View Full Version : Hog hunt questions

February 21, 2007, 10:05 PM
My buddy and I are interested in a hog trip to CA (simply a lot cheaper for us to drive down there than going somewhere else). We are low budget types, but want to go on a guided hunt. Anyone have any experience with any of the CA guides hog hunting? Also interested in opinions about bow versus rifle on hogs. What I have seen and read about for central CA, it seems like it will be more of a rifle type scenario.

Any recomendations on bullet weight would also be helpful. I shoot a '06 and he shoots a 7mm Mag.

Thanks in advance,


Fat White Boy
February 22, 2007, 12:06 AM
Go to this web site: www.arwhead.com/calhunt/guides.html
This is a list of hunting guides with many archery sites..

The only one of these I have used was Nessen Scmidt. The hunt was successful and there was a processor in King City that made the best link sausages I have ever eaten in my life.

February 22, 2007, 12:58 AM
I have killed hogs in CA with a bow, rifle, and handgun. I don't know of any guides who will guarantee you a hog with a bow. In my experience, they're tough to sneak on, and they move around a lot. There are guides who specialize in archery hog hunts, and if you are going to go that route, make sure you get a guide who knows how. Shooting a hog with a bow takes a lot more finesse than shooting one with a rifle.

If you have the time, you can hunt on Fort Hunter Liggett. That area has always had a very high success rate.

February 22, 2007, 06:44 PM
If you decide to bow hunt hogs then you need to study the anatomy of a hog. There is a lot of good info on www.texasboars.com but the short of it is that you have to shoot much lower and more forward to get a good clean bow kill. The heart and lungs are much smaller than a deer also. There are two opinions on how and where to shoot a pig with a bow. One guide that posts on texasboars guides a lot of archery hog hunts and she recommends that only true broadside shots be taken to ensure a double lung shot. Hogs are not like deer in the fact that they can still breath with one lung. If you hit one of a deer's lungs then they both deflate, not always true for hogs. Another feller on texasboars shots a whole hell of a lot of hogs with a bow and he shoots through the front part of the shoulder blade and gets the heart and lungs. With just a little searching in the archery section you will find a lot of helpful info. It is my opinion that you should archer hunt hogs from the ground to improve you chance of a quick kill. Too much elevation makes it hard to get both of the pigs small lungs.

February 22, 2007, 06:49 PM
Oh yeah, guns.....

Any bullet weight you use for deer is fine for hogs. Many will tell you that you need a heavy bullet or that you need a 40 cal class rifle. I have not found this to be the case. A well constructed bonded core bullet in whatever weight that your rifle is sighted for will do fine. The '06 and 7mag will do just fine. I like neck shots with a centerfire rifle. It will drop them DRT more times than heart/lung shots. Again, there are suggested kill zones at texasboars, just do some digging.

February 22, 2007, 07:54 PM
I used a 30.06/180 gr soft point to kill a hog with a neck shot. He dropped and stayed right where he was. My point of aim was for right behind the ear. My friend used a .270 with the same results.

February 25, 2007, 11:18 AM
Thanks everyone!

Scorch - I hope it is not a guaranteed hunt! I had never thought about Hunter-Ligget. I am retired Army, so that might be an option for a future hunt. Our first time around, I think we will go guided to figure it out a little and we are both crunched for time.

Is there a limit? My buddy really wants to get one rifle and one bow if possible. I am OK with either or both.

Fat White Boy
February 25, 2007, 11:23 PM
No limit on California. Take as many as you want, just have a Hunting License and a tag for each pig,,,

I have gotten within 50 yards of hogs but they walked up on me. Central California pig country for the most part is low rolling hills with Oaks, Sagebrush and Chaparral thickets. Most shots are in the 150 yard plus range. The terrain changes as you get up north of San Francisco with thicker brush...Buenas Suerte...

February 25, 2007, 11:48 PM
A lot of pig guides in California are located within 50 miles of Fort Hunter Liggett, so you would be hunting in the same type of country. Hills, lots of brush, oak flats, some deep gulleys and ravines. I would highly recommend hunting the fort if you are going to be in the area.

With a rifle, you can take any shot offered, but with a bow you have to get close enough to place your shot. I used to shoot a recurve (60 lbs) out to about 50 yds max, but with a fast compound you don't get much more of an advantage. Still, a broadhead right behind the shoulder is all it takes. All those stories about pigs being bulletproof and all that are just stories. Yes, they're tough, but a double lung shot will put them right down. Just don't shoot them too far back, because then the pig will show you how much ground they can cover.

Pigs are not that tough to kill, and are a lot of fun to hunt, but taking one with a bow is very challenging. They can't see very well, but inside of 200 yds they'll spot you right off if you aren't careful. And needless to say, they got great noses, so stay downwind of them. When I bowhunted in CA, I used to glass the pigs early in the morning, then try to ambush them on their way back to the brush and creek bottoms. It isn't real hard, but it can be a guessing game as to which way they'll move. Pigs roam over a lot of ground, so they are not always in the same areas day after day. Good luck!!

March 3, 2007, 12:39 PM
Since my buddy is paying, now it looks like Texas (south of San Antonio).

March 10, 2007, 06:40 PM
never hunted that far south, just east Texas. In my experience, any deer class bullet will work fine for hogs( my son killed a 300 lb. class boar with a youth model 7, 243 -head shot) it's all about placement. My hunting buddies and I take head shots when we can for 2 reasons, one, there's no meat damaged, but the biggest thing is they don't like to be out in the open so when you shoot one , he's usually very close to or in thick cover and they can run very fast and far mortally wounded, and they don't leave much of a blood trail. So your chance of loosing them goes way up. As for archery, we have found broadheads to be more effective at penetrating the gristle plate of mature boars than center fire rifles up to light 30-06. and they leave a better trail. Don't worry about gistle plates on the average pig, the sows don't have them and only the big boys are so equipt. As stated earlier, aim a little farther forward and you will do fine. Texas has no limmit and no restiction on method- including hunting at night with lights-a very exciting way to do it -just call the gamewarden BEFORE you do it , he won't be happy if he has to get up out of his warm bed at night to find out who's spotlighting and shooting at night! Oh yea, thats from experience too. good luck!