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Need hog hunting advice

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by freedomlover, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. freedomlover

    freedomlover Well-Known Member

    Howdy y'all, I'm going boar hunting up in the hills of eastern Tennessee in March and since I've never hunted hogs before, I'm hoping for some advice. I was thinking my Guide Gun (45-70) with some warmish 405-gr. hardcast handloads would be just the ticket, but a friend recommends a 12-ga. w/slugs as a better choice.

    I'm guessing I'll take both the Guide Gun and my 870, and decide when I get there...in the meantime, what do y'all recommend & why?

    BTW, the people that run the hunting lodge say average shots are around 50 yds., so reaching way out there won't be required.

    Any (good) advice is welcomed!

    Thanks & shoot straight...
  2. Jacobus Rex

    Jacobus Rex Well-Known Member

    I'm not much of a hog hunter myself, however, I know a hog hunting guide that would tell you to use the .45/70. He claims that shotgun slugs will sometimes fail because of very rapid early expansion on hogs and not penetrate well. This is second hand advice so I can't confirm it.
  3. Dave R

    Dave R Well-Known Member

    I am not an expert in this field, but for hogs, I would want penetration. .45-70 for me.
  4. saddlebum

    saddlebum Well-Known Member

    i've killed a bunch of hogs and at under 100yards idon't think there is anything better than 45/70 on pigs. saddlebum
  5. DigMe

    DigMe Well-Known Member

    .45/70 hands down.

    brad cook
  6. Old NFO

    Old NFO Well-Known Member

    45-70 and a backup pistol in case you need to go up a tree... BTDT in Louisiana when I was younger. ALso remember they can MOVE- Don't wait until they are 20 yards away to shoot, they can cover that distance in around 1 sec. :what:
  7. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Well-Known Member

    On the other hand, one of my buds dropped a hog in its tracks with a single round of .243 last fall.
  8. freedomlover

    freedomlover Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all for the replies! Seems like the 45-70 is the clear winner based on penetration alone. I'm guessing 405 gr. hardcast RNFP's would be a better choice than 300 gr. HP's for that very reason...

    Y'all shoot straight!
  9. Smoke

    Smoke Well-Known Member

    I'll jump on the 45-70 wagon too, even though I have taken quite a few pigs with 00 and slugs. Rifle rounds are just consistantly better especially when you're up against and bigger older hog.

    I've used several different rounds from the slow .405 gr to the hotter 300gr jhp. All of them dropped the hog in their tracks. 45-70 is just bad medicine for piggies.

  10. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Well-Known Member

    While hogs are tough critters, the are not armor plated. Almost any caliber rifle will do the job. 12 Gauge is fine too. Knowing where to shoot them and being able to, is a lot more important than what you are carrying.
  11. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    I've got a stoooopid question for y'all, since I've never hunted hog - are they really worth eating?

    I've been debating doing some hog hunting in central TX, but I've heard conflicting reports about whether they're worth eating or whether I should stick to hunting non-native deer. (Texas allows year-round hunting of non-native species, so I tend to hunt fallow or sika deer during the 'off-season'.)
  12. larryw

    larryw Well-Known Member

    Mannlichter, I beg to differ, hogs are armor plated.

    I took a quartering shot at a very large big boar quite a while back with a 30-06 from about 75 yards (poor shot, off hand, out of breath I hadn't practiced, short stroked the reload, stupidstupidstupd). The 165gr bullet hit him high on the shoulder, and glanced off.

    The pig staggered, but he didn't drop. And he didn't hesitate, he just ran. Head down, straight at me! :what:

    Boy, was I surprised at how something that big could move so fast (acceleration like a watermelon seed), I barely made it up the Scrub Oak in time.

    Smart boar, he kept me treed for what seemed hours, always watching me and shifting onto the other side of the tree as I tried to get my rifle through the branches onto him. During this time, I got a good look at the wound on his shoulder: it wasn't his first and didn't look to be the worst; they're armor plated so they can go nose-to-nose with other big boars and those razor teeth.

    I digress...finally he got bored and trotted off, head and tail held high, both of us knowing who won that one. I now carry a 44Mag revo with really hot loads with me, and practice snap shots a LOT. Ranges can be long if you want to do that, but I prefer stalking and getting close (poor eyesight, good hearing and smell).

