It’s a resounding fact now that many states are experiencing an invasion of wild hogs. In Mississippi and next door neighbor Alabama the explosion is reaching critical mass in some areas. Farmers are experiencing serious damage to cash crops and homeowners are finding the rotor-rooter pigs tilling up their vegetable gardens and even their prize flower and shrub beds.
Wild hogs are finding no sympathetic causes anywhere. Farmers hate them, foresters hate them, hunters hate them (but love hunting them!), hunting landowners with food plots hate them, grandma hates them and even state wildlife biologists are casting a blind eye toward them. Everybody is looking for ways to control their numbers. SHWAT™ hunters ought to be having a hay day.
It’s interesting that in Mississippi the lion’s share of wild hogs used to concentrate themselves along the Mississippi River from Memphis south to Natchez, but now they are showing up in big numbers on the east side of the state. Hence the tale of this hog hunt.
Lady Hunter Makes Her Mark
Angelia Boykin of Laurel, Mississippi is not your usual southern belle. You might say she’s more of a southern sniper in her camo gear. I have known Miss Boykin for many years now and have written a number of stories for various outdoor magazines on her hunting exploits. She continues to seek roles on various outdoors Pro Teams with some success. She is a very serious hunter of deer, turkey, and now feral pigs have found their way into her scope sights. I bet its bad days ahead for the hogs.
Taking on the Pigs
“I was sitting in a huge shooting house that was about 12×12 or bigger up on top of a steep hill. The stand overlooked a 15-20 acre field. This stand was built as a shooting/observation house as a sniper training tower and shooting range in Shubuta, MS. This is part of 700 acres that I have managed in the past for hunting. I plant it every year for deer hunting, but now I find that the hogs have moved in and just destroyed the field,” says Boykin. “The pigs have rutted up the field so bad now that I can hardly even drive the food plot tractor over it. I have to put the tractor in low range gear to keep from tearing up the equipment. I knew for sure that I had to make a plan to take care of the pigs.”
Angelia continued, “I set up feeders and had been scouting three different places on the property where the hogs were coming in. I sure hoped this plan would work to take a few pigs out of the local population and maybe save some of the fields from total destruction.”
Sniper at Work
“The first time out to seriously hunt the hogs I got a total of two hogs down, but one got away from me and ran off. I waited for them again late that evening. Just before dark they came back in again. I was using an Accuracy International .308 caliber, bolt action rifle.” AI rifles are currently in use by highly trained military and police units in more than 50 countries. Given the daily real time tactical situations where these guns are deployed, accuracy and reliability are paramount priorities. A Schmidt-Bender Police Marksman scope 5.5x25x56mm sat atop the AI rifle. The shooting distance measured a slick 221 yards. Considering her accomplishments, this was an easy shot. The next pack of hogs came off the river near Enterprise, MS. I had my Weathersby .257 bolt action rifle with a Leupold Vari-X 2, 3x9x40mm on top. I downed a whopping four hogs at one setting with one running off when I shot. The others dropped where they stood.&rdquo
“That was pretty awesome since there were so many pigs around the feeder. At one time I head counted fifteen pigs piled in there. The cool part was at the first shots none of them were scared off. I guess it was their first experience with gunfire and flying lead. I got three right between the eyes.” Talk about stacking up the hams and bacon.
For hunters interested in continuing the season basically year around, hog hunting can supply plenty of additional opportunity and hunting challenges especially on private lands in a state like Mississippi. Mississippi has greatly relaxed the wildlife hunting rules on hogs making them a virtual open-ended hunting target on private land allowing hunting with any weapon, any time day or night with no bag limits. We just need to get more hunters into the action.
Hunters like Angelia Boykin are certainly doing their part to help control the ever-expanding hog population, but of course their motives are self-serving. Pigs are literally ripping up good hunting lands, prime food plots, and destroying native browse as well. If we don’t find a way to get a handle on this now, it’s really going get out of control. I say order more BBQ sauce and get with the program.
On the Web:
Accuracy International: http://www.accuracyinternational.com
Schmidt & Bender: http://www.schmidtbender.com