Since feral hogs are a such a destructive nuisance, Texas allows any means necessary to suppress their raging population. This gives us the opportunity to use some amazing equipment and circumstances for hunting them. A few years back I was able to hunt from a helicopter, and recently I actually topped that kill count while using Pulsar thermal optics and CMMG rifles with Todd Huey of Lone Star Boars.
Over the 2 nights of hunting we took out 20 hogs. For Todd, who has personally slain over 5,000 feral hogs, this was a slow night. However I still had a blast testing my sleep deprived marksmanship skills on full speed running hogs in absolute darkness.
We used prototype Pulsar XP50 LRFs just announced at SHOT Show. The obvious advantage of this model is the Laser Range Finders (LRF) which is especially helpful with depth perception limiting thermal optics in unfamiliar terrain. The downside of these prototypes was that the videos lacked audio. So for my cut of the hunting video you get my narration and sound effects (skip to the action @ 3:00):
My favorite part of the weekend was the string of 6 that we took out beginning at 3:54 in the video. You see me help take out the 5 and Todd gets another one behind me. Check out his earlier video for that footage. The coolest part about this six was that when you overlay my scope’s video on top of Todd’s you can see that except for the first hogs that we singled out, we both double tapped the other 3 at the same time. We were choosing the exact same targets according to how they presented themselves. What tickled me the most was hearing the “THUMP” of my suppressed rifle round impacted the hogs at every shot.
I used the CMMG 300 Blackout with the semi-secret Bowers Group VERS 30 suppressor. By Todd’s recommendation I used the Barnes 110 grain and it seemed to do quiet well. I’ll be sticking to this round from now on for defense and hunting.
So while helicopter hunting hogs is pretty awesome, the thermal is more practical and even more cost effective. Heck, for the cost of 2 helicopter trips you can buy a decent thermal optic. With basic marksmanship skills it’s easy to do some effective eradication in these open fields.