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Mzuri
Jun 5, 2004

Shot through the heart!

CoffeeBooze posted:

I got skeptical about the AR15 platform in the wrong thread.
Of course it would be something like that. Thanks for explaining.

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Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


iammeandsoareyou posted:

So Iím a long time shooter, but Iíve never been a hunter though Iíve always wanted to take it up. So this year world events have finally knocked me off the fence, but Iím little bit at a loss of the best way to get started.

So so far what Iíve gotten done is to get my Florida hunter safety card, and have been studying up on game regulations. But I donít know anyone who hunts or anybody with private land I could ask to hunt on. So Iím kind of left with the options of going through a hunting outfitter to start or hitting public lands solo (in Florida) as a novice. Iím strongly leaning towards an outfitter to get my feet wet then moving to public lands. Totally open to input on why that is wrong way to get started.

As far as game Iím planning on hunting wild boar, since theyíre a nuisance animal anyway and Iíve heard theyíre good eating. Also planning to deer in season. Tools I have on hand for the job are an AR platform with a 5.56/.223 long barrel upper and .450 bushmaster upper (that one is for the hogs), with five round mags for both. I donít really have a problem using an AR platform on pigs but hunting deer with an AR seems wrong for some reason (though it is technically allowed with five round mags). The only bolt action I have is an m44 Mosin. While my example actually has a safety that works, the idea of lugging it around the country all day doesnít sound that wonderful, and I have no intention of sporterizing it. Iím looking at getting either a Ruger American Ranch or CZ527 in 7.62x39. From my googling, ballistics nerds seem to think it is powerful enough for humane use at the same range as 30/30 and both ammo and rifles are super reasonable price wise. Also really interested in bow hunting, especially for public land hunting, but I have zero archery experience.

So that where Iím at now. Thoughts, suggestions ?

I think going on a guided hunt if you are a newbie without any hunting connections is a good idea if you can find the right outfitter. There are starting to be guides and outfitters that specialize on taking new hunters. Iíve never gone on a guided hunt but I think they have a place and can accelerate the learning curve to a point. Everything Iíve heard is that guides and outfitters are not created equal. I would be especially wary of a Florida guided pig hunt so you donít end up with Joe Exotic as your guide. Call/email lots of services and get references.

I wouldnít hesitate to use a .223 AR you already own on the tiny deer in Florida where a long shot is 50 yards. My gripes about ARís donít apply here with regard to limited range, bigger deer and excessive weight. Just get a decent load like Barnes TTSX 55 gr or Federal Fusion 62 gr.

If you want a brush gun for hunting the Ruger American ranch series in 7.62x39, 6.5 grendel and 350 legend are all good options. The CZ 527ís are nicer guns to look at but they are spotty on accuracy plus Wood stocks donít have much utility for hunting some brushy hell hole on public land.

Bowhunting is its own rabbit hole but itís not a huge handicap in thick Florida woods.

Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com


I'm of the opinion a Joe Exotic guided hunt would be a magical, possibly nightmarish once in a lifetime experience. Where do I sign up?

CoffeeBooze
Aug 4, 2007

Nuh Uh!


You could probably get a pretty accurate idea of what at least part of the experience would be like by handing a child a rifle and letting them muzzle sweep you with it repeatedly. That dude was a tragedy just waiting to happen. Credit where its due though, that man knew how to do Thanksgiving right and I bet if you survived hed make a pretty awesome post-hunt feast.

Ophidian
Jan 12, 2005

Woo WOO, Look a Parrot...
LOOK AT IT!


I wouldnít start with bow hunting if you are starting from scratch. Shotgun/rifle offer you more opportunities at shots vs being in the same exact place/situation if you were shooting a bow.

I could see frustration setting in more starting with a bow which may sour the experience for a new person. Iím certainly glad I had a few years of ďhuntingĒ before I ever picked up a bow.

