1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Question about hogs nervous system...

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by RDCL, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. RDCL

    RDCL Well-Known Member

    Although I'm not a hunter myself......strangely as it seems I do like reading about hunting and so I read the exellent 23 page stickied thread by Flintknapper on feral pigs in Texas. Very educational to me because before I read it I had no idea there was such a major pig-infestation in this country. THAT prompted me to watch some youtube clips on hog-hunting.

    It would appear these animals are either tough to kill, or.....they have some kind of "hyped-up" central nervous system that just refuses to quit. I viewed several videos of hunters getting the "perfect shot" dropping the animal instantly.....yet the pigs legs would begin to kick and run at full speed while the pig still lay on it's side. On another video I watched in utter fascination as a pig was dropped......and then began flipping around on the ground like a fish out of water!! It actually flipped in the air and landed on it's other side and it's legs kept kicking at full speed.
    Now granted, based on video footage I've seen even deer will keep moving after a perfect hit, but nothing like this. They'll either drop instantly and maybe twitch a little...or they'll run off into the brush to settle and die.
    Again, I'm not a hunter so I would'nt know.....but it seems there is a tremendous difference in how a pig and deer die after a good hit.

    So...my question is this: What exactly am I looking at?

    Where these hunters actually getting bad shots after all?......or do these pigs have a unique nervous system compared to other animals.....in which even a brain shot would'nt stop the animal from constantly moving like this even AFTER death?

    Just very curious,
  2. PT1911

    PT1911 Well-Known Member

    They are a tough animal with a very small brain.. a simple head shot does not necessarily take out the CNS. The shoulder shots and behind the shoulder shots are iffy at times and caliber dependent.. a shoulder shot with a "smaller" caliber is a bad idea as they have thick hide, muscle, and bone.. penetration may not be guaranteed.. A shot behind the shoulder takes out the liver and (though fatal) will give the hog plenty of time and more importantly, distance. A 30 caliber round to the shoulder should do the trick and drop them where they stand, death likely wont be immediate, but should be fast. Head shots are fine if you know where to hit... most would say behind and below the hear to take out the brain as anything higher/farther forward could lead to a "glancing" blow to the head and though it will likely be fatal.. there is the problem of time and distance again... SO, moral of the story, perfect hits arent always perfect hits and pigs are just tough.. especially if you dont take out the brain.

    Someone more knowledgeable than myself will come along and straighten out any misleadings I may have written.
  3. butcherboy

    butcherboy Well-Known Member

    maybe i can be of some help: i am a butcher that mostly processes pigs. i have done pigs of all sizes. and i have also hunted wild pigs too.

    in my experience: at close range ( 5 feet and closer) the kill spot is smaller than 2 inches. it is hard to hit even at close range, the average is 8 of ten pigs you hit with the first shot. even with a "perfect shot" they still jump and thrash around and can hurt you. i have had fingers broken and also been kicked very hard by dead pigs.

    the only way i have found to get good kill on a pig/hog is to stun the brain with a bullet and as soon as possible cut the jugular.

    they will die with a brain shot but in my opinion it takes too long to be ethical and humane. for reference i have done about 600 pigs this way with great success.

    i would also suggest a minimum of 30 calibar for shoulder shots while hunting. with pigs there is no such thing as overkill. a .44 works great also. for head/ear shots ive used a .243 and 7.62 also.
  4. butcherboy

    butcherboy Well-Known Member

    re:nervous system.

    after skinning a pig completely the muscles will still twitch and appear to move. but not kick or anything drastic.
  5. kdstrick

    kdstrick Well-Known Member

    See how small the brain is??? Their head is a huge target, but the brain is not. To complicate things further, they have a large "shield" or "plate" that is made of heavy cartilage (purple area in pic). That shield is very tough and is the reason most folks suggest a 30 caliber minimum.

    And yes... they are very tough!

