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The Great Barnes / Leister Expedition

Hello All,

Got home an hour or so ago. Had an excellent time.

Jim Leister (customer, Standing Stone co-promoter, friend) and I went on an Airgun hunt this weekend in upstate Pennsylvania. Jim had researched many guided hunts and found a great place with rough terrain, which booked hunts for wild Russian Boar. Jim had to go to the place and prove the potential of both our large caliber airguns and our shooting skill. Upon first contact, the Outfitter clearly thought Jim was nuts at asking if Wild Russian Boar could be hunted with airguns.

Let me say we had an excellent hunt. We're exhausted. We hunted from dawn to dusk. The terrain was extremely rough and we hiked Up hill through mud and snow, paused and hunted Up hill some more. Paused and hunted UP HILL some more. (You'll get the drift - everything was Up hill all day!!)

The location was great. Deep Hollows surrounded by craggy outcroppings. topped with grassland and pines.

We kept a sharp eye out for game. Stopping to glass around the area.

Around noon, a flurry of activity broke loose when two Russian Boar were spotted in the general area of a wide bowl of grass/woodland ahead of us. BANG!!! signaled that the only other pr. of hunters we'd encountered all day had approached from another direction (a husband wife team). The lady, having arrived first, had had first crack at the game and had wounded a Boar . Everything went crazy as we approached, stumbling down the bowl rim over rocks, grass, mud, snow, limbs, etc.

"There they are!!!" shouts our guide. I had a laser rangefinder up and took a quick reading on a tree at the top edge of the bowl where the hogs were "Going to be" ... 109 yards!

(This photo taken from the reverse location later thru laser 8X Leica Range finder)

Jim was laying prone at this time but was hunting with peep sights. He and the guide shouted to me to ask if I could take a shot. I counter with "Which Hog was hit?" Both Boar were doing a brisk trot up the ridge with their mane bristles standing straight up. "The front hog is hit!" Came back.

I swung onto the rear hog (the Boar/male). Now, I'm hunting with a Barnes Tundra 45. It's a bench rifle. Not a light hunter (but we weren't doing a light hunt either...;?). I had a long bi-pod attached and the plan was to sink down quickly to the ground. But; no time for that now! They were approaching the trees and the top where they'd enter the darker woods.

Upon rangefinding, while yelling "Which Hog?", I'd rotated the elevation to my max. known charted elevation and adjusted the side wheel focus to roughly 100 yards. The 337 grain hellfire was chambered, rifle was cocked. I was following through the scope set on 8X. I held on the rear Hog ... tracking and absorbing it's pace ... as it ran to and then behind my ranged tree. It emerged ... follow ... lead ..... hold over ... BANG!!!!! ... SMACK!!!! .... EeWHeeewwwHH!!!! went the Boar signaling his loud displeasure. He sagged alittle, but kept going ... into the darker woods.

I prepared for another shot while the guide stalked on ahead and we gave the game alittle time to settle down rather than drive it into a frenzy. The Guide entered the woods. It happened that Jim and I were together at this time. There was also a less experienced guide which was along to be helpful, give a hand, and gain experience. The four of us had been relatively close to witness my shot. Unknown to me at this time, the other party who'd happened into the sloped bowl just before we had, were higher up on the ridge (closer to the woods). They had watched too, figured what was going on, and were then starting to follow their hit.

All morning our guides had been filling us with stories of how tough the wild Russian Boar were. There were the stories of being charged by the Boar. The Boar that took 4 hits from a 30-06 and yet still came on. Jim and I groused about just "who's stupid idea this whole thing had been anyway" ... ;?)


Reaching and entering the woods, we saw the blood trail. Ahead, deeper over the bowl rim and now descending into the woods was our guide/tracker much farther along. He gestured off above him up a ravine. The Boar was visible. I raised the rangefinder ... 70 yards. Quartering toward me with it's flank stained red.

I clicked the elevation to 70 yards and sank down against the descending slope. Extra long bi-pod legs were already extended. I'd been carrying them folded forward where they carried about 4-6" beyond the barrel's muzzle. The bi-pod legs hit the ground and I cranked the side wheel to approx. 70-75 yards. Focus was fine when I acquired the scope picture. The Boar started toward me as I fired ... BANG!!!!!!! ...SaallaaAPPPP!!!!...EweuuuuEHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

The Boar was enraged and started a brief charge toward me. He closed about 30 yards and then veered off downhill (very good;?). A short follow up found him pretty well leaning against a tree deeper down the slope. Just to quickly end it, a 30 yard shot crumpled him into a rolling downhill mass where he came to rest against another tree 20 yards down the slope.

 Your choice if you care to link over for the animal pictures. I didn't want to make that choice for you ...


Jim Leister: Co-Producer of Standing Stone, customer, friend.

After spending some time helping the other party who'd wandered into our area get onto the trail of their wounded Russian Boar, we resumed our hunt. Our guide had felt there was a larger population of Russian Boar in the area, but we could not run across them though we tried.

Approx. 2pm, we began a move into another area of higher ground. We climbed and climbed as we ascended a ridge open against the sky at the top. It was beautiful up there. Placing us on watch, our guide left us to make a wide scouting arc below us and across a grassy slope dotted with scrub timber.

Jim and I watched. Slowly glassing the slope below and occasionally checking higher up behind us. Movement! There ... below on the grassy slope ... a Ram. I had the laser range finder up in a few seconds ... 158 yards.

Jim hadn't anticipated a long shot with his peep sights (though he had spent range time pounding the official 200 yard NRA steel chicken), but ... that was a known, practiced yardage. 158 yards downhill .... could he compensate ... and where was our guide? Jim couldn't take the shot not knowing where Tim was. In a few minutes, our guide appeared about 100 yards left of the Ram moving along the slope. The Ram sensed him, and began to ascend ... toward us.

We froze and became trees. When the Ram passed behind some dense area, we two trees hit the dirt and Jim began a stalk.

I saw Jim glass the area with his rangefinder. Alittle more forward ... slow....

That "stump" in the center of the pic is Jim. Bison at the ready, set trigger armed ..... BANG!!!!! ... WHACK!!!!

The Ram swayed, took a few steps forward and crumpled. The shot had been approx 63 yards and it lay at 52 yards.

Jim and Tim wait after the shot to approach. Nice shot buddy.

(This link will take you to Jim's Ram pics if you so choose).

What a great time we had. We sat back at his home and talked to 2:30 am - first down in his shop, then at his kitchen table, and then later in the living room. We came home to a great dinner of homemade chicken pot pie with handmade noodles ... man that was good! Thanks again Patty. We were starved.

I smiled all the way home Sunday afternoon. It was a good time and it was good to get home.

I drove in to this special "Welcome Home" balloon waiting for me! Thanks again Kelly ;?) Before the hunt, she'd washed my hunting clothes in special anti-UV stuff and packed me some clothes. Now; back home, she even listened to my hunting stories for the next few hours. I then took her to dinner (and told more hunting stories). ;?)



If the mounts are done, they will be displayed at Standing Stone 2003 which will be held this September 20,21, 2003.