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Old February 7, 2014, 02:32 PM   #1
Jevyod
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Hog Hunting

I am looking at doing some hog hunting this summer. I have never shot a hog and need some advice. I was doing some research on the internet, and soon came to the conclusion that there is some disagreement on what the best method is. Some say behind the ear, some say through the shoulders. So I am not sure what to think. If I go through the shoulders, what gun should I take? I currently have a 260 rem with 140 grain Accubonds; 35 Rem with 200 grain FTX or possibly some RCBS 35-200-FN cast; and a 7mm mag with 160 grain Accubonds. I am a bit recoil sensitive, so I shoot the 260 and the 35 better than the 7 mag.
Or....Should I plan on taking them behind the ear? I was talking with somebody from where I was thinking of going, and she said her husband recommends that people shoot for just behind the ear. I then ask her what the average range is. She said 100-150 yards. I am thinking, wait a minute, I am not sure I am that good. So you all have any advice for this greenhorn?!
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Old February 7, 2014, 02:46 PM   #2
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You can either use the big boy 7mm mag, or get closer to the hogs and use buckshot. Hogs have somewhat of " body armor" and you need a big, fast, heavy projectile to crush through bone. I've shot them with a .300 mag through the shoulder and when using dogs I have shot them with 00 buck. ( they are a lot faster than they look). If 150 yards is too far for you to shoot accurately you certainly don't want to be shooting behind te ear. Remember.... Aim small,miss small.
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Old February 7, 2014, 02:59 PM   #3
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I took a 90 pound sow with a .260 with 129 SSTs at about 65-70 yards with no problem. It was a Florida pig. If it had been a big boar, I might not have dropped it so fast. I read on a Texas outfitters sight that he recommends a .22/250 loaded with FMJs and push them as fast as you can. The shoulder blade on a boar acts like armor. Given your choices in rifles, I'd go with the .35, if you are comfortable taking 100-150 yard shots with it. You really can't go wrong with a 200 grain slug. Plus, if your .35 is a lever gun, you can get a quicker follow up shot than with a bolt action. I also would take into consideration where the hunt is going to be. What kind of cover there is. Are you going to be in a tree stand or on the ground? A wounded hog is nothing to fool with. They can and will kill you. Just my two cents, There are others here with way more hog hunting experience than me. I await their input.
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Old February 7, 2014, 03:38 PM   #4
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Ok here is a bit more info. It would be with an outfitter in South Carolina. The hunts would be primarily in tree stands. And yes, my 35 is a lever. It is also the one I am most comfortable in shooting. From a bench, I can do a .6 inch group at 100 yards. At 200, I can do a 1.3 inch group. Although at that distance it drops 8.5 inches. But I know the gun and that's got to count for something.
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Old February 7, 2014, 04:02 PM   #5
Doyle
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I've killed many hogs - including several with a .260. Yes, a .260 is just fine even for the big hogs. They do have a shield but a good bonded bullet will punch through it. The shoulder is a very poor place to hit them. The vitals on a hog are lower and further forward than on a deer. Think behind the shoulder and somewhat low for a heart/lung shot. The spine runs different from a deer also. A good spine shot will drop them quickly too.

The behind-the-ear is always preferable if you can get it. It will drop them right where they stand and you won't mess up any meat like a body shot will. However, if you are not close enough for a clean shot at the ear then don't hesitate to take a lung shot.

Last edited by Doyle; February 7, 2014 at 09:28 PM.
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Old February 7, 2014, 04:05 PM   #6
2damnold4this
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Quote:
Ok here is a bit more info. It would be with an outfitter in South Carolina. The hunts would be primarily in tree stands. And yes, my 35 is a lever. It is also the one I am most comfortable in shooting. From a bench, I can do a .6 inch group at 100 yards. At 200, I can do a 1.3 inch group. Although at that distance it drops 8.5 inches. But I know the gun and that's got to count for something.
I think you should use your .35.


Edit to add: +1 on Doyle's advice.

