Any weapon will work — behind a hog’s ear

Any rifle used for deer hunting is suitable for killing wild hogs, as long as shot placement is paramount.

A lot of hunters who haven’t targeted hogs don’t know what weapon to use. Any high-powered rifle or slug gun that is sufficient for a whitetail deer will put down most any pig, assuming bullet placement is on the money.

Archery can be another adventure altogether.

“We get some archery hunters,” said Hugh Walters of Deerfield Plantation in St. George, “but, of course, they’re not as successful as the gun hunters. If they want to shoot a big hog — 175 pounds are better — they really need to get behind that shield and angle the arrow forward.”

The “shield” is the tough, gristly chest and shoulder armor a hog wears, presumably to protect him during fights with other tuskers. It can slow a bullet and definitely turn a broadhead.

“As far as rifles,” Walters said, “we try to get everybody to shoot them in the head. Stick it in their ear, right under their ear … somewhere in that area. Those that are shot in the head, they’re going to be lying right there.”

According to Walters, shooting a large hog in or behind the shoulder generally results in the animal running off into the nastiest, thickest, darkest hellhole he can find.

“You can kill them with a .243 on up,” he said, “but regardless of what you use, if you shoot them in the shield, that hole is going to seal up and stop the blood trail. After that, you just go by luck trying to find them.”

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