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Feral Hog Hunting - Minimum caliber?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by DataMonkey, Nov 8, 2009.

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  1. DataMonkey

    DataMonkey Member

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    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
     
  2. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    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.
     
  3. DataMonkey

    DataMonkey Member

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    .243 is what I was thinking of as a minimum too...


    Thanks much
     
  4. janedoedad

    janedoedad Member

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    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.
     
  5. Flyboy

    Flyboy Member

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    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.
     
  6. -eaux-

    -eaux- Member

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    *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.
     
  7. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    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.
     
  8. schlockinz

    schlockinz Member

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    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.
     
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  10. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    I can tell you that a 30-30 or a .308 will sure drop them right where they're standing.
     
  11. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    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.
     
  12. heeler

    heeler Member

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    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.
     
  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    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.
     
  14. JJE

    JJE Member

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    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!
     
  15. schlockinz

    schlockinz Member

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    The bigs ones may not taste good, but they make more pigs, and are themselves just one more pig, and therefore should be shot.
     
  16. JJE

    JJE Member

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    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.
     
  17. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    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:
     
  18. schlockinz

    schlockinz Member

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    Wow, and yet they'll pay sharpshooters to come out and erradicate an islands entire population of pigs...ignorance
     
  19. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    .35 Remington gets the job done.
     
  20. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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    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!
     
  21. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    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.
     
  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    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
     
  23. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    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...
     
  24. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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

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  25. TankHand

    TankHand Member

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    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.
     
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