Stone cold at Stone Creek

For those of us that spend winter days outside, there are several descriptions we use for bitterly cold conditions.

Some say “frigid.” Others may say “arctic” and still others may use the term “unbearable.”

But when we stepped out of the lodge in south-central Missouri on that late January morning, the only thing that came to my mind was that it was “stone cold.” The 7 degrees was being pushed around by 20 mile-an-hour winds. That is stone cold.

This black powder gear is proven to be successful when hunting big pigs.

Why would three relatively intelligent men choose to leave a warm fireplace and a cozy lodge to walk out into those conditions? We were on a mission.

My new cameraman, Jason Waters, and I had traveled to southern Missouri to hunt with Justin Hoffman. Hoffman owns and operates Stone Creek Hunting Ranch ( Our mission was two-fold: we were going to try to call in a wild boar with a new CASS CREEK BOAR CALL and also film the hunt for Justin. We had a great plan, but had not counted on the harsh conditions.

Justin had our hunt planned. Stone Creek Ranch is well over 500 acres, but has more than its share of wild hogs. We were going to move from ridge to ridge, spotting with binoculars.

Justin usually uses the tried-and-true hunting method of spot-and-stalk on this property. Today would be a bit different because of the calling aspect of this hunt.

We glassed for about 2 hours before we spotted the boar I wanted. “He’s a brute,” Justin said, as we watched the boar from a great distance.¬†

“I hope you can get him in,” he continued. “We’ve never killed one that big here,” he ended.

Now the work started.

If you are not familiar with the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri and plan to hunt there, bring your best boots and get in shape. It is a good thing this place has hogs because it is way too rough to grow any crops.

We finally got close to the location where we first saw the big boar. Justin was working the call so that Jason could film and I could shoot. The CASS CREEK WILD BOAR CALL makes five different sounds, including a feeding frenzy, contented feeding, social grunts, fighting boars and feeding piglets. Since this hog was so big we decided to try the fighting boar call.

Within seconds of Justin turning on the electronic (battery operated) call, hogs were coming from all directions. We must have seen 8 to 10 hogs responding to the sounds of the call.

But the one I wanted was not among them.

“We need to get higher up this mountain,” Justin said.

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