Your loyal correspondent is going hog hunting. And while Nick might think he’s the newest pig slayer in town, I’m about to check off a big bullet point (pun intended) on my bucket list. I’m headed to Georgia to go hunt with the guys at JagerPro and I’m beyond pumped. I’ve been of fan of their work for years and made it a goal to go hunting with them before I was too old to do it or they killed every pig in Georgia. With 1058 pigs taken down last year, I sure am glad I’m doing it now because these guys mean business. So what makes the JagerPro model so unique? Well, the $13,500 night vision scopes are a start . . .
And the combined 110 years of military training and experience certainly helps, too. I had big plans to write a thorough preview of this trip before my contact Rod Pinkston wrote it for me. Here’s Rod’s pitch on why JagerPro is the only place you need to be booking a hunting trip.
Our reputation has generated a large network of farmers with over 150,000 acres of farms servicing five counties. 2012 is our seventh season and we have carefully chosen the best 100 nights of the year based on past success. Our hunters are successful because we concentrate our efforts only during strategic times of the year when hogs are creating the most crop damage.
We focus our hunt dates around winter food sources, spring planting and fall harvest seasons outside the full moon. Farmers call us each morning with new reports of overnight crop damage. We have earned a 100% success rate on our two-night hunts during the past four years. Our 2011 nightly average was 5.89 hogs per guide.
We harvest an equal number of hogs during the SEP/OCT fall harvest dates as during MAR and MAY spring planting season. The only difference is our fall hunt dates tend to be warmer with more insects than spring dates. Feral hogs move their food source from harvested corn fields in late AUG into standing peanut fields. The peanut vegetation is short enough to scan, spot and stalk effectively using our thermal spotting scopes.
We stop hunting each year in mid-October when all the peanuts have been harvested. We don’t hunt hogs at night from 15 OCT-15 JAN during the Georgia deer gun season. First, the hogs are in oak bottoms eating acorns instead of feeding in the open fields. This renders $250,000 worth of thermal technology useless when you can only see 100 yards in the woods. Second, the GA deer (gun season) creates too many problems with DNR law enforcement who are trying to catch deer poachers at night. Third, it creates too many problems for deer hunters who pay Georgia farmers for deer leases.
We have two full-time guides who take three hunters each for a maximum of nine hunters per night. Our guides will hunt two completely different locations for optimum shooting success and safety. The open hunt dates are on our website calendar www.jagerpro.com/bookhunt.aspx. We never hunt more than three people together. Dates on both calendars must be available if you bring four or more hunters as we must use both guides. You may make reservations by clicking on the selected “green” days and entering your personal information or calling our office.
When I pushed Rod earlier on the ethics of hunting in this fashion, his response was clear and succinct.
“A hog is not a game animal. It is a pest and no different than a rat, termite or cockroach. JAGER PRO is performing a hog control service and not hunting for sport. Our guest hunters are expected to kill every hog we see; even the juveniles. For example, if you have a termite infestation in your house, you want a pest control agent to kill all pregnant termites and baby termites before they destroy your biggest investment; your home. Georgia farmers expect us to kill every hog in his field before they destroy his biggest investment; his crops.”
And on his eventual goal with the JagerPro enterprise?
“My ultimate dream is to put a bullet in the last remaining feral hog in the United States.”
These guys mean business and I’m thrilled that they’ve given me the opportunity to tag along with them. Expect a full report later next week after my hunt concludes on Wednesday morning. And for those who worry about all that pork going to waste, rest easy knowing that all of the meat that hunters can’t take with them gets donated to local families and churches. Getting rid of an invasive species while helping feed local families in need all while playing with super cool gun related gadgets? Yeah, there’s a reason this is on my bucket list.