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Texas hogs with a Winchester 1894 25-35
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August 14, 2023 - 10:01 pm
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A pig and two javelina were taken with a Winchester Model 70…..  but the Big Boy was taken with a circa 1910 Winchester 94 chambered in 25-35.

The ranch I hunted is a private world class Whitetail hunting enterprise, and while there I saw the most magnificent bucks I have ever seen in my life. It was by invitation, a good friend’s friend knows the rancher, and I was fortunate to be included on the adventure (please don’t ask, they don’t offer pig hunts to the public). The plan was to arrive on Thursday hunt on Friday and Saturday, but on the way in Thursday the ranch hand called my contact and asked if we wanted to hunt Thursday afternoon. So, we started a little early.

Unfortunately, the ranch hands explained that they had not seen any boar in a while, but the Javelina were plentiful. I was a bit disappointed hearing this after the long drive, as I had hoped to fill the freezer with pig meat.

Thursday, Day 1 – we got to the ranch at about 3pm and it was hot, about 100 degrees or so. We drove around for a bit to get the lay of the land, and I had my first opportunity fairly soon. We came across a lone Javelina boar snuffling around in the middle of the road, and since he presented a stationary broadside at about 220 yards, I sat down cross-legged in the dirt and took him with my Winchester Model 70 .308. Easy-peasy, and all signs pointed to having a good hunt. In total, our group of four took 3 Javelina that day.

Friday, Day 2 – When we woke up in the morning, we discovered that the weather had changed drastically. It was windy with gusts up to 30mph, and about 40 degrees or so. We got to the ranch and were told that the Javelina did not like wind, and so would likely stay bedded down in the thick impenetrable cactus and thorn thickets. Sure enough, over the course of the day we slowly covered over 80 miles of dirt road without seeing a single animal. Towards sundown the wind calmed down a bit, and some Javelinas came out. I didn’t get my second one, but two other folks tagged out. I was speculating early in the day that the temperature drop might bring the pigs out and sure enough two sows were taken that were foraging out in the evening.

Saturday, Day 3 – This was to be my lucky day. On the way in, we spotted a big boar in the middle of the road. I got out of the truck and tried to put a stalk on him, but he busted me and melted into the brush. Disappointed, we went looking for some Javelina but it was still windy and cold, so they weren’t showing themselves. After about an hour I speculated that the boar might have returned to the spot where we had seen him, so we went to look. Sure enough there he was, in the exact same spot. At 217 yards, I leveled the .308 and took him with a shot through the lungs. Shortly thereafter, we got a call from the other hunters saying they had tagged out on Javelina, and that the Javelina group they were shooting at was still hanging around and darting in and out of the road from the brush line. We high-tailed it over there, and I was soon presented with a short yardage shot at a big sow. I was now tagged out on Javelina, and had one nice pig to my credit.

And now for the 1894 25-35 bit:

Driving in to a grassy area, we surprised a big boar on the fence line at about 100 yards. This time I had the Winchester 25-35 lever gun in my hands, and was itching to see what it would do. I dismounted the truck, just as the pig saw us. Instead of running away though, he started trotting right towards me swinging his head side to side as if to do battle. At about 50 yards he quartered a bit to my left and I took my shot. He grunted, dropped in his tracks, kicked a bit, and then expired. Up close, he was huge. It took three of us to get him lifted onto the trailer hitch carrier. We had no scale handy, but he was well over 200 pounds.. probably close to 300. The autopsy revealed that 25-35 performed admirably, going through the rear of the scapula and taking out both lungs as it crossed through the thoracic cavity. The jacket shed on the obverse of the rib cage, and the lead core never exited the animal after it passed through the lungs and embedded itself on the far side ribs.

When we opened this pig up, we were amazed at the amount of fat and meat on him….. he had obviously found a corn feeder or some other honey-hole that he was feeding at, as he was loaded with fat, marbled meat.

So – that was my trip. I’m home, and the meat is in the freezer. A few pics now for your enjoyment. check out the ribs I go from the beast.

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August 15, 2023 - 12:31 am
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I’m aware how prolific feral hogs are in the central & eastern part of the state, but didn’t know they have now invaded the Javalena’s range!  How are they processed?  I know they have a scent gland that must be removed quickly.

Would you be allowed to disclose the name of the ranch?  (Not that I could afford a jackrabbit hunt.)

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August 15, 2023 - 12:40 am
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John – 

That was a fun read.  Thanks for taking the time to write it out for us.  That is interesting – 100 degrees one day and 40 the next day.  Texas!

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August 15, 2023 - 2:07 am
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Great story, great hunt. You’re right about that boar being well fed, I’ve killed several that size and ribs are never that meaty. I like critters that run both ways! Reminds me of a hunt awhile back on the Nail Ranch near Albany but last I heard they didn’t have javelinas. I reckon you were a fair bit west of there. 
Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

 

Mike

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August 15, 2023 - 3:20 am
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steve004 said
John – 

That was a fun read.  Thanks for taking the time to write it out for us.  That is interesting – 100 degrees one day and 40 the next day.  Texas!

  

Yeah – I should mention that this was “spring”, back in March. The weather was interesting.  🙂  The ranch is just north of Laredo, and I can’t name it because I don’t remember the name – that, and it was a private invite by one of the ranch hands. They are not open to the public for pig hunting, just trophy Whitetail… and those hunts are in the tens of thousands. I have never seen such magnificent Whitetail bucks in my life.

The javelina have those nasty scent glands on their lower back, and as long as you dress them out and avoid it they make excellent chili and stew. Nick the glands, throw it away. Peeeee ewwww!

A lot of folks told me I was under-gunned for hogs with a 25-35, but that old rifle killed that big ol’ hog dead.

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August 15, 2023 - 2:12 pm
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Nifty. They sure look yummy to me. Looks like they would  make excellent chille verde at my house.

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