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Archery Tactics for Hogs

Archery Tactics for Hogs


Shooting hogs with a bow is a real exciting method of hunting feral hogs. The silence of the shot, and the skill needed to successfully kill pigs with archery equipment is as exciting as it can get in the southeast.

Thankfully, in South Carolina, we can hunt feral hogs year around with any weapon on private land. Being  a dedicated archery hunter, I have an extended season. The equipment I use for killing hogs is very similar to what I use for whitetail deer. A fast bow, with good broadhead and small diameter arrows are all that’s needed to effectively kill hogs. My set up includes, a PRIME Shift bow set at sixty two pounds, shooting Gold Tip Pro Hunter arrows topped with a T3 expandable broadhead. This combination has led to the demise of many hogs through the years with a few exceptions. Brands have changed through the years, but the methodology has not.

I have seen far too many archers who put more emphasis on the power of their bow than the sharpness of their broadheads. It’s like trying to push a blunt nail through a piece of leather, verses pushing a scalpel through a piece of leather. One takes a lot less effort. When a broadhead is razor sharp, it will blow through an animal with little to no effort. Lower poundage bows are more than enough to effectively kill hogs when shot with sharp broadheads.

Arrow placement is critical on hogs. It has been well documented that mature hogs have a ‘plate’ on their shoulder. If you have ever cleaned a hog you have seen it and understand. If you have never killed or cleaned a feral hog, this is something new that many simply do not understand. A hog I killed last fall topped the scales at 330 pounds, the shield was 1 ¼” thick and hard as gristle. A shot through this would have stopped the arrow before it ever reached the vitals. Or if by chance it did reach the vitals, there would have been no blood trail to follow and the pig would have been lost. Understanding this is critical to making good ethical shots on your target animal.

Larger hogs must be shot quartering away. Placing the arrow behind the shield on entry and exiting in front of the off side shoulder. This is the most perfect shot on a hog. But to help a bit more, hogs that are in the fifty-one hundred pound range have a thin shield and most arrows can penetrate relatively easily. And contrary to myth, sows have this shield also, while it’s not as thick, it is still present and hunters need to understand that when a hog is over one hundred pounds, shots that are anything other than quartering away are questionable shots with archery equipment.

While I prefer mechanical broadheads, any fixed head will also suffice. Muzzy, Montec, and others all make great heads designed to kill quickly. One of the features I really like about the Montec by G5 Outdoors, is the ability to re-sharpen the blades. It may be personal preference, but for fixed blades, I like the ability to sharpen my blades over and again rather than replacing them. Montec gives me that opportunity.

Archers also have the option of hunting elevated or from ground blinds. Both are effective especially when hunting over bait. The pop up ground blinds help control scent on breezy days, and elevation helps to keep scent off of the ground. Both are effective methods of harvesting hogs. Whichever you choose, you will most definitely need to have your ThermaCell mosquito appliance with you. As the temperature rises in the swamps, and thickets hogs call home, the mosquitos become unbearable. Hunting without a ThermaCell is not an option. Keep it going, and have extra fuel and pads available. On this point, I will activate my appliance ten to fifteen minutes before I leave the truck or start walking in. I want it fully operational before I enter the woods. I have seen times when I waited until on stand to turn on the appliance and during the ten minutes it takes to warm up and reach full operational mode, I would have over fifty bites. As much as I love hunting pigs year around, if I forget my ThermaCell, I go home. The fight of the mosquito is not worth the potential pay out of a big ole hog.

Hunting hogs with archery tackle during the off season or otherwise is a great challenge, now is as good a time as any to get out there and try and kill some hogs with your bow.