Well I met up with my buddy about 630am. It was cold, but going to warm up nicely to about 67 today. We headed off in the boat into the dark tannin stained water heading west. As we gained speed the cold cut at any exposed skin, causing great discomfort, despite the multiple layers of flannel and neoprene. I was all smiles. My first hunt of the year and it was going to be a perfect day. We rounded the 100th bend in the river, and my buddy turned the bow towards a small cove at the base of a old dead cypress tree. As we neared, I felt the boat lurch onto the banks mud, exposed by the low tide. I hoped off, and immediately was greatful I was wearing chest waders as I sunk up to my thigh in soft river mud. After stuggling to free myself, I made my way onto the bank and then secured the boat. Now that we were still, I realized how nice a day it actually was. Probably 45 degrees, and warming steadily. I began to shed layers as I knew I would generate alot of heat moving through the marsh grass. The spot we had landed on was high and dry, with a small clump of oaks and alders. Our gear would be safe here. My buddy was preparing his bow for the days hunt. I removed my .45acp handgun, a Sig P220, and press checked it to ensure it was ready for quick use. These piggies were liable to appear suddenly and when startled could just as likely run at you as away from ya. With our gear stowed, and our minds prepared, we slipped out of the hardwood stand, and entered the marsh. It was vast. To my left was a stand of 8 foot cattails, to my south (straight ahead) was low marsh grass (1-2 foot tall) which eventually bordered tall cattails some 200 yards away. To my right (west) was a hundred yard stretch of low marsh grass before a long narrow stand of hardwoods marked the boundry between us and the small feeder creek that seperated us from the next island. The wind was coming lightly from the South west, so we decided to split up and both border the marsh grass. My buddy would walk the tall cattails directly infront of us, as I would walk the hardwoods that bordered the creek off to the right. Because I was mainly acting as a spotter so my buddy could harvest a pig with his bow, we made up a series of hand signals to guide him onto a pig should I spot one. I was only going to use the handgun if it was needed. After the first 100 yards I was hot. The temperature had climbed a bit, and the heat my body was making from pulling my feet from the soft mud was incredible. Everywhere I stepped, my feet sank from ankle to knee deep. A 4-5 inch layer of water covered the entire marsh. It was both noisy and tiring. Brad had moved into position against the cattails, and I was near the hard woods. Pig sign was everywhere. Tracks, scat, and fresh rooting was the norm, not the exception. The island stank from the amount of pig poo that was seemingly everywhere. After another 100 yards, I finally spotted movement. at first I was unsure what it was. The grass was moving in a direction opposite the wind. I could see the mud around the grass, but nothing was there. I was loosing my mind I figured. Yet sure enough, ther grass moved again. I was perplexed. I stood there watching the grass, 30 feet away, move, yet nothing was there. After 3 minutes I finally heard a pig. I was still confused, but decided, now would be a good time to draw my handgun. I was 10 feet from the 8 foot tall marsh grass to my right, and straight ahead I had grass moving. The waders presented a problem in removing the handgun from my hip, but I finally got it out silently. Brad had steadily moved away from me, and I wasnt able to get his attention. Finally a pig head appeared out of the mud. I was really confused now, but no time to think on that. The pig was literally materializing out from the ground 30 feet infront of me. I was trying deperately to signal Brad, 200 feet to my left. After 3 minutes the pig had narrowed our gap to 15 feet. It was a nice eating sized pig, probably 120 pounds on the hoof. It was also a colored pig, brown and blond, although the mud had made that barely perceptible. Brad had still not looked my way. I was begining to think I would have to pop this one, as any second it was sure to see me towering above the knee high grass I was standing in. Out of the corner of my eye, I finally saw Brad look my way. I motioned towards the pig, and immediatly, I saw him stiffen. He set out a stalk towards the pig 15 feet away. It had now begun to feed towards Brad, and away from me. After another 5 minutes, Brad had got close enough to arrow the pig. He stepped out from dehind the low sage that he had used to break up his stalk, and drew. I focused on the pig as the arrow flashed through my sight. I heard the tell tale thuwump and heard the pig grunt as it headed directly for the tall stand of cattails 10 feet away. I listened for the next minute as he crashed through sapplings and the grass. The silence. Brad and I hurried together and exchanged high fives. I also finally made sense of how the pig "appeared." There was a small feeder creek he had traveled down. He had begun to feed on the roots as he made his way up onto the marsh. Relieved I wasnt crazy I prepared for the recovery. The pig had moved into 8 foot tall cattails. Nothing like going into the thick stuff with 2 foot visability and making a bunch of noise the whole way. Brad decided he would cicle the thick stuff and cut off the exit, as I would push in through the thick stuff bird dogging the blood trail. Blood was everywhere as I moved in. Bright red and frothy, it belied a lung shot. I was trying to move silently, but the dry grass crackled loudly.... to loudly for my pleasure. I found the arrow 30 feet in. It had broken off right ahead of the fletching, and the mechanical broad head had been destroyed. Another 50 feet and I reached a high area, that was dry and with out the marsh grass. Blood abounded. I was forced onto my hands and knees here. Not something I found enjoyable. I was now unable to shoot well, and unable to move quickly if the need arose. I was also hot. Sweat was pouring from me, as the temp was now surely around 60 degrees. After another 20 yards the pig had crossed a creek and moved into more thick stuff. The blood was beginning to dry up, so I began to worry. I had gone 150 yards at this point. The pig was heading towards one of the rivers. If he crossed we would be done. I pushed on. I found fresh scat, still steaming from its freshness. Obviously the pig had been here recently. I could smell it at times. Now I was beginning to worry I was pushing it. Surely it wasnt still alive. It had taken an arrow through at least one lung, likely two, and had been pumping blood for the last 75 minutes. Many times I would find areas where the pig had layed up, and all said, more than 3/4s a gallon of blood had been shed at this point. I was beginning to hear the river now. When I reached the rivers bank, I was sick. The pig had made it to it, and crossed. Tracks showed its passage. We were now deflated. With no abilty to retrieve it, and hours spent on recovering it, we were left with no bacon. Nothing could have been worse. On a side note. We saw 3 more pig through out the day. We passed up on them to find the other one, but to no avail. On the way out we found an old home site (I guess there is no place untouched by man), and on our tracks some pigs had rooted up and area about 30 feet by 80 feet. What an amazing place. Wanna kill these ads? We can help!