  6. Sky

    Sky Well-Known Member

    Nervous system; continues to cascade/fires due to stored chemical electrical potential between the synapse. The central nervous system causes the body to move even after the brain is shut down and the heart is not beating. The system is still shooting signals up and down the body, causing limbs or the head to twitch/sleep run or kick.

    Not trying to be gross but there is more than one instance where a body loses it's head (ie) rotor blade clean cut while running and the body continues to run several steps.

    Lizard tail continues to thrash about when lost. Pretty much everything with a nervous system is capable of movement after clinical death.

    Disclaimer: Not a doctor or Federal Czar. Just my informed opinion. Thank you.
  7. floridaboy

    floridaboy Well-Known Member

    Last Saturday I shot a caged pig, 75-80 lbs on the hoof. Used a New Service Colt in .455 Eley, with Dominion factory ammo. This is a 265 gr sort of pointed round nosed slug, it's soft and copper coated, like a .22. The box says it's going 775 fps. First shot was a little lower than right between his eyes, he ran in a half circle and looked at me. Next shot was a little higher, repeated the half circle and looked at me. I don't know who was more shocked, me or the pig. 3rd shot was a reload, 255 grs hard swc. This one was smack between the eyes and down he went. Mr. pig had 5 holes in his head. It appeared that the factory rounds had deflected off the skull. One exited under an ear, creased his neck and kept going. The other came out his neck. The reload stay in the head. I've never seen anything remotely like it. I've shot a cow with the same factory load, and it fell right over.
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

    Interesting! Such a small brain, yet pigs are reputedly as smart as dogs. The heart (at least according to the picture above) is further forward in the thoracic cavity than on a deer or other common game animals. It looks like a neck shot would also be risky - lots of neck to hide that spine.

    I loves me some pork shoulder roast, but that looks like the best shot to take. Too bad!
  9. PT1911

    PT1911 Well-Known Member

    It looks like the behind and below the ear shot would sever the spine even with a smaller cartridge... otherwise, a direct shoulder shot with a 30 cal or bigger is probably best.
  10. RDCL

    RDCL Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for the informative responses.

    I do know that all animals are much tougher than we humans. I've seen a squirrel fall from a tree branch once in my front yard, the little sucker fell a good 15 feet! He simply rolled around a bit and ran right back up the tree trunk like it never happened. That kinda fall would kill or cripple any of us.

    I could be totally wrong, but I'm guessing that as tough & agitated as wild pigs are, it stands to reason that their nervous system being programed purely by instinct & survival ( I don't WANT to say: "intellegent control")....is tightly wound and once the animal is suddenly dispatched.....that nervous system simply goes OUT of control for a few moments no longer having commands from the brain.

  11. Cypress

    Cypress Well-Known Member

    IMHO most of the things you read on the difficulty of putting pigs down is that most pig shooters are deer hunters and aim too far back to put the pig down quickly. Others are shooting them to rid their property of the nuisance and just shoot into the biggest area and shoot as many as possible. That being said, they are incredibly tough and resilliant animals. I would estimate that 30-40 percent of the pigs we shoot have some form of projectile lodged in them and few show any ill effects. I generally aim for the forward point of the shoulder and have pretty good luck dropping them within 20 yards or so.
  12. CTPhil

    CTPhil Well-Known Member

    The shots you are describing are all too low to have hit the brain in a pig IMO. Most animal brains are higher in the skull than people imagine. A cow brain is right underneath the poll.

    I have done a lot of home butchering and even with a clean, instant kill, pigs and cows will thrash for several minutes. It's not unlike a chicken continuing to run around with it's head cut off, just normal post death thrashing.
  13. Kawabuggy

    Kawabuggy Well-Known Member

    Just to add to this a little-do a search on youtube for hog & .17HMR. When you find those videos you will note a strange reaction when being shot with that caliber. For some reason I can't explain, I have seen several hogs shot with a .17HMR and instead of falling over and flopping around, or running off, they just kind of go "stiff legged" and sometimes even remain standing frozen like a statue. I have never seen this type of reaction from any other caliber-only the .17HMR... I've shot a lot of hogs, but only shot a couple with my .17. I've killed my biggest pig with a .17 right in the ear-hole. She literally fell over, and did not twitch ONE TIME. It was like the energy in her body was attached to a light switch, and someone turned it off.

