View Full Version : I have a question for you Mainland Hog Hunters.

February 7, 2007, 03:27 AM
I have wanted to ask this for awhile now. You guys sure use some BIG caliber guns to hunt pigs up there huh? Is it because most of you don't use dogs? I can understand wanting some punch while hunting them huge Russian Razorbacks in the Bayou but I've seen pictures on the net of Cajun's and Floridians actually taking these big boys down with spears, (you guys are AWESOME!) which brings me to the point of why do allot of hog hunters prefer high caliber rifles for hunting hogs?
The reason I ask is because my Dad used a Marlin Midget Magnum bolt action till he retired and never had a problem dropping hogs (Though he used Dogs also and knifed them if they were small enough, the thrill seeker! LOL!) and I've used an SKS and more recently a M1 Carbine when I got stalking. Granted, there aren't many BIG bigs here like back in the day, and a 250 pounder is a MAJOR score here, but seems like everyone here saves the big calibers for hunting Muflon Sheep and Goats on the mountain.

February 7, 2007, 01:50 PM
Because a hog is one of the few animals in the US that can end up killing you if you're stupid, I met the uncle of a guy I work with who has a missing thumb from approaching a hog that wasn't quite dead yet, he also received 3 broken ribs and many deep cuts from the boar's tusks before he was able to kill it for good. And hogs are naturally bad tempered, and tough animals. And because you have to shoot farther forward than on a deer, (their vitals are between the shoulders, not behind the shoulders like on a deer,) you need a cartridge that will punch through the bones in the shoulder. Boars develop a thick gristle plate as well to protect them from other boar's tusks. That being said, I don't feel the need to get into all the hype and use outlandish Magnums and such, 12ga works just fine.

john in jax
February 7, 2007, 02:08 PM
Shot Placement and Bullet type/construction has a lot more to do with putting a hog down humanely than anything else.

I hunt public lands, here in Florida, (no dogs) and you never know if it is going to be a little 75-125lb deer or a 200-300lb hog that sticks it head around the corner. I used to shoot a .308 150grn ballistic tip, great on deer, but IMO inadequate for a shoulder shot on a hog. Since I see more hogs than deer, I have switched to a .308 180grn nosler partition. Same gun, same caliber, just switched to a bullet designed to get a lot more penetration.

If I could get close enough and/or if I could get them to stand real still for a moment or two so I could put every one down with a head shot, I'd probably feel confident hunting with a .22mag, or my .45acp but that ain't the way it works around here.

el Divino
February 7, 2007, 04:14 PM
we have hogs almost weighing 400 lbs, so a good 35 caliber in a short rifle is best

February 7, 2007, 07:09 PM
So not many people use dogs in the Mainland then? When my Dad moved here from Alaska in '67 he brought his Marlin 336 in .35 Rem with him, a gun he used to hunt Charabou with but he used dogs and didn't want to blow their eardrums out, knock them out with the concussion, or worst still get a thru and thru and end up shooting one of the dogs, so he decided to get another gun. All us kids got together and bought him a Winchester .22WMR lever action that he use for YEARS, till the rear stock was missing half it's buttplate, there are zero bluing on the gun (except for maybe behind the hammer) Rear elevation ramp went missing, and the crooked front sight post was spray painted floresent orange with model paint (That he snaked from my romm!!!) When it came to replace old "gretta" us kids got together again to get him a gun, but this time he explicitly told us "NOT TO GET A HEAVY GUN.


LOL! What we ended up getting him then was a Marlin "Midget Magnum" .22 WMR blot action that was made for kids i think. That gun lasted for ay least7-8 years until his eyes started getting bad and he started having to use more shots to drop big ones and started missing allot of the smaller ones. By this time Dad started talking about retiring hunting. I asked him what kind of gun did he want next?

"All I care is that it isn't heavy. Maybe a little more power would a good too."

So, I thought about getting him a Rossi or Marlin lever in .38spl. but this time no one else wanted to help pitch in for the gun with me, and I couldn't afford either gun by myself at the time. EVeryone was worried he would get lost in the forrest cuz of his age. (70) But what the old man wants, i'm gonna try to get it...So what Pop's ended up with for his last year of hunting?

A HI-POINT 995 Carbine! (With Laser mind you!)

Well Dad is the kinda guy that can't just say "Thanks". First thing: :"It's not that light is it?" next "It's a semi auto!" (I guess he thinks Semi's are somehow more dangerous than manual loaders) but when shown the (then) upgraded day laser all that changed. He went running around the forrest like he was Buck Rogers shooting Aliens with his new ray-gun. (Didn't have to think too hard where I get that silly streak in me from.) His last season of hunting was a fun one for him to say the least. :)

Anyway....back to the point (finally). Seems like the biggest caliber used for hogs here is 7.62 X 39mm. A 300lb hog is considered massive here, and these are usually the ones with Domesticated blood in them. Even if it's a violation I know quite a few of guys who hunt with .357mag handguns. But that's about it in the forrests. Out on the open terrain of the mountain however the calibers get higher due to the possibility of having to take a long shot on a Muflon Ram or big Billy, and scopes come into play because of the longer shots.

