Bowhunting: How to Make a Good Hit on a Hog

Bringing home the bacon requires a close, angled shot

Hog hunting

3 Simple Tips to Drop a Pig With an Arrow

Don’t Shoot! A broadside pig’s vitals are between the shoulders. Wait for him to quarter away.Pete Sucheski

A feral pig isn't difficult to kill with a well-placed arrow, but having to recover one after a marginal hit is no fun—and all too common. That's because most bowhunters are trained on deer, and a hog's anatomy differs significantly. Aiming just behind a broadside boar's shoulder, as you would to double-lung a whitetail, typically results in a paunch hit. While a small portion of a pig's lungs extend slightly behind the shoulder crease, most of the vital area rests between the shoulders. To make a good hit on a hog, you need to keep your shots close and follow these steps:

[1.] Get an Angle

Wait for the pig to quarter away. The favored shot angle of many whitetail bowhunters is a near necessity on hogs. The angle needn’t be sharp—just a step or two beyond broadside is fine.

[2.] Target the Far Side

Aim at the opposite shoulder. You want your broadhead to exit either through the far shoulder or just in front of it (no more than an inch or two). If you’re behind it, you’re likely in the guts. Hitting the far shoulder, even if the arrow doesn’t pass through, typically means a double-lung shot.

[3.] Hold Low

A pig’s heart is located low in the animal’s chest, in line with the bend of the elbow. This way, if you miss low, you’re apt to get a clean miss. If you miss a little high, you’ll get lung—and you’ll likely get your pig.