I completely understand about the "hit" deal. We strive for the best shots we can get no matter what the target, especially on a big critter in tight cover. I was raised to make the first shot count, but in the real world it doesn't always work out that way.
We have been working on my friends 300 RUM for a while now when conditions and time allow. It has been a great learning experience for the both of us. I guess the best thing is learning to dope the wind better as most of the time it is rarely less than 6-8 mph and closer to 10-15, and generally coming directly across our range. WIth 800 cres of flat cotton field to shoot across, the tree line 1 3/4 miles across the other side doesn't block the breeze to well. LOL
My friend has decided to pull the Sendero down for some minor work in hopes of improving the groups a little. As it stands now we are getting just under 3" at 500 using the 210gr VLD's and also have some of the 210gr Wildcat's to try out once the work on it is done. By that time we might just have a new toy out there as well, and then those big black targets which come out on the other end of the pastures will have one more thing to worry about. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
As for reports, well we hit the woods every time we get up there as a matter of necessity to check on the cows and fences. The density of most of it generally allows us to surprise the hogs and most of our hunting/shooting is oppurtunity rather than planned hunting. However, when the work is done and if we know where they have been hanging out in abundance we will set up a still hunt or find a nice perch and wait them out. IF you have never experienced it, there is always some major tension when it is getting dark and your in cover that only allows limited visability. Thats when the growling, grunting, and squeeling of the big hogs will stand the hair on your neck up. If you have ever been closely surrounded by coyotes in the pitch dark and had them fire up on you, then it is similar only the hogs you know full well can put a major hurting on ya.
Here is one story from several year ago about how close it can come to not working out for the hunter.
We hit the woods early on New Years day after seeing a really nice buck that morning. My friends wife had been looking for a trophy and this particular 10 point had just what she was looking for. The Front Woods as they are called are about 100 or so acres of some thick and some open terrain. By open I mean you can actually get a shot through the woods out to about 100yds. Plan was for them to set up on the norther end and I was to head in from the south east, and make a drive through towards them. THey had busted up a huge pack of hogs that morning and hopes were that I would come across them and the resulting shots would push the buck in their direction. WEll I had covered most of the acreage in a matter of an hour or so not concerned about the noise as it was definately moving deer in the direction they needed to head. The sun was dropping fast when I heard the unmistakable sounds of big hogs rising up for the evening feed. THey always seem pretty grumpy and not to tolerant of the smaller ones at this time. I had taken my Thompson Contender in 7x30 waters along in hopes of putting something on the ground with it. I also was carring my 25/06 as well.
As the sounds of grump hogs got louder, I decided to set up in a small clearing some 50 or so yards from where they were bedded. It only took a few minutes before I saw what appeard to be a huge sow working through the underbrush. I sat down and rested the Thompson across my knees and waited. The hog move into a small oening at about 40 yds, and I released the shot. At the recoil, I temporarily lost sight of the hog, and as I recovered, I could see this huge black freight train barreling down on me. Well, hogs aren't slow my any definaition, especially when hurt and mad. This one had one thing in mind and that was doing serious bodily harm to me. Being the Thompson was a single shot, I no choice but to retrite , problem was there was really nowhere to go. I had propped my 25/06 up against a tree some 5-10 yds behind me and I was crab crawling to it as fast as I could. As I got to it, the hog got to me and I rolled left, and shot in the same motion. Things were close enough that I got spatter on my boot at the shot. The big boar made about 10 yds past me and hung a u-turn to come back again. At this point I was on my feet and had another round chambered, he took a few steps and fell over. The rush which insued was similar to almost being hit by an 18 wheeler or a train without knowing they were coming. The boar we estimated at over 400# based on a couple others we had taken in the high 300's which weren't even close to this one. HAd it not been such a ranking stinking one I would have considered a shoulder mount. But I knew the wife would never stand for that smell in the house. LOL
Here is a pic we took of it about an hour after the hunt. I was still shook up in thinking how quickly things could have been the other way around.
THe load I was shooting in the Thompson was a 140gr Nosler BT sitting on top of 34.5 grs of RL-15 with a velocity of 2350fps. Initial testing had shown it had pleanty of power to dump a deer out to 200 yds, however this big sucker sucked it up like it was nothing. The area on the onside shoulder is the result of the exit from the 115gr PArtition that I made the second shot with.