How To Hunt Wild Hogs In The Most Accurate Way

Planning to hunt for a big game animal? Let me help! If the purpose behind your expedition is adventure and a lot of meat, hunting a hog would serve it well. With each passing year, hog hunting is becoming more and more popular in US. A hog is the second favorite big game animal after a white tailed deer. Also known by the names like wild boar or feral pig, these are quite interesting animals to hunt. Before discussing about how to hunt wild hogs, it would be good to discuss the psychology and behavior of these wild animals.


A Wild Hog

A Wild Hog - Photo credit:

Know your Prey!

Knowing and identifying your target is inevitable for the success of your adventure. Understanding their psychology would be helpful in predicting any possible reaction by them. Ultimately it helps the hunter to act accordingly. A wild hog is an aggressive animal. So the experience this time would be quite opposite to the previous hunts of deer and bucks.

The aggressiveness of these feral hogs can not only be dangerous for the other species in the vicinity but I’d say, hunters should also keep themselves limited to a safe distance. They can attack you as well. I have seen such cases where the hog became defensive and fearless (remember its sharp tusks). So you better be careful!

Though hogs are not as quick and conscious of what’s happening around them, as deer usually are. But still they are very much capable of reacting intelligently. A piece of advice from me: Never take them lightly!

Note: Wild hogs are omnivorous animals that means they love to eat plants as well as the flesh of their fellow animals in the wild.

Choose the Right Weapon!

That’s really important as a boar has comparatively tough skin. So whatever weapon (gun or bow and arrow) you choose to hunt it down, it should have enough caliber to down him in a single shot.

1. Shotgun:

If you’ll ask me, I would suggest a shotgun. I always have gunned boars down using my shot gun. Though I had to be tactful in managing the distance as a shotgun requires a close distance to shoot. For a small sized hog, a shotgun with gauge 20 or more would be fine. But if the animal is larger and heavier in size, you would have to go with 12-gauge shotgun.

Note: A hog can be about 700 pounds in weight at most. That’s incredible!

2. Rifle:

But that’s what I recommend. If you don’t feel like doing that, you still have the option of a rifle. The newbies or the other hunters who don’t want to get too close to a wild boar, a rifle should be your only choice. It’s the best option for killing from a distance.

Almost all the calibers of a rifle can hunt down a wild hog. But if you want more precision, go for .22 and the 25-20 Winchester. Mounting a rifle scope on it can make aiming the target even more easier.

A Scope

A Scope - Photo credit:

3. Bow Hunting

Those who have made up their minds for bow hunting and don’t know much about how to hunt wild hogs using a bow, keep a few important points in mind.

Other than knowing the technique of using a bow, you must keep the distance from the hog at about 30 yards or even less than that. As I already have told you that hogs are tough to kill, use a razor sharp broadhead arrow with heaviest pulling weight.

Razor Sharp Broadhead Arrow

Razor Sharp Broadhead Arrow - Photo credit:

Don’t Forget to Grab your Hunting License!

No matter what animal you are hunting for, your hunting license should always be there with you. Always check your local hunting regulations about hunting license and seasonal restrictions (if any) before you set out on the final adventure.

Note: In case, you are hunting on some private land with the permission of the landowner, you would not have to follow most of the rules that you follow otherwise (on public lands). You can be free to use any weapon you want, you don’t have to follow any bag limit and there is no restriction of season (if the animal’s production number is high). Above all, you don’t have to have a hunting license. But all of that, with the owner’s permission.

Right Time to Hunt a Wild Hog

Always choose the time of hunt when the animal (any animal) is most active. There are a few resting hours in a day for every animal. And that time is never suitable for hunting (animals would be least responsive to hunter’s calls). In the case of a wild hogs, day time is when they prefer to sleep in the areas covered with dense foliage. They are active from late evening to an early morning. So next time you plan a hunt, choose from the evening hours.

Look for the Signs of Hogs to track them!

