American Hunter - June 2013 - 45

Photo: Brian McCombie

Weatherby's Hog Reaper

Photos: Ron Spomer

I've taken Weatherby's Hog Reaper rifle on three hunts now, twice for hogs with a
Reaper in .308 Win, and once for antelope (with some prairie dog shooting tossed
in) using a .243 model. The rifle's accurate, lightweight, and a lot of fun to shoot. I've
also found a decidedly mixed reaction to the hog skull camouflage pattern, done by
Proveil, on the injection-molded stock. It's either, "Wow, that's so cool!" or "Ohmygawd!
Ugg-lee!" There's nothing in between.
The Hog Reaper is part of Weatherby's new Wby-X line of rifles and shotguns
designed to attract younger hunters and shooters. (By the way, the under-40 crowd
loves the hog skulls; the over-40s become visibly upset.) The Reaper's made in .223
Remington, .243 Win., 7mm-08 Rem. and .308 Win., and in form and function is pretty
much a carbine-length version of the rifle maker's popular Vanguard series, with a
20-inch barrel (4 inches shorter than the standard Vanguard).
Weighing in at just 7 pounds, and with that shorter barrel, the Reaper's a natural
for hunting in thick cover and taking fast shots at moving targets within said cover.
Of the three hogs I've taken with the .308 Reaper, one was running broadside at 50
yards, one was feeding at 100 yards and shot from a hunting stand, and one was
taken using shooting sticks at 180 yards (a red boar that weighed 220 pounds and
stood on a steep California hillside). The latter two pigs took one shot each; the runner
tool one miss, one in the rear leg and the final kill shot just behind the left shoulder.
The two-stage trigger has a crisp let-off, and adjusts down to 2.5 pounds of pull.
I haven't had a great deal of range time with the Reaper, but once my scope was
zeroed I easily made 1.5-inch groups at 100 yards. In fact, groups keep shrinking the
more I use the rifle, which, after all, was brand new when I received it and appears to
benefit from a breaking-in period.
For a suggested retail of $750, you get a nice Weatherby. If hog hunting's your
thing, let the hog skulls be your calling card. (wby-x.com)-Brian McCombie

The author, left, and outfitter Joel
Brandenburg celebrate a successful
mangrove feral hog hunt near Tampa.

Florida-but an ancient Florida like the
one de Soto must have found. We neither
saw nor heard the buildings and boats that
make Tampa one of the busiest ports in the
state. We were in a mangrove wilderness,
and fresh hog tracks lured us deeper.
By midday we'd followed so many pig
tracks into impenetrable mangroves and

stalked quietly around so many bends in
the shoreline that our focus changed from
hogs to roseate spoonbills and showy reddish egrets. The squawking, flapping bird
life was primitive, colorful, exotic and so
distracting that we nearly missed the black
boar lying in the mud at water's edge.
"Geez, there's one right there!" I hissed.
"Where?" Betsy asked. Joel aimed her
toward the pig that, despite our blundering, appeared to be basking half asleep in
the warm sun.

americanhunter.org ❘

43 ❘ june 2013

"Hold low on the shoulder," Joel said.
I watched through our Swarovski birding binocular. Bang. Whomp. Four hogs
exploded from the mud and dived into
cover, but not the black boar. He just
rolled over, awaiting his trip to the barbecue. It was a long drag back, but two prime
porkers compensated for both the work
and the uncooperative fish. Joel invited us
back for another crack at the snook. We'll
take him up on that. But we're bringing
rifles, too.


http://www.americanhunter.org

American Hunter - June 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - June 2013

American Hunter - June 2013 - 1
American Hunter - June 2013 - 2
American Hunter - June 2013 - 3
American Hunter - June 2013 - 4
American Hunter - June 2013 - 5
American Hunter - June 2013 - 6
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