Last edited by 2damnold4this; February 7, 2014 at 04:11 PM.
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Old February 7, 2014, 06:55 PM   #7
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Anything you can kill a deer with will be fine on hogs. I’ve killed them with everything from a 17 HMR to a 45/70. A head shot with a small caliber bullet will put bacon on the table. Just about any shot from a large caliber will do the same. They ain’t that tough, but a Texas heart shot might have you tracking them a bit. So a good heart/ lung shot is preferable to a long walk in the woods. Texas heart shots also waste a lot of meat, head or heart/ lung shots don’t. The sows are better eatin’ than the boars, no matter the size.
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Old February 7, 2014, 07:48 PM   #8
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People are big on this "behind the ear" shot business, but it has a couple of problems. If the hog is sideways to you, you can literally shoot behind the ear and have the shot go through nothing but muscle. The ear marks the rear point of the skull. So if you shoot behind the ear and the hog is perpendicular to you or quartered toward you, then you will likely only get soft tissue and be relying on hydrostatic shock to drop it. With a sufficient caliber, that will often work, no doubt, but I have seen it fail as well. There just aren't any vitals "behind the ear."

If the hog is quartered away, behind the ear works well because the trajectory should have the round continuing into the skull.

If you are going to shoot "behind the ear" then do so, but 1-2" lower than the ear. That will put you MUCH closer to the spine. The spine is located more centrally in the neck that many expect.

Remember, it isn't just about placement, but placement, trajectory, and penetration. It isn't where the bullet impacts on the exterior of the body that is important, but what structures it damages while penetrating through. So trajectory really is critical.

Aim small, hit small is a much better motto to follow. Missing, small or large, can be bad.
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Old February 8, 2014, 08:23 AM   #9
Tipsy Mcstagger
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I've killed many a large hog with fmj 223 and only ever had one run from me, still died within 50 yards. In all of the ones I have shot, I have yet to see the body armor be an issue. 223, 243, 308, 357 (and shots in traps with 9mm/40/45/357/38sup) I have personally killed with and never has one gotten away. Behind or in the ear is just fine if you can hit it or a little low and behind the shoulder is great too. Tell us how it goes.
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Old February 8, 2014, 10:30 AM   #10
alex0535
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The .35 with a 200 grain bullet is a great brush gun. The 260 will probably be a better 150 yard rifle though. Both will do the job if you do yours in putting the bullet where it needs to go.

I don't know how the terrain is where your hunting. In this part of Georgia, I would take the .35 every day of the week any time of year. Hunting in the summer your not going to have a 100 yard shot unless your staking out a power line or looking out across a pasture or crop field. Way down in south Georgia the terrain opens up a lot, and the 260 might seem the better option.
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Old February 8, 2014, 02:19 PM   #11
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armored hogs

There are several web sights that show the anatomy of a hogs vital areas like the previous poster said the heart and lung area is very different from a deer. Shot placement that would be perfect on a deer is a gut shot on a hog. I think that is why so many people think they are so tough and armored up. Once you learn how to hit the vitals they will fall to shots from your 223 and 243 there is some interesting footage on line of people in south Texas shooting very large hogs from helicopters with a 223 which shows the hogs willingness to go down and die from 223 hits
bb
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Old February 9, 2014, 02:52 AM   #12
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I like a rifle that allows quick back to back to back shots....Such as a semi- auto..pump..or lever action....I never take a single action or bolt action....For big pigs..I go for the neck shot..smaller pigs..behind the shoulder....
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Old February 9, 2014, 05:02 PM   #13
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From what you have said 35 hands down!

I have a marlin 35 and would love to take it on a hog hunt.
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Old February 9, 2014, 05:22 PM   #14
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oink, oink

There are several outfitters in PA for hog hunting.

Of late I wait until I can get a solid head shot using Barnes TTSX bullets on a 7-30 waters.
If a clear head shot is not available, a shoulder shot using a large bore caliber. Personally I used a .444 Marlin, .308, 30-06, .357 Maximum.

Have fun.
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Old February 9, 2014, 05:23 PM   #15
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This is in the 'for-what-it's-worth' department, as I've never been hog hunting.

But just yesterday, ironically, was discussing this same issue with an 84 year-old gentleman who owns a rather large ranch in Texas. He noted that his ranch is plagued by hogs.

