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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well… mark one up for the hogs. This weekend I decided to test my new rifle against the hogs but they were too smart for me. I camped out Saturday night and took my labrador with me to keep me company.

Saturday evening I waited at one of the feeders and a lone pig (probably a boar) came in pretty close to the feeder. He stayed in the thick cedars and paced back and forth out of sight. Somehow he knew something was up and left after a few minutes. I’m not too sure how he knew I was there, there was no wind, and I was being extremely quit and still.

Saturday night was a hoot. With the full moon the pigs we’re out in force. My dog made sure to wake me up about ever hour to let me know hogs were moving near our campsite. During the course of the night there were four sets of pigs nearby and a probably a deer.

Sunday morning I got up before the sun rose and set my self up at the feeder again. Nothing came in, after a few hours I called it a morning and crawled back into my tent. I’m hoping once it cools off they will start coming out during the day more. I’d still like to know how that hog knew I was there. Maybe I’ll chop the cedar trees back some at the feeder.
 

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He either heard you or smelled you. I'm talking about he heard you walk into the stand earlier. If your stand is slightly uphill from the feeder or is elevated, your scent is going to descend and drift outward even on an absolutely calm evening. It will eventually reach the feeder... not enough to spook him off but enough to keep him on his toes.

For the AM hunt, head out earlier. For whitetails I'm on stand 1:30 before sunrise (one hour before legal shooting) for hogs I think it is best to be on stand about two hours before dawn if you really want to try and kill one. The reason is they are out feeding all night long, I've got close to 4000 game camera pictures to prove it, and it is very easy to fumble along in the dark and spook them. That said, I hunt my way into the stand eventhough it is dark. If I have to use a light, I shine it straight down on the ground. I've killed a couple in the dark on the way to the stand at very short range... <10 yards.

I'm around these critters everyday and my #1 rule is always be ready to take advantage of ANY opportunity presented. Always move close to cover. Always keep your head on a swivel. Always listen to the brush talk. I've made a couple of kills simply by hearing a jay or a mockingbird scolding a bedded or feeding hog. I just posted this picture on another thread but...



I killed this hog thanks to a Green Jay. I had just dropped gmark340 (L) off so he could still hunt along Little Sandies Creek. We had been in the Jeep a bit so I was just stretching a little and had no intention of hunting. I walked over to just admire where a wash emptied into the creek. While I was contiplating life, it dawned on me that a jay might be harassing a hog. I sat down against a live oak so I could listen and possibly shoot. I realized that it sounded like the bird was moving from tree to tree towards me but on the other side of the wash (about 10 feet deep). I quitely crossed it and sat down against another tree. In less that 20 seconds this hog stepped out about 50 yards away. I smoked it with my 336D and a 180-grain Speer FP.

The story is just a point about always being ready for the opportunity. I wasn't hunting, Mark was but if I'm in the woods I'm always looking and listening and ready. May be you could shoot one in camp and save some dragging?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ranch Dog,

Thanks a lot for your wisdom. Most of my previous hunting experience has mostly been for small game or birds. I was wondering what would be a good time to hit my hiding spot just before sunrise. Next time I’ll try your advice to head out a few hours before sunlight. How early do you hit your stand in the evenings? Ironically, enough the first time I tried to go hog hunting (a few months ago) I just set my self up at a feeder an hour before sunset. A huge pack of pigs came in and I got a large sow with my dad’s 1895. I suspect my first time was just dumb luck.

Have you played much with hog calls? I saw a few when I was at the sporting good store to wait for my paper work to clear. One was a boar grunter and the other one was some type of a pig distress. I even saw an electronic one that had an optional memory cards to simulate pigs feeding. I didn’t buy one but it did peak my curiosity. While I was sitting there with the boar hiding in the brush I was wondering if a hog call might have been enough to get him to come out for a clean shot.

What type of sighting system do you in the dark or dusk hours? I have the factory sights on it and can get very good accuracy out of it in the day light hours. I really haven’t shot too many firearms in the dark (mostly rimfires at skunks) but from my experience it can be tricky with iron sights. I’d hate to put a scope on the rifle. My dad has one on his 1895 and really ruins the way the gun handles and feels. Then again since most of your experience has been at less than 10 yards accuracy would probably be an option.

I thought about grapping my gun and chasing them down at three in the morning. Only problem was my dog. She’s an old labrador who has had to have two knee surgeries done from when she blew out her knees chasing a chicken and later a cat. I had her on a tie down next to my tent and she was already going crazy because of the pigs. If she saw me running out of camp with a gun after those funny smelling and sounding creatures she would have lost it. Better to calm her down and try to prevent any additional injuries. Maybe next time I’ll leave her at home but I thought the old lady might like to go on at least one more trip before she goes. :cry:

Thanks for your advice.
 

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In the evenings and with your given situation, I would try to minimize my time on stand before the feeder goes off (the scent thing). Be there one hour before it goes off. My feeders go off 30 minutes before sunset. I do that for two reasons, you will have a better chance of cattle not being around the feeder (if this is a problem), and you will see more bucks at the feeder (they move a lot like a boar hog).

I wouldn't do any hunting with your dog. Feral hogs fear a dog something terrible. If there are javelina in the area, you will want to keep you're dog close to you at all times. They have no fear of dogs, and in fact seem to take a little sport in taking them on. I've seen more ranch dogs killed by javelina than any other means. I've was bit by an old javelina boar on the front porch of my house while he was after my dog. They usually open their bellies up... it is not a pretty site and you will have to kill the dog.

Most hog hunting is done in low light. I use the Bushnell Banner 1.5-4.5X32 on all my rifles and it is a fine scope for the Marlin rifles. Unfortunately, you are going to need to consider a scope. The US Army spends a lot of time teaching fellows to shoot at night but it's not a very successful thing or at least in my case it wasn't.

I have a Hog-Lite (no web site but made in San Antonio) on my house feeder but when VTDW was down here a couple weeks ago he brought and gave me a couple of real neat LED lights powered with AA batteries. They have a magnet that allows them to attach to the feeder. They work real slick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The more I think about your advice the more its setting in that I’ll need a scope. The large majority of my scouting camera pictures are evenings and most pig sightings have been at dusk or evenings.

I did some browsing around online for a light weight and compact scope. I found a few candidates that are manufactured by Weaver. One is a 2.5x 20mm fixed power with a 1” tube. The other is a 1-3x 20mm variable power with a 1” tube. Most of my shooting will be close quarters. Our property is pretty thick with cedar so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to haul around a massive 3-9x scope (especially since its going on a 30-30).

When I went out hog hunting my dog stayed at camp. There is no way that dog would be still if she heard or smelled a hog. The property seems to be javelina free. I haven’t seen any and none have turned up in the scouting camera pictures. That probally isn’t too shocking given the density pig population.

I think I saw the feeder lights at a local sporting good store here. They looked interesting. Maybe next time I’m there I’ll have to check them out.
 
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