I was already setup before dark hoping to get in some close range shotgun work, but I heard the hogs circle wide to get a drink from the pivot before coming in to eat, which would have left me waiting indefinitely. A quick hike back to the truck and I switched to the night rifle. Before I could go after them, a good boar came into view. He kept looking back and forth between the bait and the direction of the pivot, finally deciding to join the others. I could easily have taken him right there, but he cut a path in my direction, so I waited and watched him get closer and closer. This was going to be interesting. He must have known something was wrong because he staged for several seconds behind some brush. When he finally came out it was in a trot. No matter, he was so close his head filled the scope. This was the best shot opportunity I was going to get, so I took him on the hoof. Distance is misleading looking through night vision, and though I knew he was close, I was still a little surprised when I only took twenty five steps to reach him.
After the shot, I was sure the other hogs were making tracks. Still, I doubled back to the field's edge to check in the cotton. No hogs, so I prepared to drag the dead one out and to my surprise, one was at the bait now. I crept back down the trail, watching him eat nervously. A gust of wind spooked him briefly, but he came back. By then I was 92 yards out and was able to make a clean shot on him.
not sure if anyone else has noticed, but for a bunch of hog hunters on a public forum, you guys don't say much... oh well, i'll keep jabbering for a while longer.
every once in a great while conditions come together and set the perfect stage for a "ground and pound". the wind was cool and easy and surly must have had a calming effect on the hogs. at 2:00am the moon was high and bright at our backs. it probably hurt their eyes to look our direction, which afforded us an additional layer of stealth in our stalk. and the field… did I mention they were in peanuts? everything from their kneecaps up was totally exposed. yes, this is the kind of killing that dreams are made of.
we halted our approach at about 100 yards out and decided to wait since they were making their way in our general direction, albeit in random fashion. at 75 yards out the intensity was more than we could bear; two crouching tigers in tall grass, frozen while the gazelle grazed within striking distance, muscles taught but in total control, only slightly twitching on occasion.
on cue, we let the beast out with a deafening roar, and the field erupted. bullets flew and bodies tumbled. there weren't the usual squeals this time. just pop, thwump and the muffled sounds of bodies hitting the dirt. they must have felt like they had on leg irons and were running through quicksand. some of the sight pictures seemed like they were in slow motion to me too. it's easy to look like a good shot when the targets are so big.
I get asked this a lot, so forgive me if I'm repeating myself from another post elsewhere.
No one is eating the pigs. I leave them for yotes and scavengers unless the landowner wants them drug off. For that, I am often called unsporting or unethical. I know you're not suggesting this, but there are those who would. Fortunately I'm well past worrying about what I'm called. I'm perfectly fine being labeled a senseless killer by those who need to brand it. For reasons I can't explain, I just really like it… A LOT!!!
Some folks say the crop damage is negligible. I disagree, but it doesn't matter what I think. The farmers are the ones who know the impact on their checkbooks, and they want them dead. If you want to hunt off the good graces of landowners, you follow their rules. Every minute I spend messing with a dead hog is a minute I waste not killing another one. Besides, no one wants me dropping off a shot up pig on their lawn at 5am after it's been dead all night.
Depending on what the hogs are eating, they would taste fine. When you add the trouble of skinning/gutting or quartering and packing in ice, a spiral honey ham from United begins to sound a lot better.
I'm shooting a DPMS AR10 308. I've noticed many shooters have big egos wrapped around their guns. I just want it to work… hell my life may depend on it (and it has at times!). I like shooting suppressed, but the suppressor affects how the gas system operates, so I've made some functional modifications and some just to suit my liking. I'm happy with it, but if I were looking today, I'd put a little research into something offering a side charging handle and gas piston before deciding.
My AR has a YHM Phantom 7.62 can. It's heavy but was relatively inexpensive at the time and had a solid reputation. I don't recall if it was full auto rated, but I remember reading many reviews indicating it was built like a tank. While I don't shoot full auto, I have dumped a couple of magazines fairly quickly into herds of hogs and the can will definitely get hot, so the more durable the better.
I don't recall the stats anymore, so I could be way off on this, but I think my 18" AR has a muzzle blast of close to 170db. If I recall, most suppressors in this class, at least when I got it several years ago, were suppressing about 27db to 30db, which would put my suppressed blast near the 140db range (don't quote me on this). My ears have been shot out since I was very young, so they are overly sensitive to gunfire now. I still wear ear protection with everything I shoot, suppressed or not. For what it's worth, the noise doesn't bother most of my friends with normal hearing.
If anyone else is shooting pigs, I'd love to see pics and hear about how they were shot. Dig up old pics if you have to!