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Knife for Hog Hunting and Dispatching…What Would You Choose?

brownshoe

I support this site with my MIND
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Messages
9,049
But what knife would you choose?
Pigs, like all suids, are native to the Eurasian and African continents, ranging from Europe to the Pacific islands. Suids other than the pig are the babirusa of Indonesia, the pygmy hog of South Asia, the warthog of Africa, and other pig genera from Africa.

I'm not fast on my feet, so I wouldn't use a knife. A coworker sets out bait on a dirt road and pretends to be sniper and executes them from a long way off.

When it comes to origin of wild hogs, I read an article where they compared the DNA of several areas supposedly wild hogs, both current and hogs from archeological digs. This article said there was an ancient ancestor of them all, the oldest being an ancient domesticated hog from digs in China. If there is a truly wild ancestor, it wasn't found.
 

mwhich50

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
3,194
In open country you would just shoot it like you say. In heavily vegetated country you will never even see the pigs to shoot them. As soon as you're in overgrown country you need dogs to find and bail them, and as soon as you have dogs you need to carry a knife. By way of illustration, here are some screenshots from some 'action footage' I took on a hunt (in south eastern Australia) to show why....

Below: running through the bush. My mate has a 30-30 and a GPS tracker for the dogs, and I have a knife - that's literally all we were carrying. We had to run about 2 kilometres through this kind of vegetation. You have to run, because bailing dogs will not let a pig go, ever. If its a boar, it will eventually kill them. So you have to get there as soon as they start barking or risk losing the dogs. There is a lot of running involved in pig hunting!!
Screen-Shot-2021-07-13-at-9-07-56-am.jpg


This sow ran down a wombat hole. I tried to go in the front way but it was trying to bite me. So my mate crawled head first down into the hole from the back with my knife:
Screen-Shot-2021-07-13-at-9-11-04-am.jpg


Here's a shot from the front as he is sticking it. Note the dog directly behind it holding onto its ear - there would be no way to shoot:
Screen-Shot-2021-07-13-at-9-10-19-am.jpg


There are four dogs in this pic. They are all down in a wombat hole. All of them are moving about in a frenzy:
Screen-Shot-2021-07-13-at-9-11-39-am.jpg


Also a knife will kill a pig much quicker than a bullet. Think about how big a knife blade is compared to a bullet, and the fact you rotate and twist it around in the internal organs compared to a bullet which just goes straight through. Also you can guarantee hitting the heart or lungs, whereas with a bullet you might just gut shoot it or it might bounce off bone. You use sights not a scope when you're that close, and it is often dark, your view is obscured by vegetation, and a pig never stops moving - so its pretty hard to aim - and on top of that there are dogs darting in and out. Injured pigs (especially boars) can kill a dog (or you) after being shot, so you want them to die as quickly as possible (also that is more humane). A knife is a quick and sure kill (takes a few seconds), versus taking a bunch of poorly aimed pot shots on a moving pig while trying to avoid dogs.

Screen-Shot-2021-07-13-at-9-06-28-am.jpg
It's true. Pigs are tough to kill quickly with one shot. A humane follow-up shot(s) is tough when they are spinning around in circles, squealing (calling their friends).

I think the 30-30 lever action is my favorite rifle for Florida woods/swamps. Some things never get old.

My USA Schrade Deerslayer was my favorite hunting knife. It would have been big enough to use on a hog.
1626217509576.png
 

not2sharp

Platinum Member
Joined
Jun 29, 1999
Messages
19,189
If you intend to go primitive you may as well do it right.

Use one of these:

Sure, if you are young limber and feeling invincible, you can use a 7” knife. But, you risk getting mangled, when you get that close to an animal that unaware of the scrip. A wiser hunter would use a sword or spear, which helps them to enjoy many more hunts to gain that wisdom.

n2s

ps. We used to have a colorful member during the early days of the forum who claimed to do a lot of boar hunting with dogs and knife. His handle was Snickersnee(sp?) and he use to love and endlessly praise his Chris Reeves Project 1.
 

Currawong

Platinum Member
Joined
May 19, 2012
Messages
2,063
Rifle usage was very limited where I was at in Fl, but we could hunt hog all year. We used buckshot or slugs.
This about as close to a live hog as I would like to be.
View attachment 1599826

If you intend to go primitive you may as well do it right.

Use one of these:

Sure, if you are young limber and feeling invincible, you can use a 7” knife. But, you risk getting mangled, when you get that close to an animal that unaware of the scrip. A wiser hunter would use a sword or spear, which helps them to enjoy many more hunts to gain that wisdom.

n2s

ps. We used to have a colorful member during the early days of the forum who claimed to do a lot of boar hunting with dogs and knife. His handle was Snickersnee(sp?) and he use to love and endlessly praise his Chris Reeves Project 1.

