View Full Version : Wild Boar: Ground Work / Tracking, what's your chice for that job?

Para Bellum
February 1, 2009, 01:06 PM
Hi Folks,

you hunt wild boar and need to do ground work / tracking of a possibliy wounded male of 330# or more. Maybe his friends are with him on the ground. What gun and ammo would you clinch to? And why?


February 1, 2009, 01:16 PM
Short barrelled shotgun, open choke and 000 buck.

I like the 000 buck because if he's REALLY close there will be so little spread that it will act like a slug but gives a better chance should he up and run, which is by far the most likely scanerio. And I like 000 because it penetrates better than 00.

And I'd chose a double barrel or a pump ( Yes I know modern autos are very reliable. ) over a auto.

We shot 2 yesterday (over a dozen this season) both with 000 at close range. We switched to 000 last year after doing some penetration/paterning experimentation with our shotguns. My OLD Mossberg tossed a much tighter pattern with 000 than with 00.

As for penetration testing what we did was shoot some thick cataloges at about 25 yards. If I remember correctly, and I did post the results here, the 00 went through 670 pages while the 000 passed through the full 1100 pages book and kept on going.

Al Thompson
February 1, 2009, 01:16 PM
Well, his friends are probably ten clicks away, so no worries there. I've never seen a keiler get fire support from his buddies, but ya never know. :)

I've gone into thickets and swamps after wounded ones with a 12 ga loaded with slugs and think that's the ticket. Frankly, a good 9mm with JHPs works just as well as you want to hit the head to stop them. The handgun is way eaiser to manuver with in the really thick stuff.

Para Bellum
February 1, 2009, 02:16 PM
a good 9mm with JHPs works just as well as you want to hit the head to stop them. The handgun is way eaiser to manuver with in the really thick stuff.

Funny that you mention that, because that's what I have been thinking for years. I just never dared to try...

February 1, 2009, 02:40 PM
.44 MAGNUM a little better than 9mm JMO :D

February 1, 2009, 02:59 PM
For follow-up in close quarters, I have used a Winchester 94 in 30-30 with 170 gr hollw points, a 12 gauge Remington 1100 with slugs, a Colt Python in 357, a Ruger Redhawk in 44 Mag, and a Ruger 77 in 7X57. Given my choice, I would opt for the 30-30, it has a good combination of energy, accuracy at both long range and close range, and maneuverability. But it's all academic, because of all the pigs I shot, only a few were alive by the time I got to them. Of those that were still alive, none ever charged due to the damage that had been done by placing the shot well to begin with. A quick head shot, and off to the skinning pole we went.

BTW, the one in your picture is a sow.

45Marlin carbine
February 1, 2009, 03:00 PM
I would choose either a semi-auto carbine type rifle (my Mini30 and the like) or a pump/dbl bbl/semi shotty.

February 1, 2009, 03:08 PM
For up close and personal shooting , I would use a 3" 12ga firing the
triball loads of buckshot from Dixie Slugs


Three .60 cal Roundballs per blast will cure what ever problems a 12 ga can cure.

These balls are heavy enough that the boars shield will not turn or stop them.

February 1, 2009, 03:33 PM
Here in Alabama we hunt with dogs, a old family line of Blackmouth Curs known as the Howard line, they do the tracking for us. We at times use the Kemmer Mt. Cur also. When the Blackmouths have a hold on them, just about any caliber handgun from a 22LR to a 44Mag will do the job. orchidhunter

February 1, 2009, 03:36 PM
I'd want a dog too. I watched a GSP just barely miss catching a tusk. Better him than me.

Slug gun or trim lever action rifle or anything that swings and reloads pretty quick.

February 1, 2009, 10:01 PM
.336 in .30-30

Para Bellum
February 2, 2009, 04:43 PM
BTW, the one in your picture is a sow.

Thanks, now it was a sow. I just wanted to create some mood in the post. Sus scrofa ist what I ment, male or female (female: if it's the season).

.336 in .30-30
That's what I had in mind...

February 2, 2009, 07:38 PM
The 870 with sabot or Foster style slugs is the ticket. Open sights with Foster slug for 75 yards and under. Scoped, rifled barrel, and Remington sabot slugs up to 125yds, you can shoot a little farther under the right conditions. The fast handling and instictive handling of 870 will serve you well under most conditons. The firepower of the pump shotgun cannot be denied.

