This past weekend I trucked out to Tyler’s family ranch to do some practice with the brand new M1 Garand rifles we picked up, as well as get some midnight 3-gun practice in preparation of the Crimson trace Midnight 3-gun that’s coming up sooner than I would like. While I was waiting for the sun to go down to start the practice, Tyler decided to abandon me to go on a date with some chick (bros before hoes, man!). That left me all alone, on a ranch in Texas, with a valid hunting license, a silenced 300 BLK rifle, and standing instructions to murder every hog I saw. I had died and gone to heaven. But there’s a point to this story besides bragging about my awesome weekend…
I ditched the mule halfway up the trail to one of the large fields and hoofed it the rest of the way, trying to be slightly stealthy. I set myself up in a stand of trees in the middle of the field with a clear field of view for a good 75 yards in any direction. The sun was going down, turning the sky a beautiful pinkish color. A cool breeze was blowing. And, for once, I wasn’t sitting on a cactus. But that wasn’t the best part.
The best part was that I could hear.
This was the first time I had been hunting since I got my stamp from the ATF and picked up my silencer, and that meant that I didn’t have to use hearing protection. I didn’t have to worry about ruining my hearing should I need to take a shot quickly. And, best of all, I didn’t have to worry about annoying the neighbors with some late night hog control. The silencer gave me the ability to hunt later into the evening and be more aware of my surroundings, something that even the best active hearing protection still falls short with.
I sat there for a good half hour enjoying the Texas sunset, watching the deer at the far end of the field lazily walking by and munching on some plants. Rabbits hopped along through the tall grass. Tyler’s horses meandered about at the other end of the clearing. All I needed was some Shiner Bock and it would have been the perfect evening.
As it got near dusk I wanted to move to a place where I had bagged my first hogs a couple months back, as it looked like a pretty well used trail. On my way down the path, I heard something in the bushes ahead. I crouched and strained to get a better look, and sure enough it was a hog.
Had I not had the silencer, I probably would have been right on top of it and scared it away before I could get a shot. But thanks to the silencer I wasn’t wearing hearing protection, and I was able to line up my sights…
…and promptly forget that I had loaded subsonic ammo and zeroed for supersonic ammo. I popped three rounds with the sights dead on the pig, but as Tyler’s investigation the day after would reveal there was no bacon to be had. The pig had escaped, and my shots fired to hogs slaughtered ratio dropped considerably.
I didn’t kill a damned thing, but I had one of the best times of my life. I was enjoying nature, listening to the sounds around me instead of cursing some hot and sticky earmuffs that I was wearing. A silencer improved the quality of my hunt more than a confirmed kill ever could.
Never again will I ever hunt without one.