Where To Shoot A Hog For A Clean And Humane Kill

Call them wild boars, wild hogs, or whatever else you wish to call them; pigs are some of the hardest-to-kill animals in the world. There are several reasons why Hogs are hard to kill, but the main thing is that they offer a small target area for you to work with.

This is made worse by the fact that their brains lie deep in their heads as well as their other vital organs are more compact and protected with hard bones and thick skin. More interestingly, the concave shape of their heads does not make things any easier. However, this is not to say that taking down a wild hog is impossible.

On the contrary; taking down a wild hog is very much possible. Nevertheless, you will need to know where to shoot a hog if you are to become a master hog hunter.

Fortunately, this is what this article is here for. In it, I will be discussing some of the best places to aim for when taking down wild hogs. Also, I will highlight the areas that you should never aim for.

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Where To Shoot A Wild Hog For A Quick Kill?

As you already know, hog hunting is one of the thrilling and exciting things to do for their quick movement and armory body structure. Wild hogs are usually found in forested areas and swampy regions. So, the best place to shoot a wild hog is from higher ground. When shooting from a high place, you can easily detect their movement and pick a spot that gives you a clear shot. Always aim for one of these body parts, such as the ear holes, neck, lung, or head area, to ensure a quick and humane kill and help you avoid running after the wounded animal.

From our experience, a perfect and accurate shot yields higher quality meat, so before going in the wild, practice your aim, and make sure you’re equipped with the right firearms and ammunition.

Also, it is important to be aware of the environment and the terrain. Make sure there are no other animals or people in the vicinity before shooting. You should also be familiar with the state regulations on hunting wild hogs. Remember, safety should always be your number one priority. Below you will find where should you aim the game animal for a peaceful kill.

Ear Holes

Aiming for a hog’s ear holes is one of the easiest ways to guarantee a quick and humane kill. The ear hole is a gateway to the animal’s neck area. A well-placed shot to a boar’s ear hole will result in the breaking of the neck, which in turn results in a quick death.

where to shoot a hog

Unfortunately, hogs rarely stay still and always move their heads about. This makes it difficult to get a well-placed accurate shot. Nonetheless, with sufficient scoping and some patience, an earshot is the easiest to accomplish.

The Neck

The large surface area of the neck makes it another ideal place to aim for. The neck is another where the vital organs such as the center of a hog’s spinal cord is. Therefore, just like the ear, a neck shot will guarantee an instantaneous kill.

where to shoot a hog

Additionally, since boars are always moving about, aiming for the center of the neck reduces the chances of the hog surviving the shot. If the hog moves forward after you fire, the bullet will hit the center of the ear, which will still kill it. On the other hand, if the hog moves backward slightly the bullet will take out both shoulders.

Pro Tip For Better Aiming: It is advisable to use great scopes for hunting for a clean humane kill. If you are using a AR 10 or 308 rifle then the best scopes for 308 will be a great choice and complement your 308 bolt action or AR Style rifle.

if you are main bullet size is 30-06 then you can also check the list of 30-06 scopes for hog hunting. Remember using great scopes makes you one step ahead on your hunting journey.

Shoulders/ lung shot

Speaking of shoulders, as like deer hunting shot placement in shoulder aiming for a hog’s front shoulder when in a broadside position will also guarantee a quick death. The front section of the shoulder gives access to a boar’s heart and lungs. In this regard, aiming for a hog’s front shoulder ensures that you penetrate both its lungs. Most hunters often preffereed the broadside shot while hunting wild hogs with rifle rather than bow.

Forehead / Brain shot

When a boar is facing you, the forehead is the right place to aim for. Right behind the forehead is the brain. Thus an accurate shot that penetrates the forehead will pierce a boar’s brain killing it instantaneously.

It is worth noting that a boar’s forehead has a tough bone that protects the brain. Also, a boar’s brain is small. Thus chances of you hitting the brain are minimal compared to the other parts discussed above.

where to shoot a hog

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Note: As a big game hunter, you know that crossing wet, muddy areas like marshes, swamps, and so on is a normal part of hunting. And that’s why a good pair of hunting boots come in handy in a situation like this. Also, rubber hunting boots are a must if you want to keep snakes away from your feet. Don’t forget to wear your ugly hunting boots.

