I was out hog stalking all night.
I posted this story on snipercountry also. again it ain't particularly long range, but its interesting all the same.
i had a lucky night last night.
I saw 3 deer as soon as i had parked the jeep, The forest was a strange silvery colour, off white, hazy, eery. The covering of freshly fallen snow mixed with the ambient light reflecting back off the low cloud over the airport and the moonlight shining down where the bank of cloud ended made for a strange sense of daylight, kind of like i imagine it is in the high north when it doesn't get fully light in the winter.
I let the deer wander off and got out of the jeep, slung the rifle and started my stalk. I decided to work my way back to the meadow that the stream runs through then zig zag my way up wind on game trails and forest tracks.
I slowly made my way through the trees and brush, the fresh snow muffling my steps. Making it all the way to my tree stand at the meadow with the larch trees without seeing any game. I sat the rifle on the extended bipod and knelt at the base of the tree stand. A roe deer appeared about 20 yards to my right but didn't stay long, The wind tends to circle in that corner of the meadow, of course i found that out after i had already built the tree stand, just as well i built it high enough. The deer must have winded me. It didn't matter as i was loaded for boar.
Another 3 deer came slowly browsing across from the far side of the meadow, a buck, a doe and a kid, they made for my salt lick, and appeared to be enjoying it.
I could smell fox, the pungent odour of a dog fox is unmistakeable. Watching the deer untill the wandered back to where they came from, i gut up and stalked across the meadow, the fox scent told me i was following his tracks and in the shorter grass on the game trail i could make out footings in the snow.
I decided i would be as well to follow the fox, his smell would mask my own and i might just catch him up. I followed the scent and the tracks all the way back to my jeep, they made a semi circle around the vehicle at about 6 feet distance. I wondered if my dog, who was sat in the car, had known there was a fox out side, i bet she was wanting at it. The fox tracks followed the forest track and them went of to the left up a smaller track, i stayed on his tail, he was hunting in to the wind and that just suited me. The ground begins to undulale slightly here and he was following the highest part, probably looking down onto the lower lying gaps between the trees hoping to catch a hare unawares.
There was a noise to my front left and a fox darted behind some bushes maybe 50 yards in front of me. i edged forward slowly. I didn't think the fox had seen me, he appeared to be chasing something. I got into a possition where i thought i would be able to shoot at the fox with a safe back stop when he reappeared, i made a squeeking noise, like a caught rabbit. There was immediately a noise of scampering paws to my right, damn a fox, but a vixen. Eh? and then i saw that there where two of them and remembered that it is the back end of the fox rut right now. They where hunting whilst courting. The vixen stood watching me, not sure what i was, she must have figured i was a bush as she hopped of to join her mate without and signs of concern.
I continued to play hide and seek with the foxes for about another 100 yards, never getting the chance of a clear or safe shot. Finaly they figured me out and made off. I got back to the job of pig stalking. I hadn't gone 20 yards when i saw the dark shape of what could only be a wild boar. As usual in an impossible possition for a safe back stop. Then i saw another and another. 3 in total, I knew these 3 pigs, there used to be 4 in this group untill they let their guard down and i got one. now there where 3 little piggies left. Not that they where all that little anymore. I couldn't get a safe shot at the pig i'd selected, the smallest of the 3 and a sow, so i spent about an hour trying to manouver around them as they rooted thier way through the woods. I saw another group of pigs in the distance cross a track, out in force tonight i thought. Finaly i got into a decent possition, i'd cut the pigs of at a tight thicket near a bomb crater, they would have to bottle kneck between the thicket and the crater to carry on thier route of march, and when they did i would get my oppertunity.
My luck was in. As the pigs filed through the selected spot i picked out the one i wanted, waited untill she was slightly out in front and shot her.
She dropped at the shot. To my amazement so did the next pig, which was the largest of the 3, but had been slightly further and about a yard behind when i had shot.
The larger pig was up in a split second, the 3rd had dissapeared. This one was obviously wounded, i couldn't figure out how or where, but she was mad and mean and still fighting fit. she stood there a second but i could only see the snout and the tail as there was a tree between us. Then with a squeeling roar she charged me, I had immages of the film " razor back" flash through my head. Up came the rifle, i swung and instinctively pointed the rifle at the charging pig, no time to use the scope. luckily when i fired she dropped and i had stopped the charge, she meant business and she still wasn't dead, mustering all her aggression and adrenalin for one final stand she stood again. I was about to shoot her once more when she just fell over side ways.
I let out a sigh of relief and pretended not to notice the slight wobble in my knees. It was then that the hard work of recovering both pigs began. By the time i had got them both hung in the cooler back at the Forsthaus it was 04.30 and i was beat. Checking the pigs to see where i had shot them, the smaller one had a broken shoulder on entry and due to the angle the bullet appeared to have just chipped the other side shoulder, which is probably what caused it to exit at an odd angle, the bullet then broke the bottom jaw (plain to see on the photo) of the second pig. What an exciting nights pig stalking though, i can hardly wait to go out again tonight and the 9.3x62 seems to be keeping up its run of doubles, thats the fourth in a row so far.