There was a merry din during the second drive of the day. To my right, my German colleague Herr Dieckman had just shot a large keiler that had cautiously sneaked out from the trees in front of him. To my left, an Ukrainian hunting journalist, only 60 – 70 meters from me, had twice fired at boars, without me seeing anything of them. On the other side of the drive, the sound of gunfire had, more than once, suggested that there were a good number boars in this part of the hunting district.
We stood in a relatively open deciduous forest. The calendar had reached December, and the light dusting of snow on the forest floor reflected the season. The temperature hovered around freezing point, and there was hardly a breath of wind. Despite wearing thick trousers the cold started to creep into my very marrow, as the minutes slowly turned into hours. I leaned against a young oak tree and zipped my jacket right up to my chin.
I listened intensely. Normally you can hear boars before you see them, and I know from my own experience that its makes a world of difference if you are 100% prepared when they show themselves, otherwise you will be surprised and confused if they just suddenly appear. A shot, a few hundred meters to the left, broke the silence. Seconds later two more shots rang out – this time closer.
I checked the light in the Aimpoint sight, and placed my thumb on the Helix’s hand cocking device. A new sound reached my ears through my electronic hearing protectors. It was still quite weak, sounding like running water. The noise came from the direction of the shots, and it was getting louder. I had heard this sound before, on another driven hut in the snow. Animals were approaching fast, and it was certain there were more than one, since the sound of their individual movements in the snow had merged into a constant rustle.
I raised my rifle and cocked it. The animals were even closer now, and I thought I could hear them grunting. I was in no doubt that they were wild boars, and there were many of them.
They suddenly appeared at the edge of a clearing 40 meters in front of me. They were running at full speed and were heading towards Herr Dieckmann. At the front a large black sow bounded along, followed by 8-9 yearlings and with 2 -3 two year olds bringing up the rear. I readied my rifle, swinging it towards the first yearling and firing instinctively when the red spot passed beneath the boars eye. It fell to it’s knees, the shot hitting it on the shoulder, tumbling behind a fallen tree. The rest of the group reacted to the shot by throwing themselves straight towards the cover of the nearest trees, just where I happened to be standing.
The next round was already in the chamber, and boar no. 2 fell head over heels around 30 meters away, hit in it’s engine room. CLING – CLING, the next cartridge was chambered in a fast instinctive movement. In their confusion the boars swarmed around in front of me, finding it just as difficult to see me in the tangle of light and shade, as I found it to see them. A brother of the first two boars peeled off at an angle, and the next second it was hit on the shoulder. It jumped up and landed on it’s back, it’s hind legs kicked out in it’s last convulsions. Two more boars ran towards me, and I took my fourth and last shot from a range of only 15 meters, before the rearguard disappeared into a dense thicket in front of me. This boar was hit at an angle from the front, and spun around a few times before falling forwards on to the ground.
I took the magazine out of the Helix and quickly refilled it. However nothing else happened at the post – and for my part, there was no need for it. I had had my fill of excitement for one afternoon. To put it bluntly: none of this would have been possible without a good red dot sight, with absolutely no magnification, and a lightning fast rifle. Four decent shots in the space of 7 – 8 seconds, hitting running yearlings at fairly close range. With my own all-round rifle, with a x 2.5 magnification telescopic sight mounted on it, I could only have taken one or – with a fair degree of wishful thinking – two careful shots. I would have only seen bristles in my sights when the boars were at their closest, and my view over the whole situations would have been too poor for me to quickly find new targets. Quite simply I would have been too slow.
We had been invited to this hunting district in Bulgaria to test the new Aimpoint Micro H-2 sight in combination with the Merkel Helix rifle and Norma Tipstrike ammunition. This combination proved to be very effective for use on a driven hunt – quite as expected. The Merkel Helix is a fast repeating rifle, and the Norma Tipstrike has a new, softer and more aggressive construction than usual. It is specifically designed to really “make an impression” when a clear reaction to the shot is a clear advantage (allowing you to take a shot at a new target, once you can clearly see your first is fatally wounded). I managed a tally of 6 boars over the two day hunt, and thus had ample opportunity to test this equipment in a number of different driven hunting scenarios. It works!
Aimpoint Micro H-2
This new sight can best be described as a logical development of Aimpoint’s popular Micro H-1 sight, which was introduced a few year back. But the improvements seen are more than just minor adjustments.
Internally the optics have been upgraded so that the fine M.O.A. dot is even more sharply defined. Battery life is impressive – a single battery can power 50,000 hours of use. There is therefore no need to turn off the unit during a hunt – even if the hunt lasts for months!
The housing itself, made from black anodized aluminium – looks just like the H-1 at first glance, but is has been strengthened around the adjustment dials and is now more robust than ever. Additionally, the protective covers at both the front and the rear are now part of the “package”.
The Aimpoint Micro H-2 measures just 77 x 44 x 46 mm, including the standard mount for Weaver bases. It’s total weight is only 93 grams. This sight is perfect for use as a primary sight for shooting moving targets mounted on a rifle or shotgun, or a secondary sight mounted on top of a telescopic rifle sight.