Monday, May 7, 2012

            For several reasons (high cost, difficult portability, lack of a power source on my wheelchair), I don’t use a motorized bracket that would allow me to aim a rifle by myself. I rely on assistance from a “point man” to aim while we both view the sight picture in my scopecam monitor, and I decide when to squeeze the trigger with my cable release.
            Ron Wagner—my lifelong friend, hunting buddy and most trusted point man—defines The Point Man Rule. “When we take a deer, Andy gets all the credit,” he says. “If we miss, it’s all my fault.”
            Last year I went on a hog hunt in Uruguay without my scopecam because the batteries quit holding a charge (I’ve since found replacements.) I asked my guide, Laurindo, to shoulder the .243 and aim normally, and then tell me when to squeeze.
            We had a target-rich environment because feral hogs of all sizes swarmed the bait sites. We killed four hogs in three days, but this video (filmed by my aide Alex) shows the ones that got away. First we—that is, I—score a perfect head shot on a 100-pound boar. Then we—I mean, Laurindo—buries a bullet in the dirt and scatters a bunch of 60-pounders like so many bowling pins. He provokes a stampede with the next shot, then splits the difference between two boars, and, for the grand finale, overshoots a fat sow to kick up a geyser in the pond.
            In Laurindo’s defense, the scope had somehow gotten knocked out of alignment; after a few minutes at the bench he was back on target.

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