View Full Version : Wild Hog-- Favorite methods of dispatching them

Long Path
May 31, 1999, 10:58 PM
While hunting on a ranch in N. Texas for several years, we had some opportunity to hunt feral domestic hog (possibly some have cross-bred with some of the exotic boars, but, for the most part, they were simply a wild version of the domestic breed, several generations removed) while deer-hunting and bird-hunting. The state of TX is very much in favor of every hunter in the state shooting or trapping every hog they can find, due to the fact that they're quite a pest (they tear down fences, plow up fields, butcher crops, and create enormous wallows, contributing to erosion), and are a man-introduced species.

We thus would shoot them for the meat, but also with some of the casual attitude of a varmint. Caveat, however: NO ONE want's a wounded, angry wild boar, complete with razor-sharp tusks ("tusches?") rampant on their ranch.

We found that often solid "Boiler Room" shots to the chests of large (250-400 lb) boars with serious deer rifles (.257 Rbts., .30-06) were not reliably putting them down, but that they would haul butt into the heaviest, thickest brush available, and "wait for company to arrive." Persuing one of these into thick brush makes things "kinda western," to say the least. Sometimes they'd be found dead (after the requisite wait before tracking), sometimes they'd be found (gulp) alive, and sometimes, they just wouldn't be found.

After the last such encounter, when I waited at the far end of creekbed for run-away sow and ended up rolling one 70 lb shote with a .30-30 through the chest, I spoke to a friend about how hard it is to reliably bring them down, and he knodded, "Yes, I know. I had trouble killing them with a an '06; I do much better with my .22-250." I demanded an explanation, and he elaborated: "The only way to bring them down for certain is to tag them behind the ear."

A month later, we tested that theory with a 100g .257 bullet behind the ear of a 250 lb. hog, which of course crumpled.

I now am hunting in S. Texas, where there are more hogs (and Rhoosian Boars, occasionally, loose from the exotic game ranches), and am curious: does anyone find them easily dropped with chest shots? I've been thinking of handgun hunting them with my .45 Gold Cup or my dad's .45 LC Blackhawk, and my rifle is now a .300 Win Mag. Sendero. Some of the shots out there can get long (500 yards +), and although I can make a 10" circle at those ranges, I don't think I can hit a 2" circle at 400 yds +. I don't care to wound any animal. I load a 180g. Sierra Game King with 70-some-odd grains of RL 22 for 3100 fps. Anyone have any experience with resilience of wild hog to this excelent deer/elk/moose/bear load?

Sorry for the long post...

"Only accurate rifles are interesting." Hatcher (?)

Rob Pincus
May 31, 1999, 11:08 PM
My preferred way to take Hogs is with a knife. After your post, that may sound a little ridiculous, but I am sure that you can find the orginal stories about my hunting trip last fall here in the archives... run a search on "texas hog knife" or something....

I took two with a knife last November in Northern Texas. We used chase dogs to find them, then a pit bull to distrct the business end while I snuck up, flipped, and stuck the hoggies.

My wife dropped one basically in its tracks with a single heart shot from a 10mm, using Hydra-shok.

Pictures here:

Long Path
May 31, 1999, 11:31 PM
Heavens, Rob-- I like to get up close and personal with pistol, but do I really want to get gored?

No offense, but some of our hawgs look to run a mite larger than those on your page.

I've just started into handgun hunting, and all I've popped so far were a couple of 40 lb. javelina that easily could have been taken using your pork-sticker method. (Shot each with a 158 gr. HP SWC .38 Sp. at about 10 yds.)

Also, I don't have a dog, even if the state does decide to keep dogs'n'hogs legal. Hogs are more of a target of opportunity for me while hunting whitetail and turkey in a 4 deer county.

BTW, that's a beautiful whitetail your wife took.

"Only accurate rifles are interesting." Hatcher (?)

Rob Pincus
June 1, 1999, 10:23 AM
The night before we went out they brought in a 275# hog. Unfortuntaley, at night, when you go into the thicket (or the river) you really don't know if you are going to get a 100# job or a 350# montser, so you take what you get.

One of my hogs was around 100#s and the other was a little larger, the one my wife got with the handgun during the day was about 180#s, but we promised her the first hog during the day.. and that was the only one we saw the whole trip that was that big.

Believe me, I'd much rather have wrestled with a big 200-250# than the little ones, in fact, the first kill was kinda anti-climatic after the big build-up the guides had given knife hunting.....

Long Path
June 2, 1999, 05:15 AM
I can empathise with the anti-climacticism of it. I was standing in some extremely dense brush at the edge of a creek bed, listening to the snorts and snuffs of what I was CERTAIN would be a very pissed wounded 250+ lb. sow come at me, and when it finally broke out of the brush in front of me and sniffed at the ground in front of my boots, it was just a couple of shoats that ran no more than 50 lbs. each. I continued to wait while they squealed and went around me, figuring Mama would be nearby. Never happened. Finally, as I climbed out of the creekbed, I took a running shot at the largest young one (best eating I've had in a long time.) so that I'd have *some* meat.

