A growing concern across the United States is a valid one as urban sprawls intrude on more and more forest land. Recently I had the chance to help with a problem that faces these areas, wild hog eradication. Accompanied by my wife Beth, we traveled towards Tampa, Florida to meet up with our good friends Davie Ferraro of www.ihuntstrong.com, Trent Marsh of Hawke Sport Optics, and my show co-host Kevin Knighton.
Kevin wasn’t arriving until the next day so Beth, Trent, Davie, and I all headed out for a quick evening spot and stalk hunt. For those of you unfamiliar with central and south Florida, orange groves are abundant. Early spring of each year the oranges are harvested and many of them fall to the ground or are discarded. This makes easy pickings for wild hogs in the area.
Arriving on the property with an hour or two before dark it wasn’t long before we saw hogs. Stalking through the groves we cautiously watched for snakes, gators, and battled mosquitoes as the unseasonably warm March temps were getting all the critters active. Then we saw our first hogs. At 75 yards they were almost right on us, we froze and Trent tried for a shot. The lead sows were too quick for us as they bolted for cover not offering us a shot. Hoofing it through the grove we were unable to catch up with that pack, but when we stepped back out into the main road, so did a nice boar. Trent steadied for the shot and dropped him in his tracks. We broke the ice! As darkness settled in, we headed back to grab some dinner and a quick night’s sleep to head out the next morning.
The next day, Kevin was able to join us as well as Davie’s father David. Morning hunting was a bit tricky with a front blowing through and warm temps still kicking in. We did see a few hogs but didn’t get a chance for a shot. After a quick break, we were ready for the evening hunt. Deciding to split up into groups, Beth, Davie, and I setup about 100 yards from a feeder as Trent, Kevin, and David hit the orange groves again. After about thirty minutes of sitting, hogs showed up at the feeder and Beth dropped a nice black sow in her tracks. Let the gates open now! After loading up Beth’s hog, the three of us headed to the opposite end of the orange groves as our other trio. We were watching a road with a thick swamp on each side at the edge of the groves. As light was growing low a big black boar charged out in front of us. I steadied my Hawke optics for a high shoulder shot and dropped him in his tracks! As he high fived and carried on, another huge boar popped out of the brush. Aiming again I squeezed off on him and he fell in sight! Two 300+ pound boars down in a matter of minutes! In the low light conditions, the Hawke Optics performed great.
It’s always good to get to spend time in the woods with good friends and family. This trip we were able to help control an ongoing problem with the growth of feral hogs as well as spend time doing what we love, living the Backwoods Life™!
Optics: Hawke Sport Optics (rifle scope and binos)
Gun: TC Encore 7mm-.08
Pack: Gameplan Gear
Scent Control: Lethal Products
Gear Transport: Concealed Outdoors