Wild Pig Hunt by Shane Hurkmans
I just started hunting wild pigs and found out that you don’t just shoot them with your deer hunting bullets. I have taken two Russian boars, one of which I shot with a recurve and had to finish him off with the pistol. My arrow had made it through the tough hide and got into the chest cavity, but still the boar kept on going. After knocking him down with the 44mag, I found out that bullets that I used on deer sized game do not work so well on pigs. The first pig took 5 rounds and an arrow; still he wanted to get up. I learned right then and there that jacketed bullets meant for deer didn’t work so well on theses critters.
Me being me, I wanted to learn what happened in the first hunt and took the time to look at how the bullets performed and learn a little more about Russian boars. Theses things can take a lot and still keep on ticking. After we got the hide off of him, we could see that this dude took more then what I give him. He had a broken leg, 7 ½ bird shot, buck shot and more wounds than most men could take. I found one of the jackets from one of my rounds on the outside of the skin and found the rest of the bullet in the fat under the chin. The rest of them were just under the skin in places that they should not have been. The one that finished him off was in the head.
I started to read everything I could on what others that hunted pigs used to take their pigs. I found that they used everything under the sun for these critters. Form knifes to 50 cal. BMGs . I did note a few things, one was that kinetic energy was a big factor in the pursuit of wild hogs.
My next opportunity was in the upper U.P. of Michigan on a farm. Theses guys have a great place and big pigs to boot. I was there to film for a friend of mine that has his own TV show. The crew I was with took two more pigs and mine as well. The first pig was shot with a 30-06 using a 180 grain core-bond. With one well placed shot the big Russian didn’t go far. The other was a little more difficult, this dude would not go down, it took three .50 cal. muzzle loader rounds, two 30-06 and two from a 500 Line Baugh that the guides carried.
For my pig I used a 330 grain Super-Hard-Cast GC long Hammer-Head in .44 mag +P from Garret Cartridge Company, in conjunction with my Super Red Hawk with a 2 X 6 scope on top. These loads are stout and you really know when you fire one of theses suckers. Every box comes with the gun and load data on the side. It did not take me long to get the pistol sighted in. 2 inches high at 50 yards and 0 at 100. These bad boys are flying out at 1400 fps. I wanted to take one of the pigs that the owner wanted out of the heard. I talked with the guide and he and I sorted through pig after pig to find one that was older and so aptly called “trouble maker”. After we found the one he wanted out we put him on the deck. After skinning the tusker out we found a bullet from a 270 that had gone through the top portion of his shoulder at some point. It was a older wound from another hunt in the past.
For those of you thinking about going after wild pigs, make sure that you use a bullet that has great penetration. I would stick with the biggest bullet you can shoot from your gun. Use a bullet like an A Frame, Trophy Bond, or a Bear Claw. For you pistol hunters, I would recommend .44 cal or bigger. I would recommend a weight of 300 grains or bigger and one with a heavy jacket or a cast lead.
For those of you that are thinking of going after them with a stick and string, I highly recommend a cut-on-contact broad head and heavy shaft arrow to push that broad head as far as it can through the animal. Talking with the guides I learned that they see a lot of guys wounding pigs when they think they can use what they use on deer. They recommend big calibers and heavy arrow weights for this kind of hunting. They also told me that mechanical broad heads do not do a great job on wild pigs. Kinetic energy is a big thing in bringing these animals to there knees.
I’m looking forwarded to taking more of these guys and hope to learn more and more about what it takes to take a wild pig. Have fun the next time your out, be safe and take a kid out and show them what it’s all about.