Summer Hog

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We are in the midst of a significant drought in Central Texas. On our place we have good grass, even though it is dry. It’s water that is getter more precious. Here all of our water is either in the creeks or in dirt stock tanks. Those tanks that are shallow are already dry. The good water holes are fewer and farther between. This has had the effect of concentrating game as well as livestock around these watering areas.

My son and I were out and found a shallow tank that had a lot of recent activity by hogs. There were fresh wallows and lots of mud on trees and stumps where the hogs have been rubbing.
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So we got up early and headed for the ranch. We planned to just sit and watch - hopefully catching something coming in to water before bedding down for the day.

It took us longer to walk to our spot than we anticipated. We planned to get there before it was light enough to see but didn’t quite make it. The consequence was as we got close we were spotted by a couple of deer. They weren’t particularly spooked, but trotted away. About the same time we saw quite a large hog slip away. We knew that since we had been seen, the odds were poor for hunting and getting a shot at that pig. Our place has thick mesquite so they have the advantage when we’re moving.

We opted to go ahead with our plan. We hadn’t spooked anything, so whatever hadn’t noticed us might still come in to water. We arranged ourselves on the earthen tank dam. I was facing the water. My son set up facing the other direction into a significant opening where animals like to browse.

About 30 minutes into our stakeout I watched two young little 8 point bucks (still in velvet) come in for a drink. One wandered within about 15 yards of me before they moved along. I saw a water snake catch a small fish about 2” long. It went to the bank to eat it’s prize then returned to the water. My son didn’t see anything from his vantage point.

By about 8:30 the sun was well up and temps were rising. We called it and decided to move on to other things. My son walked over and we had a short conversation (we are never loud). He told me he need to step behind a tree in the distance to care of some morning business…

While he was doing that I leaned my gun against a tree, took off my camo, and was just looking around. Suddenly a hog left the brush and trotted down to the water. I was about 10 feet from my rifle in more or less open sight. In my mind I said, “$h!t”. I only had one choice. I made a decisive movement to my rifle. Thankfully it’s behind a tree, right? I made it to my rifle without being seen.

The hog is about 65 yards away with it’s head down getting a drink. I leaned my rifle against the tree and took good aim before pulling the trigger. He never knew what hit him. I was using my .72 caliber English Sporing Rifle. The load is 90 grains of 2F and a 550 grain PRB. Patches are pillow ticking lubed with mink oil. Now here’s the fun part - I’ll tell y’all the truth.

I was aiming right between his shoulder blades. He was facing me with his head down drinking. The bullet actually landed a couple of inches below my aiming point. I hit the hog almost perfectly between the eyes. If you’ve hunted much you know how an animal kicks and twitches when shot in the head - important point.

My son came walking up after tending his business and looked at me as if to say, “And???” I pointed across to where the hog lay kicking in the mud by the tank. He said, “Is it dead? Are you going to reload?” I responded, “No. they kick like that when you hit ‘em in the head.”

At first he was mightily impressed by the “Old Man’s” shooting. I eventually confessed though- it was still a decent shot. He told me he had picked up a horse shoe just a few moments before and wondered If it would bring good luck. I can neither confirm nor deny any such superstitious influence…

We drug the ugly beast over to a dry spot and took a few pictures. We then loaded it up to haul away. We did not try to use any meat. Between the high temps and risks of spoiling I didn’t want to risk it. These animals are a nuisance here and that’s the reason to take them.

So as it ended up we had a good morning. You never know how a hunt will go. Got there late; didn’t see much during the “hunt; then got what we were after while getting ready to leave. We literally almost got “caught with our pants down” , lol.

Thanks for taking the time to read about our little adventure.

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Very cool story! Nice shot too. As a fellow Central Texas resident, the drought is really getting brutal. Down at the family farm in Dale, Tx, the tank is empty and all that's left are a couple puddles here and there.
 
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Great post. Good shot on the hog too.

Many stock tanks here are dry too. i have a tower stand overlooking a tank. But the hogs don't wallow there. They wallow in the nearby creek.
 

pamtnman

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We are in the midst of a significant drought in Central Texas. On our place we have good grass, even though it is dry. It’s water that is getter more precious. Here all of our water is either in the creeks or in dirt stock tanks. Those tanks that are shallow are already dry. The good water holes are fewer and farther between. This has had the effect of concentrating game as well as livestock around these watering areas.

My son and I were out and found a shallow tank that had a lot of recent activity by hogs. There were fresh wallows and lots of mud on trees and stumps where the hogs have been rubbing.
View attachment 147878
View attachment 147880
So we got up early and headed for the ranch. We planned to just sit and watch - hopefully catching something coming in to water before bedding down for the day.

It took us longer to walk to our spot than we anticipated. We planned to get there before it was light enough to see but didn’t quite make it. The consequence was as we got close we were spotted by a couple of deer. They weren’t particularly spooked, but trotted away. About the same time we saw quite a large hog slip away. We knew that since we had been seen, the odds were poor for hunting and getting a shot at that pig. Our place has thick mesquite so they have the advantage when we’re moving.

We opted to go ahead with our plan. We hadn’t spooked anything, so whatever hadn’t noticed us might still come in to water. We arranged ourselves on the earthen tank dam. I was facing the water. My son set up facing the other direction into a significant opening where animals like to browse.