CoffeeBooze
Aug 4, 2007

Nuh Uh!


iammeandsoareyou posted:


As far as game Iím planning on hunting wild boar, since theyíre a nuisance animal anyway and Iíve heard theyíre good eating. Also planning to deer in season. Tools I have on hand for the job are an AR platform with a 5.56/.223 long barrel upper and .450 bushmaster upper (that one is for the hogs), with five round mags for both. I donít really have a problem using an AR platform on pigs but hunting deer with an AR seems wrong for some reason (though it is technically allowed with five round mags). The only bolt action I have is an m44 Mosin. While my example actually has a safety that works, the idea of lugging it around the country all day doesnít sound that wonderful, and I have no intention of sporterizing it. Iím looking at getting either a Ruger American Ranch or CZ527 in 7.62x39. From my googling, ballistics nerds seem to think it is powerful enough for humane use at the same range as 30/30 and both ammo and rifles are super reasonable price wise. Also really interested in bow hunting, especially for public land hunting, but I have zero archery experience.


Ive only been hunting for three years now and Im in Texas, so grain of salt and all. Based on that experience though I think I can offer a bit off advice.

I would just got with the 450 Bushmaster for getting started. For hunting dense brush I generally think being over gunned is an asset rather than a liability. Tracking wounded game through dense brush is a painful and at times hair raising experience so using a full sized cartridge with a modern hunting bullet will hopefully help to avoid having to do that. Shot placement is of course crucial, but when you are in dense brush and often getting fleeting glances of game you often have a very brief opportunity to take a shot which leads to a higher margin of error. On top of that hunting dense brush lends itself to specialized rifle/optics setups. In the three years Ive been hunting Ive carried a different rifle/optic each year. I think the best thing you can do when getting started is make do with the equipment you have, then as you get some time in the field youll be better informed about what kind of gear to prioritize. Getting a good pair of boots right out the door is probably a good idea though.

Also, if you decide to use an outfitter for your first few hunts be careful. In Texas at least I kind of try to discourage people from paying to hunt pigs. Theres a substantial cottage industry here around hunting pigs, and this has had the unfortunate side effect of creating another industry around trapping, transporting and selling live feral pigs. Those pigs go on to cause all kinds of havoc for neighboring land owners. Its an irresponsible, lovely industry that is doing billions of dollars in ecological damage to our state. With that said things may be different in Florida, and even if they arent I dont think paying for one or two outfitted hunts to get your feet wet is necessarily a bad thing. Be sure to look the place up before you put any money down though and if you see a "WE BUY LIVE FERAL HOGS" sign out front take a hard pass. Also, when contacting outfitters be sure to ask if they are actually going to take you out to hunt pigs or if they will have you sitting in a stand hunting over bait. I dont know if Florida allows hunting over bait on public land, if it doesnt the latter approach wont teach you much.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010



iammeandsoareyou posted:

So I’m a long time shooter, but I’ve never been a hunter though I’ve always wanted to take it up. So this year world events have finally knocked me off the fence, but I’m little bit at a loss of the best way to get started.

So so far what I’ve gotten done is to get my Florida hunter safety card, and have been studying up on game regulations. But I don’t know anyone who hunts or anybody with private land I could ask to hunt on. So I’m kind of left with the options of going through a hunting outfitter to start or hitting public lands solo (in Florida) as a novice. I’m strongly leaning towards an outfitter to get my feet wet then moving to public lands. Totally open to input on why that is wrong way to get started.

As far as game I’m planning on hunting wild boar, since they’re a nuisance animal anyway and I’ve heard they’re good eating. Also planning to deer in season. Tools I have on hand for the job are an AR platform with a 5.56/.223 long barrel upper and .450 bushmaster upper (that one is for the hogs), with five round mags for both. I don’t really have a problem using an AR platform on pigs but hunting deer with an AR seems wrong for some reason (though it is technically allowed with five round mags). The only bolt action I have is an m44 Mosin. While my example actually has a safety that works, the idea of lugging it around the country all day doesn’t sound that wonderful, and I have no intention of sporterizing it. I’m looking at getting either a Ruger American Ranch or CZ527 in 7.62x39. From my googling, ballistics nerds seem to think it is powerful enough for humane use at the same range as 30/30 and both ammo and rifles are super reasonable price wise. Also really interested in bow hunting, especially for public land hunting, but I have zero archery experience.

