It was quite fortunate that our last visit to Poland coincided with September full moon. I really enjoy hunting during that time of year. All pigs are in season, young ones are big enough and make really good eating and they are generally in very good condition. Farmers already finished harvest and started sowing, here and there still maize or potatoes are on the field, but most of the crops are gone. I have had great success wild boar stalking that time of year and it is usually very effective. However, one thing that did not help this year was the fact that oak trees produced tons of acorns and this is pig’s favorite food. They prefer acorns to anything else and did not spend a lot of time on the fields. They were just going out for a quick bite of something different.
Stalking at night is not for everyone as requires good knowledge of the ground and its layout. Pigs are also quite nervous if it is too light. Full moon is not the best day and without clouds it can be too light and pigs are not comfortable to go out the woods at that time, and when they do they stick to the shadows near the wood’s edge. I find the period from 1st quarter to the full moon much better, especially first two-three days after first quarter when the moon rises early naturally extends shooting time after usual evening outing. Pigs in larger groups are also easier to stalk and one could easily get into 40-50m to insure safe shot. Single animals are much more difficult to get to, especially when it is quiet and noisy to walk, such as high cut stubble.
I was wondering where to go, I jumped on the car and drove around. I was trying to remind myself where we have oak trees on our ground. I got out on the field bordering some mixed woodland with oak trees and freshly sown field. I walked along the edge and soon spotted fresh tracks of two small pigs. I decided to have a quick walk around and come back later. I slowly stalked through the woods are sow plenty of fresh signs of pigs feeding on acorns. I got to the edge of the field on the other side of the wood and walked along the edge. Only a few roe feeding, so I went back to the wood. It was getting dark as we had no frost so far and all the leaves were still on the trees and it was quite dark and would make difficult to shoot leaving only the track itself to take a shot. I walked through the wood and got to the field I wanted to wait on. It was 20:00 and quiet. I stood at the edge of the field till 21:00 and was going to call it a night when I hear a branch crack nearby.
A few minutes later a boar and then another one came out on the field and fed at the shadows near the wood. I decided to get a bit closer when I heard more noise from the wood and more pigs came out. These were not the ones I tracked earlier so had to have good look what was what. There was one slightly bigger animal, that would be a sow. There were 7 or 8 more or less same size animals, so it looked like a sow with a litter of this year young ones. I was not sure about the other slightly bigger animal, so decided not to take that one as it could have been another sow.
This time I had my 12 bore / .30-06 combo gun with me with S&B illuminated reticule. It was not necessary to turn on the dot and I do not find it usually a useful feature… For me, it can be useful only certain circumstances and usually regular #1 or #4 reticule is good enough if not better. I picked one of the pigs that were broadside and squeezed the trigger. All of the pigs ran off, but there was one kicking on the field. I came back to the car and let the dog out. She deserved to have some fun finding the boar. It was a nice 24kg piglet, dropped on the spot to the .30-06 bullet.