Feral hogs are often in season all year long. The wild animals can be found all over the world, but are definitely more prevalent in some areas. With that in mind most eager and anxious boar and sow hunters are whitetail hunters looking for something to do in the off-season. For some, going after a wild hog is a hunter’s dream hunt.
If you’re interested in shooting a hog with a bow, you’ll be glad to know all you really need is some good broadheads. The same bow gear you use to hunt whitetail bucks will probably do the trick, which means you won’t have to buy anything new. However, you do need to rethink your strategies.
While the same equipment will work, hog hunting requires a different mentality to be successful. Specifically, you need to know that where you place your shot is important. Also, hogs tend to die slowly, charge those hunting them, and can turn what should have been a fun and exhilarating affair into something dangerous.
In fact, there are many stories of hunters approaching what they thought was a very dead boar and then got charged by a boar, which can be extremely painful and dangerous. So, now we know it is different, but we need to know why.
Before we get into exactly why it’s different we need to talk about why it’s important to kill a feral hog fast. Not only is it ethical, but it’s also important for safety reasons. Feral hogs have huge husks. If you don’t get the shot off right and the hog gets a chance, it’s going to come for you. Not only is it going to come for you, but it’s going to be mad and looking for a little revenge.
For this reason, you need to knock a hog down fast and hard. But, the only way to do this is to get off a great shot. That’s right – a shot. One shot. Although their brains aren’t very big, a boar will catch on real fast when you’re trying to kill it, which means it will turn on you and won’t give you another option to shoot at it.
Hogs Digestive Organs and Small Lungs
Like whitetails, you want to hit a hog in its digestive system or lungs for a fast kill. But, hogs have huge digestive organs and much smaller lungs than bucks. But you don’t want to take the same shot you would as a deer.
Hogs vital organs are higher and further forward than a deer’s too. If you aim at a hog the same way you would a deer, you’re going to hit its guts, which means you’re going to have to chase it down and it could take a long time for the hog to die.
Look for Broadside Shots
The important thing to remember when hunting hogs is that you want to make a broadside shot. In reality, a broadhead shot is really the only shot that will take a feral hog out. For example, if you’ve got a boar or sow in your sight, you should have enough power to penetrate and kill the hog with a broadside shot.
For best results, follow the leg up to the mid-point of the chest. This is exactly where you want to aim. It should allow you to penetrate each lung, which results in an awesome blood trail and extremely fast death. But, this will only work on a boar or sow up to 125lbs. Boars bigger than this will require a bit of a different approach.
Video: Wicked Kill Shot
How to Hunt Large Hogs
On big hogs, a broadhead is going to have to penetrate lots of layers to get to the vital organs. Hogs develop cartilage behind the shoulders to protect themselves from other boars. The same layers will also prevent your broadheads from penetrating the skin. You might be able to penetrate the hog’s thick skin, but if there isn’t enough force behind the shot, the pig will simply be injured. But not injured enough to allow you to harvest it.
Take Caution When Following a Blood Trail
When you start to follow a feral hog blood trail, it’s important to do so with caution. An injured boar or sow might be laying in weight for you to show up. Or, if you just knicked it enough to bleed but didn’t actually injure the deer, you’re going to be in trouble when you sneak up on it. To help prevent getting stabbed with a hog husk, you need to be ready for anything. Have a knife, handgun or something else ready to protect yourself and be ready to jump into action immediately if necessary.
If you find the hog dead, you’ll need to start working on it right away to preserve the meat. Hogs can be extremely heavy, so make sure you pack all the gear you’ll need in your hunting pack before you hit the woods. If you have to leave the hog in the woods for any extended period of time, there’s a good chance the hog will be compromised by the time you come back.
If you’re dealing with a big boar, you need to make the shot while the hog is quartering away. The technique works on smaller hogs as well. To make this shot, aim at the opposite shoulder. With this shot, your broadhead will hit the chest cavity while driving towards the far leg. Along the way, the carbon arrow will do enough damage to take the boar out quickly.
If a hog is quartering towards you – you don’t have a shot. If you take a shot, it’s not going to result in a clean kill, and could be considered an unethical harvest. For best results, don’t take a shot of 20 yards or less. Anything farther away will reduce your broadhead’s penetration and accuracy.
Hunting hogs is a great expedition for many bowhunters. Hogs are fun to hunt, even better to eat, and in some regions extremely abundant. If you line up your aim perfectly, you’ll feel as invincible as you think the hogs are.