By: Tom Claycomb
I don’t claim to be a world-renowned hog hunter, but I have hunted them a few times in various states using various methods. Last year I met the Slow Glow crew, and they’ve invented a unique hunting method that is the best I have ever seen. The name “Slow Glow” is for good reason.
Last winter, Bill Olson, the publisher of Texas Outdoor Journal, asked me if I wanted to go on a Texas hog hunt with Slow Glow. We were going to be hunting with Murray Choate, the owner and designer of Slow Glow, and his marketing genius son, Clint (Clint and his group actually had an ad during the Super Bowl last year).
I love discovering new items a small-town guy invented. In this case, this particular item has revolutionized hog hunting. Let me explain why I say this: the SG utilizes motion-detecting LED lights. They mount it to a metal fence post and plant it in a bucket of concrete.
They then throw corn out in front of the light setup to attract the hogs. When the hogs come in, the lights start slowly illuminating up to 60 percent of capacity over a five-minute period. The hogs are so busy eating they don’t even notice that they are in broad daylight.
So, here’s how it plays out. Let’s say we’re on a ranch and have five stations set out. We’d go check on them periodically to see if the light was illuminated, which would mean we had hogs….or coons, deer, a cow, etc. If nothing was present it’s only glowing at 5 percent.
The system has a remote control, so when you sneak in, you can turn the light up to 100 percent. The first time I hunted with the Slow Glow guys, we saw that the station was on. Clint said he wanted to shoot the first hog with his bow.
On every stalk, Clint always has a fast, pre-game meeting. He said, “Here’s the deal. We’ll go in single file. Tom, you’ll be filming. We’ll walk up within 10-15 feet. As long as we stay behind the light, they can’t see us.”
Cling said if we didn’t make any noise, and they didn’t wind us, he’d walked right up to them. In the past, Clint has had little pigs bumping into him. I’ve hunted a few hogs and couldn’t believe we were going to walk right up to a whole sounder of hogs.
We hiked down to a little rise that was between us and the bait station. We got in a single file and slowly stalked in. Unbelievable, this crazy plan was actually going to work! Fading in and out of the light were I don’t know how many hogs. 12? 15? 18? There was one big boar right in front of us. Little piglets would run under his legs and around him trying to grab a kernel of corn. He’d root them hard, and they’d flip out of sight squealing bloody murder and then run back in for another bite.
We finally stopped at something like 11-15 feet. It was like being invisible. I was scared to breathe we were so close. Clint drew back his bow and released the arrow.
Ok guys, I was all in on this deal. This was the most amazing way to hog hunt I’ve ever heard of. But it gets better. Another twist is to set up the light on a small pothole or pond. They throw a little corn on the side of the water, but 80 percent of it they throw in the water.
For this stalk, Clint again huddled us up and said, “Ok, here’s the game plan, boys. We’ll sneak up, and they’ll be standing in the water scooping up mouthfuls of mud and water. They’ll pull their heads up, let the mud and water run out of the sides of their mouth, and they chew the corn.”
Murray then said, “We call it snorkeling. If you’ve ever heard a huge school of carp sucking the top of the water and splashing around, that is exactly what it sounds like. They’ll be making so much noise that they won’t be as likely to hear us stalking in, but we still have to play the wind.”
We snuck up the tank dam, and even from the other side you could hear them snorkeling and splashing, sounding like 100-lb. carp wallowing around. What a rush! Probably the most exciting way to hog hunt that you can imagine.
And yes, you can sit in a blind and hunt hogs behind a Slow Glow. On one hunt, I was testing a Benjamin Airbow, and Clint and I set up across a small tank. I hit one and knocked it off his feet, and he rolled into the pond.
Just last week we had the perfect snorkeling scenario. We snuck up, and a herd was on the bait snorkeling. Clint and John, with Roxor, stalked up less than 25 yards. I was using a Caracal .300 Blackout with Nosler 125 gr. Accubone Ballistic Tip ammo with a Riton Optics 2-7x scope for close-range shooting.
At the shot, hogs blew everywhere. Some of the smaller ones even came back for more action. The huge sow I hit blew through the slough up the little rise in the dark plowing straight at us going 40 mph. It gets exciting in the dark to have a 175-lb. sow coming at 40 mph and finally veering off at about 11-14 ft. My new Puma SGB Skinner got a workout last week.
So, if you want an exciting hog hunt, grab a Slow Glow. But watch out! there are no Slow Glow addiction recovery centers as of yet.
Tom Claycomb III is a product tester for outdoor manufacturers, hunter, and outdoor writer, writing from Idaho.