Can I Hunt Wild Boar with an Air Rifle?

Wild boar (lat. Sus scrofa) standing in the woods

Hunting wild boars can be thrilling yet challenging, and choosing the right weapon is crucial for success. With advances in air rifle technology, hunters now have the option to pursue these tough animals using air rifles. But is it feasible and effective to hunt wild boars with an air rifle?

Air rifles have come a long way, and they offer several advantages, including reduced noise and recoil, which can be helpful for hunters looking for a stealthier approach. Additionally, some high-powered air rifles are capable of taking down a wild boar, given the right shot placement and effective range. As regulations for air rifles differ by state, it is essential to understand the licensing and regulation requirements in your area before embarking on a boar hunt with an air rifle.

Basic Requirements

When considering hunting wild boar with an air rifle, there are a few basic requirements you need to keep in mind. A suitable airgun, its caliber, and the amount of energy it produces play a crucial role in ensuring an ethical and effective hunting experience.

First, it’s essential to choose an appropriate air rifle. Pre-charged pneumatic rifles (PCPs) are recommended for hunting feral hogs, as they generate sufficient power and can maintain accuracy over a distance. It’s important to pick a rifle that can produce at least 40 ft./lbs of energy, as this will help ensure a clean kill at ranges of up to 50 yards.

Selecting the right caliber for your airgun is another important consideration. While the general rule for airgun hunting has been .177 for feathers and .22 for fur, hunting wild boar may require a larger caliber. A .25 caliber air rifle has been effective for hunting feral hogs up to 169 lbs. However, you may also consider opting for a .30 or .35 caliber rifle to ensure better penetration and higher energy transfer.

Additionally, accuracy is crucial when hunting with an air rifle. Remember that a clean kill is extremely important, so you should be proficient at hitting the vital areas of a wild boar, such as the brain or heart. As you increase caliber size, from .177 to .45 and upwards, the precision required for a humane kill decreases. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to compromise on accuracy.

Finally, keep in mind that there are airgun hunting laws in place to ensure ethical and safe hunting practices. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements specific to your state before heading out on your wild boar hunting adventure.

By following these basic guidelines, you can have an enjoyable and successful wild boar hunting experience using an air rifle.

Choosing the Right Air Rifle

If you’re thinking about hunting wild boar with an air rifle, and you obviously are, choosing the right one is crucial for a successful hunt. Let’s take a look at some key factors to consider when picking out the perfect air rifle for your wild boar hunting adventures.


First, caliber is something you shouldn’t overlook. Bigger calibers typically offer better penetration and knockdown power, which is essential when hunting larger animals like wild boar. As mentioned above, some hunters have managed to take down feral hogs weighing up to 169 lbs using a .25 caliber air rifle. However, choosing a .45 or a .50 caliber air rifle is recommended for more reliable results. Bigger calibers (known as big bore air rifles) are known to generate more than 300 foot-pounds (fpe) of energy, making them ideal for wild boar hunting.

Accuracy and Power

Now, let’s talk about accuracy and power. When engaging wild boar at a distance, your air rifle needs to be exceptionally accurate and powerful enough to penetrate their tough hide. Some of the top air rifles on the market, like the FX Impact, are known for their remarkable accuracy. A powerful and accurate air rifle will make it easier to hit the kill zone and bring down your prey efficiently.


Another important aspect to consider is the barrel of your air rifle. Many top-quality models, such as the BRK Ghost Brocock, come with interchangeable barrels, which allows you to switch between different calibers (multicaliber) depending on your hunting preferences. An excellent barrel will contribute to the overall performance of your air rifle, which is essential for a successful wild boar hunt.

Budget and Needs

Finally, consider your budget and specific hunting needs. Various air rifles on the market cater to different price ranges and hunting preferences. For instance, if you’re looking for a budget big bore option, the Umarex Hammer is a top choice. On the other hand, if you need an air rifle best suited for small-game hunting, the Brocock Commander is an excellent pick.

Evaluate your needs and prioritize the features that are most important to you!

Effective Shot Placement

Dominant wild boar, sus scrofa, displaying on a hill near little spruce tree. Wild animal standing on a horizon on horizon on glade in forest. Strong mammal in wilderness.