    I've shot several with a 90 grain Sierra HP out of my .270. That bullet moving at about 3500FPS ALWAYS equates to a hog dead right at the spot where you shot him. Even when the shot is poorly placed, I've never had one run with that caliber/bullet combination and I've made some very poor (gut) shots that just shut them down on the spot.. Yep, lots of kicking & flailing around, but DRT.

    I've also shot several hogs with bigger calibers-and had them run off like nothing had happened. Usually the buzzards will give away their location the next day though.

    One other caliber that I've never lost a hog with (yet!) is a 300 Win. Mag shooting 165 gr. Hornady SST's. Yes, they will still kick and flail around but with large percentages of their bodies missing, they don't go far.

    So, in short, the only time I have shot hogs and they have not flopped around, tried to run, or did run, was when shot with the .17HMR. Strange I know.
  14. FLAvalanche

    FLAvalanche Well-Known Member

    I've had them fall over stiff legged like a cartoon, drop straight down with their legs curled underneath them, run around in circles, fall over kicking and flopping and I've had them run dead straight into a big oak tree.

    I even had one that was missing the top of it's skull, drop where it stood, only to stand back up 10 minutes later. Yeah...that one got my attention. It simply fell back over but the pucker factor was up there.

    They are a hardy and very adaptable animal. But they die just like everything else. They aren't these magical, mystical animals that shrug off artillery rounds just to spin around and attack the hunter.

    I preach shot placement and marksmanship over anything else, caliber included, when it comes to pigs because there is just so much more area on a pig that is non-vital than most other animals hunted in the U.S.

    That's why it seems like pigs are indestructible. Sorry to say it, but most people just simply miss the vital areas.

    They are. I found a wild piglet just weaned from his mother and raised it to 30 lbs. I taught him to sit way easier than teaching my dogs. He would come when I called his name, and he would run to the door barking like the other two dogs. He'd sit on my lap and eat bacon with me every Sunday morning. Yeah...I know it's mean but he'd tear your arm off for a piece of bacon.
  15. chas08

    chas08 Well-Known Member

    I gotta ask; What'd you do with him? Turn him into Pan sausage? LMAO!!!!!
  16. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Well-Known Member

    Bacon eating Bacon. Now that is PRICELESS!!!!!
  17. FLAvalanche

    FLAvalanche Well-Known Member

    We sent him out to a friend couple that live out in the country. He lives in a nice pen and is almost 100 pounds. He won't get eaten.

    I made the mistake of taking my GF with me when I went to check the feeder. This little guy came running to the truck on his own and was obviously left behind by a new female hog as I didn't have any pictures of females with piglets when this happened.

    She asked me what would happen to him and I told her the truth. With the bobcats, panthers and coyotes in the area, he probably won't make it through the night. So anything other than taking him home wasn't an option.

    He was pretty cool. I'd feed him mixed vegetables on a plate and he would take his nose and push all the lima beans off the plate then eat everything else.

    The GF threw a fit when she saw me feeding him bacon though. She said it was mean and I told her he didn't know the difference.

    Here's a pic of him curled up sleeping with my dog Max.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  18. chas08

    chas08 Well-Known Member

    That's a cool story. I would have done the same thing. I had a neighbor years ago that raised a baby Javelina the same way. It would do all the same things a dog would do, play fetch, roll over, guard the yard, etc... A very intelligent creature.
  19. Silent Sam

    Silent Sam Well-Known Member

    The purple area in the pic is the lung. The shield is larger on a large boar. I think it's their disposition vice anatomy.

Share This Page