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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
New hunter: I got my first shot on a hog yesterday. There was a group of 2 sows and 3 or 4 little pigs. I lined up a broadside neck shot at about 60 yards with a 95 Barnes ttsx on the biggest sow using the "between ear and shoulder" method that has been recommended. After the shot, they all scatter and I see one of the little piglets doing the dying cockroach. I put the sight back on him and when he got up and started to move out of sight, I plugged him again. (I have a fairly small window from the stand cut through thick South Carolina brush).

This picture shows what I can see....


In the end, only the little pig was down. First shot had a large entry and similar sized exit through the shoulders. It looked like the initial shot passed through the sow. Second shot exploded the center of mass area. I got a little bit of meat of him, but didn't take a picture.

My buddy came out with a dog and we tried to track the sow without success, couldn't find any blood at all.

Some lessons I learned and questions....
- Identify a recognizable point on the ground before I break the shot so we know where to start looking for blood.
- the follow up shot on the little guy wasn't needed and did more harm than good. When are follow up shots appropriate?
- a blood trail is needed to assist tracking.
In the thick stuff should I keep using a central nervous system aiming point, or should I go for heart / lungs in order to get a blood trail going?
 

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I judge my use of a follow up shot based on the condition of the animal if it gets back up. If there is no doubt he is crippled and isn't getting very far, I let him go and will track him. If it is apparent that he still has plenty of steam left in him and could get a long ways, then I will shoot a follow up. As for where to shoot, I think you did just fine on shot placement. Do you know the ballistics of your rounds? I am surprised the first shot didn't produce a blood trail if placed properly. A good vital organ shot never hurts though. It is really all what you feel comfortable doing. If I am sitting down with a good rest, I go for head shots, if I am standing or without a good rest I go for body.
 

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If the pig was down, a knife to the jugular works pretty well at putting them out of their misery without damaging any meat.
 

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Two things I always try for. One is to be patient and wait for the right.shot. Two put it in tight behind the shoulder. I like lungs and heart over head shots. Weather you believe in lower 1/3 in the heart area or upper 1/3 for a high shoulder is your call. But I think being patient, picking your shot, control your breathing, and a good squeeze is the biggest goal. This is just me though and a lot of guys here love head shots.
 

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Keep aiming for the neck, vital organs are more forward than many think. It took me 2 or 3 gut shot hogs I never found to get that in my head.
 

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Another consideration for a boiler room shot is, the lower the shot is placed, the sooner a better blood trail becomes visible. High in the chest, more blood fills the chest cavity, instead of giving that precious red trail... pouring from your bullet hole.
 

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I am not a fan of the head and neck shots, I have spent far to much of my life tracking other peoples animals after they insisted on taking shots that they were told not to take. I have heard the "its DRT or a clean miss" not at all true, there is actually only a very small part of the head or neck that is "DRT" the rest is a "clean miss" that wasn't. I'll stick with the heart lung shot, while they may run, it won't be far and they will be dead at the end of it. Study anatomy of what you are hunting, there is no excuse not with all the resources available now. I prefer the 1/3 up from the bottom, right straight up the leg, in the "armpit", that is right across the top of the heart and in the center of the lungs, that works for most animals, assuming you are on the same level and they are broadside. The aiming point moves with changes in altitude, uphill, downhill or the angle of the animal etc.. Many shooters like the head shot, because they don't know how to track anything and it isn't one you will learn on the internet. Watch and LISTEN, pick a landmark where you saw the animal last and where you heard it last. If you have a compass(you should) you can take a reading on those, but a landmark is less likely to be forgotten.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the feedback guys, I think I'll try that lower 1/3 heart shot / "armpit" shot on the next one. I would like to learn a thing or two about tracking.
Are there any advocates of a double shoulder shot on a pig?

Sent from my HTC6535LVW using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks for all the feedback guys, I think I'll try that lower 1/3 heart shot / "armpit" shot on the next one. I would like to learn a thing or two about tracking.
Are there any advocates of a double shoulder shot on a pig?

Sent from my HTC6535LVW using Tapatalk
A lot of people feel like the only good feral pig is a dead one and any shot that will end up being lethal is a good one. I don't own farm or crop lands to have to worry about the destruction they cause and anytime I shoot a feral pig it is to eat and shoot them in the head just below the ear canal if he opportunity exists. From a sportsmans standpoint I firmly believe every feral pig that anyone has the opportunity to kill should be put down. They destroy to much of the native habitat and threaten to many of our native wildlife. But they are a lot like the coyote you can't kill enough of them and they will always be around.

If you haven't come across this before it may be helpful for you.
http://lonestarboars.com/threads/where-to-shoot-hogs-for-a-clean-kill.2/
 

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My advise is not shoot behind the shoulder like you would a deer this is a common mistake and will result in a gut shot. Hogs heart and lungs are farther forward and low. I would try for the cns shots if you are trying to recover the animals. I've seen hogs run well over 100 yards with the heart and lungs turned into mush.

I prefer the center neck crease front of the shoulder shot the red dot in the first pic below. This shot works for many reasons first if you hit your mark it severs the spine and they go down instantly, second since hogs are typically always moving if you hit to far back or to far forward you get a shoulder shot or head shot.



The 95 ttsx is a great bullet but, I have found the 120sst to deliver more shock to the target you may want to try them out. Also pigs skin seals up very well I have shot many hogs with large calibers that leave not blood trail at all.


