Pig Politics - UK

With pigs starting to show up on the menu in the UK I was wondering if there were any guidelines in place. is it, as I suspect, shoot any pig you like on sight?

In a sounder, what would you go for, the little ones, a middle sized one, or the biggest hairiest ugliest monster that you can see?

Would you bother to shoot a mature boar in mid winter if an imature option was available?
Well the first and sometimes non-trivial hudle is getting the words "'Wild Boar' on your FAC:

Home Office guide, Page 68, section 13.25 - Other Animals:

"Authority may be requested to shoot animals which fall outside the scope of usual types of game or vermin, for example feral goat or wild boar. The type of rifle authorised should be appropriate to the quarry species, for example .270, .30-06 or.308 or greater for wild boar. Hunting potentially dangerous animals with larger calibre rifles requires particular skill, and applicants should generally have experience of firearms. Applicants should put forward specific named land and a request or authority from the owner/occupier to shoot the species concerned".

Not aware of any other limitations but there is this:

With pigs starting to show up on the menu in the UK I was wondering if there were any guidelines in place. is it, as I suspect, shoot any pig you like on sight?

In a sounder, what would you go for, the little ones, a middle sized one, or the biggest hairiest ugliest monster that you can see?

Would you bother to shoot a mature boar in mid winter if an imature option was available?
I'd always go for a young one, tenderer & succulent! However in the UK, the usual tree hugging, anthropomorphic, animal rights nutters will probably try & stop the hunting of them as they have badgers! I look forward to the first death of one the idiots who release the farmed Boar into the wild! They conveniently forget that these animals can be extremely dangerous, especially when they have young in the vicinity. :- "Wild boar reach weights of 400 pounds, travel 40 miles per hour, are smart, have really short tempers, and protective armor plating over their shoulders. When cornered, they fight. They are not afraid of humans or dogs. It is common in some countries for hunters and hikers to be chased and injured or even killed by wild boar".
The ones in Kent,weren't released by anyone,they escaped after the 87 storm,so not indigenous,pain in the arse,please come and shoot them.

As EC says these are crafty barstewards,and can make your eyes water if they take a sudden dislike to you,be careful,very careful.
I'll try and post some tips drawn from my experiences with pig, but not tonight, we have loads of new snow, a new moon and shit loads of pigs which require my attention.


Keep this rolling, we have them over here as well!
Mmmm. Wild boar, my very favourite meat (closely followed by veal, said just to piss off the greenies). :)
When we lived in Germany we had a friend who was a forester and one day he told us they were going to cull the boar and would we like a piglet? Well, as they're really cute - and succulent we, of course, bit his hand off. The local butcher dressed it and the local baker cooked in in his oven on the Saturday night and made a couple of litres of gravy, all at a very modest cost. That Sunday we had a party, the excuse was the Superbowl final and everyone said the meat was the best they'd ever tasted. :nod:
The second best wildschwein I've ever eaten was in a biker cafe in the Lagental North of Mozingen (where our favourite vintner resides).
With pigs starting to show up on the menu in the UK I was wondering if there were any guidelines in place. is it, as I suspect, shoot any pig you like on sight?
It's much as you suggest, DEFRA spent a considerable time navel gazing before stating for the record "It's up to you chaps". To mis-quote The Frost Report on the black and white telly: "Where does The Government stand on the subject of Boar Management? Aside."

Defra, UK - Science Search

The Deer Initiative has had a stab at "Good Practices"

Wild boar guidance, guides, management

No close seasons. Make it up as you go.

I don’t know how pig shooting will work in the UK as I believe it is still very much frowned upon to shoot at night, correct me if I’m wrong. Legislation will eventually have to change to accomodate pig, because pig are not about to change.

Here there are two system which work, driven daylight shoots like “Druckjagd”, large game drives with beaters and or dogs and dozens of guns. In Germany you aren’t allowed to drive more than twice a year in one shoot though as the game becomes stressed. There is also a smaller version “Treibjagd”, if you know that pig are in a particular maizefield, wood, or thicket, you surround it with guns (normally facing outwards) and try to beat them out. I'll try to cover driven pig another time. I don't think the nimbies in the Uk are ready for high impact druckjagd. Perhaps when not one garden is left that will change.

The second, Ansitzjagd, involves patience, bright moonlight, high seats, scopes with large objectives and if there’s no crops on hand to attract the pig, we use baits. This is the type of shoot I prefer as it gives a chance of a clean kill and not just for pig.