So that where I’m at now. Thoughts, suggestions ?

A quick glance at Google Maps shows that Florida has a lot of public land and at least judging by the satellite photos it's not all pestilent swamp. Personally, and keep in mind that I'm a cheap-rear end, I'd be trying public land. I don't know what an outfitter costs in Florida, but out here in the west you're talking thousands, and that buys a LOT of tree stands, camo, and hotel stays.

Also:

CoffeeBooze posted:

In Texas at least I kind of try to discourage people from paying to hunt pigs. Theres a substantial cottage industry here around hunting pigs, and this has had the unfortunate side effect of creating another industry around trapping, transporting and selling live feral pigs. Those pigs go on to cause all kinds of havoc for neighboring land owners. Its an irresponsible, lovely industry that is doing billions of dollars in ecological damage to our state.

alnilam
Nov 10, 2009

Postin in the springtime




My friend told me there are places in Texas where you can pay to shoot an animal chained to a post. If true, what the gently caress even is that.

iammeandsoareyou
Oct 27, 2007
Nothing to see here

Thanks for the input. I hadn't thought of them actually buying wild pigs (there are so many around, I wouldn't think there would be a need) but it is something I will keep an eye out for. The ethics surrounding wildlife in Florida is pretty much like the ethics for every other industry in Florida, which is to say there are none. From the outfitters I've seen so far it looks like the money maker in Florida is gator hunts or high fence exotics. The impression I got was that hogs were more of a sideline, since they are already there anyway. Most places I've seen so far don't even charge for a trophy pig, or only a small fee as compared to other trophy tier animals. Around $300 for the firs pig and $150 for additional seems to be a common price structure. Finding an outfitter that actually offer non dog tracking hunt is looking to be a challenge. I strongly suspect the hunts that aren't swamp buggies following dogs are guides sitting hunters in a blind overlooking a feeder and letting them blast away. The fact that almost all of them guarantee a pig seems like a flag. Quite a few places I've looked so far definitely give off a Joe Exotic vibe, not that that should e a surprise. I hadn't really planned on doing this until late summer or early fall anyway so I got some time to look around I guess.

On the subject of equipment, I will probably make a decision on the new rifle or bow (or neither) closer to deer season. The .450 does work all around, and the .223 would certainly take out our dainty native deer. I still like the idea of having an intermediate round bolt action when hunting deer. ARs do seem to be accepted for hogs but I do worry about the perceptions of toting a black rifle for deer (or anything else with tags and limits), especially since the 5 round 450 mag looks like (actually is) a 20 round 5.56 mag. Flatland Crusoe, pretty much confirmed for me that the Ruger is what makes the most sense if I do go that direction. I guess I really already knew that, but the CZ is such a nice looking rifle...

And most definitely a good set of snake boots is first on my shopping list. Assuming its not verboten in Florida, I also intend to have a revolver loaded with snakeshot loads on hand.

iammeandsoareyou fucked around with this message at 01:12 on May 18, 2020

CoffeeBooze
Aug 4, 2007

Nuh Uh!


The worst Ive heard is places that keep the animal caged and hand feed it. Thats usually done with exotics and is more of a south and central Texas thing as best I can tell. I absolutely would not be surprised to find out one of the sleazier "breeders" did something like that with a buck though. People in Texas routinely pay $3,000+ to shoot a trophy buck. Combine that with lax regulations/enforcement and just about anything is possible. If you want a real trip check out the Texas Deer Association's annual catalog. Thats always intersting.

Mzuri
Jun 5, 2004

Shot through the heart!

Some of the skeezier ranches in South Africa are infamous for selling "canned lions" that have been raised in a cage, drugged and pushed off the back of a bakkie (truck) 30 minutes before the client happens along and sees Simba standing there, looking confused and presenting a fine broadside. Same with Sable antelope and other animals of that calibre.

Never underestimate the influence of money.

