Call them wild boars, wild hogs or whatever else you wish to call them; pigs are some of the hardest to kill animals in the world.
There are several reasons why Hogs are hard to kill, but the main is that they offer a small target area for you to work with.
This is made worse by the fact that their brains lie deep in their heads.
Also, the concave shape of their heads does not make things any easier. However, this is not to say that taking down a wild hog is impossible.
On the contrary; taking down a wild hog is very much possible. Nevertheless, you will need to know where to shoot a hog if you are to become a master hog hunter.
Fortunately, this is what this informative article is here for. In it, I will be discussing some of the best places to aim for when taking down wild hogs. Also, I will highlight the areas that you should never aim for.
Quick tips before proceed - Don't forget to take your best rubber hunting boots before planning to shoot a hog.
Where To Shoot A Wild Hog
Aiming for a hog's ear holes is one of the easiest ways to guarantee a quick and humane kill. The ear hole is a gateway to the animals neck area. A well placed shot to a boar's ear hole will result in the breaking of the neck, which in turn results in a quick death.
Unfortunately, hogs rarely stay still and always moving their heads about. This makes it difficult to get a well-placed shot. Nonetheless, with sufficient scoping and some patience, an ear shot is the easiest to accomplish.
The large surface area of the neck makes it another ideal place to aim for. The neck is where the center of a hog's spinal cord is. Therefore, just like the ear, a neck shot will guarantee an instantaneous kill.
Additionally, since boars are always moving about, aiming for the center of the neck reduces the chances of the hog surviving the shot. If the hog moves forward after you fire, the bullet will hit the center of the ear, which will still kill it. On the other hand, if the hog moves backward slightly the bullet will take out both shoulders.
Speaking of shoulders, aiming for a hog's front shoulder when in a broadside position will also guarantee a quick death. The front section of the shoulder gives access to a boar's heart and lungs. In this regard, aiming for a hog's front shoulder ensures that you penetrate both its lungs.
Forehead : Brain
When a boar is facing you, the forehead is the right place to aim for. Right behind the forehead is the brain. Thus a shot that penetrates the forehead will pierce a boar's brain killing it instantaneously.
It is worth noting that a boar's forehead has a tough bone that protects the brain. Also, a boar's brain is small. Thus chances of you hitting the brain are minimal compared to the other parts discussed above.
Which Are The Right Weapons To Use?
The Forehead: Shotgun
The forehead of certain boar species is layered with thick bone while in older boars the forehead has a bony ridge. This presents the problem of a bullet being lodged in the sinuses and not reaching the brain. To ensure that the bullet penetrates to the brain, ensure you are using a shotgun.
A .22 caliber rifle might prove ineffective in penetrating a boar’s forehead. Thus, instead of using a .22 rifle, I recommend using a 12, 16 or 20 bore shotgun. To get a hog shotgun kill shot aim for either the animal’s eye or behind its ear. Also, the muzzle of the gun should be held five to 25 cm away from the animals head. You can use best 22lr scope for the precise target.
Where To Shoot Hog Hunting With AR 15
There has been a lot of debate among hunters on whether the beloved AR 15 is sufficient to take down a wild hog. While some hunters opine that the standard .223 round used for the AR15 is too small for hog hunting, others swear that when placed correctly it is all you need to kill a hog.
This raises the question of where to shoot a hog with a 223? Based on my experience and research, there are several places to aim for when using a .223 rifle. But the best spot is at the center of the neck and on the front curve of the shoulder.
Where To Shoot A Hog With A Bow
The other important question that I wish to answer is where to shoot a hog with a bow. Unlike guns, a bow is a little bit more challenging. Nevertheless, hunting hogs with a best bow can be addictive. That is if you have the right arrows.
In the instances that I have gone hog hunting with a bow, I always opt for the Hammer 3-blade broad head.
The target area will depend on whether the boar is young or older. For younger boars aim at the mid-point of the chest or the front shoulder.
While you will not hit the heart, you will pierce both lungs causing massive blood loss and a quick death. Alternatively, if you want to hit the heart, aim for the armpit area. For better accuracy I would recommend to use some of the top single pin bow sight or best crossbow scopes.
Where To Shoot A Hog With A 22
The .22 rifle is what many of us use especially because it is a cheap ammo. But there are some who feel that this ammo does not pack enough oomph to take down a boar.
So is there any truth in this?
A .22 round is a good round as any to take down a wild hog. However, you have to know where to shoot a hog with a 22 rifle.
In my opinion, the best place to place a shot is right behind the ear or on the ear. A well placed shot to the ear will take down almost any boar roaming the forests. To pull off this kind of shot, however, you have to be real close. I have been able to hit a hog with a 22 rifle from 40 yards away, which is pretty close.
However, from 100 yards and beyond taking down a boar with a 22 rifle can be challenging. Thus, to increase your chances of success, I recommend that you get as close as you can to your target.
Some hunters are skeptical about a 22 rifle to take down a boar. Therefore, it is my opinion that you should be a great shot to pull this off. If you are a newbie to boar hunting, I suggest using a heavier caliber such as the 608 or the 310.
