How Knife Hunting Works

Knife Hunting Strategy

If you're hunting with dogs, you have two basic approaches. In both cases, the dogs pin the boar, usually by clamping its ears in their jaws. In the first approach, y­ou grab a leg or legs, flip the boar onto its back and expose its underside so you can stab it. In the second approach -- which you might employ if the surroundings don't give you much room to maneuver or if the boar's strength or weight is especially challenging -- you stab the boar from above to weaken it before you flip it over. Then you deliver the death blow from the underside [source: Australian Hunting Adventures].

If you're hunting on your own -- or if your dogs are trained merely to flush the boar from the bushes, not to pin it -- you wait for the boar to charge, and then you face it head-on. You push it to the ground, and stab it. No wonder knife hunting is considered a test of courage!

With or without dogs, you there are several ways you can prepare to improve your chances of success.

  • Stay in shape. Boars run fast, and they can weigh several hundred pounds (up to 200 kg). If you're using dogs, you must be able to keep up with them. Dogs are unlikely to be able to pin a boar for more than five minutes, and the boar could injure or kill a dog before it escapes.
  • Arm yourself well with an appropriate knife -- a long fixed blade, most likely a sheath knife. Some knives are made specifically for hunting boars; they're often called pig stickers or pig strikers. Pig stickers may be as long as 15 inches (38.1 cm) [source: Only Knives]. They have double edges and, often, a bolster that helps you get past the boar's armor plate. Do not attempt to hunt with a folding knife.
  • You may want to have more than one knife, especially if you're going to attempt throwing the knives.
  • Keep your knives sharp. Either sharpen them before every expedition or carry a field sharpener. The latter option is not always practical, however, depending on the metal and construction of your knife, and if you expect to run after boars you probably don't want to carry excess weight.
  • Don't ever attempt to throw knives at a charging animal if you haven't spent hours practicing with a target. And never throw a knife that isn't meant to be thrown [source: Benton].
  • Work with well-trained, well-bred dogs. One Australian breeder believes that the ideal boar-hunting dogs are mixes of bulldogs and mastiffs -- strong, tenacious hunters. All hunting dogs, however, should wear neck and chest armor. Wild boars have been known to bite through steel, and their tusks can kill.
  • Understand the kill zone of the wild boar. Know the angle at which you must stab to reach it. Know where the boar's armor plate is.
  • Know how to immobilize a wounded boar so that you can give it a quick, ethical death blow. Never let a wounded boar run off to die by itself. Ethical hunting demands that you track wounded prey.

Remember -- stay prepared and keep your hunt clean and ethical. You're on your way to one of the great adrenaline rushes of hunting.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


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