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By Chris Norris

Figure 1 “Photo” Chris Norris is an accomplished Boar hunter after many years of trial and error.

I remember how cold it was sitting in my stand; it was the kind of cold that passes right through the layers of your clothing and into the core of your body. It was at times like this, I started to think, “Why am I even out here?” I should be in bed, like any other normal 7 year old boy. But, I was sitting there going over all the details, in my head one at a time. “What is the distance to where I think the pigs will come out?” I had wood line to my left and right and there was thick brush behind me. What if they come out from behind me? Can I get a shot? My little head felt like it was about to explode!

The shadow and clumps of brush started to play tricks on my mind. You start to think to yourself, was that one there or did that one just move? Then you start to go cross eyed, starring at the object from every angle, and not wanting to move for fear of “getting busted”. I had heard those words so many times and now I wanted to avoid the feeling that it gave me when I heard those words spoken before.
Then the sun came up and gave just enough light to disappoint me. After
watching the sun break over the ridge line I started to doze off, not sleeping
just dozing.

I started thinking
about the day prior at the range when I was sighting in my Remington 740, chambered in 280 Remington. My grandpa used to say, 1 inch high at 100
yards, just in case he comes out at 250; no need to compensate too much if at
all. He was a very firm believer in the 4” rule. The kill zone is 4” on large
game and within 1” high at 100 that will put your bullet in that 4” boiler room
out to 250 yards. “Aim just behind the shoulder if the shot permits, if not,
put it in his neck”, he used to say. Believe you me I could split a frogs hair
at 100 paces with that Remington 740. OK, Ok, back to the story…..

There I was dozing off again when I felt my heart fall from that 14 foot tall ladder
stand. I thought I had heard something in the direction I expected the pigs to
come from and it scared the jeepers out of me!! Once I calmed down again, I
went back to dozing. No matter how hard I tried to fight it, it was there just
waiting for that one blink. Eye lids starting to feel like they’re 100 pounds
but the ears are still alert. Just the slightest sound and your body wakes up
with that sudden urge to grab the gun. You could have heard a mouse peeing on
cotton it was so quiet.

Then as if Saint Hubertus himself reached down and whispered “Wake
up, they’re here!” I looked up knowing there would be nothing there. I had not heard
anything yet but to my surprise I saw a group of more than ten boars standing
there, rooting in the dirt and smacking at what they were finding. My heart started
to jump through my chest as I slowly started picking that heavy “Remy” up and silently
laying it down across the front cross bar.

I remember looking at the group of pigs for the biggest one. There was a very large boar standing
alone and when he walked up to the others they would move and make room for him,
as if scared of him. I thought to myself, he’s the one. He never turned to give
me that perfect shot, so I did just like Pa said to do. I took aim at the
middle of the neck.

He was standing facing me when he turned his head to the far left with his nose to the sky. I took aim
and like Pa said, “Squeeze, don’t pull”. I felt the buck of the 280 and lost
all sight for a split second.  All the boars vanished into the woods in one split second. Once everything cleared up
and slowed down, I saw a very large black lump lying on the ground. I was told
to wait 10 minutes before getting down from the stand, but I just couldn’t
wait! After about 2 minutes I dropped the magazine, racked the round out of the
chamber and began to climb down the ladder.

Once I hit the ground I put the magazine in just in case he wasn’t completely dead!! As I walked
slowly up to the animal and looked to see if the eyes were open.  They were wide open and there was a perfect
placed shot dead in the center of the right side of his neck. There was a
quarter size hole in the lower left back side, just before the front shoulder.
I realized, I had just shot my first large game animal and it was a clean kill.

Figure 2 “Photo” Chris Norris with another one of his harvested boars.

My grandpa came driving up that dirt road some minutes later in his old Chevy pickup and the
first thing he said was “welcome to the club young man”. He shook my hand,
slapped me on the back and said, “Well let’s get him back to the barn and
dress him”.

Until this hunt, I had only harvested rabbits, squirrels, dove and some quail with my 22 Marlin. I had
cleaned and dressed before but I had no idea the correct way to dress a Boar. Grandpa
turned this first time into a 30 minute block of instruction. To be honest, I
was just too excited to concentrate. I hardly remember anything he said. Then I
received the Norris tradition of blessing. My grandpa placed a blood cross on
my forehead. I ran into the house a tell Granny that we were having back straps
for dinner!

We put the Boar on the old scale and it leveled out at 179 lbs of South Georgia Pork.  After beginning the process of quartering it
up, we wrapped it in freezer paper, labeled the cuts, dated it, and slapped it
in the freezer. Boy was I proud!

That day set the standard for whatever big game I would literally be chasing through the woods. It
did not matter if I had to miss school to do it. I got in some trouble with the
grandparents over the years for skipping school to chase the critters.

I have hunted Whitetail and other game over the years. It is the wild boar though that really gets my
blood going. When I saw fresh pig signs while fishing on the Ocmulgee River, I would
be there the next morning, if I could get permission that is.

The location I grew up in has one of the largest wild boar populations in Georgia. So before joining
the U.S. Army and being sent to Fort Benning, I harvested my share of South
Georgia Boars. I attended Infantry Basic Training and was later stationed in
Baumholder, Germany. Once I got to Germany I heard the famous stories of big
boar, that it was too hard to get your license and that you couldn’t own guns
in Germany. I was heartbroken until I started digging deeper and found out the
truth behind the lies! And so began the next chapter of wild pig hunting, the European
Boar hunter…

To Be Continued…

Figure 3 “Photo” Chris Norris in Germany with a harvested wild boar. Chris has taken to his new surroundings and loves that fact that Europe is loaded with his favorite game to hunt.

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