Point is, you get your blood up, and you end up with just... pork.

But that's about all we've got for semi-dangerous game in Texas, besides the odd bull gone feral. Few cougars, and I just don't get around them.


If you're *not* a member of the NRA, what *are* you doing to protect your rights to enjoy yourself on this Bulletin Board?

Rob Pincus
June 2, 1999, 11:23 AM
Yeah, the smaller ones I got were much better than the larger one my wife got. I'll bet a 50-60 pounder would be great......

Long Path
June 2, 1999, 11:31 PM
Some of those African piggies are supposed to be fierce! Have you standardized on a 180 gr. Load? I would tend to think that something in the way of a Nosler Partition or a Swift A-Frame would be the way to go if I were using a 150-165 gr. bullet.

Slugs would make an excellent pig-stopper, I'd guess. Hmmm... Perhaps I will go specifically gunning for them before deer season, with my open-sighted Rem. 1100 stoked full of Brenneke slugs. Never considered it before. There are some close areas on the ranch. I had been thinking of them more as "targets of opportunity" at a distance while deer-hunting.

What else will you be hunting in Zimbabwe? What kind of cover (open, broken, thick)?

Good luck!

If you're *not* a member of the NRA, what *are* you doing to protect your rights to enjoy yourself on this Bulletin Board?

Al Thompson
June 5, 1999, 09:12 PM
Hi all,

Only popped a couple, but working with the folks at the Dept of Agriculture sort of opened my eyes to something about hogs. They have their heart/lung area a bit ahead of where a whitetail has theirs. You really want to break a shoulder either on the way in or out.

FYI, one of mine dropped like a rock as I hit him at 10 feet or so through the spine with a .308 and the other was wacked 3 times in rapid sucession with a M1A. DRT. (dead right there)


Long Path
June 9, 1999, 05:10 PM
Sounds like an excellent choice to me, Erick! Either one should do the job. I'm quite partial to the 165 gr. controlled-expansion-bullets for the .308-- they seem the best of both worlds. For up close and personal, though, those A-Frame 180's give you a Lot of comfort in penetration.

In re: heart/lung... I didn't relize that they were built so differently than a whitetail. Spine shots with .308s do have a way of dropping just about ANYTHING in their tracks. I've even been moving toward a low spine/shoulder shot on whitetail, lately. That ridge of bone that runs under the spine needs only be kissed by the passing bullet to reap tremendous stopping power, and I really hate tracking. On whitetail, the ridge of bone tends to run down to about 6" under the top of the withers in a mature animal, giving a good margin of error (high is spine, low is still shoulder, left and right are just as good.), which, though slightly smaller than the traditional lung shot target, brings much more decisive stops. Even a shot too low is bound to stop them, as you've just broken the shoulder.

Perhaps the news with piggies is: aim a bit forward of your prior aiming point.

Which is darned useful to know.

If you're *not* a member of the NRA, what *are* you doing to protect your rights to enjoy yourself on this Bulletin Board?

June 12, 1999, 12:04 PM
Wow sounds like hunting these critters would be great fun. Where i live ain't no such beasts,[damm!] But if there were; i would try my PARA P-14 "LIMITED" stoked with 185 grainers in the plus p mode. The woman shooting the 10mm, sounds like pretty good hog medicine also. 12-34hom make mine up close and personal - out.

June 13, 1999, 05:44 AM
Call me old fashioned, but I like using my Ruger #3 in 45-70 with either 400grain jacketed soft points, or 500 grain cast bullets. Starting out with .459 diameter hole and large energy transfer stops them right quick, if it don't kill them outright, they always stop to think about it.
For follow ups in heavy bush, there ain't nothin' like a twelve gauge loaded with buck shot, but just about any load will do at close range. [took a lions head clean off with some #9 dove and quail loads 'cuz that's all I had,(both barrels simultaneously from a Parker double)].
Feral pigs are great and challenging game, very smart, and definitely dangerous when riled up, or with young.

[This message has been edited by TABING (edited June 13, 1999).]

Long Path
June 14, 1999, 02:51 PM
I have to take issue with a bit of what you say, Taber-- While I would not feel unarmed with a shotgun with birdshot at close range, I would not go *Looking* for trouble with something as pachadermic as a mudded-up, gristle-plate-bearing wild hog with one.

While it is true that there are darned few things that a close-range blast of shotgun won't cure, I'm of the opinion that a bit more penetration is in order.

Thus, I'm wholly in favor of your suggestion of the .45-70 as a hog-gun, esp. if it's in something handy like a Guide Gun or a Copilot. I must, point out, however, that your statement of:
"large energy transfer stops them
right quick, if it don't kill them
outright, they always stop to think
about it."
...brings to mind the whole point that I began this topic; it ain't necessarily so!

Good shoulder or lung hits with .30-06 165 grain Gamekings at medium ranges were not consistantly putting them down-- it just made them burrow into the thick brush. Central nervous system hits have been the only thing that I've seen consistantly anchor the big ones.