So over the weekend I had a chance to get to my father-in-laws lease to spend time with the family and enjoy the sights of Mason county in the summer. I figured I'd take the 6.8 with me and do a little hog hunting while I was up there. I basically planned to hike and check watering holes/bedding areas at dusk and dawn. I honestly wasn't expecting to get anything but figured I'd just try. Saturday morning I'm walking along a trail in an area of dense brush, my wife had decided to join. At the end of our little walk I decide to take her to an area where we had just put up a new tower. This tower is overlooking a feeder but the feeder hasn't been throwing corn since deer season. As soon as we turn the corner we come up on a group of five pigs just tearing up the ground. I'm taken back, how come I didn't hear these guys? We were approximately 40 yards away and there was no wind. I finally get my bearings and fire a shot, knocking down a good sized sow. We head back to camp and we tell everyone about our adventure. High fives were exchanged, mother-in-law was upset that I killed Babe, and beers were a drinken! I went to bed happy and full. The next morning I'm awoken by my father-in-law. It's about 7 in the morning and I have a significant headache. I look to him in a confused state and say "what? What's wrong?". He has a intense look on his face and whispers (there was other people sleeping in the room) "there are 10 hogs outside". I shoot up out of bed like a confused kid on Christmas. I run to the car and grab my AR. I slowly head to where he is pointing. To my surprise there is a group of ten pigs wallowing in a shallow creek not 20 yards away from the cabin. Again I pause, these hogs are as silent as a rock! If I wasn't staring at them with my own two eyes, in my pajamas, I'd have no idea that they were there. I lower my AR along the fence line a connect with a sow. Instantly after my first shoot I lock on to another hog. Pow!! Another sow goes down from a shot to the neck. I guess the dense mud had slowed them down but it seems as if the hogs were moving like molasses. They make a run for it, I aim and pow another one goes down. I think I must have connected with the shoulder because I watched the last one limp away into the brush. The whole thing must have lasted 30 seconds but to me it lasted an hour. I left that morning. I was very satisfied but confused. During both my occurrences I had not heard a peep come from the group of hogs. In my excited state had I developed some sort of cochlear nerve palsy? Have the hogs in mason county evolved into some super silent breed of swine? I don't know why I didn't hear them, I just know that I didn't. Has anyone else ever encountered the silent hog? Or was this all a dream?
A real hunter never returns empty handed. Spending time in the wilderness temporarily satifies the soul, but leaves us longing for more.