Hannahatchee Hog Hunt Results In WMA Piebald Buck

Reader Contributed | January 2, 2024

Austin Michel and his buddies were after wild hogs during a trip to Hannahatchee Creek WMA that resulted in Austin’s best buck to date.

By Austin Michel

My buddy Parker and I went down to Hannahatchee Creek WMA on the weekend of Christmas to hunt the feral hogs there. We figured that most hunters would be home during the holidays. Thankfully we were right.

Leaving early on Sunday the 24th, we got to Hannahatchee at around 9 a.m. Shortly after setting up camp, we scouted around. Going down between two ridges to a creek bed, we discovered a ton of pig sign and scat. Eventually the creek got too swampy to continue scouting around it. We doubled back onto the north ridge and took a little break. Turns out where we decided to break was one of the areas the hogs bedded down in. We ended up hearing a hog amongst the thickets, but couldn’t locate it. After scouting the thickets on the north ridge, we walked back to camp to regroup.

That evening, we went back down to the creek and sat on the south ridge by the pig sign in hopes of catching them coming to feed in the evening. Unfortunately, nothing showed. That evening we were joined by our friend Ben who would hunt with us the next morning. It rained all evening and was still lightly raining around 5 a.m. when we woke up. We trekked into our ridgeline where we split up. Ben went north to hunt the thicket, Parker stayed up on top of the northern ridge in the main thicket where we heard the hog previously, and I went down to the creek bed to hopefully find Parker’s driver’s license that he lost the night before. I posted up on a big oak tree with my back to the south and face to the north.

Fighting off a cold, I had been hacking and coughing all morning waiting on daylight. Around 9 a.m., I was struck with another big round of coughing. Not even 30 seconds later, I heard something big walking down the hillside off to my right. As he came into view, I realized it was the biggest buck I’ve seen in person to date. He was strutting through without a care in the world. My heart started pounding of course. Trying to take aim with my 30-06, my rain poncho snagged on a small sapling next to me. I ripped it free and put my crosshairs on the buck. Quartering away from me, I knew he wanted to get back to bed on the north ridge where Parker was at more than likely. He crossed behind some smaller oak trees, and when he stepped out from behind them, I punched the ticket. The buck dropped right where he stood and didn’t move a muscle. Thankfully I had gotten him right through the lungs and he went down without a fuss.

I texted my buddies, including another friend Matt who had showed up that morning to hunt, as well, and told them I had a big buck down. Parker walked down off his spot on the northern ridge to come help me at the creek bed while everyone else continued their hunt for pigs. Parker and I managed to drag him out to a clearing under the power lines. We hiked out to go grab my backpack specifically for carrying game out. Thankfully, Parker managed to find his driver’s license that had been snagged out of his pocket by some thick brush on the way back to the truck. Once we got my backpack, it was pretty straightforward of quartering him on the ground. Thankfully, Parker helped me out big time by hoofing the quartered buck out of the steep inclined terrain in the backpack.

Hannahatchee Creek is a 5,095-acre WMA located in Stewart County southeast of Columbus.

All in all, it was the biggest buck I’ve ever had the opportunity to hunt. I couldn’t believe he waltzed on by when I wasn’t even originally out there for deer. More than anything, I think it was time and opportunity rather than my own skill that we crossed paths. I didn’t realize it at the time, but seeing a piebald buck turned out to be a really rare experience I’m glad I could share in with good friends and a great spot to hunt.


Hannahatchee Creek WMA Best Bucks Of All-Time

1155 6/8 Will Matchett2016StewartGunView 
2138 6/8 Robert Gossett2007StewartGunView 
3130 4/8 Will Matchett2011StewartGun
4117 2/8 Greg Barnette2011StewartGun

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