Pigs have been getting bolder recently, but the other day they crossed the line, ploughing up a rocky hillside and exposing long sections of tree roots. Some of the channels were about 40cm deep. Rocks bigger than a Greens’ indignity have been dug up and shoved aside. There must be a big boar to do that. Time to do something about the problem.
There wasn’t quite enough light to see where I was treading as I set out this morning, the Ruger Scout loaded with 10 handloads featuring the 130gr Hornady softpoints that have proved pretty versatile for the game and ferals around here. I did wonder if I should take the Remington with its 3-9x Leupold VX-R because I’d quite likely face a 150-200m shot, but I’d fitted the Aimpoint red dot sight to the little Scout specifically for stalking pigs at closer ranges and I’d be buggered if I was going to leave the fun outfit in the safe.
The hunt was about to begin as I reached the gate into Big Gully. Before I’d opened it, I saw the familiar dark outline of a pig on the other side. Beauty! It was a sow and her two piglets, slowly making their way from the creek back up into the gully. I hopped the fence, stalked a little closer into low ground and closed the bolt on a round.
What to shoot first? A piglet — it’s an easier target when it’s standing still, and I was confident I could get the sow on the run. I was less than 50m away. The Aimpoint has already proved its brilliance for that. As I lined up, the second piglet stood behind the first. Perfect. The bullet went through both — a two-for-one to start the day!
The sow bolted as I cycled another round home, but then she turned back to her litter. I watched as she checked them, quickly going from the stone-dead one to the one in its death throes. How protective was she? I walked into the open. The pure-black, tall-bristled thing turned to me and put her head down.
I didn’t need that much excitement so early in the day, so quickly lined her up and brained her.
No big boar, though. I headed to another creek over the next hill, a place where you’ll sometimes come across pigs. I’d barely begun stalking when I spied a brown pig. Then another, both fairly small. I scanned around the area and finally saw a bigger beast — a mid-sized boar — just as the first two trotted into a channel by the main creek line. I’ll take the larger one, then.
He died instantly to a shot into the back of the ribs from a rear three-quarter angle, at a range of just 30m. The Hornady projectile didn’t exit, but I could tell from the blood around the boar’s mouth that it’d done great damage inside the pig’s chest. Just what you want.
It’s not often you get four pigs from three shots, and that would’ve made a reasonable dent in the local population. But two got away … and there’s at least one big boar still out there somewhere. I walked home satisfied with today’s efforts and excited about tomorrow’s potential.