Anatomy of a Wild Hog – Where to Place Your Shot

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Anatomy of a Wild Hog

Hogs are super-armored beasts that are almost impossible to kill, or so the tale goes. Seasoned hunters of other games have gone hog hunting and ended up empty-handed which further fuels the tale. You may also have placed your red dot, crosshairs, or sights on the perfect kill spot on its body, taken the shot but then it ran off! But no, a wild hog is not impossible to kill with a single shot. The secret lies in understanding the anatomy of the hog.


Kill Zone Areas

The arrangement of the organs within the hog is unlike any other game. Moreover, it’s not only the position, but the vital organs are also much smaller. You, therefore, have smaller targets in a relatively larger body. That’s how it can keep running even after you deliver the seemingly fatal shots. Let’s dive into some anatomy that will enable you to drop a hog with a single shot.

For the ultimate kill shot, you have to aim for the heart, lungs, spine, or brain. They are the proven kill zone areas, and their location and effect are as follows:

The Heart

A hog’s heart is located at the very bottom of the pig’s chest. It lies right behind or through the front leg when you are standing on the broadside. The shoulder blade and muscle do cover over 85% of the heart. A projectile has to pass through the skin, muscle, shoulder plate and front leg partly, layer of fat around ribs that may be calcified, the ribs, and internal soft tissue before getting to the heart. All these deteriorate the bullet/ arrow energy, but it will still be adequate to damage the heart and even emerge on the other side.

To drop the hog instantly, aim at the lower shoulder area at the lowest point of the chest when shooting from the broadside. When quartering to or away, place the shot between the shoulders.

You may need to note that the liver, stomach, and intestines of a hog are pushed more forward than the other animals. A shot behind the shoulder will more likely rapture these organs rather than hitting the heart. The hog will die all right, but hundreds of yards away and you will never get to catch it.

The spine at Neck Region

Another effective kill zone is the spine. It contains the spinal cord, which is the connection between the brain and the body through nerves. That is how the hog controls all its breathing, muscle movement for walking, and other functions of the rest of its body. Hitting the spine at the neck region paralyzes the hog’s body for you to collect your prize. You can also hit the spine on the back, which paralyzes the hind legs, but the most effective one is at the neck vertebrae.

What most hunters don’t know is that the spine at the neck runs way lower through the shoulder section than most people may think. Aim a little lower, as shown in the picture to hit the spine and instantly shut down the hog. It’s best taken when the animal is not running but if you trust your skills, then have a go at it.



Above the heart area, you find the lungs. In the lower region, it is push