After checking several fields with no luck whatsoever, we return to where we sighted in earlier in the day. Nothing, but in the adjacent field we find a large group of hogs huddled together. 50-60 hogs, maybe more, tightly bunched. Fish in a barrel! One slight problem; not our field to hunt and it has cows on it. ARHG! We hang around hoping they would migrate to land we could hunt. Nope, they were quite happy where they were. Now this was a bit agonizing, as we stood and drooled, mindful of small impediments like trespassing, hitting a cow, never mind a game warden… We drooled and resigned ourselves to go check other fields we could actually hunt. Still nothing.
Time ticked on and the wives worked a one bazillion piece puzzle back at the farmhouse. Did I forget to mention that they came with us? Oops. We might have gotten some text messages about when we might return to the farmhouse… So we decided to go back to where we had seen the hogs huddled up to check if they were moving. We spot them and they are now traversing the field from left to right and on to Farmer Brown’s land. WOOHOO!!! Here is the view now: dirt road at our backs, open field in front and a tree line beyond that. Much closer this time. As the hogs move onto Farmer Brown’s land they pass through a small gully and fairly narrow tree line separating the two properties. Now the field has a small berm in it running not quite parallel to the road. It moves from closer to us to further away as you move left to right. It’s about three feet tall and maybe five feet wide. Wind is again at our faces, coming from the hogs to us. Perfect set up, could not ask for more. Cue night vision, still fuzzy. Finally Jonathan asked, “you tried adjusting the diopter?” Uh… It has one? Now I know you are thinking, focus, diopter…. Pretty basic stuff here right? Well mind you this is the very first time I have ever used any kind of equipment like this in my life. So yes, operator error but for the record – wildly uninformed!
So I adjust the diopter, holy crap!! Hogs!! I can see EVERYTHING!!! It’s all in focus, laser sharp, stars are like 100 watt light bulbs. Seriously, it reminded me of when I got LASIK, it was that dramatic! I have to stop here for just moment and tell you how much of a bad ass you feel like when you are geared up like that, night vision where you can see everything, infrared laser only visible through the NV optic. Easy to use mount where you can drop it into place and flip up quickly, AR pistol that is light and so easy to maneuver, but I digress…
We stay low and creep into the field starting on the left and moving to the right, basically a parallel path to the hogs. We are moving in at about ten steps at a time, pushing deeper into the field. The berm hides us as well, but also prevents our shooting from a kneeling or sitting position. Only way to get a shot is standing. We move in until the hogs are 40-50 yards away then stop and select our targets. I am on the left and choose what looks to me like the biggest hog of the pack. Although bagging a big hog would be fun, my real purpose was choosing the largest target I could! Jonathan was not shooting, just Jared and I. Jonathan gave us the 3-2-1 count again with his fist to our shoulders and then… BAM BAM BAM. Oh I hit it for sure, I learned what the phrase “squeal like a pig” meant real quick. He was hit at least once or twice but took off running directly away from me. Now I had been shooting at a nice profile of him but now had the aft view! We got up and started running after them, At this point I am seriously pumped with adrenaline, I am running after “boss hog” but not firing as I really could not identify where my brother or Jared was. As pumped as I was, no hog is worth an accident. I’m just running, finally (time moved pretty slowly here…) I hear my brother yelling at me to fire! So I check up and fire a couple of rounds. Hog drops but his back legs keep going for a minute or two. He dug quite the hole with them! We approach cautiously and wait for him to stop kicking and give him a poke in eye to make sure he is toast. After confirming his demise the photographic documentation begins. This is where my brother over played his hand a bit but being pretty pumped at this point, I acquiesced. In some pics I look a bit stupid in but I expressly forbid their publication! Anyway, the adventure was beyond fun. And yes, I will be going again! I manage to remove 3 of the 4 tusks intact but the final one broke up. The hog was about 5’3” in length and according to Jonathan and Farmer Brown, weighed in at about 250 lbs. and was the second largest hog ever taken out there. And yes he had the balls to match.
Having only read or heard hog hunting stories previously I can tell you personally that doing it is much more fun and more insanely exciting than words in a story can convey. Great gear, great hunting buddies go a long way and bagging a hog is pretty darn awesome. Get out there and get some hogs! Send SHWAT your first hog story or your favorite experience. Maybe my brothers will published it. My experience was great, and I know there are plenty of others out there that deserve to be told! Stay tuned here for more great hunting experiences and for all the lasted news and products coming out of SHOT Show 2015!
Thanks SHWAT™ for the opportunity and all the gear you provided, it was a blast!