High adventure hunting hogs with double rifles in the Texas sun.


July 21, 2007, 01:11 PM
I got back from Texas last week. This hunt was a successful as my goal was to blood my new .470 NE double rifle. The action was slow but steady as the ranch has had so much rain this year the brush and grass are insanely thick making spotting hogs nearly impossible. The one thing that the ranch is not short of this year is rattlesnakes.

Right out of the starting gate I nearly had another snake/dog disaster. As some of you know I lost a cherished hunting hunting dog and companion to a rattlesnake several years ago. I got to camp at about midnight on Thursday. I let my dog “Nitro” out of the jeep and he took of to do what dogs do after a long ride in a car. I grabbed a flash light quickly followed. As I walked around my trailer I noticed the dog was fully intent on something in the dark and at just about the same time I heard the distinctive “tick Tick” of a rattler giving a short warning rattle. As I shine the beam of the light over I see the dog frantically jumping back and catch the motion of the rattler in full strike.

I call the dog and he obediently joins me. I grab him and rush him to the trailer retrieving my 329 PD .44 Mag from the jeep on the way. I throw the dog in my trailer and load the .44 with snake shot the rattler was disposed of in a very gratifying blast of 8 shot. And it was a LARGE rattler.

Now my thoughts are on the dog. Sure enough he has two little puncture marks just under his jaw that are starting to ooze serum. And sure enough just like his dead cousin he didn’t murmur a sound after being bit. These Jadgterriers are just to tough for their own good sometimes. CRAP!!! I grabbed the med kit my veterinarian wife made up for me and administered a shock dose of dexmethazone which is a powerful steroid and started him on an IV of L.R. and administered and dose of antibiotics. Now all there is to do is keep the dog calm and wait. There isn’t a vet clinic within 70 miles and none stock anti venom anyway so I am on my own.

With nothing to do but wait and hope I unpacked the jeep and went to bed letting Nitro sleep on the bed with me for this special occasion. The alarm sounded at 0500 and I awoke to find one very healthy very happy terrier dog breathing in my face. He had survived the night with no problems. In fact the site of the bit was only showing slight swelling . He had been very lightly hit and received a dermal venomation only.

We got lucky!

So I fix a little breakfast and step outside to deal with my morning chores . As I am standing there taking care of business a movement about two hundred yards from camp catches my eye. I reach into the trailer and grab my binos. Sure enough there is a big light colored hog milling around just at the tree line. Now what you are about to read is not for the weak of stomach. Picture this I am in my tighty whities with a pair of untied Danner’s on and nothing else. My curly black back hair is gently swaying in the breeze and my pearl white chicken legs are covered in goose bumps. I grab a scoped .300 win mag from the trailer and hastily load it with some 180 gr bullets.

First I climb to the top of my trailer and try for a prone shot but the view is obscured. Hmmmm…What to do? Ahh there about 50 yards away is a step ladder lying by my buddies trailer, what a perfect standing rest. Stealthily in my undies and untied Danner’s, slink over to the ladder and silently yet purposefully unfold the ladder and in the true fashion of hairy chested hunting heroes the world over tip toe the ladder over about 30 yards to the side only tripping on my untied laces about 6 or 8 times, to where I can get a clear shot.

After setting my improvised shooting stick up in the correct spot I was able to quickly acquire the hog in scope and let fly with a 180gr Barnes TSX. The shot was poor and the hog let out a scream and a series of grunts as it disappeared into the brush and trees.

I am suddenly aware of two things one, that the buzzing sound I hear is a cloud of mosquitoes that have found my tender white naked body and are feasting quite contently on my soft flesh and two, the rumbling sound I hear is a rapidly approaching vehicle.

I fold the ladder, sling the rifle and bravely start walking the 100 yards or so back to my trailer. Sure enough here comes an oil field service truck at rapid speed with head lights glaring through the early morning gloom. I bravely march on knowing that in a moment the approaching truck load of West Texas rough necks are going to have a strange tale of natural oddity to tell for the rest of their lives. Here I am in my undies and a pair of boots walking the road carrying a ladder in one hand and have a rifle slung over the other shoulder the only thing I've got covering my body is a swarming cloud of mosquitoes.