Blotto Skorzany
Nov 7, 2008

He's a PSoC, loose and runnin'
came the whisper from each lip
And he's here to do some business with
the bad ADC on his chip
bad ADC on his chiiiiip


alnilam posted:

My friend told me there are places in Texas where you can pay to shoot an animal chained to a post. If true, what the gently caress even is that.

The opposite of the extremely successful "North American Model" that we're all supposed to be following, plus a huge CWD factory as a bonus!

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


Holy poo poo I DREW A WYOMING BULL ELK TAG!!!!

7 preference happily burned. A quite good hunting party assembled. Hopefully things stay under control for COVID 19 in 5 months.

armorer
Aug 6, 2012

I like metal.

Flatland Crusoe posted:

Holy poo poo I DREW A WYOMING BULL ELK TAG!!!!

7 preference happily burned. A quite good hunting party assembled. Hopefully things stay under control for COVID 19 in 5 months.

Good luck! I look forward to your write-up

tangy yet delightful
Sep 13, 2005



Flatland Crusoe posted:

Holy poo poo I DREW A WYOMING BULL ELK TAG!!!!

7 preference happily burned. A quite good hunting party assembled. Hopefully things stay under control for COVID 19 in 5 months.

gently caress yeah, looking forward to your posts about this trip for sure.

alnilam
Nov 10, 2009

Postin in the springtime




Flatland Crusoe posted:

Holy poo poo I DREW A WYOMING BULL ELK TAG!!!!

Nice, what'd you use, ink? Pastel? Colored pencil?

(Congrats)

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


alnilam posted:

Nice, what'd you use, ink? Pastel? Colored pencil?

(Congrats)

Blood.

CoffeeBooze
Aug 4, 2007

Nuh Uh!


Flatland Crusoe posted:

Holy poo poo I DREW A WYOMING BULL ELK TAG!!!!

7 preference happily burned. A quite good hunting party assembled. Hopefully things stay under control for COVID 19 in 5 months.

The quest continues! That is awesome. Im looking forward to seeing another post-hunt post on the topic.

charliebravo77
Jun 11, 2003



Hopefully I survive this trip and take a thousand photos this time.

Chaosfeather
Nov 4, 2008



Flatland Crusoe posted:

Holy poo poo I DREW A WYOMING BULL ELK TAG!!!!

7 preference happily burned. A quite good hunting party assembled. Hopefully things stay under control for COVID 19 in 5 months.

YESSSSSSSSS

charliebravo77 posted:

Hopefully I survive this trip and take a thousand photos this time.

HELLL YESSSSSSS

You rolled all 1s last season, time to roll some goddamn nat 20s.

Ophidian
Jan 12, 2005

Woo WOO, Look a Parrot...
LOOK AT IT!


Has anyone gone shotgun shopping recently? I was looking at picking one up for turkey next spring and while I can just as easily use my dads Remington model 58 (28Ē barrel full choke 12ga) I was also looking at getting my own semi auto turkey cannon.

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


Ophidian posted:

Has anyone gone shotgun shopping recently? I was looking at picking one up for turkey next spring and while I can just as easily use my dads Remington model 58 (28Ē barrel full choke 12ga) I was also looking at getting my own semi auto turkey cannon.

Like a dedicated turkey gun or a wingshooting compromise do all utility shotgun because the answer hinges quite heavily on that.

If Iím buying a dedicated turkey shotgun I want a 20-24Ē barrel and a receiver than is drilled and tapped for a red dot of some sort. Having a short barrel isnít an impediment to pattern ballistics and I all but require a red dot on a turkey gun with XXX-Full turkey chokes. On a turkey gun having a semiauto is nice for recoil reduction while patterning but I donít think itís a particular advantage while hunting. In fact the Benelli inertia bolts are a bit of a liability because if you ride them home trying to be quiet they often donít go into battery. One thing to consider is now with TSS loads 20 gauge is a 40-50 yard turkey cartridge and magnum 12 gauges and 10 gauges arenít the requirement they once were for turkeys.

If you want a general purpose shotgun for turkeys, ducks and clays itís hard to beat a 26Ē barrel.