    Younger pigs (100# and less in No. CA) are eating pigs, big trophy boars are tough and usually only good for sausage. Young ones fattened on acorns are YUMMY!
  13. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Well-Known Member

    Larry, your hogs must be tougher than the ones I have taken in Virginia, Georgia and Florida. A 30/30, .44 Mag, or .223 have anchored more than a few of them for me. This week, hunting in Georgia, I took piggies with a Marlin 30/30 and my SOCOM 16, using Federal 150 grain SP. Overkill by far.
  14. larryw

    larryw Well-Known Member

    Yes indeed, these aren't little Javelinas we see in the south.

    CA hogs are considered by many to be big game. A mature, big-bodied boar with tusks is a nasty, tough, testosterone driven foul tempered animal that can run several hundred pounds. The best way to avoid trouble is to shoot straight, use enough gun and a tough bullet that will penetrate. 30 calibers are just fine if mated with a bullet designed to penetrate: Partition, Barnes X, Fail Safe, A-Frame, etc.

    Just don't do something stupid and take a poor shot (as I did) or hit them with a poodle shooter, that just pisses them off. :what:

    I'll stick to chasing the small eatin' pigs, 100-150 pounds, with my 44 lever gun and leave the big tuskers out there to keep the gene pool filled.
  15. DigMe

    DigMe Well-Known Member


    Your hogs sound like what we have in Texas. Also, your situation of having a .30-06 glance off is not a common thing. I have a friend who took down two big boars in one day with a .22mag. They weren't trapped and they were on the run. He just had good shot placement (to the vitals) and got off several shots on each hog. I'm not talking little javelinas either. These are big hogs like you see in St. Gunner's pics. I regularly take hogs with my .357mag Blackhawk revo loaded with 180 or 200 gr cast bullets at at around 1230fps. I've also taken them with SJHPs but the cast penetrate so much better.

    Having said all that, I don't recommend going hog hunting with just a .22 mag!

    brad cook
  16. larryw

    larryw Well-Known Member

    Oh goodness, I hope .30 bullets glancing off is not a common occurrence. :D

    Then again, there's a trail about 25 miles south of my home that is frequented by dirt bikers and hogs. When hog meets motorcycle, the hog often wins...

    What really amazed me was the boar's response to being shot (yeah, poor shot, choked the follow, my bad, I hang my head in shame...). Instant aggression with murderous intent, balanced with a great deal of intelligence. One has to respect and admire that. They aren't Bambi or Porky, remember Ol' Yeller and treat these animals with care. And BBQ sauce.

    Eskimos hunt polar bears with 22LR; neat, cool, thanks, I'll watch on TV.

    Shots at a boar quartering to you with a light gun are asking for trouble; on shoulder or gut shots, the fat layer and coarse hair means there may not be much of a blood trail to follow, which can lead to lost and suffering animals. But if you can take that shot quartering away, vitals are exposed and odds improve. Shot placement is everything, but I still say use enough gun.

    Bullets, do you cast your own or buy them? If you buy, which ones? I'm not happy with the JHPs I've been using in my 44Mag.
  17. DigMe

    DigMe Well-Known Member

    I don't cast or reload myself. I buy either 180gr Federal Castcores (from Sportsmansguide.com because I can't ever find them in stores) or 200gr Cor-Bon Cast. They're about the same velocity and energy-wise (1230fps and 650ft/lbs I think). I'll sometimes pick up the Cor-bons from this guy at the gun show.

    If I was shooting a 44 mag I'd definitely be trying out some Hornady XTPs on hogs. It's an excellent bullet and an excellent penetrator. I'd try them in .357mag but Hornady only sells the cartridges loaded with 158gr bullets in that caliber and I like a 180 gr and since I don't reload I'm SOL.

    The Castcores are excellent though if you want cast...they cut right through big hogs. I've also used 180gr Remington SJHPs effectively but they definitely don't inspire the same confidence as a cast bullet. I think you have more leeway with a .44mag though. If you try out some XTPs let me know how they work...I suspect they'll do well.

    brad cook
  18. shoot870p

    shoot870p Well-Known Member

    Keith- style bullet

    what about the Keith bullet in a .44 mag?
  19. larryw

    larryw Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info, Brad.

    Keith bullets are a good idea, but I've had problems with them feeding properly in my lever gun. I think it will just boil down to finding a good, hard RNFP. Oh drat, another project at the loading bench... ;)
  20. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    In a big european boar that 'armor plate' they have over their shoulders may be as thick as 3" !! Depending on the size of the pigs - 45-70 ,300 gr Win Partition, 350PMC, 400 cast. For shotgun 12 Ga - Brenneke slug or Win Partition [this puts a 385 gr partition at 1900 FPS !] YES, they taste good !

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