Yesterday, my buddy Ken who helps look after my property emailed me with pics from a game camera showing two large hogs that came on the previous night. One looked huge and was mostly white with black dots. As we only had these two at the feeder, it looked like the sounder that had been visiting very irregularly for the last 2 months might have broken apart. Ken and I reasoned that there was a good chance for the hogs to come back again, something the sounder was not doing. In all, the sounder had maybe 20 individuals with lots of males and females over 100 lbs and no little piglets.
Ken arrived first and set up in a stand overlooking the feeder and faces NE. I arrived around 7:00 PM, got suited up, slow stalked to Ken's stand to cover our plans for the evening. He was to stay in his stand and I headed off to another NW facing stand that watches one of the west side trails that leads to the feeder which is about 75 yards behind the stand. So my hunt started at about 7:15.
The two hogs that came the previous night had entered my property through the fence about 200 yards N-NW of me and had come to the feeder after first passing through my food plot. This was the general pattern of the sounder over the previous two months. So I didn't hold out much hope I would see any pigs unless Ken shot one under the feeder and the rest ran by my stand on their way back to where they had come from.
Winds were terrible. They were supposed to be out of the south, but a front moved through and they were out of the north for a while, and then they were out of every direction, swirling, consistently blowing along with gusting to over 20 mph. This made a lot of noise in the trees, so much so that I could not hear the big tanker trucks that are continually passing my property, at least those that were not using a jake brake.
About 2 hours in and I was bored out of my mind. My stand overlooked a trail with a small clearing and really had a very small field of view. I had seen no animals and because of the wind, had heard no animals. I had taken to occupying my time by using my night vision monocular to trying to spot satellites. I would scan my small area for a few seconds and then look for satellites for a minute or two and then repeat. It was turning out to be another windy bad night of hunting.
On the good side, the wind situation was improving. Winds were less and there were gaps in the blowing where I could hear very well and the woods were without animal noises. Then, off in the distance I heard two squeals/shrieks somewhere north of me about a minute apart. I could not tell that they were pig noises. I didn't know what they were...might be pig noises...not a clue. About 10 minutes later and during a longer gap in the wind, I heard several animals in the woods immediately to my right and eventually heard various grunts. So I knew that indeed the pigs were there and I got excited. Things looked promising. Given where I heard the sounds, I figured the pigs were on a small game trail and heading to the feeder as I did not hear them rooting.
At 9:35, it sounded like some of the pigs were approaching me instead of the feeder. Based on the sound, they would likely come out of the woods no more than 10 yards in front of me. I knew the spot as I had seen deer exit the woods at that spot on severl previous occasions. So I scanned the small clearing in front of me with night vision monocular and saw nothing there. I then turned on the NV scope on my rifle, cocked the hammer, and watched the exit point.
I like my Pulsar N550 digiscope just fine, but with 4x magnification, trying to look for pigs exiting the woods at such close range is an exercise in frustration. It wasn't that I was watching the exit point so much as I was watching a spot in the exit point.
So I am watching the spot, have my electronic hearing protection on, and was just hoping that when the pigs showed themselves that I would see them in my limited field of view and have a chance to shoot before they crossed the clearing or passed under me. Even if they were just walking, I might only have a second or two to get my shot.
As I am focussed on the entry point, I hear noises directly in front of me and it took a few seconds to realize that noises in front are not coming from the pigs to my side. So I swung my rifle around and saw 5 pigs in my clearing about 25-30 yards away. All were mostly black. Three were showing me butts and moving away from me. These pigs obscured most of a pig that was 10 yards or so further back. However, one loan pig had stopped in place and provided me with a nice broadside shot. I put the crosshair forward and below his ear, pressed off the safety, and fired. It was now 9:45 and my adrenaline had been flowing for over 20 minutes. I was happy to get to take my shot and to get a chance to calm down so that the muscle spasms and fast breathing could return to normal.
He dropped in place and the other 4 pigs bolted immediately. As I was chambering another round, two more pigs passed by the downed pig and were headed north. This caught me by surprise as just about all the recent pig traffic had been crossing into my property up to the north where the fleeing pigs seemed to be headed. So either I somehow missed seeing these pigs cross my clearing or they entered my property somewhere to the south. I never had a chance to shoot at the unexpected pigs.
Within a couple of minuntes, I was hearing pigs again off to my right. They did not all flee and I was thinking they would continue around and finally get to the feeder where Ken would get a shot, but they never made it to the feeder and Ken never got a shot. The pig noises continued for the 30 minutes since my first shot and by this time, the winds were almost totally calm.
Once again, I heard a noise in front of the. I spotted another pig coming out of the woods from my left side. I got my rifle up and prepared to shoot.
This new pig was acting strange compared to what I had seen previously. He came in with his hackles up and was moving diagonally to the direction he was pointing and moved with a bouncing gait. The diagonal moving and bouncing gait was something I had only seen domestic cats doing as they playfully go after a toy or attack one another cat when playing. It was not something I expected to see a pig doing.
This new pig was heading to the downed pig. Like the downed pig, he provided me with a full broadsice view. I cocked the hammer, put the crosshairs on his head, and pulled the trigger.
Clink. The hammer dropped on the safety bar. CRAP. The new hog was fixated on the downed hog and apparently never heard or was not bothered by the Clink.
I recocked the hammer and took off the safety. By this time he was quartering away from me and I didn't have a good shot. As he got to the downed pig, he had turned broadside again and lowered his head to inspect the downed pig. I put the crosshairs on the head forward and below the ear and fired. He dropped in place.
Even after this second shot, I could still hear some pigs, but those sounds faded after a few minutes.
What I didn't know at the time was that some of the hogs apparently had not entered my property off to the north as they had been doing for the last couple of months. From his position, Ken could hear hogs coming through the fence west of him which was well south of me and the north entry.
Results? The .45-70 Leverevolution ammo hit both pigs' brain case and exited on the opposite side. The first pig came in at 140 lbs and the second at 205 lbs. Both were young boars. However, they were good enough to warrant my patron saint (Black Bird of the popular game of pig destroying Angry Birds
) posing with me.
The location was near Forestburg in SE Montague County, Texas.