Al Thompson
February 3, 2009, 02:05 AM
Para, the 9mm with a good JHP does a nice job of getting through a hogs head from about any angle. I usually tote a G26 loaded with 124 Gold Dots. Obviously anything bigger works too, but is more of a pain to carry. The G26 rides crossdraw and works fine.

phil mcwilliam
February 3, 2009, 03:27 AM
I prefer to carry my sako lever action 308 topped with a 3-9x 40 Leupold. Firing 150 grain bullets you can shoot em up close & far away. I've owned & used colt govt pistol in 38 super, S&W 44 Mag revolver & Ithica 12 gauge pump gun. All of these will drop large boars at close range. Problem I kept having was after I'd finished hunting the thick stuff with either the pistols or shotgun, I'd come across a monster boar out in the open & out of range. A 308 Rifle solves this. Carry one in a semi-auto scoped carbine-if you feel you must, but all my mates use scoped bolt action rifles in calibers from 222,223, 243, 270, 308 & 30-06 for hog hunting. We have all hunted the thick bush before & 270 & upwards does work better, but we have never lost a member carrying a 222 bolt action rifle to a "killer boar", & over the years we have shot many hundreds of them between us.

February 3, 2009, 06:40 AM
After reading the responses here it occured to me that we offering opinions never asked for a description of the terrain and a definition of what constitutes the thick woods he would be following a wounded animal in.

I'll admit ignorance of other places. All I really know for hog hunting is the swamps and palmettos of NE FL and SE GA. We shoot at least 80% of our hogs from the ground. Most of them we stalk. Few shots are over 25 yards with many under 10, and more than a handful at less than that.

And while I have no experence with catch dogs I have taken half a dozen hogs at less than 15 FEET and 2 that had powder burns on them. Yes, when the wind is blowing right and the hogs are in a group you can get that close as they only hear you and think you are one of their noisy buddies.

The forgoing also points out how thick the woods really are. At times you can actually see better by laying down on your belly and looking under the palmettos and the like. Friend of mine took one that way on Saturday.

In the situations I describe a scope is of no value, actually a hinderence most of the time. Iron sights, as Hogdogs suggested, or a Red Dot that is shot with both eyes open are ideal.

In other places "thick" might be woods that are far different than what we see and close may mean 40 or 50 yards. That would call for a different gun.

If one of the darn things has decided that he has a better chance comming and getting me than he does by running away then I think in the woods we have I want the shotgun.

In other places it would be different.

Should add this too. I will admit that I am not a very good shot therefor I need the added forgivness of error a shotgun provides. Of course at less than 10 yards you've not much pattern but I still feel better with it.

February 3, 2009, 01:37 PM
I carry an AR 15.
I also hope to be bringing my little 180 pound Great Dane Named "Tiny" , after I get her a vest. She is only a year old, but, I saw her attack a pretty durn big Brown bear at my sisters place in colorado Recently. Hard to believe that was my Dog.

February 10, 2009, 09:35 PM
I'd take the same thing I shot him with the first time (.44 mag revolver).

February 10, 2009, 10:24 PM
Whatever you use, make sure its semi-auto. When a big pig charges, there is no guarantee of bullet placement and a DRT. They do not know when they are dead. You can hit them several times before they fall. With a lever or pump, it is nowhere near as safe as with a semi.

Wear chaps or snake boots if you have them, and be sure and stuff that boot in its face as it passes. Keep it away from the leg you are standing on. It's sideswipe can be so fast that you can't see it, and you are cut DEEP.
Safest way to avoid this is to shoot from distances (hard in tall brush), or use a semi-auto.

There is nothing quite so FUN as getting in close to a sound of pigs in heat, and making them scatter.
It's like quail hunting, with Really BIG flightless birds. They go in all directions.
Just be safe.

February 10, 2009, 10:57 PM
A fully stuffed lever in .44 Mag should suffice in most cases, having a SBH in the same makes for a nice b/u.

One thing to remember is that no two are alike. The Spaniards introduced them in the 1500's. In the 1800's a Russian strain was introduced for sport. Both will tear up a domestic pen for a sow in heat so domestics are always being introduced into the gene pool.