Where Is The Best Place To Hunt Feral Hogs?

There are many places where you can hunt feral hogs, but some of the best places may be where feral hog populations are high, and hunting is allowed. Some states in the southern and western United States, such as Texas, Florida, and California, have large populations of feral hogs and allow hunting on private land. Other states have public land where hunting is permitted.

It’s important to check the laws and regulations for hunting in your state or the state where you plan to hunt and obtain any hunting license or other necessary licenses and permits. It’s also a good idea to research the area you plan to hunt to determine the best time of year and methods for hunting feral hogs in that location.

Best Hog Targets For Practice

Besides the best archery target, there are some dedicated hog targets for practice you can try them below.

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Which Are The Right Weapons To Use for Hog Hunting?

The Shotgun

The forehead of certain boar species is layered with a thick bone while in older boars the forehead has a bony ridge. This presents the problem of a bullet being lodged in the sinuses and not reaching the brain. To ensure that the bullet penetrates the brain, ensure you are using a shotgun.

Use shotgun to kill hog

A .22 caliber rifle might prove ineffective in penetrating a boar’s forehead. Thus, instead of using a .22 rifle, I recommend using a 12, 16, or 20 bore shotgun. To get a hog shotgun kill shot aim for either the animal’s eye or behind its ear. Also, the muzzle of the gun should be held five to 25 cm away from the animal’s head. You can use the best scopes for AR 10 rifle for the precise target.

Where To Shoot Hog Hunting With AR 15

There has been a lot of debate among hunters on whether the beloved AR 15 is sufficient to take down a wild hog. While some hunters opine that the standard .223 round used for the AR15 is too small for hog hunting, others swear that when placed correctly it is all you need to kill a hog.

This raises the question of where to shoot a hog with a 223. Based on my experience and research, there are several places to aim for when using a .223 rifle. But the best spot is at the center of the neck and on the front curve of the shoulder.

Pro Tip: Use a quality AR 15 bipod for securing a professional shoot.

Where To Shoot A Hog With A Bow

The other important question that I wish to answer is where to shoot a hog with a bow. Unlike guns, a bow is a little bit more challenging. Nevertheless, hunting hogs and deer with a crossbow can be addictive. That is if you have the best arrows.

In the instances that I have gone hog hunting with a bow, I always opt for the Hammer 3-blade mechanical broadhead.

Where To Shoot A Hog With A Bow

The target area will depend on whether the boar is young or older. For younger boars aim at the mid-point of the chest or the front shoulder.

While you will not hit the heart, you will pierce both lungs causing massive blood loss and quick death. Alternatively, if you want to hit the heart, aim for the armpit area. For better accuracy, I would recommend using some of the top single-pin bow sights or the best crossbow scopes.

Where To Shoot A Hog With A 22

The .22 rifle is what many of us use especially because it is cheap ammo. But there are some who feel that this ammo does not pack enough oomph to take down a boar.

So is there any truth in this?

In one sense No.

While a .22 round can be effective for hunting wild hogs, especially at close range, it’s crucial to consider the size of the hog and potential challenges. Larger hogs, particularly those weighing 250 or 300 lbs., may have thicker bones in their heads, making it important to exercise caution when using a .22 caliber rifle on such animals.

In my opinion, the best place to place a shot is right behind the ear or on the ear. A well placed shot to the ear will take down almost any boar roaming the forests. To pull off this kind of shot, however, you have to be real close. I have been able to hit a hog with a 22 rifle from 40 yards away, which is pretty close.

Where To Shoot A Hog With A 22

However, from 100 yards and beyond taking down a boar with a 22 rifle can be challenging. Thus, to increase your chances of success, I recommend that you get as close as you can to your target.

Some hunters are skeptical about a 22 rifle to take down a boar. Therefore, it is my opinion that you should be a great shot to pull this off. If you are a newbie to boar hunting please check which are the best caliber for hog hunting, I suggest using a heavier caliber such as the 608 or the 310.

