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View Full Version : Are ear shots ideal for hogs?


shooter43
March 12, 2012, 04:23 PM
I know i've talked about shot placement before and it may be annoying, my apologies, but would a shot in the ear canal of a hog be foolish or smart, does it matter what grain bullet is loaded in my 30-30?

mrawesome22
March 12, 2012, 04:49 PM
Ground hogs I usually aim for center mass.

Head shots are fun though :)

Keg
March 12, 2012, 05:30 PM
Shooter..I go for neck shots on big hogs....If your a lil off..prob still be ok....Smaller pigs not that big of a deal....I like 170's in a 30-30..maybe even some of the newer hot loads with bigger bullets....

YARDDOG(1)
March 12, 2012, 05:58 PM
Ear shots Angeling away is better IMO ; )
Y/D

arch308
March 12, 2012, 06:59 PM
170's in a 30-30, especially for hogs IMO. I don't see any reason to go for the ear unless you're showing off or just want to prove to yourself you can. Neck shot does the same thing and is a bigger target.

rickyrick
March 12, 2012, 09:27 PM
2-4" 45deg from the ear.

BIG P
March 13, 2012, 05:47 AM
Most head shots are going to give same results dead hog.With a 30-30 its not really going to matter much.223 works for me.

Saltydog235
March 13, 2012, 07:25 AM
Don't know about the 30-30 but its a blast shooting them in the ear with a .243. I use either 70 or 90 grn Ballistic Tips and it scrambles those melons good.

Doyle
March 13, 2012, 07:36 AM
The true "sweet spot" is just behind the ear. It is where the brain stem connects to the spinal cord.

farmerboy
March 13, 2012, 08:42 AM
works great, they drop instantly. Ear shots should be made when you have a steady rest and can be sure of the shot. Its not just proving something its dropping them in the tracks, killing them instantly and not having to track a animal. If they're moving around pretty good or cruizing through pretty fast right behind the shoulder is good and for the 30-30 the 150s or the 170s are all good. I have been shooting the 160 grain Hornady FTXs because that what Ive been reloading but before that I was shooting the 150s. But all are good medicine for hogs.

Double Naught Spy
March 13, 2012, 09:02 AM
When most folks refer to the ear hole (external auditory meatus), they are referring to the soft tissue ear hole and not the boney ear hole which is actually lower down on the skull.

The problem with ear shots is that if you are just a tad high, you end up skipping over the top of the skull. Slightly below behind, underneath, or forward should work very well.

The true "sweet spot" is just behind the ear. It is where the brain stem connects to the spinal cord.

It does work well, but isn't where the brain stem connects with the spinal chord. Directly behind the ear puts you either in neck muscle or hitting the occiptal. It does work, but does so without directly having the brain stem or spinal chord hit.

Doyle
March 13, 2012, 02:18 PM
Double Naught Spy, I invite you to look at this picture of a hogs anatomy. That spot behind the ear sure looks like the base of the brain stem to me.

http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/57600/57619/57619_hog_lg.gif

rickyrick
March 13, 2012, 03:12 PM
That picture don't show tissue the spine is right about centerline of the neck. Any where in the neck should incapacitate on hydrostatic shock alone.

Double Naught Spy
March 13, 2012, 06:22 PM
Double Naught Spy, I invite you to look at this picture of a hogs anatomy. That spot behind the ear sure looks like the base of the brain stem to me.

http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/57600/57619/57619_hog_lg.gif

Doyle,
You do realize that the picture you provided isn't of a hog's anatomy, just a skeleton. It doesn't actually show the base of the brain stem that you say you can see. It doesn't show the location of the external pinnae which are what most folks refer to as ears. It does show the bony external auditory meatus, but few folks would recognize that for what it is and it isn't labelled in the drawing.

In invite you to read my first sentence again since you obviously missed it.

If you treat everything as "ear" from the ear's bony structures and all the way up to the tips of the external pinnae that most folks call "ears," then allow for a lot of head tipping, directly behind the ear ends up involving a good bit of neck tissue and some air space above the neck.

Given that the bony ear structures shown in your linked skeleton are at the base and below the external pinnae, most folks note shooting relative to the base of the ear, such as "directly behind the base of the ear."