Just knowing how to hunt wild hogs is not enough. You would have to stalk them, by looking for their signs. Hog’s signs are more than one and quite obvious too. So it would not be much trouble in finding them. These may include;

  • Digging around the ground is what these wild boars are best at. Especially they love to dig the roots and bottom of the trees to find something to eat. So if you find troughs or plowed field type of land, the hogs are somewhere around.
  • Look for the dug areas near the water ponds. As hogs love to spend time in muddy areas.
  • Hogs are always scratching their itchy skin around the tree stems. So you are most likely to find trees with hog’s hair and removed barks. That’s another great sign of their presence around.
  • The feces of hogs can be a good sign to detect the area where they usually roam around for feeding. To identify it, know that their droppings are in the form of clumps.
  • Track them with their hoof prints. Do not confuse it with the foot prints of a deer. There is an obvious difference between the two. Deer’s foot prints have pointy ends, while hog’s hoof prints are comparatively round.
Hog Footprints

Hog Footprints - Photo credit:

Note: Choosing a day after rainfall to hunt, promises a clearer view of hog’s hoof prints.

Your Way of Hunting!

As a hunter, you have two ways to hunt a wild hog. These ways include;

  • Stalking the hog
  • Sitting and waiting in a blind or stand

If you take my suggestion, I would always go for stalking them. Wild hogs are extremely mobile in nature. So you never know about their whereabouts. So I personally prefer to chase them to get them instead of sitting lazily and keep on waiting. Creek beds and bottom of oak trees can be a good option to start tracking them. These may eventually lead you to their main trails.

Using a blind or sitting in a stand to hunt for a wild boar is another idea being practiced by many of my co-hunters. It’s cool but only for those who have enough knowledge about the hunting area and hog’s whereabouts.

The stand or blind should be mounted in an area near a food or water source. Secondly, your stand should be in downwind direction. This way the hogs will not be able to catch your body odor. Just settle in your hunting corner and wait quietly for the hogs to come by, if you don’t want him to run away.

Note: Whatever hunting method you choose, don’t forget to go odorless before leaving. Don’t use any fragrant product like soap or detergent. Like many game animals, hogs can easily pick your scent.

Call them with Hog Grunter

Replicating the piglet’s squeals is a trick that many hunters use to call their targets. And it really works. Especially if it’s a breeding season. You can also try these distress calls of a baby pig while sitting in your blind. A variety of hog grunters is easily available in hunting stores.

Hog Grunter

Hog Grunter - Photo credit:

Hunting with Hog Dogs

It’s an optional step. You can get the help from trained hog dogs to track and corner the wild hog. But this is something that I would never recommend for a beginner hunter. It requires experience and a comparatively fast pace to follow the dog. Which would not be possible for a novice hunter.

Hog Dogs Cornering a Wild Hog

Hog Dogs Cornering a Wild Hog - Photo credit:

Note: Never try it with an untrained dog. It can be dangerous for you as well as for the dog. Trained dogs are available. Look for them.

Where to Shoot?

The most important thing that I always emphasize is to go for a humane shot. And people often ask me the questions about the exact place for hunting or how to hunt wild hogs in the most humane way. And my answer to them;

  • Shoot in the heart
  • Shoot in the neck
  • Your first try for killing it should be directly in the heart and lungs. Just aim for the hog’s front shoulder. It will instantly cause a cardiac damage. And there would be no chance of it running away with its wounds.
  • Secondly, a shot on the neck will damage its spinal cord and would kill the animal instantly. Now it’s up to you where you try your luck.
  • Lastly, make sure that you don’t miss your target. Because a wounded hog can be more dangerous than you think. It can actually attack you.
  • In case, it gets wounded and runs away, being a professional hunter, it’s your duty to follow the trail with the signs like its blood’s spots, to find and kill it, for you as well as for lessening the animal’s suffering.
Hunting a Wild Hog

Hunting a Wild Hog - Photo credit:


These were a few basic and most important steps that you must follow to get success in your wild hog hunting adventure. Though some of these steps are optional and you have the choice to make. But overall, this is all that you are supposed to know.

And I hope that reading it all have made things clearer in your mind and you will have a successful hunting experience. How did you find this article, do let me know in the comments section below.

All the best!

Joseph Gleason

With a dedicated respect to the environment, I understand the importance of being an informed hunter who learns as he goes. I truly recognize the value in how things were done before and how things are done today. Born and raised in upstate New York, I grew up exposed to skilled hunters who taught me the importance of what responsible hunting can provide both to myself, my family, and to the environment. I continue today to work towards refining my craft and finding new ways to practice the time honored traditions that were passed down to me from those who came before.

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