Down in Big Cypress you're going to find them not much changed from 500 yrs. ago and they're some really tough critters. 100 miles north, they're much different.

Al Thompson
February 11, 2009, 01:13 AM
Good and true info Swampghost. Most of the ones I've killed along the Savannah River Valley were feral, but down below Waynesboro GA I popped a flat tailed, very dark hog - lots of European blood in that one.

I have hunted pigs in Germany - stalking and drive hunts. They tend to be bigger, but the woods have less underbrush, so it's about an even swap. I think Para is in Austria, so his terrain may be different.

Pig kicking (finding them sleeping at noon and stalking them) is some of the best fun you can have. Buddy of mine used to use a .22-250 and snipe'em. He'd drive around till he found some, set up and use a dying rabbit call to get one to look at his direction, then shoot the curious one between the running lights.

February 14, 2009, 09:34 PM
I put on my chainsaw pants and go in after them with my .50 muzzleloader and my cap and ball revolver. Yeah, they charge sometimes but that is the thrill of hog hunting. Why? Because it is fun and it gets the heart pumping.

BTW: The hog in the photo will decidedly not go 330 pounds. Would be very surprised if it went over 175 pounds.

February 17, 2009, 11:26 AM
I agree with the size estimate given above. A 330 lb wild boar with Russian blood would be 16" or so from ear to end of snout, with a huge head and neck. My weapon of choice in close quarters would be a semi-auto rifle, I'd prefer a 750 carbine in .35 Whelen with 200, 225, or 250 gr bullets (TSX, NP, TBBC, GS) and that followed with an '06 with good 180s or 200s. A short semi-auto 12ga shooting Buckhammers, or similar would also be a great choice. I'd say a short barreled turkey or deer gun with sights would be great, actually. Of course a pump SG (or rifle) is just as good, I simply don't shoot pumps normally.

February 17, 2009, 11:41 AM
rambo knife, big mean dog

Jack O'Conner
February 18, 2009, 04:05 AM
I've never encountered a single animal that can stand up to a 180 grain bullet fired by my .308 Savage. That includes elk which often exceed 650 lbs.


February 18, 2009, 10:16 AM
Let me know the first time you shoot an elk with a 2-3" thick protective shield of cartilage covering their entire neck and shoulder area.

February 18, 2009, 11:45 AM
I took this pic tonight of a cross section of a boars shield. I put a .222 bullet in front, to compare the thickness of the shield.
I've often been asked about a boars defences, especially when choosing a suitable caliber for boars, and I thought this pic would show any new comers to the game, just what they are up against.
If you are wondering how hard the shield is...you could hammer a nail into a piece of wood with it.

This was posted on another hunting board by a new zealand buddy. Their hogs, in general, do not run near as large as ours and I have seen near double that thickness a couple times.

February 18, 2009, 12:30 PM
Very good picture! I was lucky enough to shoot a really large Boar, apparently with a lot of Russian blood, about a month ago and I must admit to being truly amazed as we skinned and caped it. The hide is tough and that protective shield of cartilage is unbelieveable. I doubt a grown man swinging a typical hammer could so much as put a dent in it. I was using a caliber that I felt totally up to the task, and was mistaken, I'll admit.

One bullet performed perfectly, mushrooming to nearly double size without coming apart, but was stopped, yes stopped, just under the shield and did not so much as draw blood. I know sows and smaller Boars would not present such a difficult situation, but knowing what's there now is truly enlightening.

Again, great picture and post!

srt 10 jimbo
February 18, 2009, 11:25 PM
I use my Marlin 336, then I use my taurus pt 101 if I have to go into the brush.(dont happen to often):D

February 20, 2009, 12:28 PM
IME: The shield is not all that of a big deal. My favorite muzzleloader hog load uses 110 grains of 2F Goex Pinnacle. Have had no problems getting a 240 grain .430 XTP bullet into the vitals of a big boar. The 300 grain .430 XTP will often go through both shoulders of a 300+ pound boar.

February 20, 2009, 12:45 PM
Interesting. Have any idea of your velocity? I am suprised you see penetration like that.

February 20, 2009, 01:10 PM
Interesting. Have any idea of your velocity? I am suprised you see penetration like that.

