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killing a hog

1434 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  RoyalOaksRanch
We are going to be butchering a sow in the next week or two. The last one we butchered was a real pain to kill and it effected the taste of the meat. It was also very upsetting for us. We have always shot the pig in the forehead like we've always been told it's done. Sometimes they go down quick but other times they don't. The old timers around here say that's just the way it goes sometimes with pigs. When we butcher goats we shoot them from behind at the base of the skull and they have always dropped instantly. Has anyone ever killed a hog this way. Sugar (the pig) has been good to us and we don't want to see her suffer at all, but her work here is thru. Now her job will to be filling freezers with sausage. There is also her size to consider. She is around 550# and if she doesn't drop right away it could get a bit dangerous. She is normally very gentle, but I know we can't count on that if she was just wounded and not killed right away. We've actually put this off for several weeks now because of our concerns about this. My husband gets very upset if he is not able to put an animal down quick. He hates to see an animal suffer. He doesn't understand why he's had problems with this as he has hunted for years and always makes good clean shots and the animals go right down. Also husband was wondering if maybe standing a little further back when shooting them would help? In the past he has always shot with the gun maybe 4-5 inches from the pig. It never fails they will move just as he pulls the trigger. The last one he was finally able to get while standing appx. 20 feet from it. Maybe further back would make them less nervous? Your replies would be appreciated.

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I'm afraid I won't be of much help.....we always shoot ours in the front. I try to vision an X on their forehead from the ears to the eyes. Then shoot just off center to the left, not exactly in the middle of the X.
Also, it might help if you are a few feet away, give the sow a small amount of grain to eat to keep her head in place.
Hope it goes better for you this time.
Like cowgirlone, that is how we've done it as well, down to the food (I give them something they will be very interested in like leftovers). I shoot at 2-3 inches if they let me get close- some do and some haven't. The last one I shot at 3 feet. We use a hollow point .22. One shot puts them down.
The last one I put down she walked right up to me and sniffed the end of the rifle barrel. As she started dropping her head back down I moved the barrel to her forehead and pulled the trigger. She dropped instantlly giving me enough time to hop in and cut her throat.

If you do your own processing and would like to put down the animal with ease on your contience, let someone else do the raising. Find someone who raises finishing pigs and buy one off of them. They may let you euthenize it on their place. All you would have to do is haul it back home and process it. This way you don't get to attached to the animal. This is what I'm gonna do if it ever gets cold enough here to process one.
Thank you for your replies.
We love raising our own meat. While the animals are living they are pampered and spoiled, but when their time is's up. Our children ages 20,17,14,10, & 7 have helped Daddy butcher since the oldest two were 5 & 2 years old. We have never had problems butchering, then eating what we have raised. We like knowing what has gone into the meat that will be going into us. The weather here is fine for butchering now, if it holds she will become sausage this Sat.. We are going to try to use some of the loin meat for roast. The rest is sausage and we don't eat a whole lot of that. I have family with freezers ready. We are going to try our luck at smoking some and brautwurst. Something we've never done before, but then we had never smoked bacon or cured ham before last year and it was delicious.
Everyone around here shoots them behind the ear... The between the eyes shot isnt that great because pigs have a rather thick skull, AND Pigs cannot see directly in front of them, theres a blind spot so if they cant see something and it makes a noise they instinctivly jump... Not to mention animals can sense when something "bad" is about to happen which makes them more jumpy. Behind the ear its so much safer... Just walk along side the pig and pointing the gun toward the nose fire directing behind the ear... Most times they dont even jump as you pull the trigger... they just fall over when its done... Hope this helps.......
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