Once turkey season is over, it is several months before deer season begins. The days seem to just drag on and on with very little else to do throughout the day and evening. For that long of a period, many archers don't want to put their bows up for that long. If you're one of those hunters that don't want to wait until the fall to begin hunting again, there is one thing that you can do that will help keep your skills sharp and your freezer full: hog hunting.
About Wild Hogs
People tend to argue about what hogs are: predators, varmints, big game or exotics. However, what most people can decide one is that they can get excessively big, incredibly vicious, very smart, and sometimes aggressive. Then, there's the fact that hog meat tastes incredible and that they can be damaging and invasive.
In most areas of the country, hogs take up a large part of the population. They're also invading new regions every time we turn around. Currently, they are in 39 states and at least four provinces in Canada. Texas is home to roughly 50 percent of the entire nation's hog population. In Texas, like many other states, you can hunt hogs any time of the day or night with handguns, shotguns, rifles, knives, bows, dogs, night vision, thermal imagines, as well as various other means. Before you go hunting, you should check local regulations.
What to Know About Physics
It can be extremely exciting, yet also challenging, to kill a wild hog with a bow. Hogs, unlike deer, have very tough hide, which is layered in fat, that is covered in extremely hollow and coarse hair. In addition, mature boards tend to develop a thick cartilage plate that protects their vitals. So, when you go bowhunting for hogs, it is critical that you understand both momentum (penetration) and kinetic energy (KE).
Kinetic energy is specifically the amount of energy that your arrow has as it hits your target. KE is based on a formula that combines both velocity and the weight of your arrow to determine energy in foot pounds. However, overall performance does not stop there, as momentum also comes into play. Though KE brings energy, momentum brings the punch, which is what will penetrate the hog's vitals. The difference between KW and momentum is that KW tends to focus on the velocity and momentum tends to focus on the mass. With basic mathematical formulas, skilled hunters -- even with little to no mathematical knowledge -- can create an arrow setup that will deliver quality results based on kinetic energy and momentum.
This may all sound a little overwhelming, and that's okay, but there is a little simple trick that will help you figure things out. As a general rule, if you have about 70 pound draw weights on a bow with 100-grain broadheads, then you are going to be doing just fine when you go hog hunting.
Now, if you don't mind getting your hands and mind dirty with some physical science and math, then here are the calculations for determining KE and momentum:
Kinetic Energy: KE = Velocity2 (squared) x Weight / 450,240
Momentum: M = Weight x Velocity / 225,400
Penetration will depend heavily on three independent factors: momentum, the broadhead you're using and what you're trying to penetrate. You will experience more penetration if you go through muscle or meat than you will if you hit bone. The broadhead or the blade quality won't directly impact the kinetic energy, but they can and will impact the momentum and, thereby, penetration.
Newton's Third Law of Motion, and common sense, will tell you that a sharp broadhead and a dull broadhead will give you different results for penetration. The same is true with deer and hog hides. Many hunters will use mechanical broadheads on deer because of their thin hide; however, they're not best used on hogs due to their thick hides. This is because the hide and hair on hogs will absorb a lot of the energy on impact and it won't penetrate nearly as much as needed. The most important thing for broadheads for hogs is that they are razor sharp. Your arrows also need to be of proper spine and your bow needs to be properly tuned so that arrow flight is optimized, as this does impact penetration.
Just remember that if you live in a state where wild hogs roam the lands your hunting season doesn't have to end with turkeys and begin again with deer. Simply add night vision to your bow and give hog hunting a try, or go after them during the day. It can be a fun, exciting and challenging chase, and it can leave you with some tasty meat if you're successful.
For more information or to add to your bowhunting set-up, contact us at Full Draw Archery.