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Snakejaw_Joe

1866 Wild Boar Hunt with 44-40

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I grew up hunting with traditional self-made bows and occasionally a 22, but today I stalked and took a wild boar in central FL using my miroku 1866 in 44-40 and self-cast lead. Land was private, and hog season is year round in FL (they are considered a pest out here).


Harvesting meat for me is bittersweet, there is a quote by NY Times writer David Joy that I've always thought describes the process best, "There is a sadness that only hunters know, a moment when lament overshadows any desire for celebration. Life is sustained by death, and though going to the field is an act of taking responsibility for that fact, the killing is not easy, nor should it be."

 

If I'm being honest, as a friend of animals, hunting is a bit hard on my spirit. But I know that if I buy a pork shoulder at the grocery store without a second thought as to where it came from, that is the biggest form of disrespect to the animal. By hunting my meat, I can take responsibility for my dietary needs and walk away with a deeper appreciation of the life that was given to sustain me. I've pretty much sworn off of grocery meats (unless I'm a guest somewhere, or occasionally at a restaurant) and this lifestyle change has been rewarding to me.


This was my first hunt without using a scope of any kind, and since making a single well placed ethical shot is critical, I practiced with my new 1866 for around 12 hours over the course of a month. I made some good progress with the buckhorns and black powder at 50 and 100 yards, but even still, acquisition wasn't instinctive and my groups with black powder (OE 3F droptubed 3' and compressed) were 3x larger than with RL7 at the same velocities (using chronograph). So I didn't think I was good enough yet to hunt with them, still have lots of load development/casting work to do to make BP work like it should. So I decided to cheat on this front for the sake of the animal and installed a skinner aperture rear sight just for the hunt (much, much easier to acquire a fast sight picture on a moving target) and used the RL7 load. Maybe by the next hunt I'll have mastered the buckhorns with BP to make it extra authentic.

 

Rifle: Miroku 1866 24" octagonal 44-40, Skinner aperture rear sight
Lead: self-cast 43-215c from 1:20, sized to 0.430.

Lube: 40% beeswax, 40% tallow, 10% paraffin, 10% lanolin (and a touch of green crayon for style :lol:)
Load: the late John Kort's load for RL7

Data: avg 1423 fps, 217gr bullet

Primer: Federal LPM

 

(the photo looks like there are wrinkles, but its just residual lube from pan lube process)

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Two 3-shot groups at 25 yards before hunt: 

 

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my groups at 50 yards were within 3".


After a bit of exploring, I had a clear shot of a boar at about 40 yards away. I steadied and hit dead on at the shoulder, one shot. It ran about 10 yards before collapsing. It was clear I hit the vitals but I wanted to give it a quick exit so I placed a swift follow-up shot at the earhole. It ended right there. As the boar was quartered, I noticed that the 44/40 did exactly what it was supposed to. The entry shoulder was completely shattered. It passed through the lungs, and then exited through the other shoulder, shattering that as well.


20200703_110939.thumb.jpg.cf1f170ff56c54121713e5790d20b6b9.jpg

 

Right now I'm bleeding out all the meat under ice for about 4 days then processing. Total bone-in meat yield was 37 pounds. It's going to be three months of good eating for me and my wife. I'll come back to post more pictures of the processed meat and some recipes I make that the misses likes. I personally like it, and so do my dogs :lol: but boar has a strong flavor, needs to be treated right for those more discerning of flavor.


So many local hunters told me the 44-40 cartridge was too weak to hunt a big bad hog with, and my 'grandpas gun' won't do what a modern AR could. But here's some more proof that they don't know what they're talking about. I couldn't imagine the hog being any more dead, and it happening any faster. Sure beats using my wooden traditional bows, and I sure feel like more of a marksman using a miroku 1866 with open sights vs an AR and scope.

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Excellent!  A good read!  ^_^

 

Compliments on your ethics, your shooting, and your photography.  :)

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A good read,respect for  the animal is paramount !

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Thanks. A grand hunting story with great details. 

 

Of course, I'm playing for a pulled pork sandwich. :)

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Oh my, fresh bacon!!

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4 hours ago, Cemetery said:

Oh my, fresh bacon!!

If that hawg is mostly European or "Roosian" boar there won't be any bacon on it.  Roosians are lean and MEAN!  Killed three in Tennessee back in the 1960's, though I was a might closer and one was killed with a .30-06-180 JSP and two others with a .33 WCF.

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It is nice to see folks using John Kort's advice.He knew what he was talking about but very few would listen.

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On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2020 at 4:06 AM, Painted Mohawk SASS 77785 said:

A good read,respect for  the animal is paramount !

I believe it is a custom among German jeagers to place a leafy twig in the mouth of the deceased animal's mouth, the "last bite" to honor the animal.

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Nice Young tender Pig ...

The Archery Club I helped start use to Have a Hunt for pigs every summer ..

One of us would be tasked with shooting the right size pig for our Club Pig Roast, club 3D fun shoot ...

The task was to get one that Dressed out between 90- 125 pounds to roast in a pit by the clubhouse, then have all the Members Families join in on the eating ...

We usually had about 30 shooters for the 3D event and 75 + to enjoy the Food ...

 

Jabez Cowboy 

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Excellent, Snakejaw Joe. I  would ride with you any time. Kudos to you, Sir.

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Thanks everyone for stopping by. It's been a busy few weeks so this post is delayed, but last week I finished processing the boar, portioned it out, vac sealed and into the chest freezer it went.

 

The thing I love most about working with wild meats is every animal will smell and taste different. Its a real challenge for a cook to know how to treat the meat proper. This particular boar was a bit on the strong side (if you've cut open anything during the rut, you'll know what I mean). So I treated it the way I treat kidneys.

 

First, After a 5 day bleed out under ice, I deboned the shoulders and hams. I set aside the bones and made a bone stock, really easy to do. 

 

Meanwhile, I brined the deboned meat for 24 hours with saline/vinegar/ice, then followed with a 24 hour fridge soak in milk.

 

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After both steps, the smell was tamed down to my liking - still unique but not so strong. I portioned out two one pound chunks of the hams to use in pulled pork tacos, split the backstraps into 1lb portions (got 6 of them) then cubed, slightly froze and sent the rest through the grinder:

 

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Total boneless freezer count:

 

23x 1lb ground meat packs

6x 1lb backstrap packs

2x 1lb ham hunks

14x jars bone broth

 

There was quite a  bit of bloodshot meat from the 44/40 that I cut out and threw away. To me its not worth ruining 20+ lbs of ground meat with the risk of lead and bone particles. The bullet did so much damage I couldn't even believe it. 

 

The most time consuming part of the process was cleaning up the pieces before grinding. Most membranes, tendons etc were carved off. Quality in, quality out.

 

Last night we had our first meal - wild boar bulgogi with homemade bao. 

 

In the interest of not cluttering up a hunting thread with recipes, I started a new thread where I'm going to post all my tried-and-true recipes for wild game. 

 

Check it out here: 

 

 

see y'all around 

 

 

 

 

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