Self Defense Wild Hogs

Bob Roberts
• Saturday, 27 November, 2021
• 8 min read

We need all the hog hunters we can get (it’s a great way to practice social distancing) and as someone who actually prefers handguns to long guns for hog hunting, I’m happy to spread the good word. In fact, it’s been about one day since the last time I shot a hog with a handgun.

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Let me nip those anti- Big Green comments in the bud right off the bat. This is my favorite handgun of Remington’s entire lineup, and I’ve run not one, but four of them hard enough to know this model rocks.

No, this isn’t a lightweight poly pistol, it’s a heavier gun, and it’s made for hard use. You only need one shot whether you’re hunting hogs or deer and if you come upon a big sounder of feral hogs you’ll have enough ammo to drop several in a row (I’ve done it).

This is my go-to hunting handgun, and I’ve also been known to carry it while working in the yard or out on the ranch. It’s another 10 mm semi-automatic, sure, but when it comes to running down feral hogs with handguns it really is a stellar caliber for the job.

Shooting from the bench the average five-shot group at 25 yards has been around 2.6 inches. Consistency is fantastic and desirable, but larger, tight groups aren’t quite as mandatory with a hunting gun.

One downside here is I’ve run my G20 Gen4 and had dirt stop it from cycling on more than one occasion. I do appreciate the fact that it’s an affordably-priced pistol, so I don’t flinch as badly when I scrape it against a tree.

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It turns out .40 Smith & Wesson is a kick ass cartridge for taking care of feral hogs and this specific handgun has simply delivered the precision I like while hunting. There’s a whole wide world of .40s out there but not all of them have longer barrels or are made for above-average accuracy.

The R1 Tommie has a five-inch barrel and an adjustable match-grade trigger because this is the gun competition shooter Travis Tommie designed to be used for competition right out of the box. There’s a flared Maxwell that makes reloading in the dark a bit simpler.

This pistol is insanely accurate, which I love, and it weighs 41 ounces empty. Beware going to a gun with a shorter barrel…you do lose an edge there, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible (I’ve dropped a couple with my G27).

Other guns I’ve been known to take hog hunting include the Magnum Research .500 Limbaugh, Desert Eagle .429, and Taurus Raging Hunter in .44 Magnum. Over the past 40-50 years, the feral hog population across the country has increased dramatically.

Wild hogs can be compared to bulldozers on four legs, wreaking havoc on forests, wildlife habitat, farms and even flower gardens. Hogs root, and wallow and pollute streams and rivers with their fecal matter.

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For many years, people around the nation illegally imported hogs to their land to have another game species to hunt. This practice only increased the range of wild boar, with many of the landowners quickly regretting their decisions and begging people to come and kill their recent “game” additions to their land.

Hogs are known to eat turkey, quail, pheasant and even eggs, and to kill and consume deer fawn. Often, trophy hunters will only target large boars and leave smaller sows to live to oink another day.

The reason: The female pig, the sow, becomes sexually mature at four months of age. The most effective way to control hogs is to set up a fenced trap with bait in the middle.

The large magazine firearms come in handy, as reloading while eliminating up to 20 or 30 hogs at a time can be a pain. Tanner ite is an explosive, and there are regulations regarding its employment; study your state’s laws before considering this option.

Bait the area for a few days with corn, and use trail cameras to determine hog patterns. Do not add any nails or shrapnel to the mix; the explosives have enough power to kill the hogs.

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I’ll never forget the 1957 Walt Disney classic Old Seller, a movie about a boy and his faithful dog. At the climax of the film, the dog bravely defends the young boy from being attacked by a pack of wild hogs.

It’s even been the subject of cave paintings going back at least 15,000 years ago. This is a cave painting re-creation in the style of those found in Spain during that time.

This is a term used to describe the wild version of our domesticated pigs. People don’t generally think of those little pink pigs you see in children’s cartoons as ferocious.

After exhuming the corpse for a Nat Geo episode, scientist John Mayer determined it was closer to 800 pounds and 8.5 feet long. “ Monster Pig ”, as it was named, was killed in Alabama by an 11-year-old boy.

Unfortunately, it seems like the story was only partly true as the animal turned out to be a formerly domestic pig that had gone feral and was living on a private commercial hunting preserve. They’ll eat grain, grubs, tasty plant roots, dead carrion and even their caretakers if given the opportunity.

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For me, this doesn’t make them man-eaters, but it’s a reminder not to “play dead” around a pig. One study analyzed 412 documented attacks from 1825 to 2012 that involved 665 people.

It is estimated that they could get to about 2000 pounds and were massive predators on the plains of North American and Eurasia. Giant forest hogs live in Central Africa and can reach over 600 lbs.

Walking with a dog could provoke an attack if you come across a wild boar, so be mindful of this. Don’t threaten or chase a pig out of an agricultural field or garden.

Solitary large males are the largest and most aggressive individuals you could encounter. If you fall, you risk getting a tusk in the gut, arms, head or neck.

Not only do you need to prevent blood loss, but pigs carry a lot of harmful bacteria in their mouths that could cause serious problems if untreated. If you’d rather listen to this article about wild boar, I’ve recorded it here to make it as accessible as possible.

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Defending yourself against a threat of the furry variety proves quite different from a human attacker in many ways, both tactically and legally. If you live in a rural woodlands' area, you may face danger from large predators like bears and cougars.

If you live in an urban or suburban setting, your primary animal concern may be domestic dogs. While a lethal response may be required, less-lethal tools can often work well to dissuade a dog or another animal that is aggressively approaching to attack.

One can certainly argue that resorting to force earlier when facing an animal threat as homicide is not the possible outcome. You want to articulate the need to act with force as you can absolutely face charges for killing another person’s dog or other pet.

It can also result in charges related to discharging a firearm in city limits or reckless endangerment of some kind. If facing an attacking animal while anywhere close to other people, be sure to avoid taking warning shots.

Generally, with domestic dogs or other pets, you are legally justified to shoot such animals in rural environments if they are on your land and attacking your livestock. Common predators like coyotes, nuisance animals such as wild pigs, and domestic dogs alike can typically be killed if they threaten livestock or human life on your property.

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Once again, I would urge caution even in this regard when it comes to domestic animals or endangered species, and be sure that you act only in justified defense if needed. As discussed, using force against animals falls short of a homicide charge but is hardly free of consequences.

Salvatore is a firearms' instructor, competitive shooter, and life-long practitioner of the concealed carry lifestyle. He strives to serve as a conduit of reliable information for the ever-growing community of armed citizens and concealed carriers.

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