Wartogs are tough! - one heck of a stalk


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My first Eastern Cape safari has just come to an end. Trophy hunting is not my thing and too expensive anyway. But cull/management hunting of herbivores that enter the food chain is just about affordable and sits well with me. Enough waffling, let me recount the warthog hunt. It was quite a humdinger.

Initially we had set up on a hilltop with the wind in our teeth and an excellent 270' vista of two valleys where they met. As with all hunts that week, we were on the hill before the heat of the day and everywhere there were long shadows hiding quarry species not yet minded to start browsing. Nothing presented in 50 mins of glassing, so we decided to walk the ridge as the wind was now quartering from that direction. After 200m or so picked between the acacia and cacti, we espied three warthog approx 200-250m ahead and stalked into them. Initially they were skylined, but as we closed distance, they also tracked diagonally closer. At the point at which we ran out of cover, I guess we were 120m away or slightly less. With 3 pairs of vigilant eyes on guard, we had to set up the sticks and mount the rifle during periods when they were facing away.

After what seemed an age, I was in position and waiting for the largest sow to present a good target. Eventually that happened and the stability I had on the sticks allowed me to make a headshot. The shot appeared good and the hog was bowled over by the 30.06.

Then the beast rose and took off down the hill at some speed! Incredible. At the shot site we found a strong blood trail. We followed it down the hill. It was clear from the amounts deposited when the animal was running, walking and stopping. A few times we lost the trail when the animal was at full pelt and had to fan out to find the next spoor or blood. Eventually we tracked it to its burrow and significant blood at the opening confirmed its location. Peering into the hole, the curve of the burrow was determined but no hog visible. The PH then used his shooting sticks to tap the ground above the burrow and the roof yielded.

There was an almighty squeal and the ground erupted with the thunder of hooves switching from static to Usain Bolt mode. The warthog popped out the burrow like a champagne cork gaining speed with every bound. I made a reflex shot [as practised on a BASC schiesskino some months before] and felled it within 20m of the exit. We were all relieved. On inspection, my first shot was perhaps an inch out of perfect. But even so, the exit wound had both blood and brain material. How had this hog run on? I have new respect for them. They are tough!

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well done ,that is something i would like to do but like all exotic hunting expensive,not just the hunt but travel etc.maybe one day :)


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My dad hit a warthog with a Honda Civic near Rustenburg at speed. Hog 1 - Civic 0
bumper smashed, radiator busted, warthog did a runner.


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Thanks for the report.

Pig species seem to be generally stubborn food with powerful primal instincts and only have a brain fitted as an afterthought to tie in with the biological rules of the ecosystem they live in.