Feral Hog Hunting - Minimum caliber?


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DataMonkey
November 8, 2009, 11:58 AM
Hi All-
Looking for a little advice from people with experience hunting feral hogs. If you're not familiar with them, they are nasty (tasty suasage though!) no longer domesticated hogs which destroy farmland. Typically they weigh about 130 pounds but can get to over 400 pounds in rare circumstances. The older they are, the thicker the breast plate gets which certainly prevents bullet penetration.

Other critical information:
Most likely distance of shot: 100 - 150 yards

Shooting will occur at dusk, possibly night. I'm not a bad shot but perfect shot placement might not always be perfect especially after we open-fire on the sounder and they are on the run.

Thoughts on caliber?



DataMonkey

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The Lone Haranguer
November 8, 2009, 12:28 PM
At those distances you're talking about rifle rounds and little worry about direct charges. It is only an extra layer of gristle on old boars, not armor plating. Something like a 7.62x39 would be a sensible minimum, I would think. A medium-powered cartridge (e.g., .243 Win., 7mm08, .300 Savage, .30-30, .35 Rem.) should be more than sufficient.

DataMonkey
November 8, 2009, 01:21 PM
.243 is what I was thinking of as a minimum too...


Thanks much

janedoedad
November 8, 2009, 03:21 PM
My first thought would be a Howitzer, barring that a 40mm grenade launcher.

Feral Hogs are mean, angry beasts with a bad attitude. My daughter lives on a ranch in Oklahoma which has a good-sized feral hog population. I worry about this and her. A lot.

Their choice is a 30.06 for distance, 12ga slugs and handguns in .357 and up range for defense from the hogs.

Even though she is armed to the teeth, I still worry.

Flyboy
November 8, 2009, 03:52 PM
Janedoedad: I have a .45-70 in central Oklahoma and would be happy to help your daughter with her problem. I can find others to help as well.

-eaux-
November 8, 2009, 03:58 PM
*personal experience and preference disclaimer*
distance shots, use what you'd use with confidence on a whitetail. in my case, that means .30-'06sprg.
in the brush shots, same rule. in my case, .30-30win.
in close, with or without dogs, .357mag or even better a .44mag (to the noggin)
even closer, bayed with dogs, a nice sharp filet knife slipped between the ribs into the heart.

Shawn Dodson
November 8, 2009, 04:48 PM
I rebarreled my 20", carry handle, AR-15A2 to shoot 6.8x43mm Remington SPC, which I'm using to hunt wild boar in FL. Although 6.8mm is good out to 300 yards I don't see an opportunity for shots that far out given my hunting area.

I've been looking at a Ruger M77 Hawkeye Compact rifle chambered for 6.8mm to supplement my AR. It seems to be the perfect general purpose cartridge for the kinds of hunting I do.

schlockinz
November 8, 2009, 05:59 PM
Saiga in .308 with a large clip, take out the whole sounder.

But seriously, anything over .223 would be good in my books, .223 would be better with head shots, but with good bullets you should be able to penetrate, just head shot the the largest one right off the bat. I'd go with a lever action or semi for maximum ammo capacity. If you reload a 454 cassull might be another nice option, I think it'd have enough steam at those ranges, and a puma in that cal would have decent capacity.

FWIW, I wouldn't mess with trailing a marginally shot hog any time soon after the shot, nasty little buggers to walk up on wounded.

MCgunner
November 8, 2009, 07:18 PM
*personal experience and preference disclaimer*
distance shots, use what you'd use with confidence on a whitetail.

Yep, they're not THAT hard to kill. You said 100-150 yards or I'd say .357 magnum carbine would be a good minimum. I've been hunting with mine, lately. To 100 yards it's fine on deer and hog. Most of the hogs I've shot outside a trap have been with a .308 winchester and none of my shots ever bounced off. I've had to blood trail a couple from poor shot placement. Shot placement ON the shoulder is important. I tend to use a heavier than normal or controlled expansion bullet just in case a really big one comes along, too. I like Barnes bullets. I like heavy SWCs in the little .357 carbine. I wouldn't use a .223, a tad light and you're talkin' 150 yards, but the 7.62x39 is just fine at those ranges.

