Best Ammo for Boar Hunting

Monday, June 3, 2024


Depending on what part of the country you are from, boar hunting is either a great sport or an essential environmental sustainability practice. Regardless of which of the two categories you fall under, hunters have long debated over what is the right boar ammunition to use to take them out.

Some hunters will live by a .22 with a perfectly placed headshot. At the same time, others will not go out for a hunt without anything less than a .338 win mag. The best ammunition for boar hunting is somewhere in between the two.

However, ammunition won’t take down a boar with a poorly placed shot. It can be tricky to take down a good-sized boar; sometimes, you think you put down a perfect shot, and almost magically, the boar gets up and runs off to some hidden place to die. Boars' anatomy is different from that of deer. The vitals are pushed forward more and better protected by the shoulder plates. This means you might want to pack ammo that carries more penetration. 

Selecting the Right Ammunition For Boar Hunting

When it comes to boar hunting, the right ammunition can make all the difference. Among the tried and tested options, the .270 win, .308 & .300 win, and .30-06 Springfield stand out. These have proven their effectiveness against the toughest of hogs, giving you the confidence you need in the field.

The .308 Winchester is a great short-action carriage, typically ranging from 150 to 180 grains. It offers moderate recoil, generally around 2,600 to 2,800 fps, and is most effective at around 400 yards. It is a great all-around choice with moderate recoil and good stopping power for most boar and hog hunting situations.

The .30-06 Springfield long-action cartridge is used for slightly larger rifles compared to the .308. It has greater power and versatility than the .308 and is suitable for up to 1,000 yards but works best around 400. The .30-06 is great boar ammunition that offers a bit more of a punch than the .308, but it does have more recoil.

The .300 Winchester Magnum required long action rifles with larger bolt faces. It is the best long-range hunting and a larger game. The .300 Win mag has the most stopping power compared to the .308 and .30-06. This power comes with heavy recoil that can affect the accuracy and comfort of the shooter.

Lead Vs. Copper Bullets

Lead has been the go-to metal type for most hunting bullets for years.

However, with more reactions and regulations, for environmental reasons, it is becoming more popular to use copper. For California, boar hunting is illegal to use lead and requires copper.

The main differences in the ammunition include:


Overall, lead bullets are cheaper and more widely available than copper, and they are known for their stopping power and expansion.


The environmentally safer option, copper typically has better weight retention and less fragmentation, leading to deeper penetration. It also tends to produce less fouling in the barrel. Copper is becoming more widely available but still more expensive than its lead alternatives.

Techniques for A Succesful Boar Hunt

Boars can be tricky to take down sometimes. Whether they are just tougher animals than deer or they just have that grit in them.

However tough they may be, they are not bulletproof! A properly placed shot will take down the biggest of hogs. Their vitals are more forward than deer; be sure to place your shot accordingly.

Some things to think about when tacking and stalking boar are:

  • Understand boar habits
  • Look for signs of boar activity
  • Use the wind to your advantage
  • Move silently and stealthy
  • Use optics and calls
  • Stay alert and be prepared to take a shot anytime

Preparing For the Hunt

One of the most important parts of hunting boar is being prepared for the hunt. You can use a few techniques to help you get the biggest boars possible.

One is to set up a stand and leave bait in a particular area. A strategy that can be used in baiting is to overbait and wait until the little boars come through, leaving the biggest to come last. This is usually because the bigger boars are more wary and cautious.

Another common hunting strategy is bringing dogs along to track down and assist with the hunt. Having the right dog for the job is essential, and some of the most popular breeds to hunt hog with include:

Dogo Argentina

This dog is used for both catching and baying hogs. It is powerful and fast and has a high pain tolerance.

American Pit Bull Terrier

This strong, agile, and courageous dog is best suited for holding hogs in place until the hunter arrives.

Australian Cattle Dog

This quick and intelligent dog is perfect for catching and baying hogs.


Best used for tracking and baying. This dog has excellent hunting instincts and is high energy.

Before you can bait a spot, the best thing to do is scout and find a location where boars are abundant or passing through.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Before any boar and hog hunting, make sure you are up to date with your local and federal legal requirements. It is easy to simply visit your local fish and game website to get your required hunting permits and licenses.

In some areas, you need to get boar hunting tags. These tags could be priced only at $25 per hog a few years ago. Now that hog hunting is more popular than ever, these tags can be almost $100 in certain areas.

Along with legal considerations, something to think about is having an ethical hunt. It is always best to put an animal down with one shot, and if you aren’t sure that one did the job, take another to ensure that it is a quick kill for the animal.

Some hunters express how tough hogs can be and think one shot does the job, but then the hog jumps up and runs off. This leaves you chasing a blood trail, sometimes never to find anything. Be sure to have quick, clean kills on hogs for the most ethical hunt possible.

Picking the right ammunition goes hand in hand with ethical hunting. Some hunters will use .22s and say they always hit headshots, but that isn’t the best practice. Take a big enough ammo with which you can feel good about taking down a boar.


When it comes to hunting hogs, it is best to be prepared for your next hunt by choosing the right ammunition to do the job. All hunters have different preferences regarding the perfect hunting ammo. The three most popular ammo types for boar hunting are the .300 win mag, .308 win, and .30-06 Springfield. These all pack enough punch and have great penetrating power to take down the biggest boars.

However, the ammunition type doesn’t matter if you are not hitting vitals or completely missing your target. Be sure to have a comfortable handle on your hunting rifle. This will ensure you are perfectly placing those shots in vital organ zones. This is also best for providing a clean and ethical kill.

Take into account different hunting strategies to ensure the best possible hunt. It is common for people to use a baiting method to bring out the bigger hogs. Also, the use of dogs is very popular, but be sure your hunting dog is the right breed and is prepared for an intense hunt.

Make sure you are up to date on your local laws and regulations. This includes getting tags and licenses and ensuring you use the correct ammunition material for your state. For example, all of California needs to use copper bullets instead of lead because of the environmental concerns related to lead. Happy hunting!


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