AAR: Hunting Feral Hogs at ‘Silence of the Hams’

Drawing down on a tusker from the bow of a swamp buggy.

The feral hogs running around the swamps of Florida received a rude introduction to some of the best rifles, suppressors and weapon accessories in existence last Friday.

The hunt was the 6th Annual “Silence of the Hams”. It occurs every year on the day after the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference. Industry professionals along with current and former “professional shooters” get the chance to hunt hogs with numerous rifles of various makes, models and calibers, most with some breed of suppressor attached. And lets not forget about the boar spears.  The spears got some use too.

White Raven Communications mounted the operation and despite the obvious inequity of including me in a group of such caliber I was afforded the privilege of coming along.

The whole crew: 6TH Annual Silence of the HamsMegan Holly, president of White Raven Communications, said the company organizes the hunt to provide an event where attendees of SOFIC can find a time to relax and get to know one another in a “friendlier atmosphere than what is displayed during the industry show.”

“With all the grueling travel and business meetings that takes place during this time of year, we like to offer a day where we can have fun together,” Holly said. “And what better way to entertain or really get to know someone than with a Daniel Defense 300 Blackout or a GLOCK .45 in your hands?”

She kicked off the hunt with a safety brief on site that was on point. Holly was entertaining and thorough, which was no doubt as much due to her familiarity with the firearms and tactical industry as it was the fact that she has about 300 pounds of personality (at least) packed into a 100 pound frame (at best).

Megan Holly of White Raven Communications is all business, delivering instructions and a hunt safety brief.

We hunted some pretty big feral hogs through the Florida swamp in a trio of vehicles, including a pair of swamp buggies I badly wanted to drive.

As many of you may know, a boar spear is short and heavy with a lugged head. The wings are there to prevent a pissed off boar from pushing his way back up the shaft and goring the hunter who stuck him. Given  the tendency of the pigs to ignore even well placed bullets, that’s probably a wise precaution.

For all lovers of gun porn, you will love the selection we had to choose from:

White Raven Communications brought one AAC 300 Blackout with an SDN-6 suppressor, FN SCAR 7.62 with SDN-6, SCAR 5.56 with an AAC M4-2000 Suppressor, Chey Tac 300 WinMag with an AAC MK13-SD, GLOCK G21 with a Quicksilver Suppressor, and an AAC Micro 7 300 Blackout with a Quicksilver Titanium 7.62 suppressor.

Daniel Defense was kind enough to bring an ISR-300 Blackout (Integrally Suppressed Rifle)and two Ambush 6.8 SPCIIs. As might be expected, there were several handguns and at least one SOG battle axe.

As might be expected, the 5.56 rounds proved rather anemic compared to some of the others, and the 300 WinMag will all but turn a pig inside out. I put a round behind one big fellow’s front shoulder (while he and I were both moving, thank you) and he scarcely noticed.

Obviously, shot placement was as important with wild boars and we dropped many pigs with the 5.56mm, but (no surprise) given my ‘druthers, I would still hunt pigs with a better caliber.

Our band of hunters was a great crew. It included current and former professional shooters from a couple different countries and representatives from such companies as Daniel Defense, Glock Inc., US Elite Gear, Magpul, Tactical Tailor, Grey Group and several others. After the hunt we shot skeet and grilled chow with some other industry folks (like Über Group).

As one industry professional put it: “Hunting after 12 years of war is forever changed. Gone are the days of your grandpa stepping out of his pickup truck with a double-barrel broken open over his shoulder. Now it’s suppressed rifles on tactical slings with guys who can’t help but watch their sectors and pull security while they’re moving.”

He was right, and it was a good thing too. When you’re wading waist deep through the mud and water with alligators swimming around and pigs hiding in the brush, it makes you feel better when a guy from one of the Ranger battalions or a former Special Forces Group shooter is watching over you with a DD 300 BLK or Noveske 5.56mm.

Of the 25 who joined the hunt, everyone bagged a pig and we all have a big package of pork on the way to us from the butcher. Megan Holly definitely outdid herself. It’s no wonder White Raven Communications has the reputation it does in the industry.








(There’s word that the shirts may be available commercially – watch the White Raven Facebook page for the announcement.)

About the Author

Kilgore & Call
Richard Kilgore and Jake Call have been writing on and off for Military.com for many years now. You can reach them at BreachBangClear.com or follow them on Instagram at @breachbangclear or Tumblr at http://the-mad-duo.tumblr.com/.
  • PK

    What a great time. Thanks again to White Raven Comms. and shout out to DK for getting his hands dirty. You are a beast!

  • JCitizen

    That there pike – now that is a MAN’s way to hunt pig! Down in Texas we used very long WWII bayonets(or older) to get ’em off! Now that is a good way to get gored by an errant tusk, but it sure gets the blood boiling! HA! GREAT SPORT!!

    And it does public safety and the local farmers good too! :D

  • Moondawg

    It’s true that many of the younger manly men in Texas hunt wild pig with a bayonet or really large sturdy hunting knife. Man vs. hog is a real test. I am sort of elderly and prefer to sit in a tree stand and snipe them.