It ain't like hogs are running around looking to eat people. They ain't brown bears. I wouldn't worry about my daughter. Heck, we have as many hogs as anybody down here. I've never heard of a hog attack. I've been attacked, but by a wounded, POed hog, not just out of the blue trying to eat me or something. The danger from hogs is greatly exaggerated. I've been on a few hog hunts where we used dogs and knives, no firearms. That can be dangerous, but it's fun. It's also a young man's sport, chasing dogs through the rice fields in the dark. Does get the blood pumpin', though.

qajaq59
November 9, 2009, 07:26 AM
I can tell you that a 30-30 or a .308 will sure drop them right where they're standing.

Kernel
November 9, 2009, 09:00 AM
400 lbs is a pretty large animal. They're not bullet proof, but you can't knock'em dead with a feather.

I'd want a cartridge that generated at least 1,600 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. .30-30 or 7.62x39 will do that, no problem. But I wouldn't stretch it beyond 150 yds.

The burden is much less for a 130 lb animal.

heeler
November 9, 2009, 09:44 AM
I have killed a large number of Texas feral hogs with a 243 as well as a 6mm.
Head shots simply rule and I would have no hesitation even using a 223 if the head shot is taken.
I have body shot a few with the 243 and they all died and were recovered.
But again even when using my 308 I prefer the head shot as there is no guessing if they are dead then and frankly hogs are no fun at all to track.
They can be dangerous for sure.

Fwiw opening day deer season for the general gun season was this past Saturday here in Texas and I used my 28 year old recently purchased Marlin 336 in 30-30 and the first shot I took of the season was on a 60 pound boar.
Dropped him dead.

MCgunner
November 9, 2009, 10:13 AM
400 lbs is a pretty large animal. They're not bullet proof, but you can't knock'em dead with a feather.

If you're after those big nasty ones, just use a controlled espansion bullet. They'll die, too. I shoot .357 magnum for hogs on occasion, but I don't want those big, gamey ones. 250 or less and he's mine. :D That little .357 produces just over 1400 ft lbs at the muzzle with a 165 grain hard cast Keith style SWC. It is quite deadly to 100 yards. I don't stretch shots beyond that. Most shots on hogs will be well under that, though, where I hunt.

JJE
November 9, 2009, 01:34 PM
I'm with MCgunner. The bigger they are, the worse they taste. Also, public land in CA is pretty rugged, so I can't shoot anything bigger than I'm willing to pack out of a steep canyon. Someone else can deal with the 75lb+ pigs. I just got a 357 magnum barrel for my Contender pistol and I'm going to be looking for a 25lb piglet inside 50 yards. Tasty!

schlockinz
November 9, 2009, 01:55 PM
The bigs ones may not taste good, but they make more pigs, and are themselves just one more pig, and therefore should be shot.

JJE
November 9, 2009, 02:36 PM
What you say is true schlockinz. Unfortunately, in CA you have to pay for the privilege of shooting pigs (tags aren't very expensive, but they aren't free either). If the state wants me to control invasive beasts, they can at least stop charging me to kill them.

qajaq59
November 9, 2009, 02:52 PM
What you say is true schlockinz. Unfortunately, in CA you have to pay for the privilege of shooting pigs (tags aren't very expensive, but they aren't free either). If the state wants me to control invasive beasts, they can at least stop charging me to kill them. I thought CA cared about their wild life? Hogs are a destructive, invasive animal that likely eats more venison and turkey then most hunters do. Here in FL all you need is a hunting license on state land. And on private land, you don't even need the licence, much less a pay a fee. CA must be nuts.:banghead:

schlockinz
November 9, 2009, 02:54 PM
Wow, and yet they'll pay sharpshooters to come out and erradicate an islands entire population of pigs...ignorance

Water-Man
November 9, 2009, 03:15 PM
.35 Remington gets the job done.

Blue Brick
November 9, 2009, 03:41 PM
in CA you have to pay for the privilege of shooting pigs (tags aren't very expensive, but they aren't free either).

AZ is FREE!

H&Hhunter
November 9, 2009, 05:56 PM
You have to pay in Texas too.

Head shots work great if you are stand hunting hogs. It's just about impossible to do if you are spot and stalk or jump shooting them.

