Double Naught Spy invited me out to the Land Owner's property in Bosque County Texas. We've been active at this property on average once a week over the last 5-6 weeks and this was the first week after the oats had been harvested.
This is my favorite style of hunting (fields that have been harvested with large round bales in the field). It provides a dynamic shooting environment and lends well to moving about quickly or at least quicker than when the field was thigh high.
We started just after sundown and we were on the first two hogs within 30 minutes, DNS spotted them and we maneuvered into position and popped a couple of mid 100 lb porkers. The remainder of the hogs in the sounder guessed right and ran away from our position of fire but not before two of their own met their demise. 6.5 Grendel is lightning quick to dissipate it's energy within the hogs body cavity and these shots were well placed.
We let these two lay and resumed scanning and within another half hour I spotted what appeared to be two large hogs across the field. DNS was busy observing a sounder comprised of smaller pigs at our 3 o'clock and we discussed the options. Few Big versus Many Small - we chose to go Big! Crunch Crunch Crunch is all that was heard as we attempted to step lightly on the field which had been picked clean by the farm equipment to its stalk bases. The Texas environment quickly turns a pliable plant into a rigid stick once the oats have been picked from the stems. Luckily a Train Operator (we'll refer to him as a transient member of the Texas Hog Eradication Force) covered our stalk with a well timed pass on the local railroad tracks. We were able to maneuver into a close position and spy 3 hogs of medium build. We again delivered well placed .264 payloads on target and these piggies went straight down via Federals factory 90 grain TNT load and my Sierra Pro Hunter handload specials.
We waited 15 minutes before taking photos and recovering bullets when I did an obligatory 360 scan ensuring we weren't being flanked by Radicalized Swine. I took note of a lone hog that was busily chomping on some left over corn paying us no mind and we moved to within 150 yards of this hog. This shooting scenario was not performed with nearly the same amount of precision that we are accustomed to operating at - my shot was poor and DNS was a bit high, it was enough to momentarily phase both the hog and DNS' scope (which blanked out unexpectedly). This left me in the Quality Assurance shot role which I commenced to screw up. Shortly after DNS states shoot him again my reflexes and muscles entered into a random game of slow tag and while I momentarily had the perfect bead on the hog to deliver said QA shot I couldn't mentally and physically process the order quick enough and I was late to shoot. The hog escaped and I am left pondering the thought that late QA is as good as no QA at all.....
We attempted to brush this off and engaged in an unorthodox shooting drill to test DNS' scope which he had rebooted at this time. He fired a shot into the dirt whilst yelling "Fire in the Hole" at a short distance in front of us to ensure that the ground gobbled up the bullet. Well the science behind thermal optics allowed us to see the bullet rebound out of the dirt and recover his TNT projectile. I'd never been present for such a feat and so we decided to celebrate by taking our first water break of the night at our first observation position.
We returned to the original scene of Grendel's carnage and recovered one of my Sierra Pro Hunters from the mid section of my hog.
A final scan of the field yielded another soon to be victim of our 6.5mm dual shooting technique. DNS and I refer to this as Quality Assurance on the hoof, meaning we both shoot a hog as it stands and they normally don't require a QA shot on the ground. We were a little ambitious on the approach and the hog decided that the crunching sounds he was hearing probably wasn't a good thing so he started to depart the scene. We settled our shooting sticks in the ground and tracked his movements behind a hay bale and he provided the pause that we needed to unleash the beast one last time. Nearly simultaneous thuds/impacts in the shoulder and neck sent this 200+ pork to the ground.
We departed shortly thereafter wondering how much longer the hogs will continue to visit this oats field in the top of the Texas Hill Country.......