Another question I'm often asked when people are considering hunting with us at Honey Brake is, “What can we do if we have taken our limit of ducks before 9 or 10?” Every morning all of our hunters have breakfast sandwiches in the blind. Then when the hunt is over, and the hunters come back to the lodge, the guides take the birds to have them processed and cleaned. Next you can come in, take a shower and grab a nap if you’re interested. Then we’ll have a big lunch around noon. About 2 p.m., the interested guests who want to can shoot sporting clays; or, you can do an upgrade and hunt wild hogs; or, you can go fishing in Larto Lake. Our lodge is on beautiful Larto Lake, part of the Larto-Saline Complex. Lake Larto is rated the number-5 crappie lake in the nation, and it homes plenty of big, beautiful, speckled-side crappie. We do bass trips, but most of the time, our guests want to fish with one or more of their buddies. So, although bass fishing is available, most of our guests prefer to crappie fish. Our four sporting clay courses have 15 stands, and a Duck Flush stand (a clay-target shooting game).
Hog hunting has become so popular that we book hog-hunting trips about a year in advance. The hogs are so numerous down here that although we bait them, trap them and hunt them, we never seem to run out of hogs or ever have fewer hogs than we've had in the past. The most productive way to get a hog after a duck hunt is to go on a guided hunt with dogs. We’ll usually take two or three dogs that will pick up the hog’s scent, trail him and bay him. Then we send in the catch dogs to catch the hog. We catch some hogs that are 20 to 40 pounds all the way up to 350 pounds. The biggest hog we've ever caught on our place weighed 496 pounds, but the average hog we catch weighs about 80 - 200 pounds.
After we catch a wild hog, we consider a hog kind of like ice cream. We eat all we can, and we give away the rest. If we have a guest who wants to take a hog home with him, we have a processor down the road from our lodge. The processor will process the hog, freeze the meat and ship it home for the hunter, if that is what he chooses. We caught 396 hogs off Honey Brake Lodge last year. So, a lot of pork has been given to numbers of families around the farm. The same is true of crappie fishing. The guides who guide the crappie trips will process the crappie, package them and put them in the freezer to be transported home, if that’s what you want.