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"Hunting Wild Hogs with Night Vision!"-Article

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Here is the link to my article in "AR Guns & Hunting" about hunting hogs at night with Tactical Hog Control:

 

http://www.arshunt.com/fall2009/fall2009#&pageSet=54&page=0

 

Be sure to click on the photo on the second page and watch the video!

 

 

ARGampHHogArticle_zpsee53d1ff.jpg

 

 

Hunting Wild Hogs with Night Vision!

Too Much Fun!

Bob Connell © 2009

I literally had my “eyes opened” this past weekend. I had the opportunity to go hog hunting in Texas with the Tactical Hog Control boys using their state of the art night vision equipment! Jed Dreher and Clark Osborne are the two owners of THC. They started out by just getting some night vision equipment for themselves in order to try and get little more advantage controlling the hogs on their ranches. They kept getting bombarded with requests from friends and “friends of friends” to take them hunting. They soon realized that they had discovered a new hunting niche and decided to start up Tactical Hog Control offering guided night vision hog hunts. I for one am sure glad they did.

 

This turned out to be the most fun I have ever had on a hunt. It is not “fair chase”, nor is it intended to be. It is strictly “animal damage control”. Landowners can’t eradicate the wild hog population fast enough in the United States. In Texas alone, there are an estimated 3,000,000+ wild hogs working daily at tearing up the land. One sow can have up to three litters of 10-12 hogs a year.

 

THC uses a combination of night vision goggles, night vision scopes, TWS (thermal weapons sights) scopes, and hand-held FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed). The goggles are Gen-III ANVIS-9's (Aviator's Night Vision Imaging System) Goggles. These are the same goggles currently being used by many of our military aviators. The rifles are fitted with either Gen-III, 6x Raptor Night Vision Weapon Sights or the TWS scopes. They currently have a suppressed AR-15 chambered in .223, an AR-15 in .243 WSSM, and three AR-10’s chambered in .308 for their hunters to use.

 

Jed and Clark also have the vehicles to go with the rifles, helmets, and hand-held FLIR!! They have tricked out a four-seater Polaris Ranger and have a Land Rover RSOV (Ranger Special Operations Vehicle). If you look close, the RSOV is covered with thick, irregularly shaped plastic sheets. This makes it harder to detect by enemy forces. Clark has even managed to get the RSOV street legal.

 

I arrived at Jed's ranch about 5:00 P.M. Jed showed me the rifles, the helmets and goggles, and the hand-held FLIR. I decided to use the suppressed .223 AR-15 with the Gen-III, 6x Raptor Night Vision Sight shooting 60 gr. Nosler Partitions. We headed out behind Jed's "Man Cave/Shed" to the range to let me get familiar with the equipment and make sure everything was sighted in OK. It takes a few rounds to get used to the extra weight the night visions adds but you adapt quickly. Jed also let me send a few rounds downrange with the .243 WSSM AR-15. I couldn't wait for the sun to go down!!

 

We loaded up the Ranger at sundown and headed out to the ranch we were going to hunt that evening. Currently, THC has access to over 50,000 acres and that number is growing rapidly.

 

Jed and I were going to be hunting. Clark was set to run the FLIR and we also had Tony Perales filming the hunt for us with a night vision adapter on his camera. Tony was a cameraman for eighteen years for NBC and FOX and now has his own production company.

 

After going through the gate, we pulled our goggles down over our eyes and started looking for hogs. I had played with some Gen I and Gen II night vision before, but I was not prepared for the Gen III’s. It was like high noon in Tombstone! We drove up on top of a levee and headed into the ranch. While we scanned with our goggles, Clark was also scanning with the hand-held FLIR for heat signatures.

 

We spotted a group of “black dots” about 500 yards out in a cotton field. Clark confirmed that they were “hot”. As we got a little closer we could see that it was indeed a group of hogs. We got out of the Ranger, grabbed our rifles, and started a 400 yard stalk on the hogs. We moved downwind from them and stalked to within about 50 yards. I felt almost naked out there. I had to keep reminding myself that I had night vision goggles on but the hogs didn’t! I had the honor of taking the first shot. I zeroed in on the largest hog and squeezed the trigger. I put the 60 grain Partition right behind its ear. When it was all over, the two of us had five hogs on the ground ranging from 90 pounds to 200 pounds. I had shot two and Jed put down three.

 

We resumed the hunt and headed back up to the levee. After cruising for a while, Clark said he had something “hot” way out there on the FLIR. As we got closer we could see through our goggles that is was a big solitary boar quartering towards the levee. We pulled up to within about 75 yards from the point where we thought the boar would intersect the levee. We got out of the Ranger with our rifles and dropped over the other side of the levee and stalked to where the boar should pop up. He had closed the distance, crossed some standing water about 100 yards out, and was headed right for the levee. We moved up on top of the levee and I got ready to shoot when he appeared. We waited, and we waited, and we waited. Clark finally motioned for us to come over to the other side of the levee. The hog had stopped and decided to start rooting about half way up the levee. I could just see the top of his back. About a minute later he raised his head and I took the shot right behind his ear. When the bullet hit him, he reared up on his hind legs with his front legs up above his head. It was like he was giving someone a high-five! I have never seen a hog do this before. Fortunately, Tony got it on video. This bruiser turned out to be the largest hog I have personally ever taken. He came in at 275 pounds.

 

We ended up with 7 hogs between the two of us in a matter of hours. As I said in the beginning, this is the most fun I have ever had on a hunt!

It is a hunt that everyone needs to do at least once!!

 

I plan on doing many more.................

 

 

 

 

 

Tactical Hog Control

http://www.tacticalhogcontrol.com/

 

 

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Very well done, Bob! Thanks for sharing it with us. I thoroughly enjoyed the read...

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This is similar to what SteveR and I have been doing, except we don't have the high dollar toys. YET! Great video and shooting.

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