I collected Mike from the airport on time Tuesday afternoon, and we rolled toward my house. We made a stop at the local gun store where Mike drooled over various guns that he would not be allowed to own in his home state of California.
Another hour and a half on the road and we stopped at the Tex-Mex restaurant near our destination for tacos and fajitas. The food received good reviews from California native Mike.
Just a few miles down the road we took arrival at the tree farm where we partially unpacked, ate our to-go supper, and got familiar with the night vision scope and layout of the property.
There were also pig pipes to fill with corn. I showed Mike how the green motion lights work. The pigs are not bothered by the green LEDs, but we humans can see the hogs well when they are at the lights eating the free corn.
Among the wildlife we saw the first afternoon were a fawn (alone) and a doe.
We sat outside enjoying an unseasonable cool evening. The moon was in its third quarter and had not yet risen. We were positioned to see any of the three green motion lights activate. We had a couple of false alarms at the two nearer lights. The lights came on, but there were no animals.
Shortly, the light down the road came on. We moved that direction to less than 100 yards from the light. I could see a hog and set up the tripod for Mike. Shortly, Mike got the pig in the scope after some adjusting to the brightness, IR illumination, and focus. I waited for the shot, but after a minute or so, the hog moved on. I had encouraged Mike to only take a good neck shot. Unfortunately, the only shot Mike had was a “Texas heart shot.” I’ll let you figure that one out on your own. There was a very, very light breeze at out backs. I think the hog smelled us and ran. (It was the end of the day, and, yes, we may have been a bit ripe.)
We sat outside for a while enjoying the night air and listening to the coyotes sing. Finally, Mr. Sandman came to visit us, and we turned in. The newly remodeled small house is very comfortable, and soon I was out.
I woke at about midnight and took a short walk down the hall. Later, I heard Mike get up. In just a minute, my phone alerted me to a picture coming in from my telephone camera. There was a big hog. That photo came in at 0240.
Mike had also heard the call. Looking out the window, we could see the green glow of the motion light.
Mike got the AR, and I got the tripod. We moved closer in order to see the hog. It was there, a large boar. Mike wasn’t able to find it in the night vision. The hog got nervous and moved away. I moved and looked at the nearby motion light – it was on. I moved closer and could see the hog with my naked eye eating corn. Going back, I got Mike’s attention, and we moved. After some repositioning, Mike could see the hog in the cross hairs. Shortly, he sent a round toward the hog, and the hog fell in its tracks. Beautiful. As I was slapping Mike on the back, the hog got up and left. Ugh!
We moved toward the green light and could see blood on the grass. Mike heard some noise back in the brush. We agreed to look for the hog after daylight.
Daylight came, and we found the hog about 30 yards away. It was a very good neck shot. Somehow, the hog regained its footing and began to run after being hit. But, it didn’t go far.
Tonight, we’ll try again.
Make Yourself a Better Hog Hunter