy with the hunt and the way things turned out.
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    The next hunt at Outwest Farms was scheduled at 12:30, so I had the morning to shop Okeechobee. I hit four guns stores and pawn shops but avoided buying anything. I found a Glenfield 30-30 in just OK shape with a decent scope for $260 at Williams Pawn, but I need a fourth 30-30 like I need a hole in my head.

    I wandered over to “The Gun Shop” owned and operated by Paul Box.

    The Gun Shop
    (863)357-1115
    2020 S Parrott Ave Suite 102
    Okeechobee, FL

    No web site but they do sell on Gunbroker. One of the nicest Florida Gun stores I have had the pleasure of shopping. They had what looked like over 300 long guns on display and a large assortment of handguns including some gorgeous antiques. I mentioned my interest in 45-70’s and he pulled off the shelf an exceptional Siamese Mauser conversion, in a pristine custom stock with a perfect bluing job, for $850.

    MUST NOT BE TEMPTED!!!

    After a bit of shopping I make it to Outwest Farms to greet my second set of hunters, my friend Kurt, and our own Shotgunshooter3 ( Matt ), and his father, 41Magnut (Russ ) who had just flown in on Thursday to visit in Tampa with Matt.

    The group get ready to take off:

    CE7F0B55-9C63-47DA-8283-F0C6B764BA7B_zps3c28gn8l.jpg

    Left to right Kurt, Me, our guide “Bit”, Matt, and Russ

    Matt has brought along his Remington 700 in .243, and Russ a Marlin 30-30 with a Leupold scope on QR mounts in a scout setup, Kurt is using my 1979 Marlin 30-30 with a Leupold, and I was setup with my Savage 16 with a 4x12x40 Redfield.

    “Bit” is our guide again today and his trusty dog Max is along for the ride. We load up and head out.

    Max the dog .. a real character, he is with Kurt:

    114DB25E-3C18-4350-9A46-D58DB0F55D21_zpsfbil90fa.jpg

    We had to work harder to find out prey, working about an hour maneuvering the buggy through swamp and pasture, and finally we spot two boars on the run about 3/4 of a mile away. Bit guns it, gets us within range, about a 50 yard to 75 yard shot.

    Kurt and Matt on the left looking for game:

    A1B24C36-CD89-45C5-AE09-F2E7D4CC7044_zpsyfxd8yx0.jpg

    First, Russ is up and drops his boar with one shot with his 30-30, and then Matt with his .243. Excellent shots and results.

    Russ, his boar, and his scout mounted scoped Marlin 30-30

    482B2EC1-E58E-4B58-96CD-315913192C87_zpsiqjd1okp.jpg
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,539 Senior Member
    Nice Save, looks like a good day in spite of the change in plans.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    Matt and his boar :

    DB26B5DC-5DC2-41DC-8EA6-E8E4857A0E52_zpsk7h8w5u3.jpg

    Dad and son…

    60157B09-BBE8-4030-87E5-742BA800207D_zpszcectjw8.jpg

    After plenty of pictures and congrats to each other, Russ and Matt move to the back of the swamp buggy, and Kurt and I take the front seats looking for our game. It takes us about another 30 minutes to find two more boars, in the middle of some water buffalo that are on the property.

    We make our way up to them and separate the boars out to make sure we don’t hit one of the buffalo. Kurt lines up with the 30-30, and hits the first one. He takes a second shot to drop him, while I line up on a large red boar with the .243. I aim for a head shot and let it fly, but seem to miss. However a moment later the large red boar lays down and is done.

    Kurt with his boar, Max the dog, and my 30-30

    93ADC562-39A2-4CB0-803A-7F3870DED0C4_zpsogffuhdn.jpg

    Me with my boar and my Savage .243

    1A40D66A-B13C-42F9-B582-FF3E7DF475EE_zps7pxbanfq.jpg

    Max, my boar and my Savage .243

    8E189655-EDA3-4E99-AC1C-A2F9C7049814_zps6kbbp3lq.jpg

    We gather up our game and head back to the office and cleaning house. It was a really successful and fun hunt for all.
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    The results…

    37253C8F-E6E1-483C-BEA4-A1B853FA3708_zpska4lstoo.jpg

    A little autopsy analysis. This will never match Zee, but we took a look at the damage my 100 gr speer boat tail did. Estimated velocity 2700 fps.

    Entrance skin removed, right side mid rib:

    93D2B41F-BF07-49BD-98EB-ACC2BE7E932E_zpsl6icbai1.jpg

    Exit left side mid rib:

    E8476259-A6E5-4DAC-AEBE-9E113A66BF19_zpst89aomv7.jpg

    Nasty teeth! Needs to brush between meals!

    BAA4FC52-84E4-4D30-AAFB-1F7E49F47526_zpsbrl1bbik.jpg

    Our coolers are full and we head back to the hotel. Russ and Matt join me, while Kurt drives the 70 miles back to his home in Jupiter, FL.

    It’s about a 15 mile drive from Outwest Farms to the Best Western in Okeechobee. Russ and Kurt check in and we head out to dinner at Pueblo Viejo, a Mexican Restaurant less than a mile from the hotel. We eat an excellent meal, and head off to find a watering hole for a few beers.

    Mexican in Florida…. a definite Guns Up salute from Russ

    C5BAAD6F-148F-4378-B58D-77F97C6BAEC6_zpsn7dahwqu.jpg

    We wind up at Roper Paradise Café for a cold 5 beer bucket for $10.00, plus some pleasant sights and College ball games.

