While serving a year long deployment in Kabul, Afghanistan, a friend of mine, back home in California, informed me of an essay contest I might be interested in.The only real prerequisite was to be a Purple Heart recipient. The lucky winner would receive a new Remington model 700 in .308, and would have the opportunity to try it out on a guided hog hunt. He emailed the flyer to me, and I knew right away that it was something I should do. Not only was it a great prize, but it was a good way to kill a little “free time” during the deployment. We agreed that if one of us was lucky enough to win, that the other one would get to accompany the winner for the hog hunt.
A few weeks before we were due to return home, I was informed that I had won the essay contest. A little shocked,I replied to the email and verified that I had truly won, and that it wasn’t a fluke. After confirming that I was indeed the winner, all I could think about was getting home to see the new rifle and hitting the hills for some hunting.
The Pendleton Sportsman Club put me in touch with Neil Ray of Giant Sequoia Guide Service. After learning more about Giant Sequoia Guide Service and Neil Ray, I was thrilled at the opportunity to hunt with Neil. After a short phone conversation, Neil penciled me in for the weekend of July 26th. Despite being a novice bow hunter, I asked if he minded me trying to harvest a pig with my bow. I would resort to the new Remington .308 only if I wasn’t able to get within bow range. Neil agreed to the idea.
My buddy and I then began to get ready for our first California pig hunt.