Last day of dove season...and a feral hog tale

bisleybisley Senior MemberPosts: 9,999 Senior Member
I went out west 500 miles with the old 'outlaws' I bird hunt with, last weekend. We went to our super-secret honey hole that never lets us down, but honestly weren't really expecting much. The weather was too cold, we had 3" of snow the first morning, and overcast skies until the last evening. We worked hard in the mesquite brush and managed to get about 60 birds the first two days, between seven of us. We looked hard for blue quail, but found none of them, anywhere.

On the last day, the sun popped out and it warmed into the low '50's, with a light breeze, and we were a little more optimistic about Saturday evening. Still, after riding around all day looking at waterholes, we weren't seeing any birds. Sat. evening, we half-heartedly set up our decoys and Mojos at the spot that had always produced the best results, but we were just going through the motions, expecting little. About 4:30, we started seeing a single here and there, and as time went on, small groups, and then larger groups. These were mourning doves and white-wings, and a lot of ringnecks that don't count against your bag limit. By about 5:00, they started boiling in, and we had non-stop action for about the last 45 minutes of legal shooting time, with everyone getting their limits. It was good enough to put a smile on everyone's face, and make us feel like the trip was worthwhile.

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While we were counting birds and getting ready to start cleaning them, two hogs just walked up to the little slough created by the leaky windmill tank and started drinking, about 75 yards away. One of the old farts drug out a .222 rifle and shot at one, apparently missing him. They were confused, and still milling around nearby, so I got out my AR and started trying to get a shot lined up between the bushes. The only shot I had was a neck shot at about 80 yards, quartering away. There were mesquite bushes between us, and with the low light conditions, I couldn't be sure that my line of sight was clear. But, the rancher, who had driven up to collect his bird-hunting fee, was hollering at me to shoot anyway, so I squeezed off the best shot I could get, and the hog jumped and squealed, but ran off.

I knew I was on him, when I fired, if the shot didn't get deflected, so I waited a few minutes, then put up the AR and dug the XD45 Compact out of my travel bag and walked into the brush to look for blood. The light was too bad, by this time, to use a scoped rifle at close range. I found enough blood to get me headed down a cow trail and I followed it till I caught a glimpse of one of the hogs at about 50 yards out. I 'galloped' up on him as fast as my skinny old legs could go in the deep sand, and was able to take one well aimed shot at his chest area, from about 30 yards. He grunted, but ran a little further into the brush. I kept trying to ease up closer, but he kept about 30-35 yards ahead of me.

Just as he was about to escape into the thick stuff where I didn't want to go, I was able to set up well and got a good enough sight picture on him to take a well-aimed shot at his head. He stopped cold, and sat down on his haunches and then fell over, but was still very much alive, so I put a .45 behind his ear, at point blank range, and that switched him off.

Upon further inspection, I determined that this was the hog the first guy shot at, because he was gut-shot down low with a small bullet that did not expand, probably one of the 30 year old .222's. There was no way it could have been my shot, because of the angle. So the hog I shot at with the AR got away. It was way too dark, by this time, to pursue him through the thick sticker bushes, and we had a big pile of doves to clean, so I had to let him go.

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I'm not at all proud of how the unplanned hog hunt turned out. I normally don't take 'bad shots' with a rifle, and had I been alone and had a bit more light, I would have worked myself into a better position and tried to stick one in his ear. Had I been expecting hogs, I would have brought the 10mm and the 7mm-08 AR. But, it just didn't work out that way. I regret not making clean kills, but things just don't always go the way you want.

Replies

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,032 Senior Member
    Either way it was a good hunt.
    I have a need for speed
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,333 Senior Member
    Well if you can't take a pig with a clean quick kill then just apologize to him later but shoot it anyway! We have strict rules at our place, all pigs are shot on sight period.

    Nice work on the doves too!
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    This is but another reason they call it hunting. Seldom does it all work out exactly like we want. But you got game and you did it legally and ethically. The reason I stress ethically is because you stayed on that hog til you had him bagged. Good show and great hunt. Damn I love dove.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    timc wrote: »
    Well if you can't take a pig with a clean quick kill then just apologize to him later but shoot it anyway! We have strict rules at our place, all pigs are shot on sight period.

    Nice work on the doves too!

    Exactly!!! I shot at a hog Saturday that if it had been a deer I wouldn't have taken the shot. But our place is just like yours and most ethical people's. All hogs are shot at on sight, whether we think we can hit him or not.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Hogs are a win win for me. No way I can screw up and do it illegal unless I took a dangerous shot or one too close to a public road OR Be guilty of poaching, and that ain't gonna happen. Yes, even hog hunting I do have my limits. One reason they are a win win is because for one thing they're really better to eat, in my opinion, than most deer. Another reason is they need killing. And even if we all do our part to illiminate them we won't. The best we can hope for is keeping their numbers down to a reasonable level. For a long time, I wouldn't shoot big boars because some I've tried to eat, sucked so bad they were inedible. But I've recently discovered that's not true in every case. So I shoot em anyway. If the meat smells too bad I can leave it for the Buzzards and coyotes. I'm now a confirmed dyed in the wool hog hunter. It's every bit as great a sport as deer. And i look at it as a bonus.

    Now what I'm wanting to do is kill me a big ol Hogzilla Boar, you know, one with tusk 3-5+ inches long, and have it mounted. That is just too cool.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    I would have liked to butcher this one, but it just wasn't practical. He was probably a little over a hundred pounds and in pretty good shape from eating the feed and syrup put out for the cows.
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I would have liked to butcher this one, but it just wasn't practical. He was probably a little over a hundred pounds and in pretty good shape from eating the feed and syrup put out for the cows.

    Did you give it away?
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    Yeah, the rancher did, to one of his hands.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,084 Senior Member
    Snake, if you can get within 75-100 yards of your feeder, patched round balls from smokepoles kill hogs, too! I've got some low-light accuracy tricks to share with you if you're interested.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
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