View Full Version : Pig hunting

May 17, 2002, 02:11 PM
Hi all! I'm going to start hunting this year. Pig is something that interests me but I don't really know if I'm going to like the meat, etc (don't really want to hunt something that big that I'm not going to eat). I don't want to invest money on a new rifle and scope until I find out if it's something I'm going to want to keep doing. For now, which of these would work best for pig and what would be the maximmum range?

.223 AR
7.62 x 39 AK-47
.357 mag w/6" bbl

Art Eatman
May 17, 2002, 08:23 PM
For eating-sized pigs, 40 to 100 pounds on the hoof, the AK round is plenty good. If you're skilled, and take a head shot at reasonably close range, the .357 Maggie works just fine. IMO, adequate penetration is a serious problem with the .223.

All this good news goes to hell in a hand-basket if Momma or Poppa decides they want in on the fun and games. There is a vast difference between a youngun and 200 to 300 pounds of irate pig headed your way. I grant this is not all that common, but it's something to keep in mind.

If you have patience, common sense and some skill at quiet stalking, all you need to do is ask locals about the general habits of the hogs in your hunting area. Hogs have good noses and ears, but don't see worth a hoot. Learn the sorts of places they lay up in the middle of the day, and ease in from downwind...

Stand hunting, best luck is usually at sundown--and a scope is a help. "Eatin' pigs" are shorter at the shoulder than Momma & Poppa.

:), Art

May 17, 2002, 08:39 PM
Helps to be as smart as the pig.
On his turf.
Not as easy as it sounds for most.

Pretty good huntin drill would be to put some cans out at random ranges and practice puttin one shot in each from standing, sitting, kneeling etc.

I agree on the heavir slug of the AR. .357 good if you are good.

And choosy about shot placement.


May 17, 2002, 08:49 PM
I`d go with the AK, or a SKS. Find water, and scout it out for signs of wallowing. If you find a place where they have been, plan a stalk for early morning or early evening. I`ve had the best luck, looking for thier "mud-playgrounds", they seem to visit them pretty routinely. Let us know how you do! Good luck-

May 18, 2002, 02:58 PM
As far as eating, if you like pork you'll like feral hog. The smaller ones are actually better eating. Either have them processed or just quarter them and smoke / pit BBQ the meat.

May 18, 2002, 09:55 PM
Hog meat is good but young hog is usually better than big, old, mean hog.

I would use a cartridge that carries some weight. You can't depend on that hog to walk up to you and wait for you to shoot it, it may be a good distance out there. Hogs can be a "hard" target too, particularly the bigger older ones.

I use a .308 on hogs and carry a Ruger Super Redhawk .454 Casull for backup and close quarters. If I have to go into thick brush to look for a shot deer, hog or javelina, I leave my rifle and rely on my handgun. I want all the power in the world in my hands if I run into a mean or injured hog and I don't think I would feel good with a .357. You can kill hogs with a .22 but don't count on it.

I'm basing these comments on Texas hogs and I don't really know how big California hogs get to be.

May 18, 2002, 10:22 PM
Wild Boar, Sus Scrofus, found in several areas. Notably Santa Cruz Island, Monterrey and San Louis Obispo counties.
...Feral domestic in a lot of areas. Some hybrid mixes.

Search this forum for past threads on Pig, Boar etc. Lots of info.


May 18, 2002, 10:44 PM
A 30-06 Class cartridge would be better.

12 Guage Slugs are good too.

Jeff, CA
May 20, 2002, 02:42 PM
Second the statement that if you like grocery store pork, you'll like wild.

I took a sow back in March - 56 lb on the hook, 47 lb packaged - and it's delicious. I hit her high and forward on the shoulder (thru the spine - bad shot placement, despite the instant kill) with a .30-06 180 grain Bear Claw at about 60 yards. The impact bloodshot both shoulders; I got about 15 lb of sausage out of them, so it wasn't a total loss. I had the hams cured, smoked and sliced (excellent for sandwiches), pork chops sliced (strong-tasting and kind of dry - best when cooked in a casserole or similar, with liquid). There's also packages labelled "pork steak" (don't know where that comes from, or what to expect) and "spare ribs".

I was worried about being able to store & eat all of it, too, but 47 lb took up about half the freezer in my apartment-sized refrigerator, and I've had no problems in the consumption department - in fact, I've cut back lately so it'll last longer.

Something you're not considering is light. The two chances I had for shots that day were both in low light, one at first light, the other at dusk. I was using a Leupold 1.5-5 set on 1.5 for the shot, and she was just a black silhouette (hence my misjudgement of the direction she was facing, and my too-far-forward shot). I don't think I would have been able to make that shot with sights.

May 20, 2002, 02:50 PM
Taste-wise, a lot depends on what they're eating. I notice you're from Calif. If you chase public land pigs that have been living on sage or fennel or whatever, you're gonna notice it in the flavor. Some of the Central California ranches are growing grain specifically for wild pigs (they used to want people to get rid of the pigs, now they find they make more money charging to hunt their fields than they used to get selling the grain). The pigs feeding on grain taste great.

