The name “Warthog” refers to the characteristic and conspicuous facial warts. The local Dutch name, Vlakvark – “open-space-pig”, refers to their tendency to be associated with floodplains and open grassland areas.
“Warts” in South Africa are hunted in the nearby vicinity of stagnated waterholes, grassland and floodplains. Warthogs are not dependent on water but do drink copiously if available.
I took one of my attorney friends on a warthog hunting expedition in 2007 on a nearby farm close to my home in the Northwest Province of South Africa. We arrived on the farm at dawn with the temperature in the region of about 40 degrees (5 deg C). Driving up to the farm we have seen many warthogs crossing the main tarmac road on their way to the nearest Luzern / maize fields in the district – we new that this is going to be an exceptional good hunting weekend.
Ivan (attorney friend of mine) couldn’t wait to go to the shooting range and zero-in his rifle for some major warthog hunting to come… Walking on the Eastern side of the farm, discussing the day’s events, I spotted some movement in the distance on another farm road crossing the one we are currently on; kneeling down and scouting the horizon with binoculars i saw some activity one the side of the road, and it looked like warthogs – but no sex identification! Waiting in excitement to see the size of the warthog couldn’t have come at a better stage in time. A monster of a Warthog boar emerged; now standing broadsided in the road about 120-130 yards, not seeing us.
Ivan with his .308 Remington decided to take a change and take the shot, hoping to make an instant kill...I new that the distance shouldn’t be a problem for my friend and I know his bullet grouping is of excellent accuracy; he took the shot; the pig shattered when the 180grain Pro-Amm bullet found its mark.
On impact the pig was thrown off balance and after which felt like a few seconds started to run “like mad” until he was out of sight from were I was standing. Waiting for approximately 15 minutes, we decided to go and retrieve my friend’s trophy. To our surprise there was no dead pig only a lot of blood…the finding was - a wounded animal! While tracking the wounded pig for more than an ½ hour through the bush we finally saw him crossing a fire break about 60 yards from us, limping on only 3 legs.
Following the wounded pig with my binoculars; I saw that the shot placement was a bit low on the side of the warthog, missing all the necessary vitals. Whistling to the pig (bad mistake from the Warthog’s point); he stopped and turn around to see what all the commotion was about, when Ivan pushed a second shot through him with the .308, hitting the pig on the side again killing him instantly…
Driving to the slaughter facilities on the farm the pig had a “special place” on my Land Rover’s roof rack. Here you can see me and my friend holding a good and well deserve warthog trophy, measuring 11 ½ inches. The warthog’s weight: 143lbs (63kg).
Warthog meat makes excellent ribs (smoked), roast, salamis, cabanossi and my favourite - Warthog kebabs. There meat is tasty, especially those of younger male and females. (Old boars need to be slaughtered as soon as possible, especially when they are in rut, as the genitals trend to give the meat an odd smell and taste).
To hunt for the better trophies in South Africa, the following areas you can get the monster Warthogs: Northern Province, Northwest Province and Kwazulu Natal Province.
Trophy–class Warthogs boars are tough and heavily muscled, requiring at least a 130 grain premium bullet (.270 up to any 7mm). Hunting Warthogs doesn’t require long range shooting skills; mostly they are huntable less than 100 yards.