    • S.

      Usually they have dogs right? Team effort. I’d love to have an opportunity to do this even though I’m not a hunter. What load was the 5.56?

  • JCitizen

    I hear ya Moondawg! I’m disabled myself so I can appreciate!

    I just love that show on A&A called “Hog Hunters”, and I’m like that father on that show now; but I root for the daughters. I think they treat them badly just because it is scripted; but I’m so tickled that women are involved that I can’t help promote the show!

    Every time I watch it I remember the oppressive heat down there, and the heart stopping humidity! It was worse than ANY jungle school I went through in the Army!

    • Moondawg

      I was TDY one summer to the NE and East Coast. Everyone was complaining about the oppressive heat and humidity It was so bad it almost brought work to a standstill. Compared to So. Texas or even being inside a track at Ft. Hood in August, I though at best it was moderately warm.

  • GW

    The fellowship and the stress relief was worth the trip. Nothing says a good time like being balls deep in fould smelling swamp water, wondering where Mr Gator was waiting to nibble my man veggies.

  • Rodney

    For all you 5.56 fans out there, all I can say is *Twwwwwwwwwpppppt!!!!*

    (the 5.56 sux bad)

    • JCitizen

      Geeze! I’d have more confidence in a pike, than that little bullet! Hogs are TOUGH! You’d have to hit them just right in the brain case to take ’em down! Even then I’d have to go with M855 ammo to insure penetration. I’ve seen a lot of different calibers bounce right off their heads, when fired at a bad angle.

  • Sounds like fun, but there should be no complaint about 556 not getting the job done. I’ve shot feral hogs with 556 M193, that is, 55FMJ Vietnam-era load, and with 762 168SMK. Head shots are not necessary. Center-mass hits on hogs up to 300 pounds with either round will sometimes drop them in their tracks, which is nice. Sometimes they will run just a few yards and collapse, and other times they will run to the nearest treeline and I can’t find them except by walking nearby a couple days later and smelling rotten dead hog. 300 Blackout would be nice to try except it costs a lot more, which I’d rather spend on practice ammo.

    • JCitizen

      Good shooting fairdebtlawyer! I’m surprised! I once shot a coyote three times at 175 Meters, and he just stood there and looked at me quizzically! I hit him in the chest and back area each time. I finally had to use a 22-250 to drop him. I was using standard 55 grain FMJs and he seemed to think bugs were biting him, and just ignored it! I usually use a .30-30 lever gun for hogs, but I’m glad someone found another good sporting use for the AR-15 variety of weapon – that is just one more thing I can tell the naysayers when they claim they are only good for killing people! NOT!

      • Well, notice I didn’t mention how many times I missed! Here’s the theory as to why 55FMJ doesn’t seem to do much to small animals, based on what happens in ballistic gel tests. Unlike a softpoint or hollowpoint, which will start to expand almost as soon as it hits flesh, FMJ rifle bullets will travel straight for an inch or two or three until they start to yaw, whether from the bullet bending at the tip or going through different tissue densities or hitting bone. Then as the bullet flips sideways it fragments because it’s not designed to take stresses from the side. The sharp little frags then cut through tissue pretty well, making a much bigger hole inside than you’d think from looking at that teeny little bullet.

        This seems to be what happened when I was out on the north field and saw a few hogs rooting on the west edge for a minute, then they trotted back into the woods. I figured they’d be back for more, so I jogged over to the trailhead and stood behind a tree. Sure enough, not five minutes later I heard grunts and squeals as they approached (that’s one of their tactical disadvantages–poor noise discipline) and the lead sow, about 200 pounds, ambled by less than ten yards away, and even I can’t miss at that range. One shoulder shot from my M4gery (Colt 6920) and she ran another few yards and expired. At the site where she was hit I found some pudding-type blood splotches on grass behind the exit-wound side, so I must have gotten a good lung hit. Since adult hogs are several inches thick at that point, the bullet had space to do its thing. Another time with that same carbine I shot a piglet (pests of all ages are fair game here) when it was facing me and the bullet traveled the length of it and split open its back from about the ribcage aft.

        Like Recon Scout says, a .22 rimfire has plenty of killing power if you hit well, so even if a .223-class centerfire bullet doesn’t tumble or fragment, chances are it will cut through enough tissue to eventually bleed the animal out. Also, later I had the barrel of my 6920 cut to 14.5″ and a Vortex flash suppressor pinned on so it takes a bayonet now. My DPMS LR-308 won’t.

  • Recon Scout

    Believe it or not: In 1975-76 I was a caretaker of a v-large private mountain ranch along the coastal area of CA. The place was LOADED with feral hogs and Russian hogs x’d. I only EVER hunted them with my STOCK, iron-sighted, Remington tube-fed, bolt action .22 cal shooting basic 40 gr. long rifle lead heads or the occassional CCi Mini-Mag Long.

    It’s all about being within range and BULLET PLACEMENT!

    Seldom needed more than 1 shot to drop ’em. From there on it’s simple knife work to finish ’em up.

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  • Matt

    Just wondering for those of you who were there: How did the 6.8 and the 300 Blackout stack up against one another?