He stated that he's tried many different firearms, including shotguns, which he dismisses, and stated that his favorite hog gun was a lever-action .45-70.

He stated that it was the only round he'd ever used on the large hogs found on his ranch that was 100% effective. Just food for thought.
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Old February 9, 2014, 06:12 PM   #16
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The whole concept of shooting hogs gets literally beaten to death with scenarios flying every which way. I hunt and trap hogs almost on a daily basis and can honestly say you can kill them with most of the centerfire cartridges. You hit one in a vital spot and they are going to die...just about like every other animal out there. You might have a little tougher areas on the shoulders, but it's not actually armored. No magic involved here, just shoot any cartridge within reason. I shoot them with whatever I happen to take with me in the mornings and have used calibers as small as 25/20 for closer shots to a .350 Rem. Mag for shots somewhat further out. Larger cartridges do more damage and offer quicker kills sometimes....but like I said no magic here.
I have killed 369 hogs from just one parcel of property that I manage and can honestly say I have never seen an instance of being afraid of a hog. People that are injured by them are generally the guys using dogs and trying to get close to them..vs..just shooting the buggers.
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Old February 9, 2014, 07:43 PM   #17
603Country
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About an hour ago I shot a big boar (about 250 or a bit less) with my 260, using a 100 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip. Shot him behind the shoulder, about 1/3 of the way down from top of the back. The first shot would have been fatal, but I plugged him again as he was steaming toward a briar patch. He almost made it. Range was about 125 yards. Good exit wound (for you BT naysayers).

So your 260 is good pig medicine.

The problem I have with the 'shoot em behind the ear' idea is that unless the pig is eating, he is moving. This one was at a fast walk on uneven ground for the first shot and he was hauling some serious pig butt when I tapped him again with shot number 3. Shot number 2 went somewhere other than pig.
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Old February 9, 2014, 09:20 PM   #18
reynolds357
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A Hog is not that tough. I dont buy into the whole "hog armor" business. It definitely does not take a 7 Rem mag to kill them. Semi auto .223 and semi auto 7.62X39 are ideal for hog hunting.
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Old February 9, 2014, 10:15 PM   #19
Keg
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ1Mg0a7Tpw

This is an arrow from a compound bow....It would have zipped thru a deer....
I have killed a large number of pigs and they are tough....Smallish pigs..not so tough..big ones..yes....

Never shoot a large boar pig the same spot U would a whitetail..cause he will be gone....He will die..but nowhere close..and probably not leave a blood trail....

I have heard of folks shooting a pig with a 270..30-06..300 mag...just to have them run off....I myself shot 2 large boars with standard velocity 45-70 factory loads..in the shield....They both fell..then jumped up and were gone....I learned my lesson....They don't leave if shot in the neck....And U can even use a 223....I have seen pigs shot a dozen times with a 223 in the body tho and still running....I shoot larger calibers and/or heavier bullets....It increases my chances....U can see the shield on this large boar....U best take the neck or head shot....
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Old February 10, 2014, 08:34 AM   #20
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Keg, in that video it was not just the shield that stopped the arrow. He hit that boar on the top of the scapula. Even without the shield, the scapula would have likely stopped the arrow. A proper shot into the vitals would have penetrated MUCH deeper.
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Old February 10, 2014, 09:25 AM   #21
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He hit that boar on the top of the scapula. Even without the shield, the scapula would have likely stopped the arrow.
Right, even deer hunters have this problem.
http://www.deeranddeerhunting.com/bl...rst-curse-word
http://www.outdoorlife.com/node/45330

Yeah, that video is misrepresentative. That arrow did hit the scapula, backed up by the ribs and vertebrae right there. To claim that it was all shield is just bogus. Shield can and does cause some problems, but more often than not, such problems are the result of hunter issues and not performance issues, such as claims of rounds bouncing off various parts of the hog when in fact they are missed shots or bad shots.

