February 15 I arrived at Collins Low Country Hunt Club to try my luck with some wild pigs. I am an avid handgun hunter and Tom Collins has always been able and willing to accommodate me hunting with a handgun. They have blinds, ladder stands, and hang on stands set up from close range bow shots to long pokes for a rifle.
Tom Collins and his guides pattern the game on the property by utilizing trail cameras and they check them almost daily. This helps them get you on the right stand at the right time. They also maintain several food plots and feeders. The hunters are taken directly to their stands via SUV to keep human odor off the ground as much as possible. They have plenty of stands so they don’t have to pressure the same stands day after day.
I love hunting with a classic wheelgun. I chose to hunt with my Smith and Wesson Model 28 6” 357. Here at Bayside Custom Gunworks I uniformed the cylinder throats, reduced and smoothed the trigger pull, and chamfered the chamber mouths. This gun flat out shoots; it will shoot sub ½” at 25 yards and I can walk one of the orange rubber bouncing targets to well past 50 yards. I carried this fine wheelgun in a Simply Rugged Cattleman holster on one of Simply Rugged’s Real Man’s Gun Belts.
The first hog I took was taken while hunting on the ground without a blind. I only took the S&W 28 to the field. I was set up with some brush breaking up my outline. And at about 1750 a group of 25-30 pound pigs came out of the brush and went under the feeder. I took a double kneeling position with a two hand hold and leveled the iron sights on the pigs head at 62 yards per the Redfield laser range finder. I squeezed off the shot and sent the 158 grain Hornady XTP over Hodgons H110 sailing towards the pig. Perfect head shot! Bacon down and ready for the smoker!
For my second hog we had a special target in mind. At Collins Low Country Hunt Club they have a unique genetic trait going around. Some of their pigs have white hair about knee high like socks! Tom Collins had a problem pig that is a decedent of the original “Socks” boar; they call the target pig “Socks Baby”. This target pig has been running the bucks off the feeders during deer season and it was decided he needed to go. Who better to send in than the dedicated handgun hunter!
This shot was going to be longer and in low light. I elected to use my Freedom Arms 2008 single shot in 223. Here at Bayside Custom Gunworks we installed a muzzle brake and rounded the forearm to make it more usable in the field. For optics light transmission was key so I used the Leupold 1.5-5. With this optic I can engage targets with just moonlight.
So after confirming my zero Tom Collins took me to the stand. I was in an elevated ladder stand with a solid shooting rail. I ranged several landmarks in the shooting lane and made note of the mud puddle at 100 yards. Right after dusk Socks Baby made an appearance. At the back of the shooting lane at about 240 yards he came out with two other hogs. They worked their way directly towards me and then he made that fatal mistake. He stepped across that 100 yard mud puddle and turned broad side. I was able to get into a very tight and stable position using the shooting rail and I felt almost bench rest steady. I squeezed off the shot and the Barnes factory loaded 55 grain TSX bullet found its mark behind the shoulder and Socks Baby bolted into the pine thicket. About 30 minutes later Tom Collins arrived to locate the hog. We had no blood trail just ground disturbance. Tom Collins tracked that hog and within 80 yards we found him down for his final dirt nap! Big hog down! Socks Baby was 200-215 pounds on the hoof.
Tom Collins and his guides will get you on game. All you will have to do is make the shot and have a good time! Lodging and meals are first rate. You will feel at home and they will make every effort to accommodate your hunting needs.
Bayside Custom Gunworks
2016 Hog Hunt
"Making one firearms dream come true at a time."