Harvesting Wild Boar – A few thoughts on shot placement.

This article is a follow-up to Wild Boar in Mud Wallow – Where to place a shot?

You may want to have a quick look at the original article to learn the exact positions of the hunter and the wild pig.

The wild boar presents itself for an almost perfect broadside shot to the vital organs. Unfortunately, the vitals are protected by mud and dirt. A lateral shot is not a good idea. The best shot is a shot to the head. To the ear to be exact.

The ear of the wild pig is clearly visible and well defined. It is free of any obstructions

and cleanly exposed to the hunter’s bullet. A well placed shot to the ear will hit the brain. The boar will not even know what hit him.

Where exactly should the shot be placed? Look at the diagram of the skeleton of the wild pig

in the previous article. You can see the cranial cavity to the right of the eye, right above the ear where the skull forms a raised small box.

The hunter is slightly above the wild hog and a little to the right. Any shot will therefore be on a downward and forward angle. Consequently, the hunter has to aim somewhat farther back and barely above the top of the ear.

As one of the commentators pointed out, you should normally aim at a point on a line from the eye to the top of the ear, slightly to the left, and just about where the longer hair begins. However, considering the actual position of the hunter in this scenario, the better aiming point would be on a line from the eye to the rear part of the ear shell where the ear ends and begins to merge into the long, shaggy hair from the back. This way the path of the bullet has a better chance of hitting the cranial cavity on its way downward and forward.

If you aimed at the originally suggested point, there is in my opinion a slight chance of missing or grazing the brain. The two white dots indicate possible aiming points depending on the exact position of the hunter. The one on the right is for the more ‘aft’ position of the hunter.

There are two other alternatives for shots to the head area:

Between the eyes and to the neck.

A shot between the lights is not really feasible here since the hunter is almost broadside to the pig. From his position, the eyes of the wild boar are too much forward of the brain for an even well-placed bullet to dispatch the quarry mercifully and fast.

A neck shot is a better option. But it is also a very difficult one. The spine of the wild boar is located rather deep with much flesh around it. It is notoriously difficult to determine its exact position. Just look at the picture of the wild hog in the mud wallow. I would not feel comfortable to take a stab at pointing out the location of the spine. My best guess is that in this picture the neck vertebrae are buried somewhere behind the line of dark, coarse hair that runs on the side of the wild pig from the ear to the tail area.

Your guess is as good as mine!

Finally, let’s point out that we are shooting from about 100 yards away and downward on an angle of less than 10 degrees. Purists will say that the downward angle and the distance must be taken into account when aiming at the ear. Though this is correct in practice at our distance and angle we can very well do without exact range finding and calculation of the bullet trajectory. At this distance, shot angle to the horizontal and distance are almost negligible factors of error. But we must take into account that the rifle is zeroed in at 150 yards. Aiming a little low might therefore be a good idea.

So, stick with the safe shot to the aiming point described above.

Unless you want to wait for the sow to get up and present you with a better shot!


I will attempt to explore aiming points and shot placement on wild boar in future articles. Please stop by to check with us.

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