Another thing look here this is a 200 pound boar see how much meat is on top of the spine it takes a direct hit or a bullet that will shock the area.


If you keep shooting hogs you will find they are very tough and eventually some will get up from perfect shots. Here is a little video I did for shot placement.
 

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A lot of people feel like the only good feral pig is a dead one and any shot that will end up being lethal is a good one. I don't own farm or crop lands to have to worry about the destruction they cause and anytime I shoot a feral pig it is to eat and shoot them in the head just below the ear canal if he opportunity exists. From a sportsmans standpoint I firmly believe every feral pig that anyone has the opportunity to kill should be put down. They destroy to much of the native habitat and threaten to many of our native wildlife. But they are a lot like the coyote you can't kill enough of them and they will always be around.

If you haven't come across this before it may be helpful for you.
http://lonestarboars.com/threads/where-to-shoot-hogs-for-a-clean-kill.2/
Every animal that we hunt deserves a quick clean death, as hunters, we should not accept doing any less than our best at that, a pig, a coyote, suffer just as much as any other animal and the, "its OK it was only a pig or only a coyote" is not acceptable. Anyone that wants to be a HUNTER, should make a 100% effort everytime to make sure every animal shot is quickly and cleanly put out of its misery. To do less, demeans us all as hunters. If you do not agree with that, please take up golf, where cheating is expected and nothing suffers because of it. I should add, that in most places, shooting an animal and failing to make a thorough attempt to find it and make sure it is dead is a crime as well.
 

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Every animal that we hunt deserves a quick clean death, as hunters, we should not accept doing any less than our best at that, a pig, a coyote, suffer just as much as any other animal and the, "its OK it was only a pig or only a coyote" is not acceptable. Anyone that wants to be a HUNTER, should make a 100% effort everytime to make sure every animal shot is quickly and cleanly put out of its misery. To do less, demeans us all as hunters. If you do not agree with that, please take up golf, where cheating is expected and nothing suffers because of it.
I hear you and feel the same which is why I stated I prefer a brain shot, fastest cleanest kill and wastes no meat. I was raised with hunting and schooled in ethical clean kills and waste not want not. The other side of the discussion I was referring to is all of the farmers and ranchers that have thier crops and pasture land rendered nearly useless and destroyed by a feral species that shouldn't be thier in the first place. Another issue for all of us hunters is the amount of native species they threaten and wreak havoc on. The main point I was trying to get across is they are a very prolific and damaging species and very difficult to correct when thier numbers get out of check. Didn't mean to offend anyone but it's a reality.
 

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The game laws here in Arkansas are fairly strict and quite well structured but even the AGFC see feral pigs for what they are, a damaging feral species. The only stipulations they have is the hunter obeys all safety and seasonal regulations when shooting them and if you want them keep them or let the buzzards and varmint eat them.
 

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IF you can hit a quarter at 100 yards....wait for a good broadside shot and go for a head or neck shot. Easy aim point is ear opening, or just behind the ear.

I prefer this type of shot because it is a quick painless death for the animal and very little blood mess.....AND, no hours of tracking a pain filled animal in the brush.

ALSO...........remember if your scope is sighted in for 100 yards....a shot at less than 50 yards will impact a little higher because of the arc of the bullet is set to impact at 100 yards.

If your hunting is going to be short range....sight your scope in for 50 yards.
 

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....remember if your scope is sighted in for 100 yards....a shot at less than 50 yards will impact a little higher because of the arc of the bullet is set to impact at 100 yards.
Tanlover, this is not correct with an AR Platform and the scope mounted 2.5" above the bore. A 100 yard zero typically would have the bullet a 1/2" low at 50 yards and 1 1/2" low at 25 yards.
 

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I was going to post more or less what XMAN posted, but the Federal ballistics calculator reveals 2.5" low at 25yds, .5" low at 50, zero at 100 and 1.3" low at 150yds. You can select Federal load, or if you have all of the MV, bullet coefficient date, etc, you can plug it in for any factory or hand load. It is available on the home page of their site.

Perhaps the OP pulled the shot in the heat of the moment, we have all done that, Internet marksmanship champs excepted of course. But I wonder if he might have hit a branch, twig, anything, which might have defected his shot, and turned the bullet sideways or partially sideways. No cartridge or bullet is is immune to deflection, not even 12ga slugs.

As far as when to shoot wounded game, the safest course of action is to keep shooting until the animal is down, and then keep an eye on it, or watch for the Curly Shuffle (frequent results of a CNS brain or forward spine hit, rotating tail, cycling rear leg or legs.)

With more experience a hunter will learn when a shot is going to be quickly fatal and lead to a death not too off in time or too far from the place of the initial shot and may choose to withhold follow up shots.

Heart and/or lung shot game can go 100 or more yards, if your field of view is unobstructed for a good ways it is a viable option. But in or near cover the CNS or breakdown shots are the way to go. Always for the first shot at night I think.

My (free) 2 cents, worth about what it cost you!

JPK
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I've come to the conclusion that I just plain missed that sow in the OP.
Here is my redemption
180# hog thru the neck with 95 grain ttsx
He walked right up to the stand at sundown, only thing better would be if it loaded itself in the truck
 

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Nice shooting, and a pulled shot can happen to anyone. If the day ever comes that getting into position to take the shot doesn't quicken your pulse or excite you a little bit you will start looking for new ways to challenge yourself.
 
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