I guess everyone's experience and approach is different. But from my experience, closer to the hog is safer if you're trying to stab it. Closeness is about control.

Hogs (and particularly boars) like distance. They use it to charge at you. They use it to swing around in a slashing motion. If you're close enough they can't do that easily. The 'safe zone' for a hog is immediately behind it, as close to it as possible, and preferably holding onto it to reduce its ability to move. The dogs are also crowding it, holding onto it, reducing its ability to move. At that point you're about as safe as you can be (obviously nothing in this is 100% safe).

Also, the closer you are, the more accurate you are in stabbing it. The idea isn't to poke it repeatedly all over ;). It's to hit a very precise location inside its chest cavity. You want it to bleed out as fast as possible, either from the heart or lungs. The whole basis for a safe kill is a quick kill (and therefore an accurate kill). With a knife, you place the point on the exact location you want, and then push. You can't get more accurate than that.

I feel like a spear would only increase the distance (and therefore danger), and reduce your accuracy (and therefore prolong the procedure of dispatching, which also increases danger).

Having said all that, boar spears must exist for a reason.
 

deltablade

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Messages
1,767
If I was gonna get a hawg knife, it would probably be this one...8" blade, fairly wide for massive wound channel, grippy handle even when wet, tough steel. Kabar 1271.

1626228663327.png
or maybe this one

1626229267453.png
 
Last edited:

MolokaiRider

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2017
Messages
5,740
I guess everyone's experience and approach is different. But from my experience, closer to the hog is safer if you're trying to stab it. Closeness is about control.

Hogs (and particularly boars) like distance. They use it to charge at you. They use it to swing around in a slashing motion. If you're close enough they can't do that easily. The 'safe zone' for a hog is immediately behind it, as close to it as possible, and preferably holding onto it to reduce its ability to move. The dogs are also crowding it, holding onto it, reducing its ability to move. At that point you're about as safe as you can be (obviously nothing in this is 100% safe).

Also, the closer you are, the more accurate you are in stabbing it. The idea isn't to poke it repeatedly all over ;). It's to hit a very precise location inside its chest cavity. You want it to bleed out as fast as possible, either from the heart or lungs. The whole basis for a safe kill is a quick kill (and therefore an accurate kill). With a knife, you place the point on the exact location you want, and then push. You can't get more accurate than that.

I feel like a spear would only increase the distance (and therefore danger), and reduce your accuracy (and therefore prolong the procedure of dispatching, which also increases danger).

Having said all that, boar spears must exist for a reason.
I concur. There are a few misconceptions that you are stabbing the animal with force, or repeatedly. Actually, you are placing the knife in a precise spot and firmly pushing, then working the knife a bit.

Also, if your dogs are holding the animal, it’s to your benefit to do this with minimal struggle, so you want the animal held tight. Less movement means less potential for your precious dogs to get hurt. It’s smart to hunt with a friend, so they can hold the back legs and help subdue the hog.

Yes, it takes some inner strength. Yes, it is dangerous. Yes, the meat is delicious when smoked. :)
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2001
Messages
264
Thanks all for the VERY INFORMATIVE replies.

To be 100% honest, I don’t know if I’d be able to do it. I’d be scared even if it was a 100 pounder let alone those armored tanks with tusks flailing about at 3-4 dogs biting at his nut sack and twisting.

my actual dream is to kill one with my recurve or longbow. I’m hoping to get back to Texas so I can start trying. I’d also love to hunt them with a rifle.
My problem is I don’t know anyone with land or anyone that’s willing to help me find a place to bait and hunt them. Not easy to find places when you’ve never even SEEN a wild hog in the woods, let alone hunted them. I grew up where there were no wild hogs to hunt.

If I get the invite to go with the guys on a dog hunt with a knife, I’ll certainly go, but I’ll be more likely to WATCH than participate on the first outing.

Aby hunting info, feel free to message me. I never get tired of learning new things.
larry
 

oldmanwilly

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
724
Lots of good suggestions here. I've never hunted hogs exclusively with a knife but have used knives to dispatch wounded pigs many times. I have the F. Dick sticking dagger and can say it's a quality tool. You could look into a large Bowie knife if you want a more versatile tool and weapon that may not have as many legal restrictions as a dagger (daggers are a non-issue here in Texas but other states are not as permissive). Something like a Cold Steel Trailmaster, Laredo, Drop Forged Bowie/Survivalist or OSS would serve you well. A Kabar USMC is probably the shortest knife I would consider as my primary porcine piercer.

