SHWAT™ arrived at the Wild Hog Roundup in Center, Texas, on Saturday, April 6 in the form of long-time Special Hog Weapons and Tactics™ writer Dr. John Woods and me, Brian McCombie, SHWAT™ contributor and NRA Field Editor. So far, we’ve hunted two solid days, and the score stands at Hogs 2, SHWAT™ 0. In the spirit of understatement, we’re holding out for a come from behind win, like Louisville did over Michigan a couple of nights ago at the NCAA Basketball National Championship.
Wulf Outdoors Sports, the premier outdoors retailer in East Texas with stores in Center and Athens, sponsors the Wild Hog Roundup. To really bring out the hunters, Wulf and it’s sponsors have again put together $28,000 in cash prizes to hunters (tactical and old school!), dog hunters, and trappers, all with the goal of knocking back a booming—and destructive—wild hog population. The Roundup started the evening of April 5 and runs through April 13.
About that $28,000... Keep reading to find out what you should know about it. The hunt isn't over yet, and if you can't make this one, maybe the next...
We spotted the group of hogs from nearly a mile off, eight black figures in our binoculars cutting across the front of a steep hillside in Central Coastal California near Paso Robles. My hunting partner was professional football player Bear Pascoe, a tight end for the New York Giants, as well as a member of Team Weatherby, and we were on a hog hunt sponsored by rifle maker Weatherby. The hogs were spread out among the trees ahead of us, not 70 yards away, noses down and rooting... I'll get back to that in a minute.
From California to Wyoming, from Texas to back home to my local range in Wisconsin, the Zeiss Conquest Duralyte 1.2-5 has been with me for some for some great memory making. Shooting .243 at 225 yards or .308 as close as 70 yards, I've been very pleased with this optic. Read on, and I'll tell you why.
The first thing I noticed when I picked up Smith & Wesson’s (S&W) new VTACII rifle was the way the rifle’s slim smooth handguard fit my hand so nicely. Without the quad rail design I usually see, I found the tube handguard with a single picatiny rail running the length of the top to be just about perfect for me. The slots running up and down the length of the rest of the handguard provided a solid grip without the too-sharp edges of many quads that can wear on your fingers and palms.
S&W calls it the VTAC/Troy Extreme TRX Handguard, and it’s just one of the many tactical innovations in this new entry into the gun maker’s M&P15 line of tactical rifles. Taking into account the 1 in 8 inch twist with 5R rifling, a Geissele Super V Trigger and other considerations developed with Viking Tactics' Kyle Lamb, and you have good reason to be excited about this gun.
Whether hog hunting or doing tactical training, we need our feet to be comfortable, stable and sure. Different circumstances call for different boots, so SHWAT™ writers keep testing and reporting back to you here. Part One introduced the Original Muck Boot, Part Two tested the LaCrosse Venom Scent HD™ Realtree® APG HD® Snake Boots. Now that we're up to Part Three of Boots On the Ground, let's take a look at two very different boots: Under Armour’s Speed Freeks and the LaCrosse Adders.
Sometimes, the unexpected that happens on a tactical hog hunt can turn out better than you could have imagined—as I found out on a recent hog hunt sponsored by the good people at NRA Outdoors. I got to my hog hunting stand way late and well past dark. Actually, I’d been there on time, more than an hour ago, when I spotted a malfunction with my rifle that forced me back to the main house of the ranch we were hunting. There, I grabbed the only AR on hand, a Daniel Defense M4V1 gas-operated carbine in 5.56mm.
Only problem? I hadn’t taken a single shot with the DD M4V1 once at that point. In fact, it had only been fired a relative handful of times in its whole existence. Right out of the box, without a serious cleaning, how would it do? Well, one pig later...
But when hunters hear the terms “night hunting” and “tactical,” a lot of them assume it’s a $10,000 Night Vision scope a Navy SEAL might use on a dangerous night op—or nothing.
Not true! Actually, as I discovered in Texas earlier this year, a tactical hog hunter can do very well with a LED light that attaches onto a rifle’s rail, and costs under $200.
I ran over the sandy soil at a dead sprint, dodging waist high clumps of sagebrush and jumping over badger holes big enough to swallow my leg and snap the bone. Several hundred yards ahead of me, the two dogs barked, loud and excited, on the hunt, while the grunts and squeals of a lone hog echoed over the sagebrush.
I'm in eastern Oregon’s high desert, at some 4,600 feet in elevation. This was a varmint hunt for badgers, rock chucks, ground squirrels and coyotes. Before I’d left, I checked the National Feral Swine Mapping System, run out of the University of Georgia, but funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That map said they were no hogs reported within 50 miles of where I would be hunting. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website showed no map of feral hogs in the state. But there I was chasing full speed after this hog...
Narrowing this list to ten was a monumental task. So many choices, good choices, great choices... This is part two of my top ten list. If you missed part one, you can read it here. Here's a recap of the concept for this list, then it's on to the next five rifles.
As a way to kick start the discussion, SHWAT™ presents ten of the top hog killers available today. Let us know what you think, as well as your personal favorites for engaging multiple hog targets. We’d like to include your suggestions in an upcoming SHWAT™ feature! Comment the here or on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/SHWATteam.
When it comes to firearms, there’s never been a better time to be a tactical hog hunter. Gun makers keep producing new rifles, in new calibers and various tactical configurations.
Some of the new rifles on the market today are designed with rather specific hog hunting applications in mind, such as suppressed hunting. Others allow you to apply the tactical advantage across a wide range of hog hunting situations.
As a way to kick start the discussion, SHWAT presents ten of the top hog killers available today. Let us know what you think, as well as your personal favorites for engaging multiple hog targets. Use the comments, or jump on our Facebook page to post. There are so many possibilities! We’d like to include your suggestions in an upcoming SHWAT feature! This is part one of a two part story.
Regular visitors to SHWAT™ will know that I am a big fan of the ammunition made by Dynamic Research Technologies or DRT. My first experience with this fine ammo came last November in Oklahoma, when I used DRT’s 79 grain Terminal Shock in .223 to take down a 210 pound wild boar—with a single shot to the ribcage. Impressive! The non-lead, penetrating frangible DRT bullet is designed to punch through hard material like bone and hogshields ("penetrating"), and then essentially explode into the soft tissue beyond (frangible), completely dispersing all its terminal energy and knockdown power within the hog. There's a picture of a gel block you want to see inside this article that shows the would channels for the .308 and .223 DRT ammo.
Recently, while on a hog hunt in East Texas, I had the chance to use DRT’s .308 Winchester, a 125 grain boat-tailed hollow point, and the results were devastating. I was night hunting...
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