Hunting warthog in South Africa with the best warthog hunters
Hunting warthog in South Africa is one of the most rewarding, and at times most challenging hunts around. Warthog hunting in South Africa can be done in open fields and by accident so-to-speak.
Be ready for a challenging hunt where shot placement is crucial.
Warthog hunting in South Africa
Warthog hunting in South Africa with an African hunting outfitter whose favorite animal to hunt is warthog. Warthogs can either be uncommonly canny or exceedingly stupid. With a slight breeze in your favor you can stalk a feeding warthog to within 10 to 20 yards from it.
Warthogs have been heavily hunted in some areas with the result that trophy warthog are not commonly found in those areas anymore. Fortunately, African Bushbuck Adventures still have a few hunting concessions with good trophy warthog available.
Most of a warthog’s day is spent foraging for food. Like pigs, warthog are not fussy about what they eat. Anything from grass, to bulbs, roots, insects, larvae, carrion, lizards, birds, bird eggs and more are consumed with enthusiasm.
To get their mouths down to the correct level to graze and root they kneel on their front knees. Warthogs are diurnal, meaning they are mostly active during the day. In areas where they are severely hunted big boars will roam around at night.
Warthog average body weight: boars will weigh down the scale to an average body weight between 130 lb. – 220 lb. (60 kg – 100 kg), and sows between 100 lb. – 150 lb. (45 kg – 70 kg).
A batch of 1 – 6 piglets are born during the peak season from September to November after a gestation period of three months. Two piglets on average make it to adulthood.
Warthog fun facts
Warthog scientific name: Phacochoerus aethiopicus
Boars and sows are promiscuous and will mate with any warthog of the opposite sex. Boars have nothing to do with raising the young and become solitary after the rut. Sows will form small sub-groups that consist of two to three sows and their offspring.
They have a particular fondness for waterholes during summer when they love to wallow in the mud. The mud assists in protecting their skins from for overexposure to the sun and against bug bites.
Shelter is in the form of old, disused aardvark holes that are used as a den. Warthogs reverse into their dens allowing a face front exit in case of danger. Apart from the obvious, warthog boars have an additional set of warts between the tusks and the eyes slightly above the tusks.
Predation is mostly from jackal, leopard, python and crocodiles. Sows will defend their young against smaller carnivores like jackal, cheetah and young leopard.
Warthog hunting gear
Gun scope for hunting warthogs
Purchase the optics you can afford. Or even better, use the ones you have.
The single most important issue is the gun scope must be able to withstand the recoil of the rifle once you squeeze the trigger.
A good 2 – 12 X 50 gun scope is sufficient for hunting warthog in South Africa.
Warthog hunting ammunition
Our preferred ammunition manufacturer is Barnes in just about any weight. Other premium grade ammunition manufacturers you can use are Federal Premium, Sierra and others.
Only use premium grade ammunition for hunting warthog in South Africa.
Warthog hunting calibers
The following are the best calibers for hunting warthog in South Africa:
270 can be used with confidence and a minimum bullet weight of 150 gr.
The old faithful caliber 308 using a minimum bullet weight of 150 gr.
What can we say about the worlds’ best caliber that has not been said? The 30-06 using a minimum bullet weight of 150 gr. This is hunting the second most wanted plains game animal, with the world’s best caliber.
Then the fine caliber that tamed Africa. The best known caliber around the 375 H&H using soft nose ammunition.
Warthog hunting prices South Africa
Warthog hunting prices in South Africa for the 2023 hunting season is $ 500.
During severe droughts warthogs may be cull hunted on some properties. If you are cull hunting warthogs there is no difference between males, females or juveniles. The cost of cull hunting warthogs is $ 150 per animal regardless of size.
However, in line with our conservation policy, we will not allow the needless killing (and not hunting) of our warthog population.
Hunting warthog shot placement
Warthog shot placement can be brutally simple or extravagently difficult. Warthog are low to the ground having their vitals covered by longer grass or they could be feeding with their forelegs curled in. Making a good shot placement on warthog is the difference between a great trophy or a lost trophy.
Make sure about your shot before you take it.
Broadside shot on warthog
General rule of thumb is to place the shot directly behind the shoulder of the warthog, about one third of the way up from the start of the chest to the top of the back. According to previous generations the following was the rule: if you can eat it, shoot it behind the shoulder; if it can eat you, shoot it on the shoulder.
In a perfect shot environment we suggest the hunter place the shot right on the shoulder to break the shoulder limiting mobility.
Warthog quartering to shot
On a quartering to shot aim for the inside of the closer shoulder to allow the shot to penetrate the vital organs. Warthog shot placement with medium bore calibers usually ends well for the hunter.
Be aware of the long face of all hogs to avoid a mounth shot.
Taking a quartering away shot on warthog
On a quartering away shot bisect the angle formed between the front legs and aim at the bottom third of the distance between the bottom of the chest and the top of the back of the warthog.
If you are using a 375 warthogs seldom move far from where they receive such a shot at this angle.
Taking a shot when the warthog faces you
When a warthog faces you aim for the center of the chest just above the brisket. Head shots should be avoided as far as possible due to the proximity of the animal and possibility of hitting the jaw.
If lying down wait until the stands up and be ready to place the shot where the neck joins the chest.
Hunting warthog in South Africa shot placement diagram
Hunting warthog in South Africa general information
There was a time when irresponsible professional hunters were on a course to see if they could totally eradicate warthogs as a specie. This was done with the sole purpose of making money from a market that required very little motivation to be here.
It is our task as hunters to ensure NO specie is over hunted at any given point in time. It is also a fact that many land owners have saved a number of threatened species like sable and roan antelope. Let us as hunting outfitters be the custodians of making sure our warthog populations survive.
Hunters are responsible for legal hunting according to set laws by government. Illegal hunting and poaching is responsible for the uncontrolled eradication of most species. If traditional healers, witch doctors and bone traders cannot legally come by their ware for medicinal purposes, it will be poachers and illegal hunters who will step up to the supply chain.
Enjoy your hunt. Be sure. Be safe.
Tips for hunting warthogs
With a slight breeze in favor of the hunter warthog can be approached to within a very short distance. However, this does not occur at regular intervals. Warthog have less than average eye sight but well above hearing- and smelling capabilities.
When feeding with their heads down in knee high grass, it is difficult to judge trophy quality so the hunter needs to be at the ready until such time the warthog lifts its head.
Best time of year to hunt warthogs
From June to August the bush starts to recede rather quickly and during September and October the daily temperatures start rising while the bush recedes to a minimum.
Best time of year to hunt warthog is from March to October with peak hunting taking place during the very dry spell between July and October.
We can and do hunt warthog from January to December.
Warthog average shot distance
The average expected shot distance when hunting warthog in South Africa is 20 to 100 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.