He dropped instantly. I figured I had an instant kill, but I began to chamber another shell just in case.
The next shell did not chamber properly. I've been having trouble with the clip in my rifle, and it reared its ugly head at precisely the wrong moment. As I struggled with my gun, my hog stood up and started walking like a drunken sailor. These creatures are amazingly tough and it is not uncommon to have to hit them a couple of times. (Upon inspection of the hog, it appeared that my shot was a little off the mark and instead of putting its lights out, the force of the bullet only knocked it out). It probably would have bled out anyway, but when I solved my reload issue, I lined up and shot again. This time it dropped and flailed. One last shot finished it.
I called Steve and told him I had gotten a hog and asked him what to do. He asked me where it was and I told him about 20 feet in front of the feeder. He told me to stay put and he'd be over at sundown. He was hunting too and there was no reason to go anywhere. Since it was only 5 o'clock, I had a while to wait, calm myself down and to see if anything would return.
Steve came as the sun was setting. I descended the tripod and we walked over to the hog. Instantly, Steve saw that it was a boar and a pretty big one at that (about 200 pounds). It didn't look nearly as big from the stand as it did when we were standing over it. Instantly, we noticed that it DIDN'T have a smell. Usually, as the pigs get older and bigger they also develop a pretty good stink. This one was apparently pretty young, despite its size. This meant that it would likely been good eating.
Steve pulled his truck in and the two of us were needed to put in on the gate. We drove out of the hunting area to the pasture. He told me to get ready cause we were about to field dress the pig. I had seen videos of this part on YouTube, but I had never seen it done in person. Steve sharpened his knife as I put gloves on. Steve, fortunately, did the work while I helped and learned. His knife wasn't working real well, so I gave him mine. It was new, unused and very sharp and had a gut hook, which helped a great deal. At the appropriate time, Steve had readied everything to come out, he told me to do the honors. I stuck my hands in there and pulled. It is amazing how everything just comes out together. We had this thing gutted in less than five minutes. We left the guts in the pasture knowing full well that coyotes or buzzards would clean them up. I just wish we didn't leave them so close to the camper, as I was staying the night at the lease all alone. Needless to say, I slept with my rifle not far away with a shell chambered, just in case.
We loaded the now gutted pig into his truck again and left for his parents house (Angie's aunt and uncle's) for dinner. You would think that this Yankee wouldn't have been interested in dinner by now, but the whole process wasn't nearly as bad as you would think. Because the kill was done with head shots, there wasn't a ton of blood or other nastiness in cleaning the animal. Steve was careful not to open it up (intestines, bladder, etc.) while we dressed it, so there was nothing like that to worry about. In fact, I was amazed that there was no smell. All I ever heard of was how bad the animals smelled when you dressed them. It wasn't like that. However, I do know a gut shot will likely be a different story.
As we got close to the house, I could tell that Steve started driving funny - like he was looking for something (I was behind him in my car at this point). He turned at a sign that said "Hog Wild Processing". He decided that the best way for me to eat my first hog was to have it professionally prepared. I was real pleased with this choice, as I did not relish skinning the hog. We dropped off the pig at the processor and made our order...ham steaks, pork chops, ground pork, pork shoulder, breakfast sausage and whatever else you get from a processed pig.
I can't wait to pick up the meat. The processor tenderizes and seasons much of it and it is going to be delicious. We sampled one of his "hog sticks" - think of a hot dog sized Slim Jim. It was outstanding. I'm gonna smoke a shoulder for 12 hours until the meat falls off the bone. If we get a deer, we'll process that too and make a venison and wild hog chili. Wow, that sounds so good.
I still don't know what part I like better, hunting them or eating them.