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When my last wild hog hunt turned very dangerous

Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior MemberJ&D Ranch - North Central TXPosts: 2,555 Senior Member
So gang ever have one of those moments where you could push the undo button or slap yourself in the back of the head and say "I could have had a V8"!

Well here's mine. I was hunting out at the ranch in Santo TX a few weeks ago. I had killed a nice 9-point on my evening hunt. I decided around 11:00 PM to go for a night hog hunt. Took off on my 4-wheeler and 10 minutes later was parked and put a round into my .243 win Model 70 featherweight with 4.5 – 14 x32MM Burris short mag scope. On top of my scope I have a green laser genetics spot light. With my scope dialed all the way down to 4.5 I started down the dirt road. It was in the mid 30’s and dead calm outside and I mean calm. I had traveled about 250 yards and crossed the deep ravine/dried creek on my way to the stand. I came up the up other side of the ravine and could hear lots of animals walking and milling around just inside the wood line. I shined my laser to see if I could see anything. It’s very dense with briars and brush and the green laser light reflected off of everything right back into my eyes. I even tried my surefire flashlight with red lense and still couldn't see anything.

I traveled another 50 yards or so and whatever was in the woods was still paralleling me. I couldn’t tell if they were hogs or cows. I walked ahead for another 25 - 30 yards and I found an animal trail leading into the woods and quietly walked in. I shined the laser a couple of times but it was still too thick to see. I was in the woods about 40 yards or so from the dirt road and finally found a spot where I could shine the light between trees for about 30 yards or so. I was standing next to a small 4” diameter tree and stood quietly in the pitch dark for a 3 or 4 minutes listening the animals moving around and headed my way. It didn’t take long until I was completely surrounded by the animals and some were just mere yards away.

I flipped the laser on as I heard something walking very close to me and what should have been almost right in front of me. With the laser on I saw nothing. Finally I caught movement, I had a hog snout sticking out from behind a tree just 10’ (yes feet) away just to my left. I moved the laser to the right off of the hog and heard him take another couple steps. I moved the laser back and it was a very large white and black spotted hog standing broad side just 10' away. I've got to say that's the closest I've ever gotten to a live wild hog while standing on the same ground. I lifted my rifle but at 10’ the hog was just a blurrish blob in my 4.5 power scope. I lowered my rifle to make sure I was aiming at his head, put the crosshairs back on blob and made an almost tragic mistake. This was that very moment where I wish I could hit undo button or could of have had a V8! I pulled the trigger! The gun went bang, huge flash of light from the end of the barrel and the very moment all holy heck broke loose and there was just absolute total chaos happening! I had hogs running every which way and bunch of them right past me just a few feet away in just about every direction. The hog I shot, hit the ground and in a blink of an eye was back on his feet and blew past me like a freight train just 4’ away just on the other side of little tree I was standing next to. I hugged that little tree for what seemed like an eternity but was probably only 10 or 15 seconds of pure holy cow what on earth did you just do! Finally the woods quieted down and hogs began to move off. I said to myself, "well that didn't go according to plan dummy, HERE'S YOUR SIGN"!

I search for my hog for about 10 minutes and decided it was nuts to do this in the pitch dark. I went back to the camper, heart racing, adrenaline still pumping and tried to go to sleep. BTW, my wife was rolling in the bed laughing her rear end off at the story! She did manage to say I'm glad your alright honey through all her giggles! It took a while but I fell asleep until 7:30 when my alarm went off. Finding blood the next morning was no problems and trailing the hog the first hundred yards was pretty easy. Then the blood began to run out and finally stopped, 90 minutes later I had lost the trail all together. I walked the area in a grid for another hour and gave up. I have no idea where I hit the hog but it was hard enough that it went down, but not hard enough to keep him there.

I had to say that was the most exciting and dangerous hog hunt I’ve ever been on. I’m very lucky I wasn’t run over, hurt or even killed. Next time I may rethink my plan about entering the woods in the pitch dark and stalking hogs. Seems to me my tripods and box blind work very well and are much safer!

