Hunter with six dead feral pigs in paperbark swamp

Hunter’s Diary winner: Five shots, six pigs!

Win Vanguard hunting gear in our Hunter’s Diary competition, supported by Hunters Depot, simply by entering a short story like this one from Tom McCahon about a stalk in the paperbarks that went 20 percent better than planned!

As the hot September winds swept across northern Australian, Dad and I packed eagerly for our annual Cape York pig hunt. This time, the hunting was going to be particularly tough due to a great wet season. We decided to focus our energy on the swamps in the hope of finding feeding boars and mobs coming and going throughout the day.

This plan proved very successful and we took many boars in the first two days.

Each night we would choose swamps on the map that we believed might hold pigs. Each morning we’d travel to these swamps from base camp by quad.

After getting rid of the hunting nerves on the first couple of days, we decided to try an entirely new set of swamps we had never been to. The drive was long and hard through dense bush, narrowly avoiding punctures for 25km. We parked 400m from the first swamp and were unfortunately faced with a terrible swirling wind heading directly towards our target.

“Might as well try,” we decided.

We detoured through the scrub for about 800m to try to get down wind of the swamp before approaching. This turned out to be an excellent decision because as we closed the gap, we could hear squealing pigs feeding in the mud. This swamp had paperbarks throughout the entire area, making it difficult to decide on a target, with black blobs going in every direction – a great problem to have, I must admit!

After a painfully slow stalk we reached a good shooting position at what we had determined to be the biggest group of pigs in the area. I fired three rapid shots with the .308 while the pigs were in a state of bewilderment. After the pigs saw their fellows dropping where they stood, the swamp suddenly erupted with pigs running in all directions, heading for the thick bush lining the swamp.

Dad took two great running shots with his beloved .44 magnum and another two pigs came sliding to a halt.

As the bush fell back into silence, we could see something wasn’t quite right. Six lifeless black lumps were lying on the ground. We realised one of my shots had passed clean through the neck of an old sow and into the heart of a small boar. Five bullets, six pigs – a fantastic result in anyone’s book.

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank my dad for providing me with so many hunting memories, and teaching me lifelong skills and the importance of good marksmanship.




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