    A047B13D-E04B-4298-A205-665E32CEDBE5_zpsi51eep9m.jpg

    Russ and Matt and I had a quick breakfast and then they were off. I can’t say enough about what good folks they are and it was a sincere pleasure to meet, hunt and socialize with them both.


    I left the hotel about 9:30 AM Sunday heading the 140 miles south through the sugar cane fields of South Florida, Domino Sugar and the King Ranch. It is a real agricultural marvel when you get into the area, as far as the eye can see nothing but sugar cane. And in the middle of it all, a processing plant.

    This is the cane field. The camera is 12 feet high and just above the tops of the sugar cane, as far as the eye can see:

    FDE81799-5CDA-4D19-AD56-655541BCD57E_zpsfmizxldp.jpg

    Big Sugar making its product in the middle of it all:

    746B425B-7560-44B2-87BF-7201D5E7AB4F_zpsllqsx1b3.jpg

    I was home by noon, and able to drop off my 60 lbs of pork to my local sausage maker, Babe Froman Sausage.

    http://babefroman.com/

    Not a bad trip for the hunt that almost was not.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Hmmmmm- - - - - -so just what crawled up the property owner's alimentary canal terminus to make him think he could just pull the plug on a paid-for hunt? The guy sounds like a real horse's patoot!
    :angry:
    Jerry
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,748 Senior Member
    Good Save Dan.
    Wish I could have made it.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,018 Senior Member
    Very nice write up. Looks like everyone scored on some nice pigs. Well done.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,203 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Glad you got the hunt rearranged.
    Sounds like your original outfitter is a complete ass hat.
    Agreed. That, and Jason needs to learn to shoot. He beat CPJ's record by a mile!
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    Agreed. That, and Jason needs to learn to shoot. He beat CPJ's record by a mile!

    Too bad there wasn't a lawyer in your bunch. I still think I'd be looking for one or asking some legal advice about what happened. I mean if you signed a paper that's sort of a legal document and should be somewhat binding. That land owner may be liable for balking on that hunt. If he is I think I'd be more than tempted to sue his ass.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Also, I don't blame you. That would be the last time I used that places service.

    That's one thing Florida and Texas have in common, copious numbers of hogs. Great hunting. I just busted a 120 pound boar this past week and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've been wanting to shoot one with my 30-06 and my pet load consisting of a 200 grain Sierra Game King Boat Tail Spitzer over 56 grains of IMR 4831 with a Winchester primer. But the wife has been using it and even though she wasn't hunting with me that day, I didn't bring the 06, because since she's been using it, I've gotten used to using my .270 and just couldn't resist it. That's my third hog in as many years with the .270. That little 130 grain Game King sure did a number on it though.

    I just love to hunt and/or read about hunting hogs. I loved reading this story.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »

    I was home by noon, and able to drop off my 60 lbs of pork to my local sausage maker, Babe Froman Sausage.

    http://babefroman.com/
    Does
    Not a bad trip for the hunt that almost was not.

    D

    Does this guy add anything to wild pork for sausage like domestic pork fat for making sausage?

    Sausage is the main reason I shot my hog this last week. I have about 40 pounds of deer meat and now I'll ad what wild pork I have with some domestic pork fat when I make my sausage so it won't be too dry. However I do like it a bit on the dry side.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Too bad there wasn't a lawyer in your bunch. I still think I'd be looking for one or asking some legal advice about what happened. I mean if you signed a paper that's sort of a legal document and should be somewhat binding. That land owner may be liable for balking on that hunt. If he is I think I'd be more than tempted to sue his ass.

    There were three lawyers in our group and one is a private judge. The fact is $1000 is not enough money and aggrivation to litigate and we got our money back. We will, however, honestly tell our story all over social media.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,702 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    There were three lawyers in our group and one is a private judge. The fact is $1000 is not enough money and aggrivation to litigate and we got our money back. We will, however, honestly tell our story all over social media.

    D
    Telling the information over social media would probably be more effective than legal action, which would likely be confined to small claims court.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Dan -

    I'm sorry to hear about the trouble and glad that it all worked out in the end. I wish I knew you were dealing with Hawg Wild Outfitters when you first mentioned this hunt. You may have, but I didn't catch it. If it's the same Wild Hawg Outfitter I had read about in the past, that outfit has quite a reputation for scam artistry. I will try and find it, but there was a very damning, detailed hunt report from a someone floating around the net that documented a pretty extensive scam those guys were running. Here's another review I found, not quite as detailed as the one I will try to find.

    http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/hog-wild-outfitters/okeechobee-florida-/hog-wild-outfitters-joaquin-capelle-hog-wild-outfitters-ripped-us-off-then-threatened-us-980443
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    Not the same guy. It is "HAWG" Wild Ranch. This would have been our fourth hunt on that property.
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,230 Senior Member
    A big "Thank you, Sir" for recovering from a bad situation.

    Up at 0400 Monday to catch flights Back to the high plains of Texas.

    Will add a couple of pics later.

    Thanks again!
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,230 Senior Member
    Before any one gets eye strain.
    All weapons verified clear & actions open for the after action photos
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,272 Senior Member
    WOW! Sorry you had such a lousy experience with the outfitter, but great save. Look's like you had a great hunt with even greater people!!
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,600 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Glad you got the hunt rearranged.
    Sounds like your original outfitter is a complete ass hat.

    +2.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,374 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Glad you got the hunt rearranged.
    Sounds like your original outfitter is a complete ass hat.
    +3
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,890 Senior Member
    I have nothing to add to the excellent report already posted. I had a great time with great people, as has always been the case when I get the opportunity to meet people from this forum!
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,000 Senior Member
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Great hunting report, Glad it all worked out for you!
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
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