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Old December 25, 2012, 05:48 PM   #1
johnmcgowan
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Where is the magic spot on hogs?

Hi folks and Merry Christmas to you all!!
Im going on a 4 day hunt and we will be starting off this coming Thursday. The plan right now is a hog trip down in West Alabama, then from there it will be the rest of the time deer and hopefully a little coyote calling mixed in.
My question about the hogs is this; I know that the have an armour type plate around their shoulder, but Im not sure just how far it extends rearward.
Im shooting my Ruger 270 Win with my reloads made of 130 gr Bal tips and 52.8 grs of Hodgdon H4350, Im guessing its somewhere around 2900 to 3000 ft per sec. since I dont own a chrony.
Does anyone have a picture or diagram of where this plating on a hog is and where "not" to shoot him? Im just a little wee concerned about the 130 gr bal tips fragmenting, but this is what Ive got and what Im using.
Im really excited to go hunting since I havent been in a few years!!! And I will be off work Thursday and Friday,.... yeah man!! And Ive always wanted a chance at a hog and some coyotes , and a deer mixed in there somewhere will be a bonus to boot!!
Thank you,
John
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Old December 25, 2012, 06:07 PM   #2
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Not sure what range you will be shooting, but the ear is THE spot to anchor hogs.IMO
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Old December 25, 2012, 06:46 PM   #3
Lost Sheep
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I am not particularly knowledgeable about wild pigs, but I do know that it is not a spot ON the hog, but IN the hog.

This article might prove useful.

http://www.texasboars.com/anatomy.html

I cannot vouch for them, but these guys seem to know what they are talking about

http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?t=429672

Good luck on your hunt.

Lost Sheep

Last edited by Lost Sheep; December 25, 2012 at 06:55 PM.
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Old December 25, 2012, 07:06 PM   #4
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The brain is a very small and inadvisable target. A heart/lung shot is best.

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Old December 25, 2012, 07:23 PM   #5
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The brain is also surrounded by a lot of very hard and thick bone. As per Hawgs target think 6" further forward than you would on a deer. Pigs aren't built like long legged furry creatures. A gut shot or lung shot will send that old boy down the road in a hurry, all his working parts are between those front legs.
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Old December 25, 2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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Neck or near the ear

As u can see from the diagram, the heart is tricky.
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Old December 25, 2012, 08:14 PM   #7
Hawg Haggen
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Not tricky just have to go through the leg to get it.
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Old December 25, 2012, 08:53 PM   #8
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Hawg Haggen got it just right.
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Old December 25, 2012, 09:08 PM   #9
shootniron
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Quote:
The brain is a very small and inadvisable target. A heart/lung shot is best.
The only hogs we drop in their tracks are those shot with the ear shot...seen way too many heart/lung shots run for the thickest swamp. If the heart/lung works well for you, use it...we shoot the ear exclusively.
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Old December 25, 2012, 09:18 PM   #10
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With what you are gonna use I would suggest either a neck or ear shot. That combo of yours will kill with any hit to the vitals but the pig is likely to run off.
Might I suggest a heavier bullet. A good old Remington Core-Lokt 140g would work wonders.
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Old December 25, 2012, 10:10 PM   #11
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The best shots of anchoring a hog will involve the CNS. The brain may be fairly small, but it can be fairly easily damaged by hydrostatic shot. That is why shots behind the ear that don't actually hit the skull or the neck vertebrae will often drop a hog as will shots through the sinuses or even shots that don't penetrate the skull fully. The nice thing about rifle neck shots behind the ear, if close enough to the spine, will involve the upper spine or lower brain via hydrostatic shock, rupturing capillaries and otherwise producing significant CNS disruption.

Note that the location of the ear is at the rear of the skull. Too high behind the ear and you simply clip soft tissue and the hog runs off. If you draw a 1" half circle from forward of the base of the ear, down around and behind and hit within than half circle or slightly above, the desired effect will most often be attained. This assumes the hog is in a nose forward position, not nose down. Note that the base of the ear is where the proverbial "ear hole" (external auditory meatus) is located that many hunters attempt to hit.

Keeping in mind that pigs are 3D where you hit relative to the ear hole matters. If you are shooting from a lateral position and are 1-2" high, your shot may go through the fleshy ear (pinna) and pass over the top of the skull. Ifyou are firing downward from a lateral position, a slightly high shot on the ear hole may drill a hole downward through the top of the skull.

