So I called up Tom on the 30th to find out the meeting place for our hunt scheduled for the 1st of June. I told him I planned on making it into town on the 30th since I was coming up from San Diego. He asked if I wanted to go ahead and start with an evening hunt on the 31st since i was going to be in the area, I said "Yeah let's do it".
We made it into the area about 1pm, got a camping spot at Lake Nacimiento. Met up with Tom in the Town of Bradley later that evening, and followed him to the ranch we were going to hunt. The heat has already kicked in full force up there, it was about 95. Tom said it was still pretty damn warm for the pigs to even think about coming out, so he killed a little time changing out a battery in a tractor before we headed out.
Our first spot was a high spot on the ranch overlooking a lot of land and a barley patch that looked promising. We spent maybe 2 hours there and only saw a group of 4 turkeys, and single pig way off in the distance on a neighboring property.
So Tom decides it's time to go check another spot. On the way there he said we'll probably see some elk in this field. When we get close enough for the field to even come into sight Tom immediately spots animals, stops, grabs the binos, and confirms it. An elk and a pig. It's pretty amazing that he even saw them when he did, and a huge lesson for me in spotting game and knowing what your actually looking for. We drive to the other end of the field (where there are 2 more elk), park, and get out of the truck. As we're walking along the fenceline into the field my son and I are focusing on the pig next to the elk that was in the middle of the field. The 2 elk we were walking towards run away up a hill in the back of the field, and so does the one in the middle, but the pig stays put. I see Tom take a step over and look up the hill where the elk ran, and he starts walking faster, tromps through a little creek, hands me the sticks and points up the hill.
Apparently as I was focusing on the pig in the middle of the field Tom spotted this one, behind the trees/brush, even closer. The pig was walking up the hill and when it entered a clearing I pulled the trigger. It ran about 20 yards up the hill then rolled down the other side and landed dead right on a little dirt road. Made for an easy retrieval with Toms quad. It was a young fat boar, Tom estimated about 180-200lbs.
Tom held true to his reputation and skinned/gutted the pig in about 10 seconds, and like I said it had a lot of white fat on it. Tom said it must have been feeding on that grain for a while, but should make for good eating. He took up to his place to hand it in the walk-in overnight, and was even nice enough to meet me in San Ardo the next day so I could pick it up, I think he had some business to do there anyway, but it worked out for both us.
Nothing but praise for Tom though, the man definitley knows where the animals are, and has access too them. Like others have said on here, he is almost too efficient. 12 hours of driving(roundtrip) isn't bad for a 2 day hunt, but for a 2 hour hunt! Can't complain though, the freezer is soon to be full and valuable lessons learned.
I ended up taking the pig over to Creston Meats. They deliver down to San Diego, and I figure if Tom recommends them they must be good.
Pictres to come.
Pictures arent the greatest, all I had was my phone.
Last edited by DAQ80; 06-01-2012 at 09:10 PM.
Outstanding! Thanks for sharing your successful wild hog hunting adventure with Tom. Good story and the photos are great, super nice boar!.........tra
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great boar... outstanding
Congratulations on the hunt and the nice story with pictures. I have just given you your first official JHO "Thanks". And that is a nice size boar. I swear it looks like the AC boar that I wrote about that grinned and winked at me a couple of weeks ago! "I look through my scope and yup, the hog has a pronounced “razor back” of hair and tusks are evident. It was a big boar, an “AC” hog, named for a certain hunter from Vandenberg Air Force Base. It certainly resembled him. And then, I swear, the beast looked right at me, grinned and winked."
I "warned" you that Tom is efficient. I know he doesn't pre-scout the areas, it is just that after 30 years of doing this he is damn good and has leases on wonderful properties. I have tried to slow him down by hiding his binos, having the radiator in his pick-up overheat and making lots of noise but none of those statagems have worked... I hope your son had a great trip - he looks mighty small next to that hog.
Again, congratulations and have fun and enjoy all the meals and memories in the time to come.
Last edited by asaxon; 06-02-2012 at 01:39 AM.
So for those of us who never heard of Tom...what's his gig? Guided tag hunt? Canned hunt (nontag) ranch? What? Costs? URL? Nice shot placement, what was the distance on that? What'd ya use? Can Tom getcha "bow close" or is a rifle the only practical way?