BTW I have changed my setup now for hog hunting at night since my last hunt. I changed my scope to a new Zeiss 1.2-5x36 Conquest Duralyt and to a red LED Hogsniper Destroyer scope mounted spot light. I’m heading out Tuesday to the ranch with my hunting buddy of 35 years and my oldest son for four nights of hog hunting. The hogs are tearing us up. My buddy's bringing his suppressed AR-15, I'll be using my suppressed AR-10 and my son gets to use the .243 model 70.

_________________________
Jeff

Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

John 3: 1-21
Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

John 3: 1-21

Replies

  • NNNN Senior Member NCPosts: 25,221 Senior Member
    Wow, sounds like one of Boddingtons stories.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Miami, FL almost in the USA ;)Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    Use the supressed AR 10 with heavy bullet subsonics. Everything elese you listed will not help you with big pigs. Hit them in the head, or lower front chest.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member J&D Ranch - North Central TXPosts: 2,555 Senior Member
    Would never shoot subsonic bullets, little to no accuracy in them. With my suppressed AR-10 I have an almost 27" drop at 100 yards from my normal 100 zero. I'm happy when I can put 5 suppressed rounds in an 8" paper plate at 100 yards. This coming from a rifle that shoots .5" or better day in and day out when I do my part. Actually my factory DPMS 24" heavy barrel AR-10 out shot my custom GAP .308 bolt action which is why I sold the GAP. I shoot 175 gr blackhills match ammo when I use this rifle for hogs. It's just one heavy rifle to lug around when I'm hunting at the ranch. I kind of prefer my lighter bolt actions rifles as we can walk a couple of miles when hunting hogs moving from stand to stand.

    When hog hunting I will only take one of three shots, below the ear, in the back of the head if he's facing away from me and I have a little elevation on him or in the eye if he's looking at me. I've never once consider a shoulder shot on hogs. I'm not much into trailing a hog if he gets up and runs but will if I have to and head shots don't ruin good meat.

    I've taken countless hogs with my AR and match ammo and never lost one or had one run when hit in the head.
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Miami, FL almost in the USA ;)Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    I meant for up close at night.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • Fat BillyFat Billy Senior Member Atlanta GaPosts: 1,813 Senior Member
    I went hog hunting in Arkansas. I took a 626 S&W 6.5 inch barrel 240 grain soft point magnum loads. My father in law hunts hogs with 1100 Remington 12ga. He told me not to hunt with a pistol bout it was all I had at the time. Shot a medium large hog in the chests and he went down and popped back up mad came straight for me. Daddy in Law cut him down with the 1100. When we dressed the hog I had blown up his insides but I guess no one told him. Can you imagine how much crap I got from FIL? :bang: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member J&D Ranch - North Central TXPosts: 2,555 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    I meant for up close at night.

    D

    Now that makes a lot more sense. Me I think I'm sticking to my stands and tripods to hunt them.
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • Fat BillyFat Billy Senior Member Atlanta GaPosts: 1,813 Senior Member
    My FIL said if you want to hunt hogs with a pistol climb a tree and chuck rocks at the hog till you piss him off and he comes to the bottom of the tree and shoot him in the head and make sure he's dead before you get down. After the above post it was a long ride from Arkansas to Atlanta in his truck. If I went today I'd use my Mossberg pump gun. This is the same guy who hunts deer by walking em up with same 1100 Remington. He's past on now but I quit hunting with him and devorsed his daughter. That fixed it. :up: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    Would never shoot subsonic bullets, little to no accuracy in them. With my suppressed AR-10 I have an almost 27" drop at 100 yards from my normal 100 zero. I'm happy when I can put 5 suppressed rounds in an 8" paper plate at 100 yards. This coming from a rifle that shoots .5" or better day in and day out when I do my part. Actually my factory DPMS 24" heavy barrel AR-10 out shot my custom GAP .308 bolt action which is why I sold the GAP. I shoot 175 gr blackhills match ammo when I use this rifle for hogs. It's just one heavy rifle to lug around when I'm hunting at the ranch. I kind of prefer my lighter bolt actions rifles as we can walk a couple of miles when hunting hogs moving from stand to stand.

