Tim Loch/Sporting Shooter photo

Turn your phones to silent please


My heavily pregnant wife liked the idea of a five-day hunting trip and my leave was in before she could change her mind.

I delivered some fresh seafood to the landowners in exchange for the location of the latest pig sightings, then took my .243 Howa 1500 with recently fitted Bushnell Trophy for a quick zero.

Next morning, I set out to where the river runs between two rock features and parked up. Patches of nut-grass and yams were bringing pigs from their bedding and watering areas. They’d left some pretty clear signs that they were there recently.

I set up my trail cameras on some likely spots and left to scout a bit more.

About 15 minutes before sunrise next day I parked my car where I had yesterday, marked my location on my phone navigator app (forgot my GPS) and set out on foot along the river bank.

The river is a series of intertwining dry breakaways with stagnant pools, surrounded by thick red gum country.

I began to move slowly along the creek banks, adjusting my angle so I could see up the breakaways rather than down into them.

Moving just 40m at a time then standing still to listen, I saw more ruts, footprints and rub trees.

It was quiet until my phone’s alarm went off, reminding me to put the bins out before work on Wednesday.

As I passed through two rock features the country thinned out and I heard a very faint grunting sound – similar to my wife snoring, actually.

From a large red gum 20 metres away a slow black figure appeared, quartering away and moving from one nutgrass clump to the next.

I glimpsed his tusks, shouldered my rifle, took aim, shot and the little bloke went down quickly and without a sound.


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Tim Loch

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