MCgunner
November 9, 2009, 07:14 PM
You pay the land owner in Texas, and have to buy a license. Hog hunting used to be pretty cheap, but more and more land owner, hunting operators are getting more and more money for them. Me, I have a little chunk of land. I pay the county tax assessor just for the privileged of owning that land, let alone what I shoot off it. :rolleyes: Awe, but I don't wanna get political. Just read my sig line. :D

In Texas, no closed season, no limits, and you can spot light 'em, though. :D

DammitBoy
November 9, 2009, 07:22 PM
I've shot numerous large wild boar / feral hogs with my .223 - I prefer a 75 grain bullet for hog slaying.

My favorite form of hunting wild boar is with my 7.5" barrelled Ruger Blackhawks in 30 carbine, 45 long colt, and 44 magnum - now that's some fun!

The average sized boar we see around here is about 300-350lbs...

AKElroy
November 9, 2009, 07:37 PM
Head shots work great if you are stand hunting hogs.

I agree---This was Saturday's 150 yd harvest:

TankHand
November 9, 2009, 09:51 PM
Guided Hog hunts on a South Texas ranch, for nine months of every year I was stationed there. We killed big hogs with everything from a .338 Lapua Mag, down to my .22mag. Head shots are the key. You don't have to track head shots, and in the mesquite jungles down there, believe me when I say you don't want to track them. I probably killed the most of them with my .357 mag S&W, after they had been poorly shot with a rifle. My favorite though is now to bowhunt them, on the ground. Most common caliber that I saw was either .270 or .30-30. Usually happy to see that too, instead of the guy with the brand new OMG RUM.

brianr23
November 10, 2009, 07:46 AM
I would go with the .243 as a minimum. Hogs aren't hard to kill but I have seen a bunch of them absorb a good shoot and keep moving. They are difficult to track because most don't leave a good blood trail. They will die from the shot but you may not recover the animal. I shot a 250lb boar with a .30-30 at 120 yds. He moved out like I missed him. I found a couple spots of blood but didnt recover the animal. The next day the buzzards were on him in the field about 150 yds away. The shot was just behind the shoulder but failed to fully penetrate. I use my .270 now.

MCgunner
November 10, 2009, 10:45 AM
Shoot ON the shoulder, not behind it, and use a controlled expansion bullet. There is nothing behind the shoulder, but guts. You might clip the liver, but there's no lung there, it's all under the shoulder. That story sounds like poor shot placement in possible combination with a fragile bullet. A 170 grain standard .30-30 should be more than enough for a 250 lb hog, though. A 150 would perhaps be a little light. I'd shoot the rather excellent Nosler partition in that caliber, myself. One comes my way and I'm armed with my .30-30 Contender, I'll put a Ballistic Tip on him, though. Only thing I've shot with it so far is 5 deer, none of which went far.

I've seen 7 mag with a fragile 150 Sierra Game King fail to fully penetrate a 370 lb hog on a shoulder shot. It went through and stuck in the gristle on the off side. It killed the hog instantly, though. With a Partition, not a problem with that cannon. A lot of it is proper bullet, though. 7 mag is a little overkill, neadless to say, but I'm thinkin' of setting up my 7 just for night hunting hogs after this deer season for two reasons. One, the scope I have on that gun is just awesome in clarity and light gathering. On a moon lit night, I don't even need a spotlight, almost like night vision. :D Second, I ain't using the gun for anything else. LOL I got over my magnumitis years ago and went back to normal calibers for deer and hogs. But, even if I don't shoot full power loads, I can down load the thing to 7x57 or .280 Remington levels. I'll keep it full power, though. It ain't THAT "too much". :D I'll load some 160 partitions for it and live happy. I had an SKS set up with a scope mounted spot and a lighted reticule scope, but I like the scope on my 7 a lot better and that SKS really works better with iron sights as a knock about truck gun. :D

brianr23
November 11, 2009, 04:13 PM
My point exactly. Sometimes you dont get optimum conditions and perfect shot placement when hunting hogs, especially when stalking them. So you need a caliber that is more forgiving. I used a 160 grain hornady leverevolution bullet and it was slightly back. I think the same shot with a .243, .270, .30-06 would have killed the hog faster and resulted in a recovered animal. Dont get me wrong I like the .30-30 for deer but when I hunt hog I go for a little more firepower so that its a little more forgiving.

schlockinz
November 11, 2009, 05:21 PM
I used a 160 grain hornady leverevolution

That could be the problem, maybe a hotter load with a ME plate could have done it.

