If you’ve never hunted wild hogs before, you may have some questions about where to aim your shot, especially if you’ve never been hunting before. Even hunters with prior experience hunting deer or similar animals often try to aim for the same areas they would on those animals, not realize how different wild hogs are built.


So to give you a better idea of where to target your shot and not risk having to trail a wounded animal, here’s a guide to help you bring down your pig with the first shot.


Wild Hog Anatomy 101


Wild hogs have more compact bodies than most big game animals and many of their vital organs are pushed much lower and further to the front than hunters expect.


The thick skin and bony armor at the front of the hog’s body protects their organs from being wounded when the animals stab at each other with their sharp tusks. This protection is so effective you also need to take into account when you’re aiming your rifle or bow.


It’s not uncommon for light caliber rounds and arrows coming from the wrong angle to hit hogs without penetrating.


Compared to a deer, hog vitals are much farther forward and their shoulders are shorter. A lung shot on a deer would be a gut shot for a wild hog. The lungs on a hog are directly above where the hog’s front legs meet it’s body.


Hog hearts are low and sit below and towards the front of the lungs. Because the heart sits so low, hunters sometime shoot under pigs.


Wounded animals, missed opportunities


Without knowing the right place to aim, it’s easy to hit the wrong area and end up having to chase down a wounded hog.This is obviously not fun for the hunter or the hog.


In some cases you may never be able to track down your target, either because you didn’t wound it severely enough to cause death, or it managed to successfully hide from you.


Whatever the case, a quick, clean kill is the ethical responsibility of a hunter so it’s important to educate yourself about wild hog anatomy for practical purposes and because it’s simply the right thing to do.

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