I believe it is important to tackle some of the misconceptions people have about hog hunting in regards to shot placement. Additionally, there are the common misconceptions about hogs being bullet proof or impossible to kill. This is in addition to some hunters viewing some guns as being insufficient for hog killing. In this second section, I will be looking at some of these misconceptions.Where not to shoot a hog
Common Misconceptions About Hog Hunting
Heavy Caliber Rifles Are Always Better
This is a question that has been the subject of a heated debate among hunters all over the world. Some hunters opine that only a shotgun is sufficient to kill a hog. However, as already stated above an AR 15 can be all you need to take down a hog.
Today, the AR 15 rifle has several cartridges you can use. The most popular AR 15 cartridge used for hog hunting is the 608.
However, the Winchester 30-30 cartridge is also sufficient for taking down a feral hog. It is important to remember that a hog has a tough skin and will require sufficiently heavy rounds.
In the beginning of the article I stated that for a head shot, you would need a heavy caliber rifle capable of penetrating a hog’s thick skin. However, it is not a must that you use a heavy caliber bullet.
In some instances, using a heavy caliber rifle can be disadvantageous. A mature hog can weigh 400 pounds and have a shoulder height of 36 inches. This has contributed to the misconception that hogs have an armor like plating.
Using a heavy caliber rifle can lead to meat loss and even contribute to meat destruction. Thus, the notion that you need a magnum caliber rifle to kill a hog is a misconception.
If you want to know where to shoot a feral hog, then you must first know its anatomy. Unlike in a deer, the vitals in a deer are lower and deeper.
In particularly, the lungs are located just above the shoulders. Thus when hog hunting, aim for just above the shoulder.
Also, the brain is located just behind the ear. In this regard, if you wish to shoot the brain, aim for behind the ear or the ear itself.
In summary, if you are a deer hunter, forget everything you know about deer hunting. If you apply the same techniques in hog hunting, you might end up hitting the gut of a feral pig.
Some hunters have the misconception that hogs are just like any other animal roaming the forest. However, as is clear from the hog anatomy, this is not true.
The shot placement has been another subject of debate among hunters. When hunting a hog for slaughter, it is important that you consider meat loss. Therefore, if you are in the business of hunting hogs for slaughter avoid aiming at the hams or backstraps.
Of course, there are hunters who feel that the answer to the question where to shoot a hog for slaughter is the head. And while a brain shot will kill a hog with minimal meat loss, it is hard to execute.
This is essential because of the fact that a hog’s brain is small and located deep in its head. Furthermore, hogs are always moving, and it is hard to find a hog that is standing still. This makes it even harder to pull off the head shot.
Therefore, unless you are 100% sure of your marksman skills, I do not recommend the head shot.
The right place to aim for optimal meat retention is the shoulder or at the lung area. This will kill the hog and retain considerable meat. This works with both a gun and a bow.
Hogs Are Blind
This is one of the many misconceptions some hunters have about hogs. While it is true a hog’s eyes are located closer to the ground, hogs are not blind. The eyes on a mature hog will most likely be located some 30 inches from the ground. This means that their peripheral vision is not as good as that of other animals. Also, their vision is not as good as ours.
Nonetheless, hogs can spot movements from 200 yards. Thus, you will need to be positioned at a distance of 200 yards and over to make a kill. With some rifles and stalking you can get as close as 100 yards.
But it should be noted that if you want to kill a hog from 100 yards, it is wise to use a scent blocker. So do not believe the notion that hogs are blind, it's just that their vision is not as good as that of other animals.
No Blood Trail
Just because there is no blood trail does not mean a hog is not dead. Again unlike in a deer where the blood trail is almost immediate, in a hog, the blood trail can be missing.
There two main reasons for this.
One is that it takes some time for blood to sip through a hog’s thick layer of fat.
Secondly, hogs are covered in a hair, which acts as a sponge that absorbs blood.
Thus, do not be fooled by the lack of a blood trail. In most instances, you will not see blood until you get 30 to 50 yards of the hog. Also, keep your eyes on blood on the brush and not on the ground.
This is one of the things you ought to know about where to shoot a ground hog. Another important thing to know is to always keep your eye in the direction a hog ran off to.
Meat From Mature Boars Is Not Good
Apart from questions pertaining to where to shoot a hog with a 22 for slaughter, there are other questions that have been the subject of debate.
One is whether meat from a mature boar is good. A mature boar is one that weighs over 150 pounds.
The common misconception is that meat from a mature boar is not good. Nevertheless, meat from a mature boar makes great pork chops.
The reason why some are weary of hunting mature boars for slaughter is the smell. Mature boars produce a foul smell due to the testosterone carried in their sexual organs.
To get rid of this foul smell simply cut off the sexual organs. Therefore, the meat quality of older boars will depend largely on how your slaughter them.
Hogs make great off-season game to hunt. However, they are not as easy to kill as some other prey. Therefore, unless you understand the anatomy of a hog and where to aim, killing one can be challenging. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in the fact that the notion that hogs are impossible to kill is untrue.