Hunting bushpig in South Africa
Hunting bushpig in South Africa
Hunting bushpig in South Africa successfully without dogs is a major achievement and should be seen as such. In some regions these very secretive, nocturnal hogs have made it uneconomical for farmers to continue planting crops like corn.
Bushpig are extremely wasteful feeders that will break down a whole corn stalk to only eat one of the 2 – 3 cobs before moving onto the next stalk. An adult male bushpig will be able to devour 15 pounds of corn and more per night making them farmer enemy number one.
As a result of the destructive feeding habits farmers try to recover lost income by charging a trophy fee for bushpig hunting.
Bushpig males (boars) are stocky animals that can become extremely dangerous and aggressive if cornered or wounded. They use their razor-sharp tusks to disembowel opponents like large cats and domestic dogs.
Interesting bushpig facts
Bushpig scientific name: Potamochoerus larvatus
Apart from predators, bushpig numbers are only kept intact by hunting and disease. Disease does not seemingly play such a large role anymore and with increased agricultural activities it seems like bushpig numbers are on the increase.
Hunting bushpig is a tedious affair which influences bushpig hunting prices. Firstly, an area has to be identified before baiting can commence. Secondly, once baiting is started it needs to be maintained to allow the bushpig to realize there is a constant food source.
Obviously, the early bird catches the worm, and if a juvenile or sow bushpig discovers the baiting station before the arrival time of the boar, the whole objective comes to naught. This is the main reason why hunting a bushpig successfully is so satisfying to the hunter. The amount of effort in a bushpig hunt is tremendous.
Bushpig are survivalists par-excellance with a wide food source ability ranging from roots, insects, carrion and almost anything else that is edible.
Bushpig vs warthog
Bushpig are mostly nocturnal and warthogs are mostly diurnal. If conditions are favorable, both will become active outside their usual behaviour.
The large tusks on bushpig are situated in the lower jaw. The opposite is true for warthog.
Bushpig hunting prices
Bushpig hunting prices South Africa for the 2020 hunting season is $ 450.
If bushpig were easier to hunt it is our opinion that more cull hunts will be available. Being as smart as they are, bushpig will almost never fall for the same trick twice. You need to change position and location after a shot is fired.
Perhaps with the new generation night sight optics, more bushpig will be hunted successfully.
Ammunition for hunting bushpig
We recommend you only use premium grade ammunition when hunting bushpig in South Africa.
Our preferred ammunition manufacturer is Barnes TTSX and TSX in just about any weight. Other premium grade ammunition manufactures you can use would be Federal Premium, Nosler Partition, Sierra and others.
The reason we keep hammering on using premium grade ammunition is:
In South Africa if you shoot at an animal and blood is drawn, the animal is considered bought and paid for. If you use cheap ammunition that is inferior and causes blood to be drawn you pay even if we do not find it.
What you are looking for in premium grade ammunition is consistent performance. Petals must mushroom creating a wide wound channel leading to the animal expiring quickly.
Petals that break off, or worse, if the bullet / projectile disintegrates upon contact the animal will survive and you will pay.
Best gun scope for hunting bushpig in South Africa
There are numerous gun scopes and gun scope brands available on the market today. It is our experience that the more costly gun scopes like Leupold and Swarovski optics certainly provide more light under darker conditions.
The single most important issue would be for the gun scope to withstand the recoil once you squeeze the trigger.
A good 2 – 12 X 50 gun scope should be sufficient.
Bushpig hunting caliber
The best caliber rifle to hunt bushpig with is the one you know best. We can argue calibers from now till chickens grow teeth and still disagree. Why try and fix something that is not broke?
Use a medium bore rifle that you can shoot accurately and feel comfortable using.
We consider the following as the best calibers for hunting bushpig in South Africa:
- 270 using a minimum bullet weight of 140 gr traveling at a muzzle velocity of just shy of 3 000 feet per second (fps). Only use Barnes TTSX, Nosler Partition, Sierra GameKing, Federal Premium and other premium grade ammunition.
- 308 using a minimum bullet weight of 165 gr traveling at a muzzle velocity of about 3 000 feet per second (fps). Only use Barnes TTSX, Nosler Partition, Sierra GameKing, Federal Premium and other premium grade ammunition.
- hunting bushpig with the greatest caliber on earth, the 30-06. Our best results have consistently come from using Barnes TTSX 150 gr ammunition at slightly shy of 2 800 fps.
- 375 using any grain weight bullet / projectile from 270 gr up to 380 gr over shorter distances. We have consistently had our best results with Barnes 300 gr TSX ammunition in 375.
The 300 calibers are usually not considered to be the best calibers for bushveld hunting. The possibility of having a deflection en-route to the target outweighs the full potential of these calibers. However, if a bushpig presents a shot, shoot it with the rifle you have in hand.
Hunting bushpig in South Africa shot placement
A broadside shot on bushpig: the shot should be placed behind the shoulder in line with the front leg and almost two thirds of the way up from the bottom of the brisket to the top of the back. Alternatively, place the shot right on the shoulder of the bushpig, below one third of the way between the brisket and the hump on top of the back.
Aim for the inside of the closer shoulder of the bushpig, one third of the way between the bottom of the brisket and the top of the back.
A quartering away shot on bushpig is fine if the angle is not too acute. Aim at the opposite shoulder at the same height as for a broadside shot.
Due to the position of the head in relation to the body, facing on shots for bushpig should be avoided.
Hunting bushpig in South Africa general information
Tips for hunting bushpig in South Africa
Hunting bushpig successfully is done by means of three ways:
- to come across it by accident when hunting something else, and
- by baiting it and then waiting for it to come to the bait.
- using hounds
Baiting is a tedious method, not unlike that of baiting leopard and lion where many hours are spent very silent in a blind / hide. They are extremely weary and will run away at the slightest suggestion of noise or something seeming different to what they are used to.
When you do come across one that does not see you there will be no time to decide to shoot a boar or a sow – shoot the biggest one that is in range.
Bushpig hunting average shot distance
The average expected shooting distance when hunting bushpig in South Africa is 30 to 100 yards.
Best time of year for hunting bushpig in South Africa
Best time of year to hunt bushpig is from April to November with peak hunting taking place during the very dry spell between July and October.
We can and do hunt bushpig from January to December.
Below is one of our bushpig hunting videos.
It shows a few minutes worth of hunting where in actual fact it took many hours to finally get the shot.
Enjoy the experience with us.