Ophidian
Jan 12, 2005

Woo WOO, Look a Parrot...
LOOK AT IT!


An all purpose gun would be ideal. Iím currently watching an m2 which looks practically new with everything that comes with it (12ga/26Ē) sitting around 850$ but Iím not sure I want to spend all my extra money in one spot. And Iím not sure I even need that ďmuchĒ gun. Or if semi auto is even something I need.

Right now Iím just getting into the kicking tires part of this so I can make a decision by the end of the year so Iím ready for turkey season in NJ Next spring. Iím lucky in that I live about 15 minutes from some known public that allows for shotgun/archery hunting for turkey.

As I said I have a ďfreeĒ option for a shotgun as well but spending money is always more fun.

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


Ophidian posted:

An all purpose gun would be ideal. Iím currently watching an m2 which looks practically new with everything that comes with it (12ga/26Ē) sitting around 850$ but Iím not sure I want to spend all my extra money in one spot. And Iím not sure I even need that ďmuchĒ gun. Or if semi auto is even something I need.

Right now Iím just getting into the kicking tires part of this so I can make a decision by the end of the year so Iím ready for turkey season in NJ Next spring. Iím lucky in that I live about 15 minutes from some known public that allows for shotgun/archery hunting for turkey.

As I said I have a ďfreeĒ option for a shotgun as well but spending money is always more fun.

If you buy a used M2 for $850 and decide you donít want it you can get nearly all of your money back out of it. I really like M2ís since I donít feel like 3.5Ē 12 gauge is much more useful. Check and see if the M2 is drilled and tapped for an optic because some are and some arenít.

Beretta A300ís are always a good option the only issue being they only come in 28Ē and 24Ē version so far as I have seen so you end up biased towards wingshooting or turkeys. They also have mixed optics ready capabilities.

Maybe Iím biased but free 60 year old fixed choke shotguns have very little utility for hunting. They are typically sketchy of reliability and loosing the ability to switch chokes is a deal breaker for me on turkeys. They also have questionable barrels for various non toxic shot. They is a reason they litter the earth for less than the cost of a modern pump.

ThinkFear
Sep 14, 2007



Flatland Crusoe posted:

Like a dedicated turkey gun or a wingshooting compromise do all utility shotgun because the answer hinges quite heavily on that.

If Iím buying a dedicated turkey shotgun I want a 20-24Ē barrel and a receiver than is drilled and tapped for a red dot of some sort. Having a short barrel isnít an impediment to pattern ballistics and I all but require a red dot on a turkey gun with XXX-Full turkey chokes. On a turkey gun having a semiauto is nice for recoil reduction while patterning but I donít think itís a particular advantage while hunting. In fact the Benelli inertia bolts are a bit of a liability because if you ride them home trying to be quiet they often donít go into battery. One thing to consider is now with TSS loads 20 gauge is a 40-50 yard turkey cartridge and magnum 12 gauges and 10 gauges arenít the requirement they once were for turkeys.

If you want a general purpose shotgun for turkeys, ducks and clays itís hard to beat a 26Ē barrel.


Haha, get's everyone once.

charliebravo77
Jun 11, 2003



Flatland Crusoe posted:

If you buy a used M2 for $850 and decide you donít want it you can get nearly all of your money back out of it.
I already have a M2 and I'm having trouble talking myself out of bidding on this package if Ophidian doesn't. Case, all chokes, wrench, lube bottle, everything.

Ophidian
Jan 12, 2005

Woo WOO, Look a Parrot...
LOOK AT IT!


Iíve been talking myself in and out of the GB auction for the M2 all day. My biggest concern is the guy is only accepting PayPal which I would never use to buy a gun off of some random person.

glynnenstein
Feb 18, 2014



Ophidian posted:

Iíve been talking myself in and out of the GB auction for the M2 all day. My biggest concern is the guy is only accepting PayPal which I would never use to buy a gun off of some random person.

I've done paypal an it worked out, but I would never buy from someone who presented it as the only option.

crazypeltast52
May 5, 2010



To piggyback on shotgun talk, Iím looking at picking up a gun that would work for turkey and whitetail as Iím in rifled slug country. Are there annoying tradeoffs that Iíll be making here or am I fine if I buy one gun for both?