When hunting wild boar with an air rifle, effective shot placement is crucial in ensuring a swift and ethical kill. Aiming for the vital organs such as the heart and lungs will increase your chances of success. Accuracy plays a significant role in achieving this, as a misplaced shot can result in a wounded animal or unnecessary suffering.

To improve your accuracy, take your time to steady your trigger pull and aim for the kill zone, which is typically around the shoulder area where the heart and lungs are located. Avoid headshots if you can, as these can be more challenging to achieve, especially with the unpredictable movement of wild boars.

When using an air rifle, it’s essential to choose one with sufficient power and caliber for your target species. For instance, fx impact mk11 30 cal is a suitable airgun for wild boar hunting as it provides enough force and accuracy required for a clean kill.

As you venture out for wild boar hunting, remember that practice, patience, and respect for the animal are key elements in mastering effective shot placements.

Recommended Air Rifle Brands

When considering hunting wild boars with an air rifle, it’s essential to choose a powerful and accurate brand that can deliver the performance needed for such a large and resilient animal.

Let’s have a look at some highly recommended air rifle brands for hunting wild boar.


Hatsan is a well-known brand in the world of airgun hunting, offering a wide range of high-quality and powerful air rifles. One of their standout models for boar hunting is the Hatsan PileDriver, which is a .45 caliber air rifle. This beast can generate an impressive amount of energy, making it suitable for hunting larger game.


Another popular brand in airgun hunting is Gamo, famous for producing reliable and accurate air rifles. The Gamo Varmint is a beginner-friendly option, but it might not be the best choice for large boar hunting. You may want to explore their other models in higher calibers for more stopping power.

BRK Brocock

For those who prefer a bullpup design, which is a more compact configuration without sacrificing performance, the BRK Ghost Brocock is worth considering. This rifle provides interchangeable barrels and adjustable power settings, making it versatile for various hunting scenarios and calibers. Its modular design allows for easy customization, depending on the user’s preferences.


When it comes to modern airgun technology, you can’t ignore the Benjamin brand. Their Marauder Semi-Auto is a fantastic option for those looking for rapid follow-up shots without manual cocking between each round. The Benjamin Marauder Semi-Auto is loaded with features, including a shrouded barrel for reduced noise and an adjustable match-style trigger for added precision.

Selecting the right air rifle is crucial for successful wild boar hunting. Hatsan, Gamo, BRK Ghost Brocock, and Benjamin are some top brands offering a variety of options to meet your hunting needs.

Permissible Small Game

In addition to larger game, hunting small game with an air rifle can be a fun and challenging outdoor activity. The type of game that can be hunted with an air rifle depends on local laws and regulations, as well as the caliber and power of the air rifle being used. Typically, small game includes animals like coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, turkeys, and other furbearers.

When hunting with an air rifle, it’s essential to have a good understanding of the animal’s vital organs in order to achieve an ethical and quick kill. Aiming for the heart and lungs, or for the head in some cases, will ensure a clean and humane shot. Remember that air rifles provide a lower level of power as compared to traditional firearms, so it’s crucial to choose an air rifle with the appropriate caliber and power for the intended game.

Rabbits and squirrels are popular small game targets for air rifle hunters. As they tend to be smaller animals, lower caliber air rifles can be quite effective. For example, a .177 or a .22 caliber air rifle should be powerful enough for these smaller targets. However, for larger small game animals such as raccoons, foxes, and coyotes, you may need to consider using a larger caliber like the .25 or even a .30.

While hunting turkey with an air rifle might seem ambitious, it can be done if using the right air rifle and with proper shot placement. Aiming for the head of the turkey would be the best option to achieve a clean kill. It is worth mentioning that air shotguns can also be an effective choice when hunting for turkey and other small game animals.

In addition to choosing the right air rifle, it’s also important to familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations regarding hunting small game. Different states have different rules, such as restrictions on big game hunting with airguns in Illinois, or allowing air gun hunting for certain species like snowshoe hare and ptarmigan in Alaska. Make sure to follow these regulations and obtain the necessary permits before embarking on a small game hunting adventure.

Hunting small game with an air rifle can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience if done responsibly and ethically.

Licensing and Regulations

When considering hunting wild boars with an air rifle, it’s essential to be aware of the licensing and regulations in various states. In California, BB guns and air rifles are classified as imitation firearms. While it’s legal to own an air rifle, displaying one in a public place is prohibited.