You can’t really stalk pig, those big Mickey Mouse ears they have work really well and they make use of cover really well when they lie up for the day. A good dog will find them, but all you’ll see in your sights is the steam coming out of a running pigs arse which is bobbing about just above your dog’s head, such a “Texas Heart Shot” is usually a shocking waste of meat and not good drills.

The only chance I’ve found to safely stalk pig is when they are rooting up ground, they get into a feeding frenzy sometimes and they can’t hear you due to their own noise.

If you are going to try for pig at night, the high seat is crucial, it raises your scent above the heads of the pigs, if you just hide in a hedge they’ll suss you out. The seat needs to be solidly made, preferably roofed and enclosed. Falls kill many hunters each year. (On this point don’t hunt alone! Take a phone, let people know where you are. Three shots in quick succession is an emergency call in Germany) A badly built high seat will be also be very noisy.

Pig, particularly the older variants are very wary when approaching baits. I’ve often heard them casting around in the woods around me trying to get wind from the seat before approaching the crop or bait. Scent is their No1 sense followed closely by hearing and eyesight. All three are shit hot.

Wind direction is critical, rain and snow (snow is a dream for pig, easy to see and if frosty, hear) helps hide your scent, but pig won’t venture far in stormy weather. Dogs, with a few exceptions, are generally a disadvantage in high seats, it’s scents and noises you can’t control, plus hazardous when climbing. Tying them up at the foot of the ladder simply negates any advantage the high seat gives you.

Don’t bait too close to your position, 40-50 meters is good. Bait in quiet un-trodden areas where pig feel at home, woodland clearings etc, not the favourite local shagging spot in Epping forest or the centre reservation of the M6.

The best bait is maize, plenty of it, topped up regularly, only approach the bait area when you are topping up to keep the scent levels down. Put a small pallet on top of the maize, deer will scratch between the boards, but pig will move or turn the pallet (you can stand a post between the boards to check at a distance if they were there. There are many commercial baits but maize works, as does oily fish out of a tin. (also good for Foxes, Enok (racoon dogs) and Racoons) If you’re going to use fish don’t put it where the maize is, use another area. Other attractants are: offal, hides, sugar beet, wheat, Jerusalem artichokes, lovage, maggi sauce, anis oil, turnips, etc. all work, but not all in one pile, keep them separate and let the pig get used to finding them there.

Beech tar smeared on a tree that pig and reds can rub against, (paint it on the tree from ground level up to chest high), you can see what game, and in what size, was there by the rubbing marks and hairs left behind.

Salt licks are also welcomed by pig, mount it out of reach on a well dug in heavy post or better a sawn off tree. They should lick the salt off the trunk/post and not munch directly on the salt.

If light is a problem, woodland clearings etc. then you can spread hay, straw, or wood shavings around the bait. You’ll see the game better in silhouette but it will take the game longer to accept the bait.

Once you’re in the high seat looking at a baited area you need to be quiet that means, no phones, mp3s, if you have coughs and sneezes don’t bother, if you aren’t alone, don’t talk and once you’ve heard pig approaching, control your breathing. Pig, particularly the larger wiser boar, have stealth mode and can appear at any time. They won’t always announce themselves.

Girly soaps, deos, and aftershave / nonce juice is well out. If you have a flask or felt the need to take a picknick with you, you should be aware that that nice coffee or bovril will be smelt by every pig for twenty clicks downwind and those cough drops for the tickly throat and those crafty Bensons you light in your pocket will likewise attract their attention. Using home made alum solutions to spray yourself, boots and kit can help lower your scent impact, you can add it to your washing machine to rinse your clothes. If you have dogs, I think it helps. Or just take a tip from your dog and have a roll in some horseshit.

Once pig are in the area you need to be able to deploy your rifle without noise, practice this as soon as you are in the seat. No noisy swivels, noisy safeties or hanging slings which catch on stuff! The rifle should be loaded and with the safety on. Many German guns have the capability to quietly cock the gun, and ease the springs with one up the spout, nice if you’ve got the capability. Having a daughter next to you shouting “SCHWEINE DADDY SCHWEINE… I MEAN PIGS PIGS DADDY!!!! Doesn’t help either.

Important: Don’t shoot those pigs who are apparently: carrying torches, smoking, listening to MP3 players, have saddles blankets or Nike jogging shoes on, or appear to have dipped headlights. If you can’t identify the target, it isn’t one.

Target selection is all important, don’t just shoot the first, or biggest shadow in the field. If you are certain that it’s a lone animal then fill your boots.

