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California Hog Hunt coming up...Tips/Advice?

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Old 05-05-2010, 06:42 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 65
Re: California Hog Hunt coming up...Tips/Advice?

The copper bullets don't expand very well. I have found that it helps to load a lighter bullet with more fps to get expansion on hogs. If its a big boar, do yourself a favor and pin both shoulders on the first shot.

I know a county trapper with 1000+ hog kills with copper, he will tell you the same thing.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:34 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 57
Re: California Hog Hunt coming up...Tips/Advice?

Good info. I've heard good things about barnes bullets, I will give them a try. I just got a new pack, called a Condor 2, interestingly enough. It is set up for a hydration system, and should come in handy. I'm stoked, this should be a fun trip.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:53 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,009
Re: California Hog Hunt coming up...Tips/Advice?

I've hunted pigs all around SLO and neighboring counties for some time. You'll have a blast if its private, nearby or on top of crops like vineyards, barley, etc. Plan your hunt around the new moon, NOT the full moon, and hunt at first light into mid-morning, then evenings until last light. That is, unless you've got dogs then you can bust hogs from their beds during the mid-day.

besides the copper bullets, you'll need a non resident license and non resident tags, which are purchased individually thanks to Arnold. Don't even "possess" any lead bullets or you can get popped. The DFG warden in that area is a real d**k and he does tromp all over private lands across locked gates all summer looking for pig hunters to harrass. The truck is a dark green 4-door chevy with a funny looking short-bed. Shooting a 300RUM I'd advise the 180 TTSX or 180 E-tip with retumbo. The tips really help open up these bullets. Velocity should be a non issue most guys use these same bullets with a 30-06. It will be hot, probably 90+ during the days so load accordingly.

ticks can be an issue if you're in the brush, but not a big deal otherwise. Don't wear white or light color clothing, they are attracted to that. Snakes are a definite issue in summer, especially late afternoons as it cools off, they will be out.

Hogs have a huge vital zone, with big lungs. Most hogs that are visible in daylight hours without dogs, will be under 200 Lbs, which are good eating. Just get them cleaned, skinned and on ice ASAP. Don't put the meat in plastic bags, just right on the ice. Dry ice is even better - all the big grocery stores carry it out here.

I like to use Henry at Arroyo Grande Meat Co for butchering. He does a "wham-bam" cut & wrap for a decent price and decent turnaround in summer unless you get into "Fair" season, when all the local butchers get busy with the local fair livestock.

bring some shooting sticks - there will be tall dry grass everywhere this summer, since we've had such a wet spring. Shooting prone may not be an option.

If you're going to be driving around in 4x4's make sure you have scope covers and maybe a barrel cot - it will get dusty because it never rains in summer here. Use the spray-on sunblock, the lotions get nasty in hot dusty conditions - yuck. In summer time you can find these handkerchiefs with absorbent beads in them, that you soak in ice water and then tie around your neck to keep cool. Most big grocery stores have them locally.

funny thing about hogs, they are always on the move especially during daylight hours. They're usually in groups of all different sizes, which makes it tough to judge their size. Most often, there will be a couple big ones up front and a couple big ones bringing up the rear, with the mid-size and piglets in the middle.

that's enough for now; good luck and shoot the ugliest one you see.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:57 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 57
Re: California Hog Hunt coming up...Tips/Advice?

Thank you, Loaders Loft! Great info. I hadn't thought about the tall grass, snakes, or dust. Are snake chaps worth taking, or just watch out where you step?

I'm sort of surprised that they would harass hog hunters, if feral hogs are a problem. Guess it all comes down to the individual officers, same as here.

I'm hoping to shoot a bigger hog first, and then work on the others. My buddy shot one a couple years ago with 4" tusks, I'm hoping for something similar.

I'll be hunting pretty much solo, from vantage points overlooking a couple stream bottoms and some vinyards, from what I've heard.

No dogs to use on this trip, but that sounds like fun. Another buddy of mine has relatives in Arkansas, and mentioned a possible trip this fall to hunt russian boars. That sounds like a blast. Week long trip, armed with 10 gauge, AR-10, and 300RUM. And maybe an army tank. I hear they're pretty dangerous.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:22 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sebastopol, ca.
Posts: 418
Re: California Hog Hunt coming up...Tips/Advice?

I have hunted in the area also and the hogs are bigger than you think. Saw an old boar that looked like a VW. He was huge. I shot his buddy that was really small until I got to him. Some serious work.
Leave the shotgun at home but bring a squirrel/prairie dog/ wood chuck rifle. There is a huge population of ground squirrels in the area.
Hunt hogs early and late and squirrels during the day. You will also need all copper bullets for the squirrel rifle.
There are a lot of rattlers around the rocks and the areas there are squirrels.
Don't shoot a hog after about 9:00 if you want to eat it. By the time you get it in the truck it will probably be pretty nasty tasting. The area is very hot and dry. The ice idea was great. Don't plan on hanging it in camp either, the nights don't cool off very well.
Try the etips from Nosler, excellent accuracy.
Someone said they are around 200 pounds, not too sure about that, the ones I have shot have all been the smaller ones of the group and they are around 200 pounds. The majority of them are more Russian.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:59 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,009
Re: California Hog Hunt coming up...Tips/Advice?

I have a set of snake chaps, that I never use. Last time I wore them (summer on central coast) it was over shorts, and I felt suffocated with the heat. If you have them it wouldn't hurt to throw in - if not I've got a pair that would go for a very reasonable price...

The central coast is a funny area for hogs. Some properties have plenty of large boars & sows, others like where I hunt are over-run with small and medium hogs. My best advice is to shoot the first one you see, then get selective on a second one. Sometimes the first group is the only group, and other times you see plenty.

EDIT - shoot the first ugliest one...
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:06 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Temecula CA
Posts: 366
Re: California Hog Hunt coming up...Tips/Advice?

Hogs here in California might be easy to shoot but remember they are tough as nails. My choice for hogs is a .308 caliber rifle and at minimum a 150 grain Barnes triple shock round. the Nosler E-tip Will work well too.
.308 Howa 1500, 24" varmint barrel, Harris bipod Bell & Carlson MkII tactical stock. 4-14x50 tactical scope from Wonder Optics.

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