Bushpig hunting in Africa

Interesting facts about the Bushpig

  • Bushpig is a mammal that belongs to the family of pigs. There are 6 subspecies of bushpig that can be found in the eastern and southern parts of Africa.
  • Bushpig inhabits grasslands, riverine woodlands, swamps, reed beds and semi-arid areas. These animals are rarely seen in the wild because they inhabit hardly accessible terrains, where they are active mostly during the night. In some parts of Africa, bushpigs feed on the agricultural crops.
  • Upper tusks of bushpig are poorly visible. Lower tusks (elongated canine teeth) are large, curved and sharp. They are used mainly as a weapon against predators.
  • Bushpigs share several morphological features with warthogs. Compared to warthogs, bushpigs have less prominent warts on the muzzle (only adult males have warts), shorter tusks and they run with downward positioned tail (warthogs run with erect tail).
  • Bushpig is nocturnal creature (active during the night).
  • Bushpig is an omnivore (it eats meat and plants). Its diet consists of roots, tubers, rhizomes, fruits, crops, earthworms and insect larvae. Bushpig occasionally follows monkeys and collects their leftovers.
  • Bushpig is an excellent swimmer. It often wallows in the mud to prevent overheating and to protect itself against insect bites
  • Bushpigs live in groups (called sounders) composed of 4 to 10 animals. Group consists of dominant male, dominant female and young animals of both sex.
  • Bushpigs use grunts, squeals and growls for communication.
  • Mating season of bushpigs takes place from May to June.
  • Female uses grass and builds nest that is shaped like a haystack. Nest can be 10 feet wide and 3 feet high. Pregnancy lasts around 4 months and ends with 2 to 4 piglets. Babies spend first days of their life in the nest.
  • Young bushpigs are dark brown colored and covered with pale longitudinal stripes that provide camouflage in dense vegetation. Both parents take care of the offspring. Bushpigs aggressively defend their piglets from all potential predators.
  • Bushpigs reach sexual maturity at the age of 18 months and can survive up to 13 or 14 years in the wild.

The difference between a male and female African bushpig

The color of the body of the bushpig varies widely between dark brown and reddish brown on both males and females. The distinguishing factor between a male and a female bushpig is the bony ridge and two warts on the snout.

Bushpig male with two warts on the snout

Bushpig Male

Bushpig female without two warts on the snout

Bushpig Female

Background information for African Bushpig Hunting

Bushpigs are mainly nocturnal. Adult bushpigs stand from 26 to 39 inches at the shoulder, and weigh from 121 to 331 pounds. They resemble the domestic pig, and can be identified by their blunt, muscular snouts and small eyes. Their color varies from reddish brown to dark brown and becomes darker with age. Both sexes have a lighter-colored mane which bristles when the animal becomes agitated. The upper parts of the face and ears are also lighter in color. Their sharp tusks are fairly short and inconspicuous. Unlike warthogs, bushpigs run with their tails down. Males are normally larger than females.

Bushpigs are quite social animals and are found in sounders of up to 12 members. A typical group will consist of a dominant male and a dominant female, with other females and juveniles accounting for the rest. Litters of three to four young are born in summer after a gestation period of approximately four months. Bushpigs can be very aggressive, especially when they have young.

They are omnivorous and their diet can include roots, crops or carrion. They grunt softly while foraging, and make a long, resonant growl as an alarm call. 

Bushpig Hunting in South Africa

Your African Bushpig trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 32 inches, weigh about 180 pounds and have a tusk length of approximately 4 inches.

The Bushpig is one of the most challenging species of plains game that may be hunted in South Africa. Primarily nocturnal, they must be hunted over a bait from a blind or using hounds to flush them from the areas where they bed down during the day. Either way, they are an incredibly difficult, yet satisfying species to hunt.

Hunting bush pig will take you to the thickets and dense underbrush, where they lay-up during the daylight hours. They are most likely best hunted during the night when they are most active. In the case of hunting Bushpigs using hounds, things get a lot more interesting. We will get a pack of hounds and send them into an area where we think the Bushpigs might be sleeping during the day. The hunters are then stationed along likely routes of escape for the Bushpigs.

Bushpig trophy. Where to place your shot when bushpig hunting in Africa

Shot placement for Bushpig Hunting

The 7mm is more than adequate. For those hunters who do not wish to go through the red tape of having to bring a rifle in to South Africa Nick Bowker Hunting has available a 7mm custom made Remington Magnum fitted with a suppressor. The rifle is mounted with a Swarovski Z8 tactical scope. We have hand loaded Hornady ELD-X ammunition. This set up including ammunition is available as part of all hunting packages free of charge.

Treat these guys with respect; small groups with young can be counted upon to show aggression. Hunting bush pig can make for an exciting evening and an interesting stalk, but use caution, as this ill-tempered beast can be extremely dangerous when wounded.