The hunting properties that I have access to mostly yield average sized pigs, but now and then a good boar comes along and then pig hunting rapidly becomes one of my favourite pursuits. The two boars that I am pictured with are good examples of the better pigs in my local area.
The large heaver-bodied boar with me by the tree had small tusks but solid body mass, yet the smaller boar in the scrub sported short sharp tusks. The brown hairy-type boar on the move also had good body mass but was small in the tusk department but still was a nice boar to hunt. Also the black boar feeding in the green foliage had good body mass and is the same boar in the photo with me by the tree that was shot with a .308 shortly after the live photo was taken.
So how do I go about pig hunting?
Apart from my hunting mates’ newly adopted adage that “Pigs are where you find them” and “they could be anywhere”, there are some measures the hunter can take to put the odds more in his favour, when hunting during the day without dogs. Naturally this aproach pertains to open sclerophyll forested riolling type country, not the wide open flats out west.
Two of the first things that go into my pack when heading out for a pig hunt are binoculars and a good amount of drinking water, because most of the morning is spent on foot, scouting and, if lucky, stalking. Also a good comfortable set of boots that grip well in all types of terrain are a must.
Reconnaissance, Terrain and Glassing
I like to start my early morning hunt by glassing likely areas from above during pre-dawn. Areas such as damp gullies just after rain that are not too far from scrubby higher country for pigs to find sanctuary and bed during the day are often productive. Crops are also good value and any known carcasses can be fertile pickings as shown in the pic with a few black pigs feeding on a carcass.
Check your track and wind direction
Also remember if checking on a carcass or likely area to be hunted later, do it from a distance, as when a pig crosses the same area you have walked, he will catch your scent and scarper; their sense of smell is highly developed.
Follow the signs
When good pig diggings that look nice and fresh are found, follow them up and, if the wind is right and fresh pig poo is around and the diggings get more regular, an encounter may be close at hand. A tree with tusk marks will also suggest a boar is around.
The two Boars on the log were first sighted from above while glassing some open country nice and early with a good top feed of clover and wet gullies for them to dig up; Nearby was some rugged, hilly scrub country which offered handy cover. In addition, the area had a good supply of water. These were all positive factors leading to finding a pig or two.
I have hunted pigs with many calibres and there are a few that do a top job like the .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, and the good old 6.5×55 Swedish does as well as anything, particularly whenthe range stretches a bit. But at the moment, if you asked me for one particular calibre then the .270 Winchester would get my vote and a good quality 3-9×40 scope, firing a 130 grain projectile is tops when busting boars.
This article was first published in Sporting Shooter, October 2011