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Bushbuck in Texas

Posted by on December 30, 2015

I confess, the title is a little misleading, I was not hunting African exotics in Texas, but rather I brought the Airguns of Arizona big bore Bushbuck to bag some Lone Star hogs. And this high power tackdriver did the job for me ….. again! The rifle is a .452 caliber generating about 600 fpe on full power for three usable shots. But power is only one side of the coin, without accuracy it can’t get the job done, and the Bushbuck is accurate! I can frequently print clover leafs at 100 yards, which is about perfect for any big game I’ll be hunting with air.

My buddy Clay and I arrived at the ranch late on a Tuesday evening, and dumped our gear in the bunk house, then went out to catch up with a couple guys that had been hunting earlier that day. Most hunting here is done over feeders, in an attempt to draw the pigs out of the very dense cover. The ranch owner would drop hunters off at a number of blinds over feeders, or blinds along transit hotspots then broadcast corn in the road, in the early morning and late afternoon. In between guys would come in and eat or nap, but we’d hunted here before and had found that more and bigger pigs could be found mid day and hitting the thickets. It was hot and hard to force your way through the brush, but by going slowly and stopping to listen a hunter could locate pigs that had bedded down or were feeding under cover.

The thick West Texas brush was very thick and took some work to get through. But going out on foot was the most productive approach.

The thick West Texas brush was very thick and took some work to get through. But going out on foot was the most productive approach.

Next morning the others hitched a ride out to the blinds before daybreak, but we slept in, had a good breakfast, sighted in and in every respect were the pictures of lazy slackers. But when the ranchers stopped by to catch up before collecting the others, we climbed on the flatbed and rode out to the furthest point, jumped off and started out on foot. Not long after we heard some grunts and slowed into stalking mode, but spooked a small herd with one giant boar before I could get opened for a shot. They crashed away, and we kept hiking. About an hour later we herd more pigs rooting with an occasional squeal piercing the quiet. The wind was not in our favor so we started to circle around. At one point we had to cross a washboard road, and as we stood back in the treeline talking, two smallish pigs stepped out. I pulled up the gun to shoot, but before I could squeeze the trigger they slowly walked back into the trees. We waited a few minutes, not easy to do when you’re imaging your quarry slipping away, but they had not seemed alarmed, and I thought I could work in for a better shot.

The bigger pigs, if they were going to come out in daylight, were either in or very close to the heavy brush.

If pigs were going to come out in daylight, they stayed either in or very close to the heavy brush.

As we moved back into the trees, following the pigs with the wind now in our favor, I peaked around a clump of vegetation and through the branches saw a bigger pig we hadn’t seen earlier.  I caught glimpses of a smaller pig moving off, but had a shot through the branches at the big one, for a decent broadside. I lined up the crosshairs, and with the scope at 6X had a pretty good field of view. When I stroked the trigger, the gun barked, the pig squealed and ran into the brush where we heard it crash and thrash then go dead quiet. And when I walked up it was, as my bird hunting buddy Scott says, DRT (dead right there).

We called the truck to come find us when we had a pig to haul back to the meat lockers.

We called the truck to come find us when we had a pig to haul back to the meat lockers.

Clay and I dragged the pig to the road, then continued hunting. We pushed a couple more animals, I had an easy head shot (so I thought) on one big porker, but when I pulled the trigger a small tree limb I hadn’t seen exploded between me and the pig, it was his lucky day. By then it was late in the afternoon, and we knew that the other hunters would be heading for the blinds scattered around the property, so called for a ride and some help moving the unprocessed bacon back to the shed.

The Bushbuck is the first gun that Airguns of Arizona has built, and it’s a very promising start to this side of their business. I’ve got several new big bores and this is a happening area in airgun development these days. The thing that would make it perfect for me, would be a carbine version. I’d give up some power to make the gum more compact….. but that’s just me, and I find that almost every time I get a new big bore I make this comment. But, I can say without reservation that if you are looking for a big game gun this is one of my favorites and should be on your short list!

I’ve got a couple hunts in January and then off to SHOT Show. I bought a new set of snow shoes and have been doing a lot of hiking the last several weeks, and hope to use them on some predator hunts as winter wears on, so I’ll let you know how that works out. I hope you all enjoy your New Years, and will catch up with you next week!

Jim

4 Responses to Bushbuck in Texas

  1. RidgeRunner

    Jim,

    I am very interested in the Bushbuck! To me, accuracy is everything. As you pointed out, what use is all of the power if you cannot hit your target. Until recent times “off the shelf” big bore air rifles were fine for bragging rights, but not much good for actual hunting. You had to wait in line for the “boutique” air rifle manufacturers to get a decent big bore.

    This past year two big bore air rifles have come to market that have everyone singing their praises, one of which is the Bushbuck. You too have been raving about it since you saw it at the Shot Show and in this blog entry you mention just how accurate it is.

    What I would like is in the past you would give in depth reviews of various air rifles. I do understand that this requires a good bit of time to perform the tests, compile the data and organize it into something meaningful. I also understand that this time of year it is very uncomfortable to perform long range testing.

    However, should you decide to do this, perhaps you could show the accuracy results at 50 and 100 yards at not only 4500 PSI, but at 3000 PSI as there are still many who are not equipped to operate at those pressures as of yet, myself included.

    Perhaps you could enlist the assistance of Mike or Tom? I feel certain either of these gentlemen would jump at the chance to play with your bright and shiny and the weather is not quite as bad this time of year where they live.

  2. RidgeRunner

    Jim,

    I heard you got your wish for a carbine Bushbuck. Does your “old” one need a new home?

  3. Jerry

    Jim,

    Where can I see the AOA Bushbuck .451 Air gun?

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