In your image, directly behind the ear with the hog's head at that angle would produce a shot that went into the occipital of the skull, at least for the 1-1.5" behind the skull as shown. Beyond that distance you would come into the atlas.

As rickyrick said, the hydrostatic shock will do its thing nicely, even when you don't actually hit the brain stem.

Doyle
March 14, 2012, 07:36 AM
Spy, I'm going to have to trust you about the labeling of a hogs anatomy.

Sport45
March 14, 2012, 07:54 AM
Is this picture anywhere close to accurate?
http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=79768&stc=1&d=1331729625

Double Naught Spy
March 14, 2012, 03:29 PM
That depends on what you mean by accurate. Several of the bones showed are very inaccurate such as the bizarre triangular thing that is supposed to be the pelvis and depicting the tibia and the radius and ulna as being the same shape of bone and not showing that there is a fibula and not showing the radius and ulna as separate bones. The pelvis is shown connecting the the sacrum with both the ilium and ischium via an extended sacrum and that this just all wrong. Also showing is the NECK VERTEBRAE label with the arrow pointing to the thoracic vertebrae which most definitely are not neck vertebrae. Humerus depicted in front of the heart is depicted smaller than it is in real life. In fact, the overall length of the humerus is shown to be shorter than the heart is long. That is wrong. Apparently with the shortened humerus, you have the scapula and vertebrae drawn down in lower positions than they actually occur. The scapula is shown as an oversized rectangular bone when it is actually much more triangular. For example, see... http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&rlz=1T4TSNA_enUS361US436&biw=1522&bih=684&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnsb&tbnid=WPaqG_k3gOqKMM:&imgrefurl=http://www.thepigsite.com/FeaturedArticle/Default.asp%3FDisplay%3D1477&docid=VOzVWwKILMqu9M&imgurl=http://www.thepigsite.com/articles/contents/05-09UNebSwineShoulder1.gif&w=326&h=267&ei=SAFhT-yAAaq22gXl39GRCA&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=369&sig=108897770181757983884&page=2&tbnh=138&tbnw=169&start=20&ndsp=28&ved=1t:429,r:21,s:20&tx=114&ty=34


The MAIN ARTERY and MAIN VEIN are surprisingly not as parallel as you would find in real life and the vein is depicted making a strange partial loop around the abdominal and thoracic cavities which it doesn't actually do. There are some other issues, but I will stop at this point.

The image you put up comes from ...
http://hunting.about.com/od/deerbiggame/a/wheretoshoothog.htm

and shows up on many discussion/hunting boards about where to shoot a hog, such as here... http://www.elusivewildlife.com/index.php?section=24

The author is trying to help out deer hunters under the auspices that a hog's anatomy is significantly different from that of a deer and so deer hunters who hunt hogs in the off season are losing hogs because their shots that would have worked well for deer won't work well for hog.

So it is rather ironic that the author puts forth am image of a hog showing the correct anatomy so that deer hunters will understand and yet gets so many things so wrong. The title is...

Where to Shoot a Wild Boar Hog, and How Much Gun to Use

Boar Hogs Aren't Built Like Deer, But Many Hunters Don't Realize That

Hogs may not be exactly like deer, but most folks probably knew that by just looking at them. However, while hogs are not like deer, they are more like deer than they are like the provided drawing.

The author and several others will tell you that the organs are well forward in the hog versus the deer. I don't know what is meant by well forward, but maybe a better description is that the lungs and liver don't appear to extend as far back. I have read where if you want to make a heart shot, the pig's leg needs to be moved out of the way and so you want it forward, or it will cover the heart as shown. This happens on a deer as well.

rickyrick
March 14, 2012, 03:40 PM
That triangle thing appears to be an aftermarket independent rear suspension setup.....LOL

shooter43
March 14, 2012, 05:25 PM
thanks for the advice! I might just go for shoulder shots, right in the center of it. My marksmanship skills will need some good work before i can shoot a hog in the ear, giving its so small a target.

BIG P
March 15, 2012, 10:47 AM
Shoulder shots will work TOO.biggest thing is to shoot'um. Those FLA. hogs are leaking over here to GA.So we need to get them in a cross fire.Damn things are getting bad here.Just kiddin about the FLA THING. :D:D

03Shadowbob
March 17, 2012, 06:34 AM
I shoot them in the neck. DRT.