I was sursprised that .35 Rem was mentioned as a good Hog hunting caliber, since it was the very caliber my dad said was way too much. I suppose economy has something to do with it too. SKS's are by far the most popular pig guns here becase for a long time they are the best deals to be had. Hi-Points have overtaken them a bit in sales now.

February 8, 2007, 05:37 PM
So you're in Hawaii?

February 8, 2007, 08:10 PM
What is the best caliber to shoot people with?

What is the best caiber to shoot deer with?

What is the best caliber to shoot bear with?

Hogs can be killed with just about any caliber. I watched a hunting show where they used a pellet gun to shoot a small pig in the head. I have used .22mags with good results. I have seen hogs run off after being shot with a 30-06. Many people scoff at using large calibers, many scoff at using a .22. I would guess that it mostly depends on how you hunt the hogs. I would guess that there are as many people using dogs as not using dogs. I would guess that people that use rimfires hunt with dogs or close in over bait. A lot of people hunt hogs like they hunt deer and want a centerfire rifle to reach out and hit a hog hard at long distances. I use a .44mag revolver because I can. It is lighter than a rifle and it kills them on the spot, no tracking. I have noticed that a lot of older hunters like smaller calibers for the lighter guns and recoil.

BTW, I would love to find a nice Marlin Midget Magnum for small game hunting.

February 17, 2007, 09:57 AM
We rolled a couple this season w/ a 22-250...Knocked em dead. One shoulder shot, approx 175, the other a head shot, about 120lb ish.

February 17, 2007, 11:05 AM
I've never taken a hog with anything larger than a .257 and the hogs last season were #150 and #350. Both fell in their racks. My son took two with his .243. The key is shot placement. Shoot them in the head with anything and they're going down. If you choose to shoot them in the shoulder, you need a bigger round and they'll still wander off. Too much bone and muscle protecting the vitals.


Fat White Boy
February 19, 2007, 12:06 AM
I hunt hogs in California. Most of the country is rolling hills with sagebrush, Oak trees and Chapparal. The hunts I have been on, we only use dogs if the pigs get up into deep brush or to find a wounded one. Most shots are more or less long shots. I have never taken a hog at less than about 150 yards and up to 250 yards. I actually consider these to be average distance. I use a .270 or .308 to reach out there. I also saw a friend shoot a 200 pound plus hog dead at 200 yards with a .30-30 Marlin Lever Action. I have seen hogs up to 400 pounds and have seen pictures of 600 pounders. The term "Volkswagen" comes to mind when they get that big...

My friend shot a hog of about 125 pounds with a .222. It smashed it's spine. He went up, cut the pigs throat at which time, the pig jumped up and chased him, pulling itself along on its front legs, for 100 yards until it bled out. Even the little ones are tough buggers.

February 19, 2007, 05:58 AM
Hey CK1, you said shoot them in the head with anything and they go down. Heh, My buddy decided to shoot one in the head at 7 yards with an arrow. We had hell trying to get that unicorn hog down for 5 minutes after that.

If you had a video camera you would be selling that to some worst hunting video show somewhere. If you didn't drop the camera from laughing.

That hog was swirling around at us and charging with that arrow coming out of his head like a unicorn.

Two more shots and he was down, but the excitement inbetween was really one for the memory banks.

February 19, 2007, 09:33 AM

Now that would be fun to watch! :D


North Texan
February 27, 2007, 10:50 PM
I don't hunt with dogs, just stalk mainly. I use my .223 more than anything. With 55 gr. Sierra Gamekings, I've had no problems taking any size hog I've run across. Here are two of the more recent ones:



Notice the second hog has two holes. One in the front leg because the rest of him was obscured by brush, and the second to the back of the head when he came running out. This is the only hog I've had to shoot twice with this gun.

February 28, 2007, 01:13 PM
Fat White Boy,

What ammo was your friend using in his .30-30? I want to bring my lever action along next time I hog hunt.

March 14, 2007, 11:34 AM
"I used to shoot a .308 150grn ballistic tip, great on deer, but IMO inadequate for a shoulder shot on a hog."

Why do you think this, JohnInJax? I have seen some deadly shoulder shots on hogs with 130grn .270.

March 14, 2007, 11:43 PM
Use what you are comfortable with and have a back up.

March 14, 2007, 11:52 PM
I hunted TX and LA with dogs for years with a 44 magnum handgun. If that is big? I have also shot some at longer distance with a standard deer rifle, 308 and 270. I never had a need to use my 223 when I have those alternatives, just never wanted to try it out, but I can see that it would kill hogs

Fat White Boy
March 21, 2007, 08:44 PM
Leafs- 150gr Silvertips...He was above the hog and it was running away from him. He hit it right in the back of the head...

March 22, 2007, 02:03 PM
FWB, cool we hunt hogs from a deer stand once in a while and I'm going to give the old 30-30 a try.