Remember that it isn't just shot placement, but the trajectory of the bullet through the animal and penetration. A couple of weeks ago, a fellow I know placed a .308 round right behind the front leg of a pig quartering away for what should have been a nice heart or lung shot (or both given the downward trajectory). However, the round impacted the humerus and apparently deflected out of the body, failing to involve the vitals. Shot placement was excellent, but the trajectory aspect failed and as a result penetration was through non-vital tissue. This is what Lost Sheep is referring to about no magic spot ON the hog but IN the hog.

Quote:
The brain is also surrounded by a lot of very hard and thick bone.
No, it is not. The only particularly thick bone is at the top rear of the head and that is because of muscle attachment to help keep the head elevated. Otherwise, the brain is surrounded by two thin layers of bone, usually no more than about 1/8" thick each, but gapped quite a bit by cavities, primarily marrow/sinus-related.

The bone of a pig's skull is not particularly hard either.

There is nothing significantly different about a pig's cranial bone composition than that of other animals except for the gap between the inner and outer table that might be more akin to what you see in other animals that expect cranial impacts. The thin outer layer can be damaged without harming the inner layer and there is a bit of padding between the two.

Otherwise, the amount of bone in a pig's skull protecting the brain is actually less in many cases than than which you would find in a human skull in terms of actual quantity/thickness of the bone material itself.

Quote:
This article might prove useful.

http://www.texasboars.com/anatomy.html

I cannot vouch for them, but these guys seem to know what they are talking about
The article is useful, but the folks over at Texas Boars also have some very strange notions. At the following link, they will also tell you that only hybrid wild boar will have a special tooth. That is complete hogwash.
http://www.texasboars.com/articles/aging.html
See post 45 here...
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ght=euro+tooth

Basically, the specific tooth isn't anything other than a vestigial premolar found in domestic, feral, and eurasian hogs. It is not unique to being a hybrid hog.
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Old December 25, 2012, 11:20 PM   #12
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Take this FWIW from someone who grew up shooting piney woods rooters back home.

Like DNS and others mentioned, a proper ear or head shot will work wonders. However, you need to be comfortable taking that kind of shot. Are you?

The heart/lung shot is a high percentage shot with fair room for error.

As for the capability of your rifle/ammo combo, it will work. I have personally seen .270 shots on hogs, albeit with 130 grain Core Lokts. I've also seem video of hogs shot with 300 blackout using a reported 125 grain ballistic tips, and the results were mediocre. Head shot failed, but a vital shot worked.

Similar application, my oldest daughter tipped over her first pig, a 250 lb sow, with her .243 using Winchester's ballistic silver tip, much similar to the ballistic tip. 1 round through the vitals pierced the shield, got both lungs, and resulted in a dead pig after a very short walk (5 paces).

And to explain the shield as most call it, the shield is just very compacted fat and tissue that starts at the front shoulders and goes up to the base of the head. It's kinda thick, based on hog size, and will dull a knife after a while.

Since you haven't done this before, let me also recommend the 80-100 pound variety. Although the thought of bagging a huge one seems awesome, it will quickly become old if you have to drag it far and the quality of the meat is better IMO on the smaller ones.

Best of luck and I hope you have a successful trip!

Last edited by globemaster3; December 25, 2012 at 11:27 PM.
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Old December 26, 2012, 01:26 AM   #13
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Shoot them in the head. That's where I alway pop them. No meat wasted either.


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Old December 26, 2012, 04:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Neck or near the ear
This..if any size to em....
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Old December 26, 2012, 06:09 AM   #15
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Smaller fellow but shows a wound. That was actually an exit, the entrance was slightly higher on the other side. He didn't even blink. Out in the field I find the neck is a large target. The first pig you shoot should give you a good target as they mill around. After that, the survivors create absolute mayhem.

