Hunting Wild Pig Boar in New Zealand

Captain Cooker is a hybrid wild pig named to honor the revered sea captain and explorer. The uniquely crossbred feral pig freely roams the tussock land and bush around North and South Island. Due to their large numbers and healthy appetite, wild boar can pose a problem in terms of damage to forests and crops, something which recreational hunters can help mitigate.

A big boar Cooker easily weighs 440lbs, can be 6 feet long, and has razor sharp ivory tusks that can be as long as six inches. With excellent hearing and a keen sense of smell, the boar is a formidable foe and challenging quarry.

There is little difference between a wild boar and a domestic pig, apart from the fact that most feral animals have short, thick and bristly coats that range from grew to brown or black. Razorback wild pigs have a prominent ridge along the spine, and a short, straight tail. The snout and head also tends to be narrower and longer.

While winter is the best time to hunt wild boar, it can be done all year round.

In New Zealand, there is no seasonal restriction to hunting feral pigs or wild boars.


Wild Boars Fact Sheet

Scientific Name: Sus scrofa
Male Weight: 145 - 205 kg
Female Weight: 114 kg
Gestation period: 113 days
Height: 100 cm
Colour: Mostly black


Hunting Considerations

The traditional method of pig sticking involves using dogs to stalk the pigs, and then putting it down using a knife and is still popular, if not risky. However, shooting is gaining traction, for more squeamish hunters.

If you are pig sticking, ensure that you have the appropriate dog breeds and that the dogs are properly trained. Bring along an experienced hunter with a gun in case the pig puts you or your dogs in danger

At dusk and dawn, pigs will more likely be on the edge of bushes or shrubbery. The rest of the day, they will use tracks through dense scrub that may be hard for both dogs and hunters to negotiate. During spring, they will come closer to farms, where they will feed on calf or lamb placenta. They may also kill newborn lambs.

Remain quit and stay down-wind to avoid being detected by the boar's superior sense of smell and hearing.

As with other types of hunting, be sure to use the appropriate gun power. A .22 may not be sufficient to humanely kill a boar, but rather to aggravate it. Instead, opt for a .44 Magnum, a .303 or a .308.

Shot Placement

A wounded wild pig boar is a dangerous animal and it may charge at you, so be sure that the first shot is a kill shot.

Many hunters make the mistake of shooting wild boar using the same shot placement that they use for fallow deer. However, there are two issues to bear in mind, namely a) the wild boar's vitals are more forward and somewhat lower than that of a fallow deer, and b) the boar's fat might plug the entry and exit wounds.

Therefore, when hunting boar, aim for broadside through both shoulders, or behind the ear. A solid shot through the broadside will break both shoulders and damage the heart or lungs. A well-placed round into the recessed area behind the ear will put the pig down right away and will alleviate the issue of blood tracking.


Wild Boar Shot Placement


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