Hunting Red River Hogs in Africa

Hunting Red River Hogs in Africa

The red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus) is the most strikingly colored of all the world’s pigs. It is a wild member of the pig family living in the rain forest belt of West Africa.  The red river hog is offered as a trophy in Cameroon, CAR and Congo-Brazzaville.   It inhabits rain forests and lives in areas with rivers or swamps.  Red river hogs are closely related to bushpigs, but average lesser weights.  It is not believed that the two species interbreed where their ranges overlap.  Adult hogs weigh 100 to 255 pounds and stand 22 to 31 inches tall.  Look for its striking red fur when hunting red river hogs in Africa.  The boar is larger than the sow, and has lumps on both sides of its snout.  The red river hog’s tusks are much smaller than a warthog’s tusks, and are hard to see. 

Family groups of red river hogs are called sounders that consist of 2 to 15 hogs; females and piglets accompanied by a dominant boar. Their home range is quite large.  There can be as much as 2.5 miles between their sleeping areas and feeding spots.  They become sexually mature between 18 to 21 months.  The gestation period is 120 days and sows will give birth to one to four piglets, occasionally up to six.  Piglets are weaned at two to four months.  Red river hog’s lifespan is up to 20 years. 

Red river hogs are nocturnal, feeding and moving around during the dark hours.  During the day the hog burrows into deep vegetation and rests and sleeps.  When young piglets get frightened they crouch and freeze.  As they get older, flight becomes their normal response, unless they are wounded or cornered.  Then they will attack and can be quite vicious. Red river hogs are fast runners and good swimmers, both traits which they use to elude predators.  The boar will defend the sounder against predators, chiefly consisting of the leopard.  Other occasional predators include pythons, lions, spotted hyena and humans.

These hogs are omnivorous, feeding on roots and tubers.  They also consume eggs, dead animals, insects, lizards, and just about anything with a nutritional value.  They use their large snouts to root around for food, which creates problems when they get into a farmer’s cultivated field.  For this reason, they are seen as pests and farmers will kill them if the chance arises.  However, the hogs are out feeding only at night and that makes stopping them somewhat difficult unless a night eradication hunt is specifically planned.

When hunting red river hogs in Africa you will be seeking a prized trophy hog that not many hunters manage to take..  When looking for trophy red river hogs, look at body size.  The boar is larger than the sow, and the mature male has two warts under its eyes.  When hunting red river hogs in Africa, the best methods are stalking, tracking and spotting.  The hog travels well defined paths twice a day when going to, or returning from its burrow.  Set up a blind near the trail and spend the early morning hours watching for the hog.  Where legal, hunting red river hogs in Africa is done by using a spotlight at night when they are active.  This can be a highly effective way of hunting red river hogs in Africa, and is the most effective way of eradicating them from farmer’s fields.

Hunting red river hogs in Africa will take you to the thickets and dense underbrush, where they lay-up during the daylight hours.  A rifle of suitable power should be used, such as a .300 caliber or better.  A 12 gauge shotgun with slugs would be effective as well.  Treat these guys with respect; small groups with young can be counted upon to show aggression. Hunting red river hogs can make for an exciting evening and an interesting stalk, but use caution, as this ill-tempered beast can be extremely dangerous when wounded.