Over the last few issues we’ve taken you into the sport of hunting for the purpose of eating what you kill. We have hunted from buggies and airboats for all kinds of meat, including gator and wild boar. These types of hunts are performed on lands both public and private under the watchful eye of your local wildlife conservation commission. There are plenty of local laws that hunters need to be aware of because breaking them usually leads to pretty hefty fines. That’s why places like Hawg Wild Ranch in Okeechobee, Florida, are quickly becoming tourist destinations for hunters from around the globe.
Brian Kelley owns and operates this private ranch, which offers professional guided hunts to anyone young or old with little to no experience required. Hunters can pick the prey before they arrive, which can range from wild hog to deer to turkey. There are a few ways to capture or kill the critters, and Kelley is a topnotch professional in all of them. Whether you want to use a bow and arrow or a black powder gun, or you want to hunt with dogs, the crew here has hunters covered.
We, however, wanted to show a different side of hunting. Some folks like to feel the thrill of the hunt without seeing anything get killed. Hog trapping is just as fun as an all-out hunt without all the blood and guts. This is also great for the outdoorsman/woman contemplating getting into the sport.
Hawg Wild Ranch offers hunts for wild boar all year long. Since it is on private property, there is no closed season or catch limit here. Another advantage is that both residents and nonresidents can hunt hogs without a hunting license. This made it the perfect opportunity to see a real Southern girl and in action, so we called up a local female hunter named Whitney Edwards and set a date to catch some hogs. Right when she asked if she should bring her own hunting dogs, I knew we had called the right girl! Kelley has trained dogs that guests can use in hunts if they want, but I told her to bring them along anyway. Now that the logistics are in place, it’s time to hunt!