    When hog hunting I will only take one of three shots, below the ear, in the back of the head if he's facing away from me and I have a little elevation on him or in the eye if he's looking at me. I've never once consider a shoulder shot on hogs. I'm not much into trailing a hog if he gets up and runs but will if I have to and head shots don't ruin good meat.

    I've taken countless hogs with my AR and match ammo and never lost one or had one run when hit in the head.

    I agree. If you're within 100 yards head shots are the best. But longer range I will shoot for heart lungs if that's the best shot. If I think I have a good shot I will always shoot for the head-neck area.

    The last hog I shot was at 300 yards up the sendero at my lease. I shot it right behind the shoulder. It ran about 20 yards or so and died. I had to go inside the brush line and pull it out, but it was easy enough to find. But I don't think I would have shot for the head at that range.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • timctimc Senior Member TexasPosts: 6,684 Senior Member
    With the right equipment and a good rest 300 yards head shots are not too difficult. These 2 were taken at 240 yards, both behind the ear in rapid succession with an LR308.
    51FB0BF0-1D38-49D7-ACE1-C2888B5E8227-907-00000282B919EAE9.jpg
    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
    I agree Tim, with the right equipment AND if they aren't moving. I failed to mention that. About 2/3 of my shots at hogs have been at moving targets, sometimes fast moving.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member A true 'Southerner'. NZPosts: 8,403 Senior Member
    Sounds like your scenario was ideal for a second weapon in addition to the one you were carrying. For up close work, especially at night, an 870 pump 12g with extended mag and a gun mounted light would have been ideal for close range work and self protection.
    Hit a hog with a 12g slug anywhere in the body and chances are it will lose all interest in further proceedings.

    I guess it would depend though on whether you are hunting ( with the associated ethics) or culling ( a different set of ethics ) to keep the hog population down.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    Sounds like your scenario was ideal for a second weapon in addition to the one you were carrying. For up close work, especially at night, an 870 pump 12g with extended mag and a gun mounted light would have been ideal for close range work and self protection.
    Hit a hog with a 12g slug anywhere in the body and chances are it will lose all interest in further proceedings.

    I guess it would depend though on whether you are hunting ( with the associated ethics) or culling ( a different set of ethics ) to keep the hog population down.

    Alec, at least in Texas, all hog hunting is looked upon as culling.

    And I will add, Jeff's Balls are bigger n mine. No way I'm going walking into Porky's Den by myself in the dark with a bolt gun. In fact, not even with an AR with high cap mag. or a 12 ga. with extended mag. tube. When you do that, you're playing Porky's game and he can be good at it.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • Dr. dbDr. db Senior Member Posts: 1,541 Senior Member
    I grew up reading Old Yeller and listening to my dad tell me stories about hunting a huge feral hog that was terrorizing the area when he was a young man so when I was camping in Big Bend NP and a troop of javelina came through my camp I watched carefully from about ten feet up in a tree. I think a feral hog is much more dangerous than a little javelina. You are very lucky!
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Central MNPosts: 14,673 Senior Member
    Call Chuck Schumer, Pelosi, Feinstein, and Cuomo, there is a legitimate reason to hunt with a 30 rnd magazine.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member J&D Ranch - North Central TXPosts: 2,555 Senior Member
    You know guys I never had any intentions on entering the hogs den, but as Clint Eastwood once said "sometimes you just gotta know". Out of all my years of hunting hogs at night this was the first, will probably be the last time I get curious enough to venture into thick woods in the middle of the night for critters I hear walking and milling around.