In Florida, certain species can be hunted with air guns, but it’s essential to check the state and local guidelines before doing so. Texas hog hunts may allow air rifles depending on whether you’re hunting on public or private land. Always verify the specific rules for air gun hunting on the property you plan to hunt.

Regarding other states, always consult the local laws before hunting any species, such as white-tailed deer, bobcats, and crows. For example, Alabama allows air gun hunting for species like white-tailed deer (must be greater than .30 caliber), game birds, quail, rabbit, and squirrel. In contrast, Alaska requires a .22 caliber or larger airgun for hunting certain animals like beaver and bobcat.

Different states may also have regulations on specific animals like skunks, ground squirrels, and rattlesnakes. For example, Colorado may have restrictions on the use of air guns for hunting turtles, while Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, and Indiana each have their own airgun regulations to consider.

In conclusion, the regulations for hunting wild boars with air rifles vary by state, and it’s crucial to research and follow the appropriate guidelines before embarking on your hunting adventure.

Hunting Tips and Techniques

These intelligent and tough animals have become a popular species for air gun hunters. To ensure success, here are some friendly tips and techniques to help you on your hog-hunting adventure.

When selecting an air rifle for hog hunting, pellet weight, and fps play a significant role in the rifle’s effectiveness. Heavier pellets will have more stopping power, which is vital when targeting large boars with thick hides. A high fps is also crucial for maintaining accuracy and energy at longer ranges. Some YouTube videos, such as this Big Bore 50 Caliber Air Rifle Hunt for Wild Boar, demonstrate how effective air rifles can be when hunting wild boars.

Precision is essential for a successful air rifle hog hunting experience. Targeting specific areas of the boar, like the shoulders or behind the tusks, will increase your chances of an efficient kill. Practicing your shooting skills beforehand, either at a range or through hiking with a target, can help you become more confident and accurate as a hunter.

Some essential characteristics to consider when hunting wild boars include their coarse hair, which can make it difficult for pellets to penetrate, and their infamous sharp tusks, which can be a threat to hunters. Stay aware of your surroundings and be prepared for the many mishaps that can happen when out in the woods.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of airgun is best for hog hunting?

When it comes to hunting hogs, you’ll want to consider airguns with larger calibers and more power. Generally speaking, .45 and .50 caliber air rifles are more effective for hunting hogs than smaller calibers. Also, opt for pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles over spring-piston guns for better accuracy and power.

Can a high caliber air rifle effectively kill a wild boar?

Yes, a high caliber air rifle can effectively kill a wild boar. However, it is crucial to select an airgun generating enough power to ensure a humane kill. A minimum of 40 ft./lbs. of energy is recommended when hunting hogs with an air rifle.

Which air rifle brands are recommended for hunting hogs?

There are several reputable air rifle brands suitable for hunting hogs. Some top manufacturers include AirForce, Hatsan, Benjamin, and FX. Keep in mind that the brand is just one part of the equation, and you should also consider factors such as power, caliber, and accuracy when selecting the perfect airgun for hog hunting.

Is a .50 cal air rifle suitable for hog hunting?

A .50 caliber air rifle is suitable for hog hunting, as it provides the necessary power and energy to effectively take down a wild boar. This large-bore caliber is often more effective than smaller calibers, as it offers better energy transfer and greater knockdown power.

What are the best hunting air rifles for large game like wild boar?

Some of the best air rifles for hunting large game such as wild boar include the AirForce Texan .45, Hatsan Hercules .45, Benjamin Bulldog .357, and the FX Impact MKII .30. Each of these rifles offers an impressive combination of power, accuracy, and reliability to help ensure a successful hunting experience.

Are there any legal restrictions on hunting wild boar with an air rifle?

Legal restrictions on hunting wild boar with an air rifle may vary depending on the state you reside in. Some states may require a minimum caliber requirement, such as .30 caliber, while others may regulate the type of airgun used. It is essential to check your state’s specific laws before hunting wild boar with an air rifle to ensure compliance.


Colby has been involved in the outdoors for over 30 years. Part of his problem is that instead of focusing on one specific outdoor hobby he spreads his time over a multitude of outdoor adventures. This has provided him the opportunity to have varied experiences across a broad spectrum of outdoor activities. Jack Outdoors has provided him an outlet to share the things he has learned as well as his successes and failures.

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