Reminds me of this video where the claim is made that shots are bouncing off the head and the guy is just missing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI0l29YGA-c

This guy does an interesting and flawed test, shooting two arrows through and claiming the heavier did better after the scapula was broken up by the previous arrow, though I don't doubt the heavier arrow would have done better regardless of location.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfpzDYogmnM
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Old February 10, 2014, 10:25 AM   #22
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We all go by our own personal experience and this is what informs our opinions to others on this forum. I would consider myself to be an experienced hog hunter in California's somewhat different hunting environment. More open country; longer shots sometimes and more hilly than the Texas hog country. I've killed hogs with everything from a bow to a muzzleloader, 45/70, .243, 22-250, 7mm mag, 30-06, .300 win mag etc. to the tune of hundreds of hogs. So I feel qualified to offer a couple of general observations.

The fighting plate will deflect lightly constructed bullets. Seen it and am a believer. Monolithic solids like the Barnes, or bonded core bullets like the Accubond are a great choice IN SMALLER CALIBERS (.30 cal or less). A head shot is risky for two reasons: one is that hogs don't turn their heads like deer. They turn their whole body instead which can make for pretty abrupt movements of the head. That can mean the difference between screwing it in their ear or bouncing it off their noggin. Again; seen it happen using enough gun and bullet. I have pictures of a big hog (208 lbs. gutted) shot angling into the plate using a 7mm mag/160 gr. Accubond which bounced off and then struck it behind the ear bouncing off again. The shot was at perhaps 50 yards.

Also; wounds to hogs tend to close up that on deer would bleed copiously, particularly smaller caliber wounds. The hide/fat closes the wound and there can often be no blood trail to speak of. I've broken both upper leg bones on a big hog; shot clean through and they've still taken off at 30 mph! Mostly 'though, it's one shot and the lights are out. My advice is to be prepared for the LARGEST hog you are likely to run into. Put it in the pocket behind the leg and make sure your skinning knife is sharp.

Oh yeah: invariably a wounded hog is headed for the thickest, nastiest piece of real estate around once he's hit.
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Old February 10, 2014, 10:49 AM   #23
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Wounded hogs never run to the truck, LOL.
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Old February 10, 2014, 11:09 AM   #24
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The shield is not a big deal. The stuff is not hard nor IMO is it the result of fighting. i have put 240 grain and 250 grain saboted muzzle loader bullets through both "shields"of several boars that weighed over 300 pounds.

This hog was hit with a 250 grain SST bullet from my .50 muzzleloader. Striking velocity was around 1,700 fps. That hog measured over 19 inches through the shoulders. The bullet went through both shields and was under the skin on the far side. The hog was field dressed and skinned. The coyotes ate the 1 1/4" inch thick shields.



A good discussion of the shield:

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/i...-572323.html&&
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Old February 10, 2014, 11:51 AM   #25
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Hogs in SC typically inhabit some nasty, thick briars and thickets. They have some serious shields on those shoulders and can be tough hombres. If I'm sitting in a stand waiting on them to come to the corn, I just use a .243, 7mm08 or .308 and put it in the ear. Dead hog.

There have been numerous occasions where that wasn't possible. I shot a big 400lb boar 4 or 5 years ago with a 30'06 and 165grn BT at 65yds. He died but there was no exit and I didn't go looking for him until the next day. Ditch meat that took the buzzards and coyotes 2 weeks to decide to eat.

This one was killed Saturday with catch dogs and a knife. I didn't stick it, just drub it out through the briars. His shields were 1.75 - 2" thick. He cut up two dogs and had two other boars his size with him plus a sow. This one went 218 on the scale.




Shot this one two years ago on the next to last day of deer season. He was 110yds and wouldn't keep his head still for the noggin shot. I popped him in the shoulder at the spine. The 165grn BT from my .308 penetrated the shield and clipped his spine enough to do him in. His shields were 2-2.5" thick. A fellow wanted him and in dressing him we found 7 or 8 00 pellets and 2 .243 slugs in his hide. The 165 grn bullet was just on the far side of his spine. He weighed 253 on the camp scale, a warrior for sure.




The hide on these critters is a direct product of their environment. Take enough gun to do the job. However, if you get a chance to hunt with the dogs and knives, do it, it is a rush. Just do a little conditioning first and bring some clothes for those briars, they'll turn you into hamburger if you don't.
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