The feral hogs running around the swamps of Florida received a rude introduction to some of the best rifles, suppressors and weapon accessories in existence last Friday.
The hunt was the 6th Annual "Silence of the Hams". It occurs every year on the day after the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference. Industry professionals along with current and former "professional shooters" get the chance to hunt hogs with numerous rifles of various makes, models and calibers, most with some breed of suppressor attached. And lets not forget about the boar spears. The spears got some use too.
White Raven Communications mounted the operation and despite the obvious inequity of including me in a group of such caliber I was afforded the privilege of coming along.
Megan Holly, president of White Raven Communications, said the company organizes the hunt to provide an event where attendees of SOFIC can find a time to relax and get to know one another in a "friendlier atmosphere than what is displayed during the industry show.”
“With all the grueling travel and business meetings that takes place during this time of year, we like to offer a day where we can have fun together," Holly said. "And what better way to entertain or really get to know someone than with a Daniel Defense 300 Blackout or a GLOCK .45 in your hands?”
She kicked off the hunt with a safety brief on site that was on point. Holly was entertaining and thorough, which was no doubt as much due to her familiarity with the firearms and tactical industry as it was the fact that she has about 300 pounds of personality (at least) packed into a 100 pound frame (at best).
We hunted some pretty big feral hogs through the Florida swamp in a trio of vehicles, including a pair of swamp buggies I badly wanted to drive.
As many of you may know, a boar spear is short and heavy with a lugged head. The wings are there to prevent a pissed off boar from pushing his way back up the shaft and goring the hunter who stuck him. Given the tendency of the pigs to ignore even well placed bullets, that's probably a wise precaution.
For all lovers of gun porn, you will love the selection we had to choose from:
White Raven Communications brought one AAC 300 Blackout with an SDN-6 suppressor, FN SCAR 7.62 with SDN-6, SCAR 5.56 with an AAC M4-2000 Suppressor, Chey Tac 300 WinMag with an AAC MK13-SD, GLOCK G21 with a Quicksilver Suppressor, and an AAC Micro 7 300 Blackout with a Quicksilver Titanium 7.62 suppressor.
Daniel Defense was kind enough to bring an ISR-300 Blackout (Integrally Suppressed Rifle)and two Ambush 6.8 SPCIIs. As might be expected, there were several handguns and at least one SOG battle axe.
As might be expected, the 5.56 rounds proved rather anemic compared to some of the others, and the 300 WinMag will all but turn a pig inside out. I put a round behind one big fellow's front shoulder (while he and I were both moving, thank you) and he scarcely noticed.
Obviously, shot placement was as important with wild boars and we dropped many pigs with the 5.56mm, but (no surprise) given my 'druthers, I would still hunt pigs with a better caliber.
Our band of hunters was a great crew. It included current and former professional shooters from a couple different countries and representatives from such companies as Daniel Defense, Glock Inc., US Elite Gear, Magpul, Tactical Tailor, Grey Group and several others. After the hunt we shot skeet and grilled chow with some other industry folks (like Über Group).
As one industry professional put it: “Hunting after 12 years of war is forever changed. Gone are the days of your grandpa stepping out of his pickup truck with a double-barrel broken open over his shoulder. Now it’s suppressed rifles on tactical slings with guys who can’t help but watch their sectors and pull security while they’re moving.”
He was right, and it was a good thing too. When you’re wading waist deep through the mud and water with alligators swimming around and pigs hiding in the brush, it makes you feel better when a guy from one of the Ranger battalions or a former Special Forces Group shooter is watching over you with a DD 300 BLK or Noveske 5.56mm.
Of the 25 who joined the hunt, everyone bagged a pig and we all have a big package of pork on the way to us from the butcher. Megan Holly definitely outdid herself. It’s no wonder White Raven Communications has the reputation it does in the industry.
(There's word that the shirts may be available commercially - watch the White Raven Facebook page for the announcement.)