Effectively hog hunting at night without nv or thermal. Revisited

Discussion in 'Hog Hunting Tactics & Tips' started by dwa, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. dwa

    dwa LSB Member SUS VENATOR CLUB

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    I wrote this last year on the pm board while killing large numbers of pigs with just a light. I've since then bought a sightmark 3.5 and love it especially because of the ability to record the hunts. Remember this was written before the newer digital nv scopes were out and the starting price on a decent digital was upwards of $1400. So at the first when I say I didn't need the advantage what I really mean is I don't need it for that price. I killed 7 more pigs this year using nv vs last using lights. That's not that many. Here's the kicker I hunted last year until the weekend before dove season. This year I'm done! Operation wheat protection was a success! we killed them out of the wheat faster,less gas, less all nighters, and less butt chewings from the wife. It's a win win for me. If I didn't have any stake in the wheat and I was just killing them for fun it wouldn't matter. But I hunt this place to help the landowner because it's one of my predator hunting spots and Its some of the best dove hunting in texas. While others are out there paying untold fortunes to stand like a nobleman in the field holding a 5k over and under. I'll be sitting on a spray painted 5 gallon bucket with my trusty stoeger killin birds. More wheat =more birds More birds= happy land owner happy landowner = me having a spot cemented next year as the go to pig killer. Somebody que up " circle of life " off the lion king. :cool:

    I'm going to break this down into a few parts spotting and then shooting. It will cover being mobile with and hunting without lights. I will start off by saying I'm not a know it all and don't dislike thermal or night vision. I spent 8 years in the army and used this same type if equipment in training and in two real world deployments OIF 1 and OIF 11. I completely understand the advantage it gives a person. That being said pig hunting for me isn't a life or death situation. I don't feel I need all the edge I can get to shoot these pigs consistently.
    Spotting the pigs at night
    The key to using a light to spot them in fields is........ Not to use the light at all! Your first biggest and best friend is the moon. Use it to your advantage in every way possible. Your next best friend is a pair if binoculars. I have a pair Zeiss 8x30that are great for deer hunting but are terrible at night. The objective doesn't allow for enough light to be transmitted in through the optic. For this problem I started using my back up pair of Leupold river Mesa 10x50. I'm sure there are better quality optics that will do the job better. Kinda hard to argue when I can spot pigs at over 300 yards with no artificial light in a quarter moon.
    [​IMG]
    What to look for without a light
    When scanning look for the unmistakeable dark blob. That's all you'll see. Your eyes will start to play tricks on you, it's important to scan move 20 feet then scan again. The objects will either have moved or just stayed put. Moving also adds depth to the objects in the field. What may look like a pig just might be just be a bunch of weeds when looked at from another angle.
    With a light
    I have come up with a few ways to utilize the lights that work well for me. One way is to have them on a tripod. The other is to hold the light just above the binos and scan. When u are scanning use the dimmest light you have. Remember your only looking for the tell tell blob. Never shine the light directly into the field when scanning. Use your halo just like when predator hunting. You will operate just like you would if u didn't have the light. Scan sneak up a bit then repeat.
    [​IMG]
    After the spot
    Don't get caught up in counting or which one is the biggest just yet. You want to Confirm Your Target!! This could end up being a calf or a goat. Make sure you see the low lying body and the minimal head movements. Deer and coyotes will dart their heads up and down left and right. While a pig usually has its head movement range from straight down to just slightly above 90* while at ease. With a light move in close and check until you feel sure it's a pig. Never turn on and off the lights while on the pig. They will bust you if you do it close enough to them. So my rule is don't do it. Just fade in moving the lights halo on to the pig and fade out. You need to be able to multitask at this point. When you confirm it is a pig your looking at immediately judge the distance and the best way to make your move on them.
    Setting up the shot.
    You need to move quietly and quickly to your shooting position. Some hogs feed quickly through the field while others are happy just to sit and feed in the same spot. You should only use your light at this point to make sure they are in the same place and that your on track to intercept them. Never turn on your scan light under 100 yards in a field. I've seen more groups get out of town because of it. You'll hear the alarm grunt and they will all head for cover. You'll know when u get close enough because you be able to see them in your binoculars and be able to hear them chomping away.
    Time to shoot
    I prefer a low magnification when time to shoot. It gives me more light thru my scope, and a greater field of view for follow up shots. This has helped me get my numbers up greatly.
    When your positioned and ready to fire this is the time to point your light to the sky and slowly bring it down. Some pigs will freeze. Some will continue eating. There is always at least one that looks right at u and stares. It can go back to eating or grunt and start the retreat. It's important to focus and make your first shot count since they will kick it into high gear. Try and keep yourself from whooping and hollering and celebrating. You can follow the herd with your light but once again not on them. Sometimes they will stop and regroup giving you another shot. Just repeat the process.
    Once again this is just works for me and my buddies. Feel free to ask questions or comment. If my punctuation is less than stellar I want to apologize since this has all been done from my iPhone.
     
  2. FrankT

    FrankT Destin FL LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    I think this is great for spot and stalk w light, very good points and tactics, as you said having NV is better but you can still do the task without high dollar gear and have fun doing it.

    The area I hunt is very limited for spot and stalk with planted pines. We do the same with the lights from the stands all the while also watching IR flashes of trail cams and solar powered motion lights that are on each feeder. If something goes off we will dis mount the stand and make a stalk without being seen trying to get into position to view the area we saw sign at. At that time we are spot and stalking a very limited area and quite often can get a shot without even using our kill lights. Followup shots are very limited at this time as the brush is too close by and can completely cover a 400lb hog in a matter of seconds.
     
