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  • 257 lb. Boar and Battle Plans

    The first casualty of war is the battle plan, I am told. My war has seen numerous battle plans destroyed and this particular hog has seen several more destroyed.

    Let me go back nearly a year ago when my buddy, Ken, offered me a tripod stand to use. It took some work, but we installed it overlooking my little spring fed water hole and a feeder. They were in different directions, about 110 degrees different. So I basically have two shooting lanes, one to each area, and then am surrounded by forest. In opposite directions from the water hole and feeder are a dry creek bottom, creek bank, and forest. The tripod seat is about 20+ feet above the creek bottom. We opted not to clear out the forest and creek area because of the obvious draw and already cleared areas of the water hole and feeder. {This is foreshadowing}

    So my property in Montague County, Texas has been plagued with hogs that haven't been coming to feeders with any regularity, haven't responded to various attractants and "secret formula" blends of corn and other supposedly yummy and smelly fluids, and if present when I am there, remain in the woods and out of my direct line of sight.

    A few days ago, I had a nice sounder come in a little after 5:00 am. I recognized a couple of individuals from cameras across the property, but at my water hole, I could see they were part of a group of up to 15 individuals. COOL! So I camped out in my tripod the next night and they did not come. So I tried last night knowing that based on the water hole times and times from other cameras, I could expect the sounder sometime between 4:30 and 9:00 am.

    With the camara info, I have my "intel" on the enemy. I chose my weapons appropriately. I had my daughter salt the water hole area with corn. That way if they came in and I wasn't paying attention, I could hear the hogs happily crunching away on the corn. So that was my passive biosensor. Of course, deer and raccoons eating it produced about the same noise, but it kept me on my toes.

    Since it was night, I went with my AR15 with night vision and shooting 75 gr. Hornady TAP ammo. Illumination for the rifle was provided for by an onboard laser illuminator so that I could see my feeder quite well some 75 yards distant. The water hole area was illuminated with a battery powered IR floodlight attached to my stand. I could see the whole little valley between the stand and the water hole. I also brought along a second NV spotting scope.

    Now I know that everyone worries about spooking animals when they come in and nobody wants to scare off their quarry. So I got to the stand right about 12:03 am and commencing to setting up my IR floodlight. By 12:05 I was in the stand and trying to get settled in for a long, quiet night.

    Almost immediately I heard chewing, but not from the water hole, but from my feeder. I usually don't hear deer and coons chewing 75 yards away, especially not with the winds rustling the tree leaves as it was doing last night, swirling winds that seemed to come from just about any direction last evening. I look toward the feeder and I spy a doe not 20 yards from me. I take a good look at her with the night vision, and realize that I can hear her chewing, only her jaw isn't moving! Obviously, it wasn't her. So I listened more carefully and realized the sound was coming from underneath me. As I am looking over the sides of my tripod stand, I spy the ventriloquist hog way down in the creek bottom moving in and out amongst the breaks in the foliage. Ventriloquism is not something I was aware hogs could do. So it was 20 feet down and starting to move away from me, not running, but meandering with his nose rooting up the leaf litter collected in the dry creek bed.

    I swapped out my spotting scope for my rifle and opted for a head shot as the hog present a nice head view to me. GREAT! So I was looking at about a 60 degree down angle shot and trying to make sure I corrected for the angle and scope axis relative to the bore axis and realized that basically my shot would be at least 3.5" lower than the crosshairs and I adjusted my aim ... and then he promptly turned and continued to move away, showing me his butt, and his head dipped down between his shoulders. I could see his left ear peeking out from behind his left shoulder.

    So thinking myself smart, I worked out the geometry for shot placement and thought I would go for a dual purpose shot. Keeping the axis issue in mind, I lined up on the spine and figured where the bullet needed to impact such that the trajectory would carry it into the heart and lungs area. The hog disappeared behind a small branch of leaves and then reappeared. I fired knowing I had made a good shot and expected him to drop right there!

    He didn't.

    He didn't run the way he was facing either, but did a partial U turn and head up the opposite bank directly across from me. I saw him twice amongst all those trees and leaves we opted not to clear because we didn't need a shooting lane there and then visually lost him. On the good side, he seemed to stop pretty quickly and either was very close by, or made it out of the creek and was gone (not good).

    The shot placement ended up being left of the spine and further back than intended. However, the trajectory and penetration did what was needed and the hog bled out within 30 yards of where it had been shot and at least involved one of the lungs.

    At 12:08, I called my wife and told her that I shot a hog, promising her that I would not look for it in the dark and alone - something she makes me promise every time I call and the hog has not dropped in place. So I camped out for my sounder....which never came. About 8 hours later after the sun was up and I could actually walk through the woods and see things without needing night vision or a flashlight, I started my hunt for my missing hog. I found the hog and then was amazed at the amount of blood along his path. Apparently it spurted pretty good.

    Ken and his wife came out after I called about finding the hog. Given the location of the hog in the creek bottom and the trouble in just getting through the brush to find it, we opted to donate the hog to nature after measuring its heart girth to estimate weight (45.5” which indicates approximately 257 lbs.) and taking pictures.

    You can look back through my story. Very little of what was anticipated and planned for actually came to fruition including everything going back to the original placement of the tripod stand up until shooting a boar in the wrong place instead of the intended precise shot into a sow from a sounder that was due several hours later. So much for battle plans, LOL! On the good side, dead is dead for the hog and it was a quick kill.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: 257 lb. Boar and Battle Plans started by Double Naught Spy View original post
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