Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Swedish Wild Boar Hunt

Myself and my friend Jon Anders have just returned from a weekend Swedish wild boar hunt. We departed Oslo at 9am and hit the road for our intended destination of Karlskrona about 8.5 hours drive away. The drive was long but we were kept entertained by the number of roe deer in sight on the fields next to the highway, we had literally seen hundreds by the time we reached Karlskrona at 5:30pm.

We were met by our guide for the weekend, Ola Melkersson who showed us to the guest house and agreed to pick us up again at 7:45pm so we could relax for a couple of hours before the hunt. We had planned the hunt to coincide with the full moon to give us the best possible light during the night.

Ola has the hunting rights on several farms in the area and helps the local farmers keep the numbers down as they are like a plague in this area of Sweden. He maintains the feed sites on a daily basis, this coupled with game cameras gives him a good idea of which areas are being visited by the boar ensuring we are set up in the best areas.

7:45pm arrived and Ola picked us up and took us to the feed sites. I was posted on a tree stand in a clearing in the forest about 35 meters from the feeder, I climbed up and got myself comfortable for the long night ahead. Now comfortable I glanced to my right only to see a curious young moose cow staring right at me about 40 meters away, I sat watching her for 15 minutes in the binoculars before she quietly slipped away into the forest.

Here is a pic of the feeder right in front of the tree stand, to the left of me and not shown in the photo there was also a nice open meadow.

As the light started to fade I could hear animals were beginning to move in the forest around me, then at approximately 10pm I noticed a black blob scurrying from the end of the clearing straight ahead of me towards the feeder, this was quickly followed by another 4 and they made straight for the feeder. I slowly got my rifle ready then felt the horrible sign of wind on the back of my neck, almost immediately the boar scattered and grunted as they picked up my scent.

I sat there for several more hours with no sign and the wind swirling in all directions, then at about 2:45am I heard a huge grunt come from the area behind the trees to the left of the feeder, the pigs had returned but had got my scent again, I sat their till 4am with nothing more showing we were picked up a returned to the guest house for some much needed sleep.

My friend Jon Anders also had a quiet night, he saw a small pig in the forest but it did not come out in the open and soon disappeared, though he did have a pine martin feeding away at the feeder.

Saturday evening due to the wind conditions Ola set me up in a different post situated on garden chair behind a stone wall and situated on a small hill overlooking some fields, about 40 meters away was an upturned bucket with feed under it and a large rock placed on the top to prevent anything apart from boar getting to the feed. Again as the light started to fade the forest started to come alive, I hadn't been sitting there long when I heard a large grunt come from the trees at the back of the field I was overlooking, unfortunately nothing came of it and the hours rolled by. Then at about 1am I heard another grunt and some scurrying about 75 meters to my left, this is where Ola said they might appear from and judging from the noise I guess they also got wind of me and scattered. The pigs in this area have high hunting pressure so only venture out during the nights and are very spooky. I did get the fright of my life at about 2am when a roe deer crept in behind me and then barked and ran off just about 5 meters from where I was sitting, took a few minutes to get my heart to slow down, thought at first it was a wild boar and almost panicked - lol

Here are some photo's of my post for the second night.

My friend Jon Anders had a more successful night and got his first wild boar weighing about 50 kg, he had opted to sit in the same post as the night before in a comfortable little cabin overlooking a small field at the forest edge.

Below are a few pics of Jon Anders and his first boar which dropped on the spot to a 180 grain bullet through the shoulders.

I have no affiliation to Ola but would highly recommend him if you would like to give boar hunting a go in Sweden. You can check out his blog which has his email and phone number at the top:

A big thank you to Ola for arranging the hunt and congratulations to Jon Anders on his first wild boar.

We're both talking about planning another trip :-)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

First Beaver! =)

For the last three hunting seasons I have desperately been trying to get my first beaver, I have came close and had the cross-hairs on them but just never had the opportunity to pull the trigger.

A good friend of mine, Jon-Anders who has already shot several beaver invited me up to his parents cabin in Finnskogen with the hope of trying to get me my first beaver. We drove up on the Friday morning and with the intention to do some scouting early afternoon and then hunt in the evening. For the scouting we headed straight to an area where the beavers had previously built a dam, upon arrival the damage to the trees was unbelievable, they were literally destroying the place with birch trees laying in all directions.

A panoramic photo showing the damage!
Scouting trip over we decided to return to this area and post overlooking the beaver dam close to some chewed branches from the beaver, unfortunately that evening was a no show and we didn't see any activity. We returned to the cabin and over a couple of beers decided to do a long scouting trip the following day and walk the whole stretch of river we were permitted to hunt.

