Part 2: Two good friends are drafted to deal with a hog problem on a 2000 acre working Texas cattle ranch. No vehicular access is allowed. The brush is knee high, the terrain uneven, and the thorny mesquite trees break up the view of the rolling landscape. It’s chilly, and Andrew Quant and Andrew Picket were literally hunting day and night out of their camp. Each is carrying a custom built rifle chambered in 6.8, packs, night vision gear and more. They had just crawled crawled 35 yards through the brush and brought their total count to fifteen hogs taken. If you haven’t read Part 1 of this story, start there. Part 2 is the rest of the story, and details their gear.
Per the land owner’s instructions, these hogs were left these where they fell and the hunters made their way back to camp. After scouting some bottom areas, and creeks, they headed to camp for some lunch and rest. It was smiles all around. Hunger satisfied, and rested up, they headed out around 4:30 to see if anything was moving.
As soon as they came up out of camp, they were in the middle of a herd in the exact same spot as the night before at the end of the old road. Just as it was getting dim, this small group of hogs was moving down the old farm road. They were moving slowly in a southerly direction, so Pickett and Quant split up to push them towards each other as they shot.
Because they had the drop on the hogs, and knew what path they would run once engaged, Quant used concealment to advance parallel with the hogs until he was in position for a linear ambush. Using Yaesu VX-7 radios for comms, Pickett was to engage first, and the pigs that escaped would run directly into Quants field of fire.
Go time, weapons free. Pickett began to engage the rear of the hog convoy, and as planned, they bolted away down the road into phase 2 of the ambush. With lots of brush, mesquites and fences in this area, moving and acquiring targets was much more difficult than it was earlier. However, there was so much commotion for the pigs, that both hunters had pigs running towards them in the mayhem, and both were taking shots as close as 15 yards.
It was definitely a dynamic situation. When it was done, they found three confirmed kills, but were completely confident of two more they observed going down. It was just way too brushy too find them all the dead hogs in this location. After an hour spent resting and topping off mags, they decided to don Night Vision goggles and Laser Devices Inc. PEQ2 aiming lasers and continue hunting through the evening.
While still discussing which direction to go, hogs were heard nosing around down in the creek bottom. Pickett and Quant headed off in two different directions to try to catch them coming out one side or the other. Quant took a knee, waiting as a boar moved in on him. Pickett was on top of a hill by a small tree, looking down through a ten foot opening in the brush. The boar and sow moved through this opening and Pickett fired on the biggest one from about a 100 yards out. Quant shot the Boar, which ended up making a nice trophy skull. It was now technically early Sunday morning, and the hunters got a call from a neighboring land owner about a sounder of 15-20 on another part of the property.
Official Count: Pickett 13; Quant: 7.
They found the sounder in the dark with the help of their night vision gear, but due to fences and distance, they determined that they wouldn’t be able to move in on the hogs without spooking them. That group was left for another trip. It was time to head back to camp for the night before starting again after sunrise Sunday morning. The nice warm sleeping bags under the stars provided much needed relief for the team.
Heading out Sunday morning, another sounder of about 5 was waiting in the same pasture where two other groups had been culled. Same pasture, same strategy. Pickett and Quant moved in close, watching for a while. The largest sow in the bunch moved towards them behind a mesquite tree.
They worked out their shooting scenario, and put it in to action as soon as the sow came around the tree and spotted them. Quant fired, which was Pickett’s sign to pop up and start on the others which were running off. Pickett shot one at about 50 yards that rolled on impact. A shot at a second hog missed, but he stopped at the top of the ridge to look for his buddy and Pickett moved. Staying below the ridgeline, he watched the hog’s backline, closing the distance in a crouched jog.
Reaching the point where he could no longer stay hidden, the little pig took off at a dead run. Pickett sprinted to the ridgeline and had a quartering away shot at 100 yards, but missed again. There was still a chance for one more shot before the hog reached cover in brush. Holding about 8-10 inches off the hog’s snout, Pickett fired. It was legs and nose and legs and nose in the air. That hog went nose first in the dirt, and then somersaulted twice. “Definitely my shot of the trip,” Pickett says.
This time, the Backstraps were collected from these three, along with a ham off of one of the little ones. The team grabbed pictures of the big sow and boar, loaded their gear, and hiked out before noon Sunday. Quant hiked the entire two miles out carrying a 15 lb. boar head in a trash sack! It made for a serious skull once cleaned up.
Official final count: Pickett 15; Quant: 8.
This was high tech, high speed tactical hog hunting. Yes, Quant and Picket had the variety pack of great gear, and you can see it below. But the true spirit of the tactical hog hunt isn’t found in the gear, it’s found in the two friends working together, creating strategies and tactics to suit their needs, having a blast while hunting.
Quant’s Rifle built by Atwell Tactical:
- 12.5″ 6.8 SPC WOA
- Gemtech Titanium 7.62 Silencer
- Haynes Research IWAL 2 IR Laser aimer (For Sale)
- Standard M4 Stock
- Noveske adjustable gas block
- JP trigger springs and an Atwell Tactical modified Trigger
- PRI Mags shooting SSA 110 grain Barnes TSX and Pro Hunters
Pickett’s Rifle (his own build)
- 12.5″ 6.8 SPC Ko-Tonics
- Aimpoint 3X magnifier
- YHM 7.62 Phantom Silencer
- MI 12″ rail
- CAA adjustable Grip
- Magpul CTR stock
- Rock River 2-Stage Trigger
- Laser Devices Inc. DBAL A2 IR laser illuminator
- Surefire 6P in Midwest Industries mount
- Viking Tactics sling
- PRI Mags Shooting SSA 85 gr Barnes TSX