    We head shoot out at the ranch to about 325 yards. Each stand has a lamenated log sheet with known distances covering that stand. The furthest stand presents a 325 yard shot, though most of the stand we can shoot no further than 80 to 200 yards. It's knowing your rifle, dope and feeling confident to shoot those distances, which for us are rather short ranges in the big scheme.

    I will say I'm not a fan of those super super short range 10' shots...give me a bit more distance from now on!
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • blkbird305blkbird305 Member Posts: 220 Member
    Glad you made it out of there unharmed.

    Sounds like one of the many hunting situations where an AR and a high capacity mag would come in handy.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member J&D Ranch - North Central TXPosts: 2,555 Senior Member
    blkbird305 wrote: »
    Sounds like one of the many hunting situations where an AR and a high capacity mag would come in handy.

    I am truly not sure, heck I'm positive having an AR or even a shotgun would have been much help. I wouldn't even have had time to draw my 45 acp even if I brought it. The laser genetic spot light is not like a flashlight that illuminates a large area or even provides dispersion of the laser light. It casts a perfectly round though adjustable beam of light. To see without back reflection from the branches and briars I had the beam about 5' in diameter and could see about 30 yards in distance between some trees. You have a perfectly round source of light and 1 centimeter outside that light source is pitch black.

    When the gun went bang/flash and all holy heck broke loose I had hogs running all around me and right past me in the pitch black portion of the night. Some crossed in front of me into view of the laser and in a blink of an eye were gone. This all happened so fast, my initial focus was on the hog I shot. Most of what I saw was during the recoil of the rifle and trying to get the light back on the hog. However, the chaos that perused with all the other hogs happened instantaneously. It was like being swarm and my brain couldn’t pick an area around me to focus on with the sounds of panic hogs running all around me. Instant brain overload! I'm not sure I would have or even could have managed any type of follow up shot even with my AR. Like I said in a blink of an eye the hog went down, on his feet and covered the 10’ distance between us and was gone into the dark of the night.

    Being honest it just happened too fast and scared the living daylights out me! Huge lesson learned that night. There’s boogey hogs in them there pitch black woods.
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    I am truly not sure, heck I'm positive having an AR or even a shotgun would have been much help. I wouldn't even have had time to draw my 45 acp even if I brought it. The laser genetic spot light is not like a flashlight that illuminates a large area or even provides dispersion of the laser light. It casts a perfectly round though adjustable beam of light. To see without back reflection from the branches and briars I had the beam about 5' in diameter and could see about 30 yards in distance between some trees. You have a perfectly round source of light and 1 centimeter outside that light source is pitch black.

    When the gun went bang/flash and all holy heck broke loose I had hogs running all around me and right past me in the pitch black portion of the night. Some crossed in front of me into view of the laser and in a blink of an eye were gone. This all happened so fast, my initial focus was on the hog I shot. Most of what I saw was during the recoil of the rifle and trying to get the light back on the hog. However, the chaos that perused with all the other hogs happened instantaneously. It was like being swarm and my brain couldn’t pick an area around me to focus on with the sounds of panic hogs running all around me. Instant brain overload! I'm not sure I would have or even could have managed any type of follow up shot even with my AR. Like I said in a blink of an eye the hog went down, on his feet and covered the 10’ distance between us and was gone into the dark of the night.

    Being honest it just happened too fast and scared the living daylights out me! Huge lesson learned that night. There’s boogey hogs in them there pitch black woods.

    Jeff, here's an Idea I've seen a couple of examples of around here. Rig you some Q-Beam lights permanently attached to your 4 wheeler that will shine out in frount and to the left and right. Don't leave the 4 wheeler, just ride up into the midde of em and turn the lights on. Be ready to start shooting.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member East TexasPosts: 10,815 Senior Member
    I've not done a lot of hog hunting, but I have had a few of those "Oh, crap" moments, while doing land surveys in the river bottoms. Before land surveying got so high-tech, most of it was done with a four man crew, with two chainmen and an instrument man doing the actual 'measuring' and a Party Chief scouting out ahead for the boundary evidence and cutting line-of-sight right-of-way for the for the measuring crew to 'tie-in' by angle/distance measurements. It was not unusual for the party chief to range 1/4 mile or more ahead, and without realizing it, he would often be creeping silently along, like a squirrel hunter would do, looking for marked trees or evidence of old fence lines. I was always walking up in the middle of something - deer, armadillos, bobcats, bumblebee nests, and in the last few years, feral hogs.

