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RUN Yellow Jackets - by Jason Raulston

Rick Pitchford and I went to some private ground where my buddy's have been seeing & catching several big boar hogs. We headed up the mountain, when we got to the first flat on the ridge we kicked out my old Goose bitch, my young dogs Rowdy, Curly Sue, and a young male stud fee pup I sold to Todd. We made it a little way up the flat, maybe 200 yards, and the dogs had finally got all their morning business taken care of. Goose and the young dogs went off the ridge to the right with their heads up. They got about 500 yards deep and I heard Goose & Curly Sue open up, Rowdy & Ruben were with them. They made it 300 yards farther and bayed up but I could tell on the tracker it was a running bay they were not settled in yet. The hog broke. I was watching on the Garmin- they ran him about another 350 yards and shut him down and all the dogs locked up bayed. By this time they were out of hearing. We took off that direction on the buggies and got to within 300 yards of them, shut the buggies off and just Goose and Curly Sue were baying but Rowdy & Ruben were there and no other noise. That usually means it's a good hog if you don't hear squealing. Anyway, we kicked 3 catchdogs loose and some more pups escaped in the ruckus of getting the catchdogs out. We headed down off in the hollow to them as fast as we could. I was still watching the Garmin, the bulldogs got there and still no noise. It went completely silent, this is a guarantee of a big hog! We got to the catch and Rick, Todd, & Brad piled on the hog. They stuck him. The boar never did squeal 'til he took his dying breath! Some of the dogs were cut but nothing too bad. We got them taken care of and the boar loaded and kicked dogs loose again. Goose, Rowdy, and a young dog I raised called Hummer of Brad's rolled back out, they got out of tracking range quickly. We still had other dogs on the ground so we hunted our way towards where I had lost contact with them on the Garmin and finally picked them back up. They were still almost a mile from us and showed split bayed. We got close to them and Rowdy was bayed by himself, Goose and Hummer were 350 yards down the creek. We went to Rowdy first, I slipped into the bay. It was getting hot by now and they weren't barking much. Well, I get in there and he's bayed in a large briar patch half windmilling on the outside of it I can't see the hog or hogs. I hiss him up a little bit, the other guys are still coming behind with the catchdogs. Rowdy gets brave because I've hissed him and dives in the briars. The entire briar patch comes alive! Rowdy wheels out and a nice 200 pound hog is right on his heels, it rolls Rowdy then it made a dive at me and ran back into the briar patch. By this time some of the other dogs we had on the ground that had been off doing their own thing arrived and they all dove back in the briars. It came alive again and several hogs shot out of it with cur dogs in hot pursuit. About this time the other guys arrived. The dogs only ran about 100 yards and stopped at least one of the hogs. We started that way, got almost to them and I got stung on the arm twice and I see a cloud of yellow jackets coming from all directions. I yelled "Run, yellow jackets!" Well Brad was right behind me, he got stung too about this time, so him and I take off in retreat as fast as we can and of course Rick and Todd are getting a good laugh out of mine and Brad's misfortune. Well, with all the commotion the dogs had broke. Also unknown to us, Goose and Hummer had broke, they came right back up the creek towards us. A hog runs right between Rick and Todd with Goose and Hummer in hot pursuit! At this point the hogs are the least of mine and Brad's worry's. I'm still getting bombarded and stung by yellow jackets as Brad is out running me so I'm taking most of the punishment. By this time, some of the yellow jackets had finally discovered Rick & Todd so they were retreating also! We finally all make it back to the buggies after the yellow jackets had given up the chase. The dogs never got any of the hogs stopped again. We finally got everything rounded back up, got the boar out of the creek, as we had stashed him in the creek to keep him from spoiling earlier and took some pictures and headed for home to doctor our wounds.