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Old December 26, 2012, 03:10 PM   #16
johnmcgowan
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Thanks everyone for weighing in on this.
Looks like I'll be heading out in the morning to go down there. Wish me some luck just to see something Its turning colder out there as of today, so that may just get the animals stirring around some.
Thanks much !! I'll post my results when I get back home.
John
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Old December 26, 2012, 03:58 PM   #17
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No, it is not. The only particularly thick bone is at the top rear of the head and that is because of muscle attachment to help keep the head elevated. Otherwise, the brain is surrounded by two thin layers of bone, usually no more than about 1/8" thick each, but gapped quite a bit by cavities, primarily marrow/sinus-related.
Preacher buddy hunts with a 38 spcl and for years took his shots at the head and put them down easily. Then about 4 years ago a buddy gives him his .357 to use for a sure kill shot and the first hog he saw was a sow facing him. 3 shots, and still standing till the last one knocked her out. He still had to kill her. The first 3 shots on the forehead left a short gray streak where the bullet just slid off. He said he never would have taken that shot had he been shooting his 38 but he was sold on the power of that magnum. He is back to a 38 the last I heard. I use my 32 Win spcl and shoot for the spot just below the shoulder, They don't run and they don't get up. Only thing I shoot in the head is squirrels and rabbits.
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Old December 26, 2012, 06:04 PM   #18
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Given that no animal skulls are flat and perpindicular on all sides facing a shooter at the time of a shot, you can glance rounds off the skulls. This can be for bear, deer, hog, and even beaver....just about any of them, really.

I placed a .308 FMJ dead center of the top of the skull when the little boar had its head down toward me while feeding in my food plot. The shot was 85 yards. Unrealized by me, he was canted off to the side and my dead center shot skittered laterally to the boar's right. As you can see from the images, it damaged the outer table, damaged the inner table, but did not actually enter the brain cavity.





This next shot just forward of the ear (note 2 holes, the one in the ear 'lobe' was because the ear was down and forward at the point of impact) should have taken out the lower front portion of the brain case. It was with a .45-70 at just 35 yards. However, due to the downward and canted trajectory, the round actually completely missed damaging any of the skull or manible, but did traverse the neck apparently just beneath the foramen magnum and like the above pig, was DRT.
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Old December 30, 2012, 02:31 AM   #19
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ball tip?

Did I miss something....what is a "ball tip"? A polymer tipped bullet...what?

That said, I can't imagine a .270/130 placed heart/lung/shoulder NOT being a disaster for a hog, especially one in the 100-150 lb class, gristle shield and all.

I might move off the shoulder on a really big one, but the .270/130 is much rifle.
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Old December 30, 2012, 04:58 AM   #20
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My first 4 months hog hunting I would aim right behind front elbow of the leg as suggested by most. All dead and almost all ran some 20 yards most 50 yards+. Then I aimed base of skull where neck head join all my hogs dropped on the spot but 2 in the past 2 years. The initial shock and impact of bullet separates the spine which keeps them from running and disrupts the brain. Lights out.

Please understand I shoot 50 yards or less (usually less) at night using night vision. You have a 3" area of margin. Your area of margin isn't much bigger (the size of your fist) for a heart lung kill.

I started shooting this area of the hog b/c one neighbor absolutely refused to let me cross fence to recover game without being a pain in the butt. I need a quick solution.

My philosophy day time shots I heart and lung them because I shoot at longer distances and I can see where they are going. Night time head shots because I need to drop them instantly.
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Old December 30, 2012, 04:13 PM   #21
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My experiences are the same as Zen's. and I use .223 at night.

I've had heart/lung shots with .303brit run a good ways.

You don't wanna search for a pig at midnight. Dragging them sucks real bad too.
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Old December 31, 2012, 11:06 AM   #22
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Quote:
A heart/lung shot is best.
Bingo!!

Most of my hogs are shot with a .50 muzzleloader using a saboted 240 or 250 grain bullet. IME: A big hog shot in the lungs seldom goes over 100 yards after being hit. Many bang flop.
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Old January 1, 2013, 04:09 AM   #23
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oops

Ball tips......dum Ranger. I get it....ballistic tips.