    One thing I learned is that on those perfectly still days, a hog or an armadillo, both of which have very poor eyesight, will let you walk right up to them, if they don't wind you. They may hear you, and know something is there, but they don't seem to care. They may pause, and sniff the air, but then they go right back to browsing. The armadillos are no big deal, and I have sneaked up on them and almost casually grabbed their tails, before they exhibited any alarm, and then grab another one while the first one is trying to shake my arm out of the socket to get away.

    Hogs, though, will freak completely out, and may run any direction, including right at you, and if they see you when they run by will hook at you with their tusks. In my opinion, they are always trying to get away - unless it is a sow with newborns, and even then they will usually back off, if you do. Still, it is a frightening experience, and at the time all you can think of is that if they do come after you, and get you down, you're lunch. That's why I carry the 10mm G20 in the woods. I don't know if it would stop a big angry sow in time, but it's loud and I have 16 rounds to work with. I've recently killed a medium sized boar with a .45 ACP, and I was very unimpressed with its performance against hogs - it's pretty much a head shot, or nothing, if you intend to nail them down, right there.
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I've not done a lot of hog hunting, but I have had a few of those "Oh, crap" moments, while doing land surveys in the river bottoms. Before land surveying got so high-tech, most of it was done with a four man crew, with two chainmen and an instrument man doing the actual 'measuring' and a Party Chief scouting out ahead for the boundary evidence and cutting line-of-sight right-of-way for the for the measuring crew to 'tie-in' by angle/distance measurements. It was not unusual for the party chief to range 1/4 mile or more ahead, and without realizing it, he would often be creeping silently along, like a squirrel hunter would do, looking for marked trees or evidence of old fence lines. I was always walking up in the middle of something - deer, armadillos, bobcats, bumblebee nests, and in the last few years, feral hogs.

    One thing I learned is that on those perfectly still days, a hog or an armadillo, both of which have very poor eyesight, will let you walk right up to them, if they don't wind you. They may hear you, and know something is there, but they don't seem to care. They may pause, and sniff the air, but then they go right back to browsing. The armadillos are no big deal, and I have sneaked up on them and almost casually grabbed their tails, before they exhibited any alarm, and then grab another one while the first one is trying to shake my arm out of the socket to get away.

    Hogs, though, will freak completely out, and may run any direction, including right at you, and if they see you when they run by will hook at you with their tusks. In my opinion, they are always trying to get away - unless it is a sow with newborns, and even then they will usually back off, if you do. Still, it is a frightening experience, and at the time all you can think of is that if they do come after you, and get you down, you're lunch. That's why I carry the 10mm G20 in the woods. I don't know if it would stop a big angry sow in time, but it's loud and I have 16 rounds to work with. I've recently killed a medium sized boar with a .45 ACP, and I was very unimpressed with its performance against hogs - it's pretty much a head shot, or nothing, if you intend to nail them down, right there.

    This is why I don't go in the woods unarmed anymore. The more stories I hear, the more I realize these are rather large (Heavy) wild animals and they sometimes travel in groups as big as 30. If they ever do get you down and you have no means of self defence, you're, like Bisley says, "Lunch!"

    In light of this I have been packing my .357 along with a rifle. I have also been carrying my 8x57 or my 30-06 more too. When I saw what the 8x57 will do to one, I was convinced of its "Hogability!"
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • tigman.uktigman.uk Member Wiltshire, UKPosts: 332 Member
    how well do they laser genetics work, can you post a piccie of it in action
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