  3. rgilbert

    rgilbert LSB Active Member LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB

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    Good info. I found out the hard way not to bring the light in from behind them. I was using a ND3 green laser light. They don't like that. I found out as you did to bring it down on them with the widest beam possible. I've got off into the night vision and prefer it now. I have killed a lot of hogs just using a light though.
     
  4. cincoranchhntr

    cincoranchhntr LSB Member

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    We have found that the ND-x laser illuminators can scare the hogs when the Green LED lights do not when lowered slowly from above. We only use LED lights now, mounted on our rifles. All of our lights have adjustable power and beam. I have found several good ones on Amazon for under $20 and most use a single 18650 rechargable battery. I also have a Sniper Hawg Light that is the same type and works very well, but cost much more than the others I have. Bottom line is, I think the laser is way too strong for shining hogs. We did a test one night at the ranch. 3 deer were in front of the ranch house and I was able to shine my LED (green) directly at them as they stared at us. My buddy did the same with his. No problem. However, when another guy turned on his ND-5 laser and shined it at them, they immediately spooked and ran off. Just interesting observations.....
     
  5. FrankT

    FrankT Destin FL LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY LoneStarBoars Supporter

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  6. TEXASLAWMAN

    TEXASLAWMAN Lone Star Boars Owner LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Great write up! I always hated hunting at night I would stay in and sleep while the others spot lighted. Nv changed all that for me now I hardly hunt while the sun is up. I'm going to sticky this.
     
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  7. cincoranchhntr

    cincoranchhntr LSB Member

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  8. cincoranchhntr

    cincoranchhntr LSB Member

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    Dwa, thanks for the info. My next purchase will be a good pair of binoculars.
     
  9. Itsazonik

    Itsazonik Cape Coral, FL LoneStarBoars Supporter Vendor

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  10. dwa

    dwa LSB Member SUS VENATOR CLUB

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    Thanks for the kind words. Cheaper the better on the flashlights ebay and amazon great place to look. The landscape is scattered with led flashlights that never made it home. Tactics yall probably already used but just decided to share.
     
  11. Hard_ware

    Hard_ware Here piggy piggy! Deep Deep S. TX.

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    Great tips, the key is use the least amount of light possible.


    With NV or thermal the darkest night are the best as the critters have hard time seeing you.
    Until I started helping a local farmer with a hog problem using spotlights to spot and shoot, I would not do any night hunting. Now I only go out at night.
    I rigged up old cascade style vietnam era NV scope I put together 20yrs back to spot and shoot, which greatly improved the number of hogs spotted and shot. Went into Gen3 Pvs14 and borrowed a thermal unit for spotting and the pig problem was over.

    With the costs dropping for night vision , the photon 3x + t20IR light and a used ps24 for spotting coyotes and hogs the hunter has the upper hand, as long as you stay downwind :D

    Using lights and good tactics hogs can be shot, it's just a matter of how fast the job gets done.
    Thermal and NV will allow you to cover more ground per night and gives you the upper hand when it comes to knowing what is going on around you at night. Very necessary along the US/Mexico border area I hunt.
    But its all good!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  12. Arnold Galvan

    Arnold Galvan Mckinney, Texas

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    dwa....that's some good information, thank you. Do you have any video with your Sightmark Photon? I really wanted to get one of these, but I don't really get to hunt enough. So I decided to purchase one of the Green light that Frank has linked and works great, been hunting twice with my 6.8 and have yet to see any hogs.
     
  13. FrankT

    FrankT Destin FL LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    That is the only reason I am waiting on the ATN X sight, the built in recorder, all in 1 unit.
     
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  14. Arnold Galvan

    Arnold Galvan Mckinney, Texas

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    Wow...didn't even know about this one. Very interesting.
     
  15. marineimaging

    marineimaging LSB Member

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    I got this one a while back > nebo-protec-green-light-adjustable-beam-green-led-light-with-mount-pressure-switch-5631/ < from Academy a while back...
    [​IMG]

    however, since Texas rules outlaw hunting at night in WMA areas it was pretty much for no reason. I do like the adjustable green lens and it mounts beautifully on any scope. Has anyone tried it and if so, how good were the results?
     
  16. FrankT

    FrankT Destin FL LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Not familiar w that one, mine are more lumen and longer throw for $25 or so in red, green, blue and white, interchangeable led modules
     
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  17. marineimaging

    marineimaging LSB Member

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    I thought about those but what I saw in my package was a black anodized aluminum clamp to scope, adjustable beam, and pressure switch or end cap switch option. The price I paid was around 29.00 at Academy but the longer throw (possibly due to the 18650 Battery) might have made the difference. I could see well out to about 30-40 yds then it fell off quickly so I would not bet on it unless you were sure you were set up about 35 yards, downwind, and everything rubberized to avoid making a sound. I think I will wait until after the get together Saturday to see what else shows up. I am pretty sure there will be some big buck lights as well as those who are chomping at the bit to show off their inventions. Could be very interesting by gollies.
     
  18. FrankT

    FrankT Destin FL LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Yeah the bezel in the light the deepset led makes mine throw so far, 200-250 yds, easily a 100yd shot if not more. I attach mine w a single quick disconnect scope ring that attaches to the rails of my AR's
     
  19. marineimaging

    marineimaging LSB Member

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    Is that for the green one?
     
  20. FrankT

    FrankT Destin FL LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY LoneStarBoars Supporter

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