Iíll be trying for morels again this weekend, hopefully the mushrooms have popped by now and I can fry them up with butter and garlic.

Ophidian
Jan 12, 2005

Woo WOO, Look a Parrot...
LOOK AT IT!


Yeah Iím going to let that deal slide. He said PayPal only and Iíd rather spend more for the gun and get it from someone who isnít being a sketch ball.

Ophidian fucked around with this message at 12:33 on May 23, 2020

alnilam
Nov 10, 2009

Postin in the springtime




crazypeltast52 posted:

To piggyback on shotgun talk, I’m looking at picking up a gun that would work for turkey and whitetail as I’m in rifled slug country. Are there annoying tradeoffs that I’ll be making here or am I fine if I buy one gun for both?

I’ll be trying for morels again this weekend, hopefully the mushrooms have popped by now and I can fry them up with butter and garlic.

I got the mossberg 500 for exactly this reason, it even comes with a rifled slug barrel. It's nice to just swap out the barrel depending on the season.

That's the relatively cheapo option, I'm sure you could go much nicer and still get a rifled barrel.

Oddly enough rifled slugs (that you shoot through a normal barrel) are way cheaper than plain slugs that you shoot through a rifled barrel. I don't know which is more accurate though.

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


crazypeltast52 posted:

To piggyback on shotgun talk, Iím looking at picking up a gun that would work for turkey and whitetail as Iím in rifled slug country. Are there annoying tradeoffs that Iíll be making here or am I fine if I buy one gun for both?

Iíll be trying for morels again this weekend, hopefully the mushrooms have popped by now and I can fry them up with butter and garlic.

If you are fine with a smoothbore for slugs a turkey gun and slug gun minus the choke are all but identical. If you want to shoot saboted slugs and push your range out to 150 yards from 75 yards you will need a rifled barrel with a cantilever scope mount.

Mossberg 500ís with barrel comboís are pretty much the only economical way to.

Like https://www.mossberg.com/product/50...eld-deer-58244/

Or

https://www.mossberg.com/product/50...rkeydeer-53270/

Ophidian
Jan 12, 2005

Woo WOO, Look a Parrot...
LOOK AT IT!


The guy with the m2 said he will take a money order so Iím going to go for it. Letís see what happens.

HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


The 535 owns bones for killing turkeys. It's great as an all-around shotgun (it's a lot of fun rolling up to the sporting clay course with a janky looking camo-sprayed pump gun), but I've never used it for deer since we can use rifle here. Now you guys have me thinking about getting a rifled barrel.

crazypeltast52
May 5, 2010



Thanks for the choices, Iím going to take a look at the options next week and hopefully make a choice from there.

And now Iím torn, our legislature had a bill in March that could have allowed rifles for deer in more of the state, at least I have the rifle side covered if that bill happens.

HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


Rifle hunting is cool and all but around here the shots are rarely far enough to justify it and tbh Iíd probably prefer a slug gun when Iím tracking a blood trail. Only reason I use a rifle is because my grandfather got me a .270 the first year I could hunt deer and I never bothered using anything else.

HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


If you do go with a mossburg Iíd be interested in what you choose for a rifled barrel. Pump action slug gun sounds fun and redneck as hell.

alnilam
Nov 10, 2009

Postin in the springtime




So a few years ago I got the Mossberg 500 barrel combo, used for 250. It's been pretty sweet. Even with the stock 5x scope cantilevered on the rifled barrel, with hilariously expensive $2/rnd sabot slugs, I can nicely hit a pie plate at 150 yards and get a 2" grouping at 50 yards. Could probably dial it in even better if ammo weren't so pricey for it. For the price I'm really happy with it. And yeah one-hand pumping in a new $2 sabot slug feels really funny.

Ophidian
Jan 12, 2005

Woo WOO, Look a Parrot...
LOOK AT IT!


Welp, I won the auction for min bid so in 2 weeks or so I should have my first shotgun.