Art Eatman
May 20, 2002, 04:43 PM
Feral pig's not as fat as domestic. Same sort of cooking deal as for deer or quail--don't let the meat dry out!

Use some sort of basting sauce--I like to mix up my own. Use no salt when cooking; it draws the moisture out. And turn the meat with tongs instead of a fork.


May 21, 2002, 07:28 PM
Winchester M94 .30-30 loaded with 170gr works well.

May 24, 2002, 12:55 AM
I personally would use a handgun of 44 caliber or larger. Also, the handgun is superior to the long gun since you probably won't bang it on the fence as you climb into the pen and slip up on the sow in the wallow. ;)


May 26, 2002, 03:18 AM
.50 BMG!

When I lived there I hunted on the Santa barbara Co/San Luis Co line area about 25 miles inland. My first time I pig hunted I saw a nice 200 lb or so sow, one shot from my .30-06 and down she went.

A few seconds later up she came and the race was on! Let me tell you, their fast little buggers (but I can run fast when I'm scared). Now I carry both my .30-06 and my .357 every time I hunt.

May 26, 2002, 05:09 PM
California's Ventana Wilderness in Montery County in the Coast Range. One with a 30-06, the other with a 45-70 = both one shot
both were dry sows over 200lbs and both were the star attractions at pit&spit BBQ's that fed a _lot_ of people.
Both of these were boar, I've eaten feril pig as well, all of it tasted great, somewhat darker than domestic pork due probably
to greatly desreased bodyfat. 'Gamey' taste?...Who knows?
with the BBQ sauce they were all cooked with, the eating was _Good_!:D

Oh yea, backup gun...didn't carry one, a partner with another rifle was the backup.:)

May 27, 2002, 12:30 PM
Have used a Mod. 70 in 30-06 to take 8 hogs in the past two years. All were one shot kills but two ran (up to 30 yards) after shot (both hit just behind the shoulder). Most were in poor light conditions and weight varied from 45 lb. shoat (excellent over mesquite fire) up to 200 # boar (excellent pan sausage:) ) Longest shot was 100 yards, closest was 20 yards and was one that ran 20 yards).

As previously stated, meat is drier than domestic pork due to lack of fat and should be prepared in such a manner as to preserve the natural moisture.

Any good deer rifle will work well on hogs. Have fun!

An interesting web page for hog hunters is:



May 27, 2002, 04:29 PM
Another good one for Calif hog (and other) hunters is:

May 28, 2002, 10:57 AM
Ben: Thanks for the link.

I especially liked the anatomy pics and agree with them more-so than that shown on the Texas link I posted. JMHO

As pointed out in your site, even when shot placed through the lungs (behind the soulder), hogs can run some distance.


May 30, 2002, 09:22 AM
I have found that the Central Coast near Paso Robles holds some of the best pig hunting around. The 100-130 lb hogs are the best for all cuts of meat. The bigger guys tend to have fairly tough meat and sausage is the way to go. I have found that the many different sausages that the butcher can produce are the way to go on these big boys. These sausages are wonderful and can be mixed with other meats to make great dishes.
If you don't mind grinding it all up, go for the big boys and let the butcher sausage the whole thing!

Here is a site to a great place to hunt on the Central Coast and they have Tule Elk hunts also!!!


When you get on the site, click on "Hog Hunts". That is me with the last hog I shot on the ranch.
Happy Hog Hunts

May 30, 2002, 11:17 AM
No problem on the link hps. I discovered it on one of the newsgroups and found it has pretty good info on all around hunting in the state. Probably the best info on hunting Fort Hunter Liggett as well.

Hey, Elker, do you mind my asking how much a hog ran you at that ranch?

May 30, 2002, 03:33 PM
It was $450 the last time out (about 10 months ago) and they treat you like a king. The guide is Tom Ralph and he is an excellent hunter, lots of fun, and knew where to be and when.

He and I saw about 30 hogs that day and the one I poked was up on a hillside. He got us both up to the spot rather quickly (the hogs are very quick!) and within two minutes I was on this guy. I hit him with a 7mm Mag 165gr (Winchester Supreme) at about 125 yards. It was a running shot, off-hand, and must admit it was one of the best shots that I have ever made. The round went into him just aft of the last rib as he was quartering away. The round tore up everything internal and didn't touch a bone nor a piece of meat. Tom told me it was the finest shot he had ever seen and I told him it was a very lucky shot. Anyway the hog ran another 75 yards before crashing. These hogs are tough!!

Best thing to do on the price is to call and talk to them as they do have overnight facilities and are set up for the hunter.

Also on the web page there is a raffle going on for a Trophy Tule Elk hunt. The tickets are $100.00 a piece and last I had heard, they had only sold about 200 tickets. The hunt is put on by the Arroyo Grande Sportsmans organization and is their main fund raiser for the year. I bought four tickets last year and was not very lucky, maybe this year I will be as lucky as my shot!

Man, did I have diarrhea of the hand or what!
Elker :D