Shooting some pigs
The second day of the LSR Hog Hunt, Phil and I went up on the cliff to shoot some pigs and he was not at all excited about shooting some “barnyard animals” as he termed it. He hade the set of aoudad horns he came for and was ready to go home. However, once we got up there and he saw that there was actually going to be some skill involved he got much more interested. He knew from shooting F-class at Quantico at 1000 yards that he could land a bullet pretty much anywhere he wished, so now all he needed was a few pigs and he could really have some fun. He rolled out his pad and scraped rocks away and got his bipods set so the gun was level and dialed in his drops for 400 yards. The morning went by with lots of pigs spotted but none would come out into the clearing where we could all simultaneously get a shot. We went back to the lodge for lunch and then returned in the afternoon. This time Chris M told the three of us who had not shot a pig yet to get set up for a shot at the far corner and any pigs that came out there we could shoot. The corner was 550 yards, and not so much of a downhill angle, so we had to readjust everything. I went and got me several large flat rocks and built me up a platform and covered it with my day pack and finally by re-laying the rocks several times, I managed to achieve a platform that the 18 pound 240 Wby would lay on and line up exactly into the corner.
The afternoon went on and on, but the pigs would not leave the cover of the hillside. You could hear them fighting and squealing up on the hillside. About a half hour before sundown, pigs showed up in the far corner including a cripple pig so we started getting ready to shoot and suddenly a litter of piglets came out of the trees from the other side of the hill and headed for the corn in the clearing. We held off on shooting at the corner pigs and waited and slowly more and more pigs came into the clearing. Chris came over and asked if we were ready to shoot and I suggested we wait five more minutes until the sun was behind the ridgeline and that would clear up the extreme glare in our scopes. In that five minutes, pigs just began piling out of the woods and soon we had nearly thirty pigs in the clearing and it was time to shoot.
Chris asked if everyone was ready and so Phil got lined up on a pig and Chris began the count to “three”. Phil’s pig moved off on the count of “two” so Phil had to quickly shift to a new target and as Chris said “fire”, Phil’s cross hairs settled on the rump of a spotted pig for a Texas heart shot. I had dialed back down from 550 yards to 400 yards and was trying to get two pigs lined up to get a “Twofer” but the pigs were moving around so much that when it was time to shoot all I had was a single medium black pig in the crosshairs.
Shots range out and pigs went everywhere. Phil’s pig was trying to crawl off on its front legs being as the 175 SMK had disabled all of the rear locomotion. Rimfire shot it again to make sure it didn’t crawl out of the clearing and into the bushes. With all of the black pigs running through my scope, I lost track of my pig and never saw where it went, except it obviously made it back into the bushes. I had not gone for a high shoulder shot but had gone for my normal double lung shot and that was a mistake. No dead pig in the clearing for me!
So, we were sitting there looking at the two pigs down in the clearing when pigs showed up in the corner at 550 yards. I spun up the scope dial and swung the barrel around and the crosshairs lined up on a very big pig. All of the stone mason work I had done laying the flat rocks for the gun rest was going to pay off big time. Another pig came walking into the corner and went past the big pig and then turn back and went behind him. Thus there were now two pigs lined up but were facing opposite directions. The 240 Wby with the 30 inch barrel gives the 115 Berger a very good launch and the Berger will penetrate a very long ways even at ranges past 800 yards. I felt very sure that at a measly 550 yards I could kill the front pig and break the hind quarters down on the back pig and then finish it. Lacking any experience with pigs I did not realize exactly how strong a pig was with just its front legs working.
I now had the crosshairs on the front pig who was facing left and the bullet was going to pass through him and hit the hind quarters of the back pig who was facing right. Finally Chris gave the command to fire and I broke the trigger. The front pig was DRT and just flopped over as the 115 Berger passed through him and the back pig was now broken down as planned and just needed a finishing shot. Therein was where things got interesting and because I shoot a mauser single shot action, I have to spend a little time off of the scope, carefully placing the next round so the rim is under the extractor or else I will get a jam. So when I got back on the scope there was some confusion as to where the pig was and I wound up shooting a bush which refused to fall over and die. I got to laughing and joking about killing the bush and after a short conversation with the spotter I figured out where the pig really was and launched a round and it is unclear where it landed but the pig continued to crawl toward the trees so I reloaded again and continued to laugh and make jokes and try to shoot at the same time. I got the crosshairs settled and was starting to squeeze when Rimfire shot. I saw a puff of white limestone dust out past the pig and believed he had missed, so I finished the squeeze and even as deaf as I am and with earmuffs on I heard the Berger impact hard. So the big sow finally fell on over, deader than dead, and there were no more pigs to shoot. Plus it was now dark. Fun was over!!!!!
Autopsy of body parts of the second pig showed my first bullet had not only passed through the first large hog but had broken the rear quarters of the sow and still exited that pig too. There was a small piece of the jacket found in the exit hole so there wasn’t much bullet left when it exited the second pig, but just enough. Rimfires’s LSR 300WSM with the 175 SMK had broken a rib going in and another rib exiting and then caused the puff of chalk dust I had seen. My last bullet had hit the neck right on the leading edge of the shoulder and apparently hit something pretty hard being as I found a piece of the lead core in the wound channel.
Trying to make a “reverse twofer” on hogs at 550 yards might not have been the most intelligent idea I have ever had, but it was some of the most fun I have had in a long time. I might have shot a little better too if I could have quit laughing.
The thing that made me happy was that Phil was happy with his aoudad and he really enjoyed the longer range pig shooting and was interested in going long range hunting again (but no more short range stuff). While I had a good time for the two or three minutes we were shooting pigs, I was mostly happy that Phil finally understood what it is that I like about long range hunting and wanted to learn more about it.
Phil's gun is the 308 40X that Dave King sold me for F-class and it seems to shoot animals just as well as paper.
Here is a picture of three pigs. The good looking guy is me and the other one is my son. The pig on the left is my 550 yard boar. The one in the middle is Phil’s 400 yard spotted pig finished by Rimfire and the one on the right was killed by Rimfire but it was handy so we included it in the picture. The big sow was at the cooler so I did not have a picture of her whole with the hide on, but I transported her and another of Rimfire’s pigs home in my truck to save him air freight expenses.
Some of the bullet holes in the back hog
Piece of jacket in the exit wound of the back hog