My name is Ryan Compton owner of S&R Outfitters. Hog control or field protection is one of my most favorite times of the year. Whether it be corn, wheat, soy beans or even hay fields. The pigs leave the woods and move to the harvest.
It's hot on most nights. Wild hogs don't start moving until most summer nights until 12 am, but every now and then you get lucky with an early night and then on to the next field. Some nights are quite slow & frustrating. At this point most like to call it a night, but some know it can only mean one thing "The big boys come out to play". Every hunt has a trophy. In fowl hunting (goose, duck, etc) maybe its the top species on the list or a banded bird. Deer hunting its the buck of a life-time. But with wild hogs it's the cutters or tusks that make great trophy. Harvesting them from a distance is a fun time but getting within a few yards of them on a spot and stalk is a thrill like no other.
This night was very different then most. It was a pitch black night and very quiet. Freshly cut grass in the air, low 90's, stars every where you looked, frogs & crickets in the background. Nothing but whitetail deer in the field grazing. Not one of the usual sounders (group of pigs) to be heard. A few hours go by nothing was happening so I decide to start checking the wind direction, dew points, humidity, etc... to make sure my set up is correct. As I thought I'm still in the perfect location, I told myself "Let's give it thirty more mins and off to the next field".
As few mins later I hear a deer blow. I decided to scan the field one last time before moving to the next field. I started scanning right to left very slowly with the night vision. The deer had multiplied. There was probably 50 whitetail deer in the field now. As I'm still scanning I notice one yearling running towards the heard of deer balled up in the corner of field. So I proceed to scan left to see what it was running from and see this massive black object about 80 yards out, facing away from me, in the middle of the field. My first thought was one of the cows got out. I proceed to take a second look and it didn't take long to notice what I thought was a cow, was actually the boar I been after for two years. My adrenaline started to build and I gathered my shooting stick, .308 rifle, put a game plan together, and proceeded to put on a stalk.
The boar is roughly 100 yards at this point slightly to my right (very easy shot but not my type of hunting), the group of deer is also to my right but well out of the way. The wind was in my face, the grass was low enough that I could very easily move through the field to get closer. With this boar being as smart as he was I wasn't going to rush it and take my time. As Im putting on my stalk, I'm trying to keep my heart at a low beat, focus on the noise level, focus on the boar & wind direction at the same time. Defiantly not an easy task. As I reached thirty-seven yards I decided this was close enough as he decided to face me with his head down still grazing. Like I know something is there but i'm not sure what it is. A million things are going through my head at this moment and the one that stood out the most was please don't wound him (Being this close had disaster written all over it).
As I slowly took my weapon off of safety & slowly pulled the trigger until a boom rang out. Smoke filled my night vision screen. After what seemed to be a few seconds the smoked cleared and there lied the "River Bottom Monster" (named by owner of the ranch).
Weighing in at 407 lbs, the tusks/cutters are not the biggest but definitely a hunt for the record book and a memory of a life-time. The heaviest weight to date at this ranch.
We all talk about having the right gear helps and that is very true. Skre gear was quite enough to get a few yards from this smart boar, blend in with the environment, breathable enough to keep me cool on hot nights & durable. We all brag about our gear but after a very hard year from Missouri to Arkansas to Texas hundred of thousands of miles put on my gear. From hog to whitetail deer to waterfowl. Skre gear has proven it's self time and time again.