Happy hunting, wild pork is some high quality meat.
 

FloridaDreams

Gold Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
177
question: can anyone speak to why the Tops Wild Pig hunter (1095 steel, Sabre grind) may be better or worse than something like a cold steel VG10 San mai tanto - given the same 7-8” lengths? They’re roughly the same size and price but have very different steel and blades…? Just wondering what the pluses and minuses of both might be in this scenario.
 

Andy the Aussie

Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
Messages
8,985
Many moons ago I managed a gun shop, we were also a fox skin buyer and, as that declined thanks to the "poor fox crowd" (here foxes are an introduced pest species that, with the decline in commercial shooting, are aerial baited with 1080, I would prefer to die from a single .17 projectile between the eyes thanks) we added a pig chiller as well. We had a number of guys who's livelihood was dogging hogs and selling to us. The vast majority of those guys were using one iteration or another of a commercial boning knife (as a result I also stocked and sold these). I am not at all saying that this is THE BEST tool for the job but sticking pigs does not need too much in the way of a speciality blade, like most things it's 90% technique and 10% tool. Some of the hand swords pictured here would be a waste of time I am afraid.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
275
Hey all.

I might be going on a hog hunt in the coming months. This is the kind where you use a few hog dogs that bay it up, turn a catch dog on it to hold it and then come in with a well placed blade to the heart or largest vessels in the neck area. I’ve never done it. I have watched several videos on it though.

If I do go, I’ll need a capable knife. I have a Kabar that’s old, but in great shape. I think the tip would have to be sharpened though. I’d prolly screw it up if I tried something like that.

If you were going to go in a hunt like this and needed an appropriate knife to do the job, what would you pick?
If you have knives that would do the trick, please post pics as I’d like to see them too.

What knives would you suggest if the budget was $150 ???

thank you for your time.
Maybe someone mentioned this already, but you need to clear any knife with your guide/outfitter first. Especially being new to it, and presumably with dogs in the mix.
My father goes for hogs with knives often, and there's a difference even between what one operation is OK with and another. He had his heart set on a bayonet and it was a no go. Another outfitter said it was OK.
Anyway, if you don't want to roll the dice and be told that you have to use one of their knives because the knife you bring doesn't meet with their approval, ask first.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
196
I like that idea of a Zulu Iklwa / short spear
remember it going to be dark , crazy crazy with dogs hanging on the hog , barking and squelin hog
running around the brush winded, use a razor sharp 7+ inch blade, and hit it behind the shoulder it to the heart lung
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
275
There is no way most outfitters are going to let you use a spear. Just like any other hunt, you have to communicate with your outfitter regarding your equipment. Unlike most Africa hunts where the outfitter is pretty straightforward about calibers, these Carolina hog hunts usually don't make a point of detailed communication before you show up. If you are going to spend money on a knife specifically for this hunt, I suggest you make sure you have their undivided attention and very specifically ask about a certain knife in a written email with the blade length and any other details specified. Even then the guy they put you with may decide he doesn't like what you are using and tells you it's a no go- exactly what happened to my father. The guy that is booking the hunts is probably not the guy you are going to be out in the field with.
It bears repeating... ASK BEFORE YOU GO.
Hope you have a great time! Drop a line when you get back, I have had to figure out ways to get that tough hog meat into something edible and can share a few recipes : ) Hey, that's another thing, if you haven't talked about getting the meat home definitely work that out before you get down there or you might be looking at being charged quite a bit for dry ice or shipping it back! If you are bringing it back yourself, consider bringing the biggest cooler you have and if you can get a good deal on dry ice get it before you go (assuming it's only a few days of hunting), once you are down there the price of dry ice, packing, coolers, and all that stuff is not cheap.
 

CVamberbonehead

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
1,246
Any good hunting knife would work for a normal hog hunt, but I would shoot a hog with a gun or a bow before knife fighting one. Its safer for you and more humane for the pig, which means better meat to enjoy after your hunt! 🥓:) But... if you absolutely must have a hog duel to the death then I guess I would suggest any of the various military fighting knives out there like a Kabar Mk2, Fairbairn-Sykes dagger, or a bowie like a SOG or a Randall Model 1. They're made to poke dangerous things to death and keep your poking hand in place and intact, so they should work. Another option would be a boar spear or sword (Silver Stag makes a big hog sticker knife that looks pretty nice), which would also be purpose built for the job.

You would really want to check with the outfitter before you show up ready to stab a hog like Rambo. They may not let you, then again they may prefer it since the dogs are a factor. Try not to run too much with sharp objects, good luck and good hunting! :)😁
 
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