|April 19, 1999, 06:43 PM||#1|
Join Date: October 6, 1998
Location: South Florida
I post this mainly for the edification of others who have expressed an interest in hunting. If I can get into it at my age, there's hope for anyone!
Date: Sunday, April 11, 1999
Place: Somewhere in the Florida Everglades
The Rifle: Steyr Scout
The Party: Hilton, The beautiful Ms. Tammy (AKA, The First "TFL Widow"), a rather famous personality whom I'll call HunterX and me. (Rob missed the party by 15 minutes.)
I've shot my share of birds from Georgia to Cali, Columbia, but I've never hunted quadripeds before. (Well, there were those prairie dogs in OK, but that doesn't count.) Bolstered by great friends, a sound rifle and a stout heart, I determined to start.
Dawn found us doing the tree stand thing. Tammy and I in one; Hilton and HunterX in two others somewhere. The closest any of us came to a shot was the sounds of 4/5 of the hunters in another area scoring.
1100: Onto the swamp buggy and off to the swamps. With four hunters and one guide tromping around in the brush as noiselessly as possible, we probably made no more noise than....four hunters tromping around in the brush.
Our guide was barefoot and made *no* noise. Tammy was not barefoot...lucky for her as a poisonous adder decided her ankle might be tasty. The snake reared back to strike and thought better of it when Hilton drew down on it with his 870 tactical and gave it his best "Assume the position look"...Hilton can be very convincing.
1300: Break for lunch...we'd seen water buffalo, deer, emu, snakes, hog tracks, hog sign, hog wallows. No hogs.
1500: back to the fields. The plan: our trusty guide would take us one at a time to four different mudholes in various swamp areas. Hopefully one of us would connect.
Miss Tammy: Zip
1800: My turn. Moving to the next area in the swamp buggy, I determined to follow our guide's lead....if I wasn't gonna kill a hog, I would at least be able to say I'd tromped around in the swamps barefoot.
As we rounded a bend, we were confronted by about 5 hogs...little ones and big ones. Range: 100yards and feeding on corn.
The shot was given to Tammy. She studied two of the larger beasties thru the scope on her Rem 660 (.243) for several minutes, but couldn't get a clear shot thru the brush.
At that HunterX, Hilton and I rolled off the buggy and did as the good Colonel commands...got closer. I had two advantages: they were carrying 870's vs my Scout and I was barefoot and able to move faster.
At 25 yards, I ran out of cover....darn. From a rice paddy prone, I looked back to see HunterX on his belly at my 8:00. He'd determined to let me have the shot and he'd take whatever came his way in the aftermath. At my 7:00 was Hilton, moving up as only Hilton would....you'd have to see it to appreciate it.
I broke the shot as the pig turned from face on to broadside...a great quartering shot that I called back of and high on the left foreleg .That's when things went *bad*. Like all novices I dropped the rifle from my shoulder to admire my work, while I ran the bolt.
The hog apparently disagreed with my bullet placement and did a 180, moving in a *fast* arc thru about 90 degrees of my field of vision before disappearing into the brush. The Scout optics really proved themselves here. I had time to raise the gun, sight and follow her, loose her, pick her up again and make a follow up shot in a matter of a few seconds...try that with your 3-9X cranked all the way up. Evidently, I've learned nothing about rifles from shooting birds on the wing. I manage to stop the rifle as I broke the trigger and saw the bullet hit the dirt behing the fleeing quarry.
That's when things got worse! When the hog first turned I saw the exit wound amidships and began to question my hit. Could I have gutshot her and missed the vitals altogether? As I rounded the corner where she'd disappeared I found three possible trails. There was virtually no blood and the guide suggested that maybe it had been a flesh wound...he hadn't seen the exit hole.
We sent the guide back for water and spent the next 90 minutes searching thru the underbrush. I can't thank Hilton and "That Masked Man" enough for their work...much of it on all fours crawling thru the brush.
I finally found the target not 15 feet from where she'd disappeared. The shot was placed where my mind had seen it...high and back of the foreleg. The follow up shot had not missed completely...it caught the left rear hindquarter.
Autopsy Results: The 168gr Winchester Silvertip had sheared off the top of the heart, penetrated both lungs and virtually shredded the liver and split the colon before exiting. There had been no blood trail because there was no blood pressure.
The hog was a good meat hog..about 75 lbs.
- Go barefoot in the swamps but not in the underbrush.
- Trust your eye. If you know the shot was good, there's no need to ruin your dinner meat with a followup (I lost a whole ham this way!)
- *Follow through* after the shot. Only a novice or someone who looks like a novice does what I did.
Next Hunt: This weekend with Ashley Emerson and Mad Dog. Hogs in TX.
[This message has been edited by Rich Lucibella (edited April 20, 1999).]
|April 20, 1999, 12:08 AM||#2|
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Let me tell you guys...
When Rich came home (I had broken into his house while he was out hunting...) He was rather ...ummm....Elated.
I'm sure this will not be the last kill for himself or the Steyr.
As for missing the party.. I was REALLY damn close.. but I needed the day by the pool more than I needed to shoot a hog.. trust me...
HunterX ?? Does that make you SpeedHunter?
Now, I want to clear something up:
to a hunter, there is a distinct difference between "couldn't get a clear shot" and "wasn't confident in a clean kill" Miss Tammy wanted to see a hog drop when she pulled the trigger and she made the right call to hold off on the shot. (Not to mention that Rich, Hilton and HunterX were chomping at the bit to "stalk the wiley hog".
HunterX casually hopping off the swamp buggy intended to stroll for a closer look, while Rich laid his delicate bare feet quietly on the damp earth preparing to appraoch his prey with the utmost stealth... those two diametrically oppossed approaches from opposite sides of the buggy as Hilton Deployed from the transport vehicle and prepared to dynamically enter the wilderness and assualt the pig with maximum speed and violence .... Come to think of it, I wish I had been there with a video camera.
|April 23, 1999, 02:24 AM||#3|
Join Date: December 9, 1998
Rich, great story. I gather this was the common, tufted, razor-backed quadriped.
Re your tree-stand experience, that tends to be my situation while fishing. As a matter of fact, other fisherman seem to catch so much fish when I'm around, I wonder why they don't all take up a collection to get me to their lake on the weekends.
Personally, I'd enjoy reading stories like this all of the time. Sure beats some of the political discussions we've had to have lately.
[This message has been edited by Jeff Thomas (edited April 23, 1999).]
|April 26, 1999, 01:09 AM||#4|
Join Date: March 25, 1999
Congrats on your first big game, Rich, and welcome to the club.
It sounds like you learned from what minor mistakes you did make, which is more than some of us can say.
Good luck on future hunts!