The truck slows momentarily as the head lights reflect off my ample snowy white belly. I can only imagine what the conversation turns to in the cab of the truck, four shocked heads turn quickly to gaze at the bizarre sight on the side of the road and the truck passes then speeds off. I am certain that the guys in the truck were probably having visions of the movie Deliverance with banjos playing in the back ground and all, but in any case they wanted nothing to do with me!:confused:

I got dressed applied a liberal slathering of bug dope and called the dog as I knew we had a tracking job to do. Turns out it wasn’t that big of a tracking job. Nitro found blood immediately and within 50 yards found a very dead hog. The bullet had entered too far back but ranged forward and into the chest taking out a lung and the aorta on the way. That is why I love TSX bullets, they really penetrate. Nitro and I enjoyed watching the sun come up as we field dressed the hog in the rapidly warming Texas sun. Nitro laying to the side of the hog in a nice shady spot, catching some meat and fat that I threw to him every once in a awhile.

Nitro with his hog.

The next day I was able to blood the .470 and it happened in a really neat way. Nitro and I had hunted a steep ridge in the cool morning air and had covered about 6 miles round trip. We had no luck but it was a very nice stroll through some neat country and the sunrise had been spectacular. I got back to the jeep at around 0900 or so and after a long cool pull on the water jug we loaded up and started to slowly cruise through some of my honey holes around the south side of the ranch.

About 1200 I stopped to let Nitro out of his kennel and take a nature break just as I was about to open his kennel I caught some movement out in a field about 150 yards away. Taking a closer look with the glass I am able to make out three round hog backs milling around with only the top of their backs showing above the grass.

I grab the .470 out of the case on the front seat and thunk two cigar sized cartridges into the chambers and close the rifle with a gratifying clink that sounds as tight as a vault firmly closing. The hogs are totally unaware of my presence and are busy rooting around in the dirt. I've got the wind so I slowly walk towards them stopping every time one looks up or moves. I am in range for a shot from the time I leave the jeep but I want to see how close I can get.

After about 10 minutes the closest hog is less than 15 yards away and the biggest hog is on the opposite side of the group at 25 to 30 yards. I raise the rifle slip the safety off and when the front bead touches the on shoulder I press the front trigger. The hog disappears in a cloud of dust and the other two start a fleet retreat towards the brush some 200 yards away. I am ready with the second barrel as the next largest hog sweeps by me at less than 10 yards. I swing with the rapidly sprinting porcine and press the rear trigger. Nothing happens. I press a little harder nothing happens. I break the rifle and the right barrel ejects the a smoking hull over my shoulder with a metallic ping but the left barrel is unfired I wrist flip the gun dumping the loaded round into the dirt and quickly load two more rounds into rifle, close it and reacquire the hogs which are now getting out towards 100 yards . I press the front trigger, NOTHING.. My thumb pushes on the safety and sure enough the darn safety has slid to the on position somehow during the first shot. I am able to fling a couple of rounds at the fleeing hogs but miss both times just as they are entering the brush some two hundred yards distant.

Oh well at least I got the big one. I turn to go retrieve my downed hog and see that she has regained her feet and is rapidly approaching the brush line on the opposite side of the field. I load the right barrel and snap off a shot but miss. She disappears into the brush.

I walk back to the jeep and let Nitro out of his kennel he is all to keen after the copious amount of gun fire to get into the action. He quickly finds the blood trail and with in seconds has found the hog, which is dead as yesterdays lunch. In fact the hog has a .475 hole right through the middle of the on shoulder and exiting out the gut just forward of the off hip. Her heart and lungs are trashed.

Think about this for second this hog weighing less than 200 lbs just took a.475 diameter, 500 gr bullet delivering over 5000 Ft lbs of energy right through the chest and out the off side wrecking here cardio and pulmonary systems. Yet she is able to get up and run nearly 300 yards. The hog I shot the day before with a.308 diameter 180 gr round producing something less than 3000 ft lbs dies in a quarter of the time.

There is no accounting for how an animal will react to a bullet ANY bullet at any time with any animal. Every one is going to be different and there is no single answer for cartridge or bullet design. There are just to many variable involved when it comes to shooting real live critters. And hogs tend to be some of the toughest animals on the planet pound for pound when it comes to soaking up bullet energy.

This picture shows the rifle very nicely.

This picture shows the bullet entry very nicely. And Nitro gets to show off another of “his” hogs.