But be aware that alpha sow, if she’s running alone with young piglets, will sometimes leave them in cover, if it’s a decent sounder she will often send a young boar out first to test the water, (you’ll know him when you see him reluctantly stalking out of the woods, advancing a few meters at a time) if you do hear multiple pig then it may be worth waiting, particularly in winter, why? Because a boar between November and the end of March will be “Ranzig” that’s the German term, it means it’s meat will stink like a Rio carnival gwarr crack-whore and will taste like shit, I think our word rancid comes from there. (you can improve the taste by marinading the meat overnight in buttermilk, but I still find it stinks like a frenchman's vest)

Once you can see the sounder assess them and here’s my personal mission statement:

Mission: Don’t shoot the alpha sow!
Mission: Don’t shoot the alpha sow!

Why? I can’t afford the heavy German fines and hunter approbation, for doing so, and it’s a policy I’ve come to agree with, and if you do you’ll be sat all night trying to pick off her piglets one by one having just caused the older members of the sounder to bomb-burst. Now you have a nucleus sounder for every female pig big enough to survive on her own and you’ve created a huge population explosion. In normal conditions only leading sows and perhaps, in mast years, a very senior sister, are allowed to breed.

Always try and shoot a small pig, then there’s no risk of killing the lead sow. Small pig taste really great, big pig taste like my old ammo boots filled with Sherpa **** socks. Piglets under 10 kilos are uninteresting. Against given German policy I usually let them run, but their aunties and uncles in the 20-50 kilo range are all hot for the pot, although even the small males may be “Ranzig” after November, but I've never experienced it in a pig under 40 kilos.

If you pick off a small pig, the rest will double off at the high port, but will, particularly in winter, be back at your bait within three days. If the sounder bomb bursts the pig get into all sorts of stress and all bets are off.

If you really must shoot a trophy animal then wait for the loners, the big males are all, except in the rut, loners, or they turn up with just one adult adjutant.

Lone pig are always worth shooting.

Always give a shot pig time to die! Don’t go after it for at least 15 minutes. I often phone any mates in the area who have gun dogs in training, it gives the immature hounds a chance at a real scent, even if it’s only thirty meters long, the experience is invaluable. If I’ve hit the pig badly the young dog may get a chance to prove his worth. Recovering and cleaning a pig is better done in company with a beer or two. The pigs liver, if healthy, is very tasty indeed, but don't forget to remove the Gall bladder with care!
Part 2

As for the shot, I only shoot them through the chest cavity behind the shoulder. Done right the animal will run 30 meters before noticing that it’s dead. Head shots however are tricky and lead to the meat being ruined or at least devalued, it needs to bleed. If you hit the chest cavity correctly, both lungs, the pulmonary artery, the aorta and the vena cave will be be soup spread across the field, the heart will beat just long enough to give you a real quality Christmas joint. If the pig runs further it will be easy to find due to the aerosol jets of lung blood painting the landscape.

Pig are heavily boned and the frontal heart shot can lead to the ball playing the xylophone with the pigs ribs before smashing into a ham with a pig shit stuffing, try selling that to your misus. I always wait, I shoot for the pot and a suitable shot will present itself.

Now I know that some, saddled with smaller calibres, will think a head shot is a better bet, I used to think the same way, but I’ve seen pig, particularly after game drives, with their heads and snouts shot to **** by hunters applying too much lead, those pig don’t stop and die often later, mostly of starvation. The brain is a very small well protected target and it is always mobile, even when the pig is standing.

The lead for moving pig is important, when I started some joker said aim at the tip of the snout, bullshit, it leads to the problems already mentioned. A hand span forward of the mark is usually enough even at full tilt pig, if the pig is close you take out his 4x4 and one lung, if he’s 150 meters away you’ve got a sound kill, further off, why bother? Wait and see if it stops. A gut shot pig will run for days and be a danger to the public.

The choice of ammunition is very personal, but you need to obtain an exit wound. Simple soft nosed rounds can be used if the calibre is heavy enough. I wouldn’t use anything less than 3600 joules and 11g for pig with (according to the designer) at least 50% of the ball remaining in one piece. 6000 joules and 13 to 17g is better.

The exit wound tells you a lot about where the shot landed, colour/type of blood, patterns of blood lost, lung matter, different bone types, muscle, half digested grass etc. and this detail improves if your chosen ball has ridges to cut hair and bristle (particularly if you’ve found none of the above i.e you’ve just parted it’s hair)

I consider this to be a draft, old German hands please feel free to chip in! I'll try and cover driven shoots at a later date. Any questions?


excellent advice, keep it coming!
That was last night from my phone. Actually as we have discussed before most of this advice is very good. We dont have a downer on night shooting legally, it just needs a permit for deer or permission from the landowner for everything else.
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