About 30 minutes into our stakeout I watched two young little 8 point bucks (still in velvet) come in for a drink. One wandered within about 15 yards of me before they moved along. I saw a water snake catch a small fish about 2” long. It went to the bank to eat it’s prize then returned to the water. My son didn’t see anything from his vantage point.

By about 8:30 the sun was well up and temps were rising. We called it and decided to move on to other things. My son walked over and we had a short conversation (we are never loud). He told me he need to step behind a tree in the distance to care of some morning business…

While he was doing that I leaned my gun against a tree, took off my camo, and was just looking around. Suddenly a hog left the brush and trotted down to the water. I was about 10 feet from my rifle in more or less open sight. In my mind I said, “$h!t”. I only had one choice. I made a decisive movement to my rifle. Thankfully it’s behind a tree, right? I made it to my rifle without being seen.

The hog is about 65 yards away with it’s head down getting a drink. I leaned my rifle against the tree and took good aim before pulling the trigger. He never knew what hit him. I was using my .72 caliber English Sporing Rifle. The load is 90 grains of 2F and a 550 grain PRB. Patches are pillow ticking lubed with mink oil. Now here’s the fun part - I’ll tell y’all the truth.

I was aiming right between his shoulder blades. He was facing me with his head down drinking. The bullet actually landed a couple of inches below my aiming point. I hit the hog almost perfectly between the eyes. If you’ve hunted much you know how an animal kicks and twitches when shot in the head - important point.

My son came walking up after tending his business and looked at me as if to say, “And???” I pointed across to where the hog lay kicking in the mud by the tank. He said, “Is it dead? Are you going to reload?” I responded, “No. they kick like that when you hit ‘em in the head.”

At first he was mightily impressed by the “Old Man’s” shooting. I eventually confessed though- it was still a decent shot. He told me he had picked up a horse shoe just a few moments before and wondered If it would bring good luck. I can neither confirm nor deny any such superstitious influence…

We drug the ugly beast over to a dry spot and took a few pictures. We then loaded it up to haul away. We did not try to use any meat. Between the high temps and risks of spoiling I didn’t want to risk it. These animals are a nuisance here and that’s the reason to take them.

So as it ended up we had a good morning. You never know how a hunt will go. Got there late; didn’t see much during the “hunt; then got what we were after while getting ready to leave. We literally almost got “caught with our pants down” , lol.

Thanks for taking the time to read about our little adventure.

View attachment 147884
View attachment 147885
More pictures of your rifle please
 
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It was made by Craig Kern. I ordered it from Joe Williams at The Gun Works. I had it done about 20 years ago. One reason it’s my go-to rifle is that Mr Kern made it to fit me. The sights just naturally align when I bring it to my shoulder. The shotgun butt makes the recoil not a problem. It has the “California Sights” discussed in a thread here recently.
I chose that caliber because of some articles I had read by Ross Seyfried back in the day. I also reasoned that a 550 grain bullet ahead of 70-90 grains of powder would be just like shooting my Sharps 45-90. At the time I ordered the rifle I was shooting more than a case of powder a year through my 45-90 at silhouettes.
I have never regretted having the gun done.
 

pamtnman

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Ok belay that answer about the “California sights,” because I used the search function instead of the smoke signals I usually rely on. I saw your picture of your rifle’s rear sight, and frankly that looks like a combination game skinner and fish scaler. All those sharp points sticking out are positively begging to catch on everything or something. No wonder past shooters knocked off the corners of those sights.
 
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Thank you. I have more questions about this fabulous rifle.
Is the barrel swamped?
I missed the former discussion about “California sights,” and I’d like to know more about them.
Does it have a cheek rest?
Where did you get that beautiful wood?
The barrel tapers from 1 1/8” to 1” across the flats. Considering the size of the hole though it is not heavy. The rifle weighs about 8 pounds. It has a cheek rest. It has a shallow cup that makes it move away from your cheek under recoil. I am unable to take a picture that shows that adequately. The wood was provided by The Gun Works. I asked for figure in the butt but wanted to be sure it was straight through the grip area.
Everyone’s tastes vary, but I have never had any issue with the sights hanging up on anything.
The single trigger suits me well for hunting. It breaks at about 3 pounds.
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pamtnman

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Thank you for the informative answer. Have you varied the charge at all? Not that I’d recommend it! But I wanted my .62 rifle to hit point of aim at 100 yards, so it had to be loaded up to 120-125 grains of FFG. Curious about the trajectory on your fantastic gun here. Sorry for all these questions, but I’m really attracted to big bore BP rifles AND the English sporting rifle design.
Also, who did the checkering? The maker?
 
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I vary the charge between 75 and 90 grains. 75 hits dead on at 50 yards. 90 grains is a bit high at 50 and a bit low at 100. I’m used to the rifle. I also carry a pocket rangefinder - so if I sit down somewhere I can range a few landmarks. Then I’ll know how to hold if I need to take a shot. I have shot heavier charges, but I haven’t found a T-Rex in my neck of the woods yet. My shots are generally 75 yards and less so why punish myself and the gun? That’s my philosophy anyway. The checkering was done by the maker. What you see is what he made. All I have ever done is shoot the thing. In a perfect world I’d love to have a .45 caliber barrel with a 1/18 twist to complete the set. I’m just not willing to let this rifle leave my possession to have another barrel made - so I’ll just enjoy it as is.
 
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