Hunting with a Silencer for the First Time

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.

comments

  1. avatar Shane from Kanuckistan says:

    Ya sure….blame the ammo

    1. avatar TTTACer says:

      Strictly speaking he was blaming operator error 😉

  2. avatar Wade says:

    Nick, you should try hog and Javelina hunting around Tilden. What with the size of the packs they go around in and the thick brush, it can get pretty hardcore at times.

  3. avatar Accur81 says:

    A bad day hunting is better than a good day at work!

  4. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    Supersonic .300 BLK gets the job done on medium-large game, but I’m not sure you’d want to deliberately shoot hogs with the subsonic variety. It’s got less than 500 lb-ft of energy at the muzzle (even less energy downrange) and this fails the minimum energy requirements for big game hunting in several states.

    It would probably work fine on a spike whitetail, but it might just piss off a mean 300 pound pig.

    1. avatar counihan says:

      This might be a great Ask foghorn topic. With the popularity of the 300 BLK round and the obvious advantage of a subsonic suppressed rifle, I can easily see this exact question tooling around through many a hunter’s mind. Does the subsonic flavor of AAC sweetness have enough ass to drop a hog? Or would the 458 SOCOM be a better option for suppressed swine slaughter?
      Sounds like a job for FOGHORN!

  5. avatar highsteppinlowcrawler says:

    No hunting license required to hunt hogs in Texas. They are not a game animal.

    1. avatar zeos says:

      exactly, it’s just pest control.

      1. avatar Gringo says:

        Wrong.
        From the TP&W website
        “Although feral hogs are not classified as game animals, a hunting license is required to hunt them. ”
        http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/nuisance/feral_hogs/

  6. avatar mike marriam says:

    With all these hogs getting shot are any fit to eat? Makes me want to move to Texas.

  7. avatar farranger says:

    Nick,
    There are ear plugs out there that are two colors and two sides and one side blocks all noise and other blocks high frequency noises. I shot a bear with a 30-06 and had no ear ringing problems at all. I might recommend those for when a silenced rifle isn’t available.

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