I believe it is important to tackle some of the misconceptions people have about hog hunting in regard to shot placement. Additionally, there are common misconceptions about hogs being bulletproof or impossible to kill. This is in addition to some hunters viewing some guns as being insufficient for hog killing. In this second section, I will be looking at some of these misconceptions. Where not to shoot a hog

Common Misconceptions About Hog Hunting

Heavy Caliber Rifles Are Always Better

This is a question that has been the subject of a heated debate among hunters all over the world. Some hunters opine that only a shotgun is sufficient to kill a hog. However, as already stated above a AR 15 can be all you need to take down a hog.

Today, the AR 15 rifle has several cartridges you can use. The most popular AR 15 cartridge used for hog hunting is the 608.

However, the Winchester 30-30 cartridge is also sufficient for taking down a feral hog. It is important to remember that a hog has tough skin and will require sufficiently heavy rounds.

Winchester 30-30 cartridge

At the beginning of the article I stated that for a headshot, you would need a heavy caliber rifle capable of penetrating a hog’s thick skin. However, it is not a must that you use a heavy-caliber bullet.

In some instances, using a heavy-caliber rifle can be disadvantageous. A mature hog can weigh 400 pounds and have a shoulder height of 36 inches. This has contributed to the misconception that hogs have armor-like plating.

Using a heavy caliber rifle can lead to meat loss and even contribute to meat destruction. Thus, the notion that you need a magnum-caliber rifle to kill a hog is a misconception.

The Anatomy

If you want to know where to shoot a feral hog, then you must first know its anatomy. Unlike in a deer, the vitals in a deer are lower and deeper.

In particular, the lungs are located just above the shoulders. Thus when hog hunting, aim for just above the shoulder.

Also, the brain is located just behind the ear. In this regard, if you wish to shoot the brain, aim for behind the ear or the ear itself.

where to shoot a feral hog

In summary, if you are a deer hunter, forget everything you know about deer hunting. If you apply the same techniques in hog hunting, you might end up hitting the gut of a feral pig.

Some hunters have the misconception that hogs are just like any other animal roaming the forest. However, as is clear from the hog anatomy, this is not true.

Shot Placement

The shot placement has been another subject of debate among hunters. When hunting a hog for slaughter, it is important that you consider meat loss. Therefore, if you are in the business of hunting hogs for slaughter avoid aiming at the hams or backstraps.

Of course, there are hunters who feel that the answer to the question of where to shoot a hog for slaughter is the head. And while a brain shot will kill a hog with minimal meat loss, it is hard to execute.

where to shoot a hog for slaughter

This is essential because of the fact that a hog’s brain is small and located deep in its head. Furthermore, hogs are always moving, and it is hard to find a hog that is standing still. This makes it even harder to pull off the headshot.

Therefore, unless you are 100% sure of your marksman skills, I do not recommend the headshot.

The right place to aim for optimal meat retention is the shoulder or the lung area. This will kill the hog and retain considerable meat. This works with both a gun and a compound bow.

Hogs Are Blind

This is one of the many misconceptions some hunters have about hogs. While it is true a hog’s eyes are located closer to the ground, hogs are not blind. The eyes on a mature hog will most likely be located some 30 inches from the ground. This means that their peripheral vision is not as good as that of other animals. Also, their vision is not as good as ours.

Nonetheless, hogs can spot movements from 200 yards. Thus, you will need to be positioned at a distance of 200 yards and over to make a kill. With some rifles and stalking you can get as close as 100 yards.

But it should be noted that if you want to kill a hog from 100 yards, it is wise to use a scent blocker. So do not believe the notion that hogs are blind, it’s just that their vision is not as good as that of other animals.

No Blood Trail

Just because there is no blood trail does not mean a hog is not dead. Again unlike in a deer where the blood trail is almost immediate, in a hog, the blood trail can be missing.

There are two main reasons for this.

  1. One is that it takes some time for blood to sip through a hog’s thick layer of fat.
  2. Secondly, hogs are covered in hair, which acts as a sponge that absorbs the blood.

Thus, do not be fooled by the lack of a blood trail. In most instances, you will not see blood until you get 30 to 50 yards of the hog. Also, keep your eyes on blood on the brush and not on the ground.

This is one of the things you ought to know about where to shoot a groundhog. Another important thing to know is to always keep your eye in the direction a hog ran off to.

Meat From Mature Boars Is Not Good

Apart from questions pertaining to where to shoot a hog with a 22 for slaughter, there are other questions that have been the subject of debate.