Keg
March 17, 2012, 07:10 AM
The author is trying to help out deer hunters under the auspices that a hog's anatomy is significantly different from that of a deer and so deer hunters who hunt hogs in the off season are losing hogs because their shots that would have worked well for deer won't work well for hog.


My SIL's buck from last season...U can see the entrance..About same place for exit on the other side....It took out both lungs and top of the heart....I learned the hard way not to put it here on a large hog....

thallub
March 17, 2012, 07:47 AM
i sometimes shoot big hogs in the ear or behind the ear; usually while hunting with a .22 magnum in small game season. Ear shot hogs often do not bleed out. IMO: Bloody hog meat ain't so tasty.

Flintknapper
April 25, 2012, 03:14 PM
DNS wrote:

It does work well, but isn't where the brain stem connects with the spinal chord. Directly behind the ear puts you either in neck muscle or hitting the occiptal

DNS the following is not for your benefit, I know you know your hog anatomy (its your business after all), but for others less familiar.


Exactly right…and that is the “area” I always seek to hit (where possible).

I don’t have anything against “head shots” PROVIDED you are good marksman, the animal is relatively still and the angle is reasonable.

But, if I have a choice…I always take a neck shot. However, what I mean by “neck shot” is shot placement designed to hit (or nearly hit) the Occipital, Axis or Atlas.

In the picture below the simulated cross-hairs would be about right (for the head position of this hog).

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n92/flintknapper/Trailcampicsdec8a.jpg

If the shot should land a bit farther back….I would still connect with the Cervical Vertebrae, but you have to be careful not to shoot too high on the neck.

All too often a hog hit in such a manner will drop, only to get back up and run off. The reason of course…is that the spinal cord itself was not hit (usually just a dorsal spine).

My advice is to take a neck shot anytime the circumstance permits, it’s a highly effective shot and allows a bit more room for error than your typical head shot (ear canal).

603Country
April 25, 2012, 03:52 PM
Mostly I shoot em in the lungs and that works just fine at any range with my 260. With my 223 however, you need the right bullet if you lung shoot em. Before I switched to the 65 gr Sierra GK, I used mostly the 55 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip and that really isn't a great bullet for pig blasting. I had a big one quartering away from me at a medium trot at about 100 yards and I had the Ballistic Tips in the rifle. Well...not the time for a lung shot, but I had an angle shot available right behind the ear. I guess I sent it about an inch high, because there was this big cloud of vapor above his head. No, not the red mist, but more the mud and pig bristle mist. He didn't speed up or slow down at bullet impact. He just kept trotting. That's when I switched bullets. Later, I switched calibers. I was seeing pigs from 60 to 400 yards and the 223 just didn't have enough horsepower to anchor the big ones. The 260 does. So yes, the ear shots are fine, but I think the lung shots allow more margin for error.

tws92E05
April 25, 2012, 08:04 PM
I usually have a couple different rifles in the stand with me. If all the hogs that come out are small I will usually use my 204 Ruger and I always take ears shots. I haven't had one take a step with the biggest being about 100 pounds. If I have bigger pigs out I use my 270 and I try to take a shoulder shots and line up another pigs head for the exit. I ended up killing three doubles and one triple last year. Its not real hard here in Texas when you have 20 or 30 coming out at a time.

I got a new 50 cal muzzle loader at the end of the season last year and have been mainly hunting with that and having alot of fun. I have killed a couple hogs but have only taken shoulder shots but since it is so accurate I do believe I will put a few in the ear hole.

rickyrick
April 25, 2012, 09:50 PM
Interestingly, I was Thumbing through the hunting regulations and a pellet gun is a legal weapon for hogs. It even specifically states pellet rifle.

jstgsn
April 25, 2012, 10:30 PM
I would have thought that the proper shot would be the chest, hoping for lungs and heart, but based on shooting at center mass instead of the head or neck. True I don't know much about pigs, but if they are anything like other animals, the head and neck move around, looking for threats or food. I can see the ear or neck shots to finish them off, but thought the chest shot was the most ethical and offered a higher percentage of kill shots. Guess it's from practicing on shooting people and deer all my life.

Flintknapper
April 25, 2012, 10:36 PM
rickyrick wrote:

Interestingly, I was Thumbing through the hunting regulations and a pellet gun is a legal weapon for hogs. It even specifically states pellet rifle.