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CoffeeBooze
Aug 4, 2007

Nuh Uh!


Between COVID and the large quantity of rain we've been having spring hunting for me has pretty much been a no-go. With things slowly lurching back towards normal in North Texas it seemed like now was as good a time as any to resume my regular hunting schedule. So Friday afternoon I headed out to Old Sabine Bottom to see how things look for the spring shotgun/muzzleloader season. This spring has been on track for record rainfall, with March being one of the rainiest weve seen in nearly 20 years. OSB, as the name implies, is largely river bottom so all that water tends to just kind of hang around after a heavy rain. Temperatures here have been warm enough to encourage mosquito breeding but not hot enough to scorch off any standing water so I was expecting the area to basically be a miserable swamp. OSB, per the norm did not disappoint.



I wish I had taken more pictures from the hunt. This provides a pretty good example of most of the area though. Dense brush everywhere with the north side of the WMA which as the high side was relatively dry, but the south/low side was still largely flooded with most of the trails still being under several feet of water. Lots and lots of pig sign too, its clear that there is very little pressure on the pigs this time of year and they know it. Despite how dense the brush is I found quite a few good potential ambush spots absolutely covered in pig sign. The larger problem was just existing in the area long enough to make use of them. The area sits low enough that it rarely gets much wind, you can hear the breeze whistling through the branches overhead but down on the ground you rarely feel it. By 4PM I had been in the area scouting for three hours and was already sweating so heavily that I was washing off my DEET as fast as I could apply it. The mosquitoes were using me as a buffet line and I was absolutely miserable. It was nearly five hours till dusk so I was going to have to either hunker down someplace and wait, hike back to the truck and then sit around for a few hours before hiking back in, or just call it a day.



Finding this dude provided a nice distraction at least. He would have made a fine public land buck for someone. Instead he died in the swamp and had his face eaten by coyotes. I considered taking this with me as a souvenir but it was hot and I was tired and the idea of taking off my pack and strapping this to it and then putting it back on just felt like a lot.

If I was too tired to hike out the top of a whitetail skull skull I obviously want going to be packing out a pig. I decided to head back to the truck and regroup, once Id sat in the AC a bit and cooled off it would be easier to decide on how to proceed. With the trails in the area underwater I beat the brush on my way back seeing if maybe I would get lucky and kick up a pig. As luck would have it I didnt need to kick up anything, crossing through a relatively clear section of the woods I spotted what may be the fattest cottontail I have ever seen munching on some grass. I spotted the rabbit before he saw me, but in the process of racking the shotgun to switch from a slug to #8 shot he heard me and hopped off into some brush. Thanks to how wet everything was creeping up on him quietly was pretty easy at least and I was able to get to within 15 yards and find a nice gap in the brush to shoot through.



Ta-da! He dropped pretty much instantly and was dead right there, which is always nice. It was hot, I was miserable and trying to clean the animal while being swarmed with mosquitoes seemed like a great way to cut myself badly. I didnt even think to take a picture of the dude while he was intact. I just tossed him into a game bag and headed back for the truck and a cooler full of ice. No joke though, he probably weighed in at 10lbs and was the size of a small dog. My first trophy! Here in Texas pork is very common and venison isnt exactly rare, but rabbit is something we rarely eat. I really like rabbit too and consider it kind of a delicacy. So with this fine trophy in tow I decided my hunt had been a wonderful success and it was time to call it a day.


Despite the heat, humidity and bugs my first day back to hunting went pretty well. I wish I had a better picture of my trophy but I saved the pelt at least which will be used for one of my first attempts at chromium tanning probably. This hunt was a good example of why I really like spring shotgun hunts. Being able to go out in search of pigs but take rabbit or squirrel if the opportunity presents itself is really neat. With the vegetation grown in so dense you really dont need the extra reach a rifle provides anyways. I may head out to OSB one more time this spring to sit out at an ambush point for a morning or evening, but what I really need to do is go to the range and get some time in with my muzzleloader in anticipation of the summer hog season.

CoffeeBooze fucked around with this message at 15:57 on May 24, 2020

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