Last edited by Where's Bruce?; 06-02-2012 at 06:57 AM.
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
The U.S. city with the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, Washington, D.C., has the highest murder rate at 24 per 100,000. The state with the most unrestrictive gun regulations, Vermont, has the lowest murder rate at 0.48 per 100,000.
Andy-Thanks, but your AC Hog is still out there, this guy didn't have any cutters yet. And my boy had great time, he'll be 10 next month.
Bruce- Tom Willoughby does guided tag hunts. Like Andy said he has access to a lot of really nice properties that he's been hunting for 30 years. I believe he guides for other animals as well, not just pig. Cost is $575.
I used a Remington SPS Tactical .308 and 150gr Hornady GMX bullet. Shot was from about 60 yards, that's the exit wound in the picture, took out his lungs. Not sure about the bow hunt, I have no doubt Tom can get you bow close, just not sure if he does bow hunts. You'll have to give him a call, he doesn't have a website. (831) 385-3003
He very rarely does Bow hunts. In his words "Too many wounded animals". He will do a bow hunt for a group of 4-6 but that is a special arrangement on a special ranch if I recall correctly. He does not do birds anymore (turkey, dove etc). He may do deer but if he does, it is not common. You'd have to ask him. All his hunts are guided ("two days") with your tags. Don't plan on spending two days getting one or two or more hogs. He is very "efficient" - I asked him once and it has been "years" since it took him two days to get a hog for a client - two hours is more like it. This is NOT canned as we have said, just a very knowledgable guide with great ranches to hunt on. The cost is $575 as noted and same for second hog (he has to pay rancher same/hog whether is it one or six hogs). No trophy fees. He (with his son and/or Jim) often takes groups of 4-6 rifle hunting and will tag them out in less than two days.
Good Job. I like the look on your son's face. He must of had a great time. Hope he's hooked for life on hunting.
Nice job on the pigs DAQ80
( Trying like hell to live the dream)
Hoyt carbon element 70#, 5 pin spot hogg, spot hogg wiseguy release, 340 grains FMJ, G5 montec 100 grains, ripcord rest
Great job DAQ80.... Nice looking porker you got there...$575.00 doesn't seem unreasonable...Not at all...Being a professional guild is tough work. Most people go to an attorney and pay 300 to 500 an hour and expect it.....$575 seams like a bargain for a guy who has done all the dirty tough leg work.....
Last edited by Farmerdoug; 06-02-2012 at 07:38 PM.
A Sunday school teacher asked, "Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark ?"
"No," replied Johnny. "How could he, with just two worms."
Farmerdoug- Thanks. I agree you can find some guides cheaper, but not much, and you can find them for a whole lot more. To each his own though.
Just wanted to give a review of my hunt and the guide I chose. I thought he did a great job and have no regrets, it sure beat sittin at home thinking about hunting.
Nice chootin DAQ80. That's some fine eating there.
To all, no matter how many times we ask people to hold their water about bagging on guides or paid hunts some jerk always has to rain on someone's parade, this one where a guy gets his first hog even. I removed Where's Bruce post that was hijacking this thread. Yes, we all know a guided hunt costs more money than some are willing to spend, we've heard it so many times before ad nauseum. How about just clicking on to another thread and not hijack these posts if they are too rich for your blood? Or do you folks even give a hoot you're crapping on these threads? Show a little respect for your fellow hunters and members here.
Let's get back on topic before we were so rudely interrupted again. The topic was DAQ80 first hog. Leave the rest of the paid guide nonsense out.
Jeff "Jesse" James - Owner of Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors
You can always tell who's in 2nd place by who's whining and crying the most. - Old hockey coach.
Dum spiramus tuebimur
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"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a brave and scarce man, hated and scorned. When the cause succeeds, however, the timid join him... for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." -Mark Twain
Nice job and thanks for the story!!
Congrats on the hog, very nice. Private land is the way to go :)
Congrats nice pig!
Congrats! I hunted with Tom way back when he charged $300, lol. $575 is a great price to hunt with Tom. As mentioned, I was done in less then 2 hours. Again, congrats!
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Congrats on the pig! My dad and I are going on the 23rd with Tom so now i cant wait!
Good luck, not that you'll need it!
i will be hunting with tom on the 29th hopefully bbq on the 4th!