Since hogs are classified as "exotics" in Texas nearly any means are legal to take them (I.E. any legal rifle, Pistol, Bow, Knife, Spear, snares,Helicopters,Rocks, Pipe wrenches, what have you). They can be hunted at night with the aid of lights (private property) there is no bag limit or season (hunt them anytime, as many as you like).

If you can kill one with a pellet rifle, sling shot, blow gun or with your bare hands...the State of Texas doesn't care...and encourages land owners to reduce the number of Feral Hogs.

MLeake
April 25, 2012, 10:46 PM
This link from about.com has a cross section diagram of a hog's vitals. http://hunting.about.com/od/deerbiggame/a/wheretoshoothog.htm

Center mass is actually aft of the liver.

Note how low the heart is, below and just behind the shoulder. Hogs also have a lot of hard cartilage around the shoulder.

Good odds a bullet will have to go through upper leg bone, and possibly rib bone and / or shoulder cartilage, depending on angle.

I've seen hogs run a good distance after a "center mass" hit from a 12ga slug.

Vitals on deer are arrayed somewhat differently. http://wildgameprocessing.tripod.com/deeranatomy.html

Flintknapper
April 25, 2012, 10:56 PM
I would have thought that the proper shot would be the chest, hoping for lungs and heart, but based on shooting at center mass instead of the head or neck.
Its a viable shot and depending upon circumstance might be the best thing to do. But experienced hog hunters will often target the neck in order to anchor the animal on the spot.

True I don't know much about pigs, but if they are anything like other animals, the head and neck move around, looking for threats or food.

The head can move around quite a bit (mostly up and down when feeding) and is capable of articulating on the Atlas and Axis, BUT for the most part hogs tend to move their heads laterally....very little.

It has to do with their field of vision which is something on the order of 270° or better. Additionally, their tendency is to turn (the entire body) to face anything they perceive to be a threat or want to investigate.

As a result...the neck (besides the Atlas and Axis moves very little...so makes a good target (the larger the hog the better).

I can see the ear or neck shots to finish them off, but thought the chest shot was the most ethical and offered a higher percentage of kill shots.
The thoracic region...as you would expect, does make the largest target...so depending upon the shooters level of accuracy (and other factors) it might be a good place to aim, but it is by no means the "best" place IMO.

If you do choose to take that shot, remember to aim no farther back than the middle of the shoulder. The classic "behind the shoulder" shot that is appropriate for (most) ungulates, does not work as well on hogs. The vitals are situated somewhat differently.

Flintknapper
April 25, 2012, 11:09 PM
This link from about.com has a cross section diagram of a hog's vitals.

In the link provided the rendering of the hog is anatomically incorrect in a number of ways. BUT, the central point....(aim closer to the shoulder) IS a valid point.

Thank you for helping to point that out. The reputation of wild/feral hogs for being "tough" is largely undeserved and is owing in no small part to poor shot placement (read too far back).

While those shots ultimately kill the animal, more often than not, the hog will run a long distance or require several "follow up" shots (usually similarly placed). The hunter is then left thinking "man these things can really soak up the lead"!

Any reasonable bullet/cartridge combo accurately placed in the neck will drop almost any hog....almost every time. IF circumstance permits, take that shot.

rickyrick
April 26, 2012, 04:35 AM
Did yall mean like this?

http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=80569&d=1334591160http://i1058.photobucket.com/albums/t411/rcprrtt/IMAG0213.jpghttp://i1058.photobucket.com/albums/t411/rcprrtt/IMAG0125.jpg

Saltydog235
April 26, 2012, 02:34 PM
If I thought a pig woudl get gangrene and die I'd shoot one in the butt with a Red Ryder. Dang vermin is what they are.

rickyrick
April 26, 2012, 02:48 PM
Exactly

Double Naught Spy
April 26, 2012, 02:53 PM
This link from about.com has a cross section diagram of a hog's vitals.

In the link provided the rendering of the hog is anatomically incorrect in a number of ways...

Specifically Mleake, go back and look at post 17 in this thread. Note that the images is to help teach deer hunters about hog anatomy, but the guy got so much wrong that I would not trust it for correctly displaying anything.