Have you ever gotten a text that made you fighting mad? I have. My blood pressure went through the roof and my Type A personality was in top gear the day I received this text from fellow SHWAT™ Pro Staffer Jared Hilton, “We are probably going to have to reschedule.” You see, this hunt had been rescheduled 3 weeks in a row due to the predictably unpredictable Texas weather and if it didn’t happen the weekend of November 2nd I was SOL until December. So, instead of doing the civilized thing and texting Mr. Hilton back, “Ok, let me know,” I called him and plead a case that would have made Johnny Cochran proud. Naturally, when he didn’t agree with me, I switched tactics and started making threats. After an excruciating 48 hour wait, we got the text that said, “Pack your bags boys. It’s going to be wet, but we are a go.”
With just 16 hours to spare, it was game on. For myself, I packed my Primary Weapons Systems MK216 Mod 1-M in .308. I am absolutely in love with this rifle, but I needed something to tame its bark and keep the weight down, so I threw a Silencerco Omega in the bag with it. Our 3rd wheel, my brother-in-law Robert, hadn’t joined the suppressor club yet, so I packed my Primary Weapons Systems MK114 Mod 2-M in .223 Wylde with another Silencerco Omega for him. The cherry on top for the these beautiful hog slayers was a pair of FLIR PTS 536’s. The FLIRs were provided by DFW Shooting Sports (see the video for more info on them) and without their support this hunt would not have been possible. Jared decided to take his .300 Blackout custom build and complemented it with his AAC SDN-6 and Pulsar Trail XP50. I have to admit, I was kinda jealous. Not only because I helped him build the Blackout and know the quality parts it has in it, but also because it’s nearly half the weight and size of the girl I took with me to the dance that night.
With everything packed, it was time to go and the three of us slipped out of work early and headed west. Once on location, we hit the field and made quick work of zeroing. None of the rifle setups took more than five shots to zero. I was pretty proud to see Jared’s .300 Blackout function perfectly since I had helped him build it and assured him it was good to go. Although, I don’t think he fully trusted me at the time because his Alexander Arms 6.5 Grendel was in the truck all night “just in case.”
After we had the rifles shooting laser beams, it was time for our pre-hunt scouting. We were expecting it to be wet and muddy, but honestly, it was way worse than we’d anticipated. I was okay with finding that out then because if we had known the conditions before we left Dallas, we probably would have rescheduled. Again. But we were already there and it was time to get piggy. As you can see from the video, the hog tracks were plentiful and that made us feel a little better about only being able to access about half of our fields.
We got off to a slow start by getting two singles on different parts of the property. Finally, just before midnight, the Pulsar Helion XP50 showed us what we wanted to see: our first sounder. Our positioning and communication could have been better, but we ended up with five out of that group. Normally we get into four to five sounders per night, but the conditions had mixed things up and the next six hogs we took down were mostly loners. Around 4:00 am we finally found another sounder and took down seven from that group. The night was an overall success and we ended up with twenty hogs recovered.
We did our best to capture the “story” of the hunt and as you will see in the video. It was a very smooth night as far as equipment goes. The firearms, suppressors, and thermals performed flawlessly. Due to the recording capabilities of the Pulsars, FLIRs, and our new SiOnyx Aurora we were able to capture footage that had previously been elusive. Let us know what you think and if you have suggestions of what you would like to see in the future. We would love to hear them.