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

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Crop Damage, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. Crop Damage

    Crop Damage Well-Known Member

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    I've been invited to shoot feral hogs on a ranch in California this summer. I think it is fairly near san luis obispo. If I spelled that right. My buddy says there are some canyons and stream bottoms that the hogs feed along, and some mesas that offer good vantage points. He claims you can shoot as far as you want to, which sounds good to me.

    Never been to Calif. before, never hunted hogs before. Any advice, recommendations on equipment, etc? I'm taking my 300RUM and a shotgun. I think it will be mainly spot and stalk hunting, but I don't know for sure.
     

  2. dieseldoc

    dieseldoc Well-Known Member

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    First of all you must use lead free bullets in that area. California law. So for get the shot gun. Hogs sometime are very easy to kill, make sure you have it set up well before pulling the latch as shot placement is very important. Be careful on trying running shot as they can move much faster than you think. As with a bad shot they will run forever and in that area the brush is very thick and it hard to track on that has a bad hit
    Good luck on the hunt.
    Charlie gun)
     

  3. dieseldoc

    dieseldoc Well-Known Member

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    First of all you must use lead free bullets in that area. California law. Forget the shot gun. Hogs sometime are very easy to kill, make sure you have it set up well before pulling the latch as shot placement is very important. Be careful on trying running shot as they can move much faster than you think. As with a bad shot they will run forever and in that area the brush is very thick and it hard to track on that has a bad hit.
    Good luck on the hunt.
    Charlie gun)
     
  4. muleyman

    muleyman Well-Known Member

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    As said before, you'll need an all copper bullet as no lead allowed, (condor range) so that may change from what you're already using. I believe Barnes makes an all copper slug now. Also if they are really just feral hogs they will be on the smaller side, but inter-breeding with wild ones will significantly make them bigger and tougher. They generally don't bleed much when hit behind the shoulder as they have a thick plating just under the skin so its best to try and put them down on the spot. A lot of times if they hit the brush or thickets they'll be really hard to follow. I would imagine in that area you'll be hunting open fields near thicker draws where they hide during the day. You also probably already know but if you're going to eat these critters, smaller ones taste a hell of a lot better than the big boars.......Good luck
     
  5. clamb4

    clamb4 Well-Known Member

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    I have hunted hogs in that area a couple of times and the one thing I remember is the ticks. At the end of each day strip down and look yourself over real good. You mainly get them walking through thick brush. Have fun.
     
  6. Crop Damage

    Crop Damage Well-Known Member

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    Whoa, good call on the lead free ammo. Never considered that. (Do condors really eat bullets?) Thanks. I'll take some permethrin tick spray too.
     
  7. colasweet

    colasweet Member

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    I love California hog hunting. When I first moved out here I thought it sounded silly, hunting hogs. BUt it is every bit as hardcore and maybe more so than any deer hunt I have been on. I'm sold. They are smart, strong and will run straight up a canyon slope that will leave you in the dust.
    Anyways, the Barnes ammo is great, don't think twice about using it. It hits hard and puts them down, its just damn $$$! Some of the Federal Premium ammo uses the Barnes TSX and I believe the MRX.

    Bring water, keep hydrated, that area gets hot, even in spring. Be snake aware as well as tick aware.

    The Condor thing seems to be a joke, most of the "range" was the historic range and there are no Condors in there in the first place. Last I heard there has never even been a condor that had died of lead posoning in CA. Its more of a speculation... Eeescchhh
     
  8. jpeaston

    jpeaston Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  9. Crop Damage

    Crop Damage Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  10. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

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    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.:D
     
  11. Crop Damage

    Crop Damage Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  12. squirrelduster

    squirrelduster Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  13. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

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    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...
     
  14. rdsii64

    rdsii64 Well-Known Member

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    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.