Muzzle velocity is around 1,700 fps with the 240 grain XTP and about 1,650 fps with the 300 grain XTP.

February 20, 2009, 01:12 PM
I kinda figured that. I was shooting a Gold dot 270gr SP at around 1650-1700, close as I can figure (.44 mag) and it did not even penetrate the on shoulder of the boar I shot. The bullet performed well, simply no penetration. Didn't even draw blood from about 50yds.
Thanks for the info.

February 20, 2009, 02:00 PM
Lemme also point out something in the pic I posted. Notice the outer half inch of sheild... those black lines going inward from skin are the recent puncture wounds of boar fights. The tusk that did that tattoo will go to the hilt in a dog to thoroughly slice, dice, cut, gut and gore them. I stood with more respect for these warriors when I found a razor sharp (don't ask how I know :o) 2 inch 4 blade broad head 100% embedded in the sheild and no blood stain around the razor head...

Para Bellum
February 21, 2009, 02:21 PM
I've never encountered a single animal that can stand up to a 180 grain bullet fired by my .308 Savage. That includes elk which often exceed 650 lbs.
:D placement.

February 21, 2009, 09:28 PM

It is all about shot placement. I frequently hunt on a huge place where we are restricted to the use of shotguns with #2 or smaller shot or rimfire rifles in small game season. Have killed a lot of hogs there with a .22 magnum: No wounded hogs got away. Killed a good boar there with a Ruger 10/.22 and solid point bullets; distance was less than 10 yards. That boar weighed 302 pounds on the hoof.

February 21, 2009, 09:46 PM
I've only been hunting for 35 yrs or so, and always figured a shot directly to the shoulder, and another to neck 3" behind the ear should be lethal. Perhaps you've not seen or shot as big a hog as I'm talking here, but thanks for your excellent advice reference aiming properly. I shall definitely keep it in mind the next time I shoot.

February 22, 2009, 02:41 AM
Placement? Well if that ain't just a novel, keen idea!!!!
I may look into that...
I feel for the shoulder shot hog.... That is akin to shooting a squirrel in the azz with a straight pin. I see in various threads, the proper shot on a hog...
Armedtotheteeth is released as he seems to have the "15 COM" practice down pat...
If you are expecting only one shot (99% of us) aim for 3 inches above the belly, right behind shoulder after animal is a few degrees quarter away. Send the bullet in behind soulder with any exit being below opposite front ham... you may damage a pound or so of the ham but that is the most dead a pig can be short of a brainer... this is for a 90-150 class pig. For a hog over 150 aim a tad higher like 4-5 inches above belly.

February 22, 2009, 11:43 AM
+1 or 2 for HEAD & NECK SHOTS ;)

February 22, 2009, 02:11 PM
Some very good advice again, Hogdogs! I actually chose to shoot the boar behind the ear first. But thanks again for all that advice!

February 22, 2009, 02:28 PM
pilot, I mention the torso hit as most of us are predisposed to go for the chest vitals. with that mindset most folks aim too high and/or forward of a hog's heart. I was really shocked to find how far down and back their heart is compared to deer etc... also the diaphragm is more forward but really pronounced a bit higher in the torso. Avoiding the sheild but hitting the heart leaves a small target oppurtunity.

February 22, 2009, 10:49 PM
I continue to see photos of 350 pound and larger hogs on the internet. Most of those 350 pound and over hogs would not weigh 200 pounds on the hoof. For some reason most of those exaggerated hogs come from Texas.

Been hunting for 60 years. In my lifetime I have tracked and located nearly 150 wounded hogs, deer and elk at the request of other hunters. Many times the hunter claims that the bullet failed. When the animal is located it is usually found to have been gut shot.

February 23, 2009, 12:20 AM
Yep, Headshot... Bang---Flop.

Ya know thall.... You're just jealous cause your from Oklahoma.

I kinda agree with hogdogs. Its a small spot that can be difficult to hit. The heart that is... Actually smaller than the head. LOL
But you can place your shot there... or high of the norm dear-heart location... If you hit high from there, you clip the spine and ... Bang---Flop.
If you hit too far back, it's Bang---Flop // and a lot of grunting, and teeth, when you walk up to it.
Good thing its a paraplegic at that point. :D