On the third and last day I was able to procure this nice new hat band. While quite pretty it sure was heavy I’m not sure that I cured the skin right?;)

If you enjoyed reading about "High adventure hunting hogs with double rifles in the Texas sun." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
July 21, 2007, 03:43 PM
What a great adventure! And the story was very well written too.

True about the hogs. I killed one with a shoulder shot with a .223 at about 50 yds. Hog was a boar and about 200 lbs and ran about 50 yards and went tits up.

Shot another one (70 pound female) at 90 yards with a Ruger #1 in 45-70 with a Rem 300 gr JHP. Dead center the on-side shoulder and exited just behind the off-side shoulder. It ran. A blood splash where it was hit but not another drop of blood anywhere! Found it about 60 yards away with a big chunk of fat plugging the in-hole and a big chunk of lung plugging the out-hole.

You just NEVER know what a hog will do when hit. They are indeed interesting to hunt!

Thanks again for the tale! (I'd LOVE to have a two holer with big holes in the end!)

July 21, 2007, 06:00 PM
Great story and beautiful rifle-- I'm glad you found out about the potential safety switch issue on fleeing hogs rather than charging Cape Buffalo!

July 21, 2007, 06:36 PM

Yes sir! And that is why I will never take a new rifle DG hunting! I use and abuse my rifles for quite a while before I declare them DG capable.

Thanks for the comments.


July 21, 2007, 07:08 PM
H&H Hunter:

It is refreshing to read that I am not the only hunter who believes that a rifle isn't a hunting rifle until it is "...blooded..." Continuing that thought, few things pain me more than selling a rifle that I have successfully used on a hunt. I would encourage all hunters to reduce their hunting experiences to writing. I believe that writing up the experiences from the hunt, are as much a part of the hunt's enjoyment as the actual planning, stalking and pulling of the trigger. We can relive the hunt over and over! Thanks for sharing the story and the pics. In closing, excellent visual writing...as I read it, I could see the hunt in my mind!


July 21, 2007, 07:09 PM
Nice shot on that Hog too! :D

July 21, 2007, 09:38 PM
I recently bought a Craig Boddingtons book, Safari Rifles to learn more about hunting rifles in general (there is a good chance I might be going on an African safari next year). Anyways at what price do double rifles start at and what is the typical caliber if there is such a thing? Great story about hunting in Texas.

July 21, 2007, 10:10 PM

The "typical' caliber is the .470 NE it could be considered the .30-06 of the NE rounds as it is by far and away the most popular.

A good working double starts at around $10,000. + or -.

Unless you just really have your heart set on a double you'd probably be better served by a good solid bolt gun in an adequate caliber. But if you are dead set on a double drop me a PM and I'll send you in the right direction.

July 21, 2007, 10:34 PM
Excellent story H&H. The ladder part is hilarious!
You've got at least one book in you :)



July 24, 2007, 05:31 PM

Get in contact with a pointing dog club in your area, and find out when/who does snake breaking of their dogs. It's been three years or so since Max was snake broke, and he will still do a double back flip and high-tail it out of the area upon seeing, hearing, or smelling a snake.

About the only way a snake broke dog will get hit is he runs over a snake downwind, that he doesn't smell, and the snake hasn't had time to rattle.

Fee is usually reasonable ($50 or so) and worth every penny.


July 24, 2007, 05:41 PM
Scot he's been through snake avoidance training already as was his cousin.

It doesn't seem to take with these darn terriers.

El Tejon
July 24, 2007, 09:27 PM
I always enjoy your trips, H&H.:)

July 24, 2007, 11:02 PM
H&H, thank you for sharing again. :)

July 24, 2007, 11:07 PM
After hearing your tighty-whitey story I started getting a little nervous when I noticed there were pictures.

July 25, 2007, 12:47 AM

If you PM me I can send you those pictures.;):barf::barf:

Just kidding....

July 25, 2007, 12:54 PM
Not to seem ungratefull...but i would much rather see a few more pics of Nitro, good looking pup ya got there!

Dave R
July 26, 2007, 12:37 AM
Well written. I love a good "virtual hunt."

Glad to hear Nitro was not hurt seriously.

July 26, 2007, 11:04 AM

I smoked an SD card with most of my good pics on it. I think the spousal unit saved some on disk. When she gets home tonight I'll have a look.

If you enjoyed reading about "High adventure hunting hogs with double rifles in the Texas sun." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!