Awoken early the next day and after a hearty breakfast we got ready and made our way to the lower end of the river, immediately we saw beaver sign but unfortunately nothing fresh, after countless more sign and a few kilometres we eventually located a great area with some very fresh chewing and lots of tree damage. We marked the area and continued up the river to the very limit of the terrain, although still lots of beaver sign there was nothing fresh. We both knew the place we identified earlier was the hot spot so headed back and marked the spot and the entrance from the road to make finding it easier later in the evening. Excited for the evening hunt we headed home to a fantastic moose steak dinner, the perfect fuel for an evening beaver hunt :-)

That evening we headed out about 18:30 and arrived at the area about 18:45, carefully and quietly we stalked into the river making sure not to potentially scare any beaver which may already be there, nothing was seen so we unpacked and got everything ready for the hunt. We had been sitting there barely half an hour when Jon Anders spotted something coming down in the rapids on the left hand side of the river, at first we were both convinced it was a log but then it suddenly made an erratic movement to the right and we could see it was a beaver. I immediately went prone and rested my rifle on some small birch trees felled by the beaver, I watched the beaver in my scope and waited for it to present a good shot, slowly it began swimming towards the area where we spotted the freshly chewed branches but then as it seemed it was going to climb out the water, it stopped and turned round and looked back towards myself and Jon Anders, we were both totally silent and the wind was perfect so there was no way it could have detected us. After what seemed like a lifetime, the beaver made its way to the rivers edge and slowly started to climb out, I waited for it to get clear out of the water and then placed the cross-hairs right behind the shoulder and took the shot. The beaver flopped forward to the shot and then lay motionless, my first beaver lay dead 40 meters away with a perfectly placed shot from my Tikka T3 Varmint in 6.5x55.

Gun made safe we both ran over to recover the beaver and upon arrival found it dead at the waters edge with a perfect shot tucked right behind the leg and to the center of the chest, I lifted it from the waters edge and placed it on a large rock for some photo's.

The beaver laid out and the shooting position by the small fallen trees in the background.

Yours truly! A Happy Hunter =)
And now the moment you've all been waiting for, some footage from my Contour Roam action camera, unfortunately there is no zoom so there is no close ups but I've tried the best I can to zoom in using some editing software.

Watch in High Definition (1080P) for the best viewing experience! =)

For the beaver hunt I was using my 6.5x55 Tikka T3 Varmint with home rolled Sierra 85 grain Varmint bullets and a velocity of 1000m/s, these do not exit the beaver and ensure the pelt is good for tanning.

Here is a pic of the ammunition, I use them for both beaver and fox.

Caliber 6.5x55 - 85 grain Sierra Varmint - Velocity 1000 m/s

The beaver was a young animal probably about 2 years old and weighed 15-16KG. I have skinned the beaver and this will be sent off for tanning and turned into a nice rug, the skull will be boiled out, bleached and mounted, I will post some pics when it is finished.

A BIG thank you to Jon Anders for making this trip possible and helping me get my first beaver, a memory I will never forget.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Large Game Shooting Test ..... Taken & Passed! =)

Our local rifle range opened on Monday so myself and my friend Jon Anders made the trip after work to check our rifles before our planned hunting trip to Sweden for wild boar, (information and pic's will follow after the trip!). I had previously sighted my rifle in with Prvi Partizan FMJ so I needed to make some adjustments to suit my hunting load of 200 grain home rolled Lapua Mega, as it turned I was only shooting a couple of centimeters out so the adjustments were quick and easy allowing me to sight in my rifle with 3 shots. Whilst at the range I noticed the hunters large game shooting test was available to take and as I had plenty of ammunition left after the quick zeroing session, I paid the fee and made my way to the shooting stand. To pass the shooting test you have to get five shots in the kill area of a animal shaped target at 100 meters, my target was a reindeer, there are no markings on the target to show the kill zone and you cant see your results till after all 5 shots have been taken. I loaded up my Sauer 202 Classic XT with 5 rounds and took my sitting position to take he test, you are permitted to do it lying prone, sitting or standing.

Five shots later, here are the results:

As you can see my shots are slightly to the right, this is because the kill zone is centered around the front shoulder and I like to shoot just behind the front legs to avoid destroying the shoulder, it's not my best group but it's not bad either and as it's a pass, it's one less thing to worry about before the start of this years hunting season.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for a report on my Wild Boar Hunt in Sweden at the end of the month.