Rick Eutsler .45 caliber Airgun Texas Hog Hunt

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Our good friend Rick Eutsler recently took out a Hawke Sidewinder with an Evanix Sniper X2 .45 caliber for a Texas hog hunt and he has shared his experience of the pre-hunt set-up and the hunt.

This trip was vastly different from recent game hunts, as this trip I was going for my first big game kill with an airgun and I found myself both nervous and excited about taking the shot on my first ever Texas Hog Hunt!

The Hunting Gear

Before heading out into the field I pulled my gear together. Since I was going to be hunting with Boggy Creek Outfitters, Texas, in the 40-acre range and my goal was to take a hog in the 75 to 100 pound range I needed a weapon that would ensure I took an ethical shot and kill.

When it comes to optics my first choice is always Hawke Optics. I have found their products to be feature packed and priced right.

Therefore, the Evanix Sniper X2 .45 cal airgun was the chosen gun, capable of producing over 200 foot pounds of energy, with a 140 Grain H&N round ball. You can shoot various cast ammo out of the X2, but the magazine limits the size. In my testing, I have found round ball to be the most consistently accurate out to 60+ yards as well as delivering tremendous penetration on target. Additionally, airguns kill much like arrows, the game dies due to blood loss and trauma to the vital organs, not hydrostatic shock. This coupled with repeatable accuracy, and I was happy with my choice.

The Sniper X2 platform is designed to be scoped so I needed a scope for this hunt. When it comes to optics my first choice is always Hawke Optics. I have found their products to be feature packed and priced right. My choice for this hunt is the Sidewinder 3-12×50. The Sidewinder line sits near the top of Hawke’s line-up and features fully multi-coated optics, side parallax adjustment, illuminated glass etched reticles, 30mm tube, and ton of technical features. It is extremely clear and reliable regardless of magnification or range. The adjustments are consistent and precise and once you are on target you stay there. The Sidewinder class is my personal favorite choice for nearly all my hunting situations.

I also needed a pair of binoculars so opted for Hawke’s Endurance ED range, 8×42. A great all-rounder at a great price point.

The Hunt Plan

The day of truth came and I had a plan, I had my gear and it was time get my hog. We started early in the AM with a short drive down to the hunting range. We had been there the evening before and our host was not exaggerating when he said there were a lot of hogs, we saw maybe 50 hogs upon entering.

As we entered on the hunting morning they must have received a memo in the night because they were nowhere to be found. These hogs were going to make me work for this one. I had several options for this hunt, I could stage up in a blind near a feed plot or simply get out there and stalk them. I opted for the latter. The X2 has a 5-shot magazine, is 2” accurate to 60 yards and is fairly lightweight so I set up on my shooting sticks and I was stable and ready to go.

It did not take long to start seeing movement in the distance. Our guide, a young man named Wyatt, gave us some options and we flanked a herd. My goal was to get within 35 to 50 yards and to take a clean vitals shot. I did not want to chance a head shot because at that range I did not have total confidence to hit something the size of a quarter for my first big game kill.

This was certainly one of the highlights of my life, never having experienced anything like this before I’m 1000% hooked!

The Hog Kill

We stalked the herd for about an hour and then came up on some resting in pine needles. As I got into position I realized the weight of what was about to happen. This may be old hat to many, but this was a big deal for me personally. Taking something this big, knowing that a miss could mean prolonged suffering for the game, tracking, tainting the meat, etc. I wanted to make sure that I took my time and did not rush the shot. There was a group of three pigs in range around 35-40- yds, an 80 pounder stood up, turned, and gave me her shoulder so I took my final aim and took the shoot. I watched as the round ball impacted and she took off squealing. “Did it hit her clean? How far is she going to run? Man, I’m new to this and I’m not sure what to expect!”

We sprinted towards where she had been, as we approached we heard her on the ground some 20 yards away. The shot had entered in the right shoulder and nearly exited all the way through to the left side. I chambered another round ball and ended it with a clean shot to the head. The entire kill took maybe 2 minutes.

That’s a wrap!

This was certainly one of the highlights of my life, never having experienced anything like this before I’m 1000% hooked. The folks at Boggy Creek Outfitters were amazing. My gear; Hawke scope, Hawke binoculars, Evanix Sniper X2 .45, and H&N Round ball all performed exactly as expected. Everything was about as perfect as it could have been for my first hog hunt.