I don’t remember drawing my handgun. My mind caught up with my body when I fired the second point blank shot into the raging beast’s face. There was no time to question if what was going on was real or fantasy, I just kept shooting. In a mad frenzy of survival, I continued to litter his skull with bullet holes but he kept charging, knocking me to the ground like a useless rag doll. There would be no chance of reconciliation, both of us were hell bent to kill the other and neither willing to loose.
We looked as if we had been crying with our red faces and teary eyes. Fighting the dusty 40 mph wind that gusted off the Cap Rock was about as much fun as going to the dentist, but in the blasting wind we could walk through the brush and cactus with less chance of being detected. I looked across the 50 yards of twisted thorn mayhem to make sure Josh and I we’re still in sync as we stalked through the bush. He looked focused like a cat stalking a mouse, taking small steps, eyes focused on the tangles of bush 10 yards ahead. At a snails pace, we moved in this fashion, each 50 yards apart, for 3 miles along the Clear Fork of the Brazos River knowing that, sooner or later, we would bump into swine.
I heard a snap and looked over at Josh. He pointed to a heavy mesquite snarl just a head. As he came to full draw, I waited for the explosion of pork to come hurling out of the bush. I heard the twang of his bowstring and then the notorious thump of an arrow punching flesh. The bush erupted with hogs running helter skelter. I drew on a big black boar that was running across the opening clearing. He was nearly in the safety of heavy cover when he stopped. I shot immediately hitting the boar low in the chest. He spun like a bucking bull then hooked it vanishing into the mesquite leaving a brilliant bloodtrail in his wake.
Josh and I regrouped and realized, after sorting through the bloodtrail and describing the hogs we each had shot, that we had indeed shot the same pig. With the huge amount of blood that ran a continuous nine-inch wide path through the brush, we were certain that the boar would be dead within 100 yards or less. Making our way through the thick mesquite and inching by the cactus thorns, we saw the boar in the distance. When the boar took off in escape, we took chase in a full run finding him 50 yards away with his rear being the only worthy target. I quickly sent an arrow down range slicing through his left hip. He jolted and quickly fled into the bush. We raced, jumping cactus and thorn bushes, following the now twelve-inch wide bloodtrail until we spotted the boar again hulled up in a dense cactus patch. We each knocked an arrow and moved slowly towards the boar. From 10 yards away, I side-stepped to the right around the cactus patch as the boar mirrored my every move. It was clear that he had given up on retreating and he was going to stand his ground. Josh had slipped his way through the brush finding an opening for a broadside shot. The boar never paid him any attention; he kept his focus on me. Josh’s arrow passed completely through the boar’s chest but the wounded boar just stood there bleeding, staring at me, seeming impervious to his wounds.
“Did I hit him?” Josh yelled.
“Behind the shoulder,” I answered, not taking my eyes off the boar.
From the crack of my voice the boar started popping his teeth, sounding like blocks of wood slapping together. I started to draw an arrow, but before I could raise my bow the big boar charged me like a hornet from a nest. In a blink of an eye his big white tusks were inches away from my legs swiping like switchblades in the hands of a crazed maniac. In a desperate back peddle, I drew my 10mm auto handgun and rapidly fired two rounds into his skull, but unfortunately not his brain. He kept charging hitting me in the legs, tossing me in the air to where I landed in a cactus. On the ground with my head at tusk level, I knew this hog charge could turn deadly.
“Here I am again,” I screamed internally as images of prior near death experiences ricocheted like a strobe through my mind. “This is it.”
Back in 2003 I survived a nearly deadly elephant and Cape buffalo charge in Zimbabwe. Those two experiences are as vivid today as then were when they happened. Now, I’m back home in Texas and I’m in another mess.
If my demise was unfolding, it had to stop. “No!,” blasted through my head. I felt my soul go into a rage of hate and anger for the beast that was attacking me. I knew of those few that had been slashed to death by boars on freak occurrences and as much as I tried to void the visual, I felt I was sure to become a faceless statistic.
Eye to eye with the boar my mind-set instinctually switched from victim to aggressor. I kept unloading rounds into his face wanting nothing but shear death for him. Each shot from my 10mm handgun crushed his face with 640 foot pounds of kinetic energy but it only knocked his head back, left and right, doing little to derail his attack. To kill the boar I had to wreck his brain, but like a bad dream, I kept shooting him in the bridge of the nose. The image of his nose disintegrating in front of my eyes was surreal, but the fact that he was not going down pushed me further in to a state of aggression. The boar was now over my feet and coming for my head. All I could see was his tusk and nose in a blur of dust. My gun kept thundering until finally a bullet scrambled the boar’s brain dropping him lifeless on my feet. I quickly pulled my legs from underneath his head still holding the gun on the boar in suspicion that he would rise again. Angry, wired and in somewhat of shock I put the barrel of my gun to the boar’s head, cursed, then fired. It was over.
“Are you O.K.?,” Josh yelled as he jumped over the cactus to reach me.
“I don’t know,” I answered, afraid to look down at my leg.
I wasn’t feeling any pain. I was numb and disconcerted in my adrenalin high, still feeling the edge of anger and fear. With the rip in my pant leg and the hundreds of thorns that were embedded in my hands, arms, back and butt, I knew the pain was waiting for me. With the ripped pant leg, I feared the worst knowing that it only takes a minor “brush” of a hog’s tusk to inflict a ripping gash to soft flesh. As I pulled my pant leg up I was grateful to see that the tusk had only shaved off the upper layers of skin leaving only bruises and a nice skid mark of blood up my shin. I said a prayer and thanked God for saving me.
I picked my bow from a prickly pear cactus as the numbness wore off and the pain set in. I ejected the magazine from my 10mm and counted bullets. I had shot the boar seven times. We marked our location on a GPS unit then began hunting our way back to camp. During the long walk, the attack replayed over and over in my mind and the “what-if’s” rattled my brain. Every thing happened within seconds. No time to think, just react. I’m a lucky SOB. I’m glad I had ignored the individuals that laughed and snickered about me carrying a handgun for all these years. Falling to that peer pressure would have been devastating. I also thought about those who carry a handgun but carry it stored in their backpacks, foolishly, in a false state of security, believing they would have time to get the gun out and chamber a round when chaos irrupts in the blink of an eye. In my case there was absolutely no time to chamber a round. If I wasn’t cocked and locked I would have been defenseless and helpless once on the ground.
I could see the cabin up a head and I was eager to tell the guys back at camp what had happened. With all the joking and foolishness that had been going on that weekend I was glad Josh was a witness to the attack. I doubt if any of the guys would of ever believed it.