View Full Version : A Lost Pig
November 18, 1999, 12:34 AM
Three years ago I started finding pig tracks on our hunting land. Last year my uncle spotted some. This year on openning day (last Saterday)The pigs finally showed themselves to me. About thirty minutes before dark a herd of pigs came into a small clearing about thirty yards away from my stand. I counted eleven, and estimate there was eight to ten more. All were identical in size and color except one. The odd pig out was twice the size and brown not black. They were diffinatly razorback, not ferral. I picked the second closest one, as it offered the best shot-broadside. At the shot the pig fell to its chest, then started pushing itself with its hind legs. It did this for twentyfive feet or so, rolled over on its back, then regained its feet. It then proceeded to skeedadle. I spent the next five hours on my hands and knees in a five year cutover following sparse and dwindling blood. My load was a 225 grn hpl .44 cal sabot in a 50 cal with 90 grns pyrodex. The gun shoots 4" at 100 yds. My sight picture was pefect and I know about the sheild on a pig-I used to vidiotape hunts at a game ranch (once vidiotaped Steven Segal)- and felt confident this bullet/load would perform at that distance. In fifteen years of hunting deer, Ive only lost one that I could prove I hit (missed several) and am sick about this. Does any one have any insight/ suggestions?
November 18, 1999, 12:48 AM
I have not shot one of these, but hogs are supposed to have a "gristle plate" somewhere in the shoulder area. It may be that your bullet struck that and merely stunned the porker, doing relatively little damage.
I think you indicate you used a hollow point. It may have expanded too quickly on that "plate" or a large bone and not penetrated the vitals for a killing shot.
I suspect the animal survived and will recover.
November 18, 1999, 10:03 AM
In my limited experience with hogs, they do not readily admit their own demise. The situation becomes more bleak when you blow the heart out of 'em and there is no blood trail.
This spring, I did exactly that...took out both lungs, heart and liver. That hog travelled a good 200 yards into the brush with no blood trail. Moderator Harry Humphries and good friend Hilton spent the better part of 2 hours in thick brush with me before we found it.
This summer, I witnessed a broadside hog shot from Mad Dog's 30.06 special loads literally blow the heart out of the far side of a hog leaving a cavity big enough to put a fist in. He, too, covered over 100 yards in a matter of seconds and it took us about 30 minutes to locate the little feller.
OTOH, Ashley Emerson tells us if a hog that he once took down, only to remove last year's .44 cal round from the neck on autopsy.
November 19, 1999, 03:24 AM
My limited experiences with hog are about like Riches. Read-- they die hard. I watched my dad hit a sow of about 200+ lbs behind the shoulder with a 165g Game King .30-06 at about 150 yards, and she only jumped and ran into the deepest, thickest, most tangled creek-bottem undergrowth you've ever seen. I went ahead and waited for her and her shotes to come down the creek. Only the shoats came out, so I eventually tagged an 80 lb-er for myself (tender and sweet; the best meat, I'm convinced!). Dad and our friend Doug never did find that big sow-- she made it too far. She was hit HARD, folks.
I've talked to many a person who's confirmed this to be very common. I know a guy who says his hog hunting got far more effective when he changed caliber to .22-250, because he then only tags them behind the ear. This, by the way, seems to be the best way to go, if you can make the shot; put your bullet just behind the ear, and they go straight down. Dad took a 250 lb hog 2 years ago with a .257 Rbts 100 grainer by doing just that. For a shote of less than 100 lbs, I found no trouble with a .30-30 shoulder shot.
We all know about the gristle plate, but the book is this-- Hog are tough, just generally. Heavy bones, low center of balance, hard, bristl-ey coat, and a "Never Give Up!" attitude means you better pack a lunch.
BTW, if it helps, here in TX, Parks and Wildlife puts out pamphlets on their extermination; they're considered quite the major pest to ranchers and farmers, and were not originally indiginous.
Sorry for your loss, but it sounds like you did what you could, in fair chase. What bullet, by the way? I hear great things about the Nosler Partition Gold 300 grainer.
Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?
November 19, 1999, 10:48 PM
And I thought this thread was about Hilary misplacing her road map of New York. :)
November 29, 1999, 09:56 PM
I hunt hogs alot. Here in west central Florida we have them by the bunches. Anyway, though I haven't lost one yet, (This due to the cartridge/projectile combination I use more than intrinsic skill...)I can speak about their incredibly tough constitution with some authority. I shot my biggest to date through his cheek and into his body. The 180gr Swift A-Frame smashed one half of his thorasic vertabrae for about 8 inches. In other words he was paralyzed on one side. Thinking he was dead, I laid my Weatherby 30/06 to one side, and walked over to him.
Fortunately I approached him from his rear, for when I got within tusking distance he lashed out with those 2.5" tusks. I had forgotten the classic African hunter's axiom: It's the dead ones that kill you. Anyway, to make along story short, I delivered a coup-de-gras with a 22. Gratefully I didn't end up with a new set of hard to explain ankle scars to show off.
So to loop back to the topic at hand: It sounds as if you did everything in a responsible manner; sometimes we do everything we can think of and we still come up empty handed. Feral hogs are tough as nails, they can absorb a substantial ammount of punishment and still dish out some themselves. My guess is that your shot went high passsing close to the spine, and temporarily stunning the nerves in the front half of the body. After the shock wore off the pig hi-tailed it to parts unknown. If it missed vitals, it probably recovered. Pigs are creatures of habit, keep an eye out from that stand and you just might bump into him again.
PS Hogs are addictive! If this should happen to you, please grap your smokepole, pyrodex, and favorite projectile, and run to the nearest safe hunting area. Do not stop to talk to neighbors, this only increases your anxiety!
Try this forum: www.huntamerica.com (http://www.huntamerica.com)
Check out the hog forum.
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