One is whether meat from a mature boar is good. A mature boar is one that weighs over 150 pounds.

Meat From Mature Boars Is Not Good

The common misconception is that meat from a mature boar is not good. Nevertheless, meat from a mature boar makes great pork chops.

The reason why some are wary of hunting mature boars for slaughter is the smell. Mature boars produce a foul smell due to the testosterone carried in their sexual organs.

To get rid of this foul smell simply cut off the sexual organs. Therefore, the meat quality of older boars will depend largely on how you slaughter them.


Hogs make great off-season games to hunt. However, they are not as easy to kill as some other prey. Therefore, unless you understand the anatomy of a hog and where to aim, killing one can be challenging. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in the fact that the notion that hogs are impossible to kill is untrue.

5 thoughts on “Where To Shoot A Hog For A Clean And Humane Kill”

  1. This is a topiic which is close tto my heart… Best
    wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    1. Thanks, Amado! We are glad that you liked our post. You can contact us by using our contact form. Thanks

  2. I read the entire article and I would agree almost exclusively with the content. I will share that, on a hog hunt three years ago, I shot a huge monster hog that was, due to state regs in Michigan, in a large fenced area. I was using a .44 magnum with .44 specials load to try to preserve more meat. When the hog finally looked at me, after an exciting and prolonged chase following the initial shot — to the lung area — only then was I able to put it down with a head shot, followed by an ear shot to stop the flailing. When the hog was taken toi the processing area, immediately after the kill and draining the blood, it was measured to be 8 feet long nose to butt, and weigh an incredible amount (my secret, but since it was in a fenced area the national registry said it would not count as a new record as it was considered not truly feral. Bummer!!!!! That would not have lasted long anyway, as one that was considered feral was taken in a southern state that weighed almost 1000 pounds as memory serves me. When it was loaded on a front loader with an eight foot wide bucket on it, the hog literally filled the full eight feet. ) One thing I would also encourage all to do is from having been on hog farms every summer with my Uncle, in my formative years. Once you KNOW the hog is dead — and please, be VERY SURE of this — cut the throat to immediately drain the blood quickly, and as much as possible. This will help to preserve the meat flavor. IF you are field dressing the animal due to having more time span between the kill and the beginning of the processing, use two knives, or one with two blades that are easily interchangeable. Things happen, and you will want to keep one blade “clean” of the gut contents, urine if the bladder is nicked, or the sexual organs of the boar especially, should it be nicked. The old scout saying, be prepared, is true. Finally, if I may please, once ANY hunted animal is down, and especially something like a feral hog that can be down right aggressive and mean, IF IN DOUBT, shoot the animal through the ear or another head shot. NOTHING is worth the risk of injury. We hunt for the sport but primarily for the meat for our families, and not to risk going home after hospitalization, injury, or worse. My uncle would network with other hog farmers, and one of his neighbors “decided” Porky was dead in the pen when he went in, only to have it raise up and shred his leg. Thankfully, my uncle had a weapon and confirmed it with another ear shot followed by a shot through the eye to make sure of a brain kill. Enjoy this great sport, but please be safe. Oh yes, I got my hog and have pics, from Backwoods Hunt Club in Michigan. Fenced in area but believe me they are economical and do well with the processing. Is more of a harvest than a hunt, but puts meat in the freezer. Call them for more intel if you want to know more, and tell them I shared their name.)

  3. Hi. I’m 63 and still hunt hogs!!! If I have dogs I stab them with a big knife. But if you shot some of the hogs I have killed with a 22 you better have a big knife LOL you will piss that mother Off and you will need some thing. If you shoot a 250 or 300 lb. Hog with a 22 first of all it would bonc off its head the bone is about 3/4″ thick now you give it a headdake and there is a big chance it will come after your ass!!. I know I would not shoot a big hog with a 357 any where the skin is thick and that have armed plays on their shoulders!!. They ant like a deer these Critters fight!!! Good luck

    1. Yeah I totally agree with you. Thank you for sharing your experience! Your insights about using a .22 caliber on larger hogs are valuable. It’s essential for hunters to consider factors like hog size and anatomy when choosing the right firearm. I appreciate your input, and it adds another layer to the discussion on effective hog hunting strategies. Stay safe out there, and happy hunting!

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