Wild hogs, especially injured ones, can pose a threat to hunters. Social media has proven human-hog encounters can cause severe injury to the hunter.
That said, the choice of a weapon must be thoughtfully considered.
A .22 long-rifle hollow point at close range, fired into the brain will do the trick. That same round fired into a shoulder or lungs will result in an injured and irate animal, and thus a potentially dangerous situation.
In conferring with firearm and ammunition experts, I received these recommendations for hunting pigs:
• Rimfire rifles — The .22 WRM is the minimum rimfire for an average hog (50 to 90 pounds), and only then with a head shot at 35 to 40 yards. The .17 HMR and .17 WSM might extend that range to 50 to 75 yards, again with a head shot.
• Centerfire rifles — Any deer rifle makes a good pig weapon. Heads hots are still preferred, but heart lung shots will do the job. Never underestimate the resilience of a large boar; their thick “armor plate” hide make it tough to reach vitals. More important, they will attack people when injured.
• Shotguns — On many wildlife management areas, small game hunters use shotguns. The preferred shot size for squirrel and rabbit is usually No. 6, however legal shot sizes for small game goes down to the much-heavier No. 2 shot. A gunner would be wise to keep a few of the No. 2s close at hand.
Even then, taking on an adult hog with bird shot is a risky situation.