A hog hunter in North Texas killed the most important pig he’s ever seen from a cornfield not removed from the Oklahoma border. It took Dakota Landers two makes an attempt and a little bit assist from his associates, however he finally dropped the 350-pound boar underneath the duvet of darkness on Aug. 18.
Landers tells Out of doors Life that late summer season has at all times been his favourite time to chase wild pigs close to his house in Fannin County. That is when farmers are chopping corn, soybeans, and different crops. For all of the hogs within the space which were mendacity low and hiding from the summer season solar, all these combines and threshers may as effectively be diesel-powered dinner bells.
“I spend a whole lot of time driving round scouting” Landers says. “I’m not even essentially in search of animals. I’m simply trying out all of the fields which are being lower, and if I see a farmer in a type of fields, I’ll drive up there and ask him if I can come again after darkish and hunt.”
9 occasions out of 10, the farmers are very happy to oblige, Landers says. That’s as a result of, in a state that’s house to not less than 1.5 million wild hogs, farmers want all the assistance they’ll get nowadays. Despite the fact that research have proven that large-scale trapping is much and away the simplest methodology for controlling feral pig populations, a keen hunter with a rifle and thermal scope may assist lower down on the quantity of crop injury that hogs trigger domestically.
So after he acquired permission to hunt a brand new discipline final Monday, Landers says he was driving by after darkish on Tuesday night when he stopped to present it a glance.
“Positive sufficient, there’s this pig standing in the midst of the sphere,” he says. “And I may inform via the thermal that he was enormous.”
Try No. 1
Landers hopped out of the truck, however as he labored his manner across the discipline and acquired inside vary of the pig, he realized he had made an enormous mistake. He had his gun in hand—a Colt Competitors AR-style rifle chambered in 5.56 and fitted with a Sig Sauer thermal reflex sight—however because it had been using alongside within the car with him, there wasn’t a spherical within the chamber but.
Man, I shoulda racked it up by the truck, Landers thought to himself as he stood roughly 60 yards away from the hog. Pulling again on the bolt as slowly and quietly as he probably may, he tried to sneak one within the chamber, however when he took purpose and pulled the set off, all he heard was a click on. When he racked a brand new spherical in, the large hog busted him. The pig took off, operating down right into a creek backside and out of sight.
“I knew he wasn’t gonna go far, so I mentioned screw it. I’ll wait and let him relax for a pair days,” Landers says. He already had a plan in thoughts. He simply wanted reinforcements.
Try No. 2
By Thursday, Landers had recruited two of his associates, Nathan Stringer and Ryan Nichols, and the three of them headed again to the farmer’s discipline that night. They arrived about half-hour earlier than sunset and noticed the identical pig that Landers had spooked off two nights earlier than. The boar was standing out within the open, chowing down on corn, so the hunters bided their time and waited for darkness to fall.
“This pig was spooky, and he was good,” Landers says. “We stayed and watched him work throughout the sphere, however then a deer got here strolling down the tree line. The pig noticed the deer and peeled out of there, operating off into the woods once more.”
Effectively after 9 p.m., the three returned to the sphere when it was pitch black. Scanning with thermal scopes, they walked into the sphere and rapidly noticed the large hog once more.
“He was working his strategy to the upwind facet, so we knew he wasn’t gonna scent or hear us,” Landers explains. “Once they’re consuming corn like that, they’re making a lot noise chomping and chewing that they’re not even paying consideration.”
The pig was nonetheless oblivious as Landers and his two buddies crept inside capturing vary. Steadying his rifle on the capturing sticks, Landers informed them to comply with up on his shot as quickly as he fired.
“As quickly as I did it was growth, growth,” he says. “The pig by no means even moved.”
Strolling up on the useless boar, the three hunters couldn’t imagine how massive he was. They’d killed massive hogs earlier than—as much as 300 kilos by Landers’ estimations—however this was simply the most important one any of them had ever seen in individual. After struggling to carry the pig onto the tailgate of Landers’ pickup, they headed for his dad’s storage, the place he saved a fine-tuned scale that he used to weigh racecars. Placing the hog on the dimensions, it registered 352 kilos.
“We actually couldn’t imagine it. The farmer was blown away too,” Landers says. “350 kilos won’t sound that loopy for a pig, however they not often attain 300 kilos up right here. It’s sort of like a 200-inch whitetail. It takes loads for a pig to develop to that dimension—particularly with all of the rednecks down right here in Texas—they usually don’t get that massive with out being good.”
Landers says he plans to get a Euro mount of the boar’s cranium. And also you higher imagine he’ll be reaching out to extra farmers within the county earlier than harvest season is finished.