Sorry
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Old January 1, 2013, 03:32 PM   #24
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Correct Ranger, ball tips was my bad abbreviation for ballistic tips, sorry about that.
Well,... I got back home Sunday night and saw lots of deer . They are just coming up to enter the rut,...Im guessing another week and it will be full on down there. At my first stand Thurs evening I was in a tripod stand overlooking a nice greenfield about 100 yards long surrounded by hardwoods. I got in the stand around 3pm. At 345p a doe walked out followed by a few more does. Then this small year and a half old spike came out 50 yards from my stand and he tried to 'get lucky' with some of the does by running after them . The spike was then followed by (2) six pointers and a small 7 pointer, those being two and a half year olds. None of the larger atlered bucks seemed to be interested in the does....yet. A few more does came out but I just let them walk since they werent really what I was looking for ....(A bigger buck).
Friday it poured rain all day and was windy and cold but that afternoon I went to another greenfield that had a nice 20 ft tower stand and only had a small spike come out about 415pm in the rain .
Saturday I went back to the first stand I was at and just like clockwork, here comes the doe out at 10 till 4pm. She had a few more follow her and a decent spike along with a button buck...I let them go for another day.
This is funny and I enjoyed watching this,.. one of the smallest does in the group acted like she was overdosed up on Redbull! She ran 3 other larger does completely off the field and was flailing her front legs at 2 of the other does by raising herself up on her hind legs and punching at them like a bad boxer!! She would them just tear out running all around circumference of the field just all happy or something. She reminded me of when I would give my late Boston Terrier a bath and she would just run all around the house like a bolt of lightening for about 10 minutes.
Sunday it was time to sorta head back home to keep pece in the family but we were to go North to the next county to hog hunt. The outside water pipes had frozen so we crow hunted early that morning and just drove around the 2000+ acres setting up in different spots for crows. Around 1100am we were on the backside of the property in some hardwoods and in some young planted pines. The guy I was with (Walter) wanted to show e a really nice large greenfield somwe parked his jeep and walked about 150 yards to a really nice greenfield. It had a shooting house on one end and in the hardwood part there was a ladderstand. To te back of where this stand was a small slough/creek and beyond that was young planted pines that was about 6 or 7 ft tall. It was beautiful there!! He wanted me to climb up it and just enjoy the view, so I did. He had brought my 12 ga along and it still was loaded #6 shot in it for the crows. I had my electronic caller back in the jeep and it has crows and predator calls. While I was in the stand I figured what the heck, I'll try to call something up but I didnt have any calls on me. I balled up my fist like when you blow through your fist trying to get it warm. I made a squeeling high pitched sound for about 30 seconds, then just watched the area for about 3 minutes. I didnt see anything so I did it again. (

Now keep in mind here that I have always wanted to go predator hunting and have watched tons of videos but have only been once before at a different place with no luck )
Suddenly, my eye caught some movement way to my right at 150 yards. All I was able to see was the back half of something trotting into the pines. I couldnt make out what it was. Walter was down on the ground about 10 ft away leaning up against a large oak but he was on the other side of the tree. I was wispering,.. Walter,... Walter about 10 times but he couldnt hear me. Im thinking he's as deaf as I am !! LOL I speak just a little louder and finally get his attention. He looks at me and I just point toward the direction of where I saw the movement. We still see nothing so I start a real soft lip squeel like something is wanting to be put out of its misery. All of a sudden, here comes a dark, almost black coyote out of the pines directly behind the stand about 70 yards!!! I have the tree I was in between he and I so he couldnt see me. He walks another 10 to 15 ft and just lays down on all fours like a cat getting ready to pounce.Im thinking he thought there was any easy meal to be had and was looking for it. Remember that Walter is only loaded up with # 6 shot for crows. If I had taken my 270 with me ( that was in the jeep) that would have been one dead sucker right there!! The yote stayed for about 45 seconds and figured something wasnt right so he high tailed it back into the pines. I was SOOO happy !! I have called in my first coyote! With just my hand at that!
I came down from the ladder stand And shout: DID YOU SEE THAT!!! and Walter says that was worth the price of admission right there We high fived each other and both of us says we will come back and hunt yotes there soon. Im still on cloud nine today about calling that sucker in
So we head back to the cabin and I grab my gear and head to Walters brothers place for pig hunting. The bro has put out corn for us a day or two earlier. Brother points out in a large hay field where the hogs have been rooting all over. It looked like a bulldozer had gone crazy. We get up in a shooting blind but see no hogs that evening unfortunately. We will try them again at another date.

ps,....did I mention I called in my 1st coyote???
John
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Old January 2, 2013, 09:41 AM   #25
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
A big hog shot in the lungs seldom goes over 100 yards after being hit. Many bang flop.
In my experience, 100 yards is a pretty reasonable estimate of a range for a death run, but that actually means an area of 6.5 acres and within that area, there is a lot of places a hog can hide on the properties I hunt.
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