MCgunner
November 11, 2009, 05:31 PM
I still say it weren't the load, was the shot placement. A .460 Weatherby in the guts would result in the same lost hog or terrifying blood trail job.

Kernel
November 11, 2009, 05:43 PM
The average sized boar we see around here is about 300-350lbs...
Land of the Giants.

twoclones
November 11, 2009, 05:55 PM
Towner Mfg claims their .500 S&W pump is ideal for feral hog control :) I'm a big fan of the caliber but am holding out for Wild West Guns to make a lever gun in .500 S&W

http://www.townermfg.com/

DammitBoy
November 12, 2009, 12:45 AM
Land of the Giants.


I hunt on the family farm in Alabama, and yes - we have some huge hogs here. The record for the area was an 800 pounder.

saturno_v
November 12, 2009, 01:31 AM
I posted this videos already cpuple of times.

Nothing says "I love you" like a 30-30 in the head...:evil::evil:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rNAIvEaOwo

Hog taken at 60 yards with a 30-30 T/C Contender handgun

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Lfieq2wNGQ

Big Russian Boar dropped like a sack of potatoes with a 30-30 lever

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP3VHa0PIFc




170 gr. Federal Nosler Partition are nasty even on the toughest pig...

qajaq59
November 12, 2009, 06:50 AM
A bigger caliber is not always the answer. If you can't get a good shot, simply pass on the shot. There will always be another day. You really shouldn't leave a wounded hog in the woods for somone else to stumble into.

brianr23
November 12, 2009, 08:43 AM
Pigs destroy farmland. I shoot'em when I can. I don't hunt them over a feeder from a box stand with a gun rest and vice so all I have to do is pull the trigger. Thats called killing, not hunting. I'd wager to say all you expert marksmen out there haven't placed every shot in the sweet spot everytime. I have lost very few animals in my years hunting. I would suggest that when you go to hunt pigs you bring a rifle that has the power to do just that. If you can shoot'em in the ear everytime then please bring your .22lr. You'll do just fine.

MCgunner
November 12, 2009, 07:26 PM
Hey, I've lost a hog before, running shot, I'm sure I hit him too far back. I don't like losing meat, but it ain't like losing a deer would be. There's too danged many hogs, need to be thinned out, a hit is a good thing so long as it leads to death. :D Even when feeder watching, after the first one drops, I'll take every shot I can on a bunch of hogs until there ain't any targets left.

I did put up the .357 carbine and break out my .308 today when I got home. It ain't caliber that I did it for, though, it's the fact that I've been seeing these two decent bucks at my feeder on the game cam right at dusk and dawn and my old eyes were seeing double on the front sight this morning when I tried it in dim light. I can't focus like I once could, so drop back to the tried and true .308 with Weaver KV. Sad when ya get old and things don't work like they used to. I won't go into details on that. :D

MCgunner
November 12, 2009, 07:33 PM
Towner Mfg claims their .500 S&W pump is ideal for feral hog control

WOW, now THAT sounds adequate! LOL! A pump, too, man, rack 'em up!

I've been wanting a Rossi 92 in .454 Casull. My .357 version is sweet. But, after the eye thing this morning with the iron sights, I don't know. Maybe I'd better stick to the rifles with glass. There's always the .450 Marlin or .45-70 if ya want a little quicker follow up.

KAK
November 12, 2009, 07:39 PM
I shot a hog with a 9mm in the head from 30 yards with a 9mm glock 17. :p

I frequently kill multiple hogs at one time with my AR and handgun combination.

I have actually killed a hog on my land with sure shot heavy dove #6 after dove hunting.

MCgunner
November 12, 2009, 07:42 PM
When I dove hunt out there, I carry one of my side by sides and a few slugs just in case. I mean, 6 would do it, but I don't like being that close to a hog. LOL I usually shoot 7.5 on doves, not that the difference would matter.

H&Hhunter
November 15, 2009, 01:40 PM
A .460 Weatherby in the guts would result in the same lost hog or terrifying blood trail job.

A terrifying blood trail on a hog? You boys need to get out more often.:o

I've killed multiple hundreds and hundreds of feral hogs and I've been excited many times possibly worried once or twice but I can truly never say I've been scared much less terrified.

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