Forest Hog Hunting

The giant forest hog and red river hog are prized trophies to be found in the central African rain forest regions. The red river hog Potamochoerus porcus is often referred to as a bushpig and is a close relative of the African bushpig, Potamochoerus larvatus that occurs practically everywhere in Africa. Essentially the red river hog is the 'bushpig' of western and central Africa and the regular bushpig occupies eastern and southern Africa. Where the ranges overlap, they are said to interbreed.

There are in fact 3 subspecies of Giant Forest Hog - Hylochoerus meinertzhageni ivoriensis, which occurs in isolated populations from Guinea to southern Ghana, Hylochoerus meinertzhageni rimator which ranges from south-east Nigeria to eastern Congo and Hylochoerus meinertzhageni meinertzhageni, which occurs as scattered populations from eastern Congo to the Kenyan Rift Valley and Ethiopia.

Forest Hog Trophy Minimums

Hylochoerus meinertzhageni (Giant Forest Hog)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
77/8" 151/2" 6 14" 3614/16" 12

Potamochoerus porcus (Red River Hog)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
5" 8" 6 11" 2515/16" 12

Where To Hunt Forest Hogs

  • You can hunt a Giant Forest Hog on a forest hunt in Cameroon, Liberia and Central African Republic (CAR). They may also be hunted in the highlands of Ethiopia.
  • A true red river hog may be hunted on forest hunts in Cameroon, CAR, Congo, Liberia and Uganda.

Forest Hog Hunting Prices

  • In Cameroon, the Giant Forest Hog and red river hog are usually one of the Group B forest species from which you can choose 4 to hunt. However some outfitters include the GFH in Group A where you have a choice of 2 animals to hunt. Usually the bongo is the prime animal to hunt in the forest with the hogs as a second priority unless you are a mad keen pig hunter. As with most Cameroon hunts, the hunt rates are usually quoted in US$ and the trophy fees in Euros. There are various combo hunts available and depending on the length of hunt, the rates will be in the region of US$45000. The Giant Forest Hog trophy fee goes from 850 Euros to 2000 Euros. The red river hog trophy fee is between 500 Eurs and 750 Euros.
  • In CAR the Giant Forest Hog may appear in the main animal group or as a secondary animal. There are many hunt packages available from a 12 day hunt at 25000 Euros where you can choose the GFH as your main animal to hunt, through to 26 days at 46500 Euros to hunt 3 main group animals. The GFH trophy fee goes from 2000 Euros to 3500 Euros. The red river hog is not a prime group animal and the trophy fee is between 400 Euros and 750 Euros. Note, some outfitters have 'bushpig' on their trophy list instead of 'red river hog'. It is worth checking whether the bushpig is in fact a red river hog.
  • In Ethiopia, most hunters are usually after a mountain nyala and select the highland hunt options. However, a Giant Forest Hog may be hunted in the highlands on a 10 day plains game hunt for US$25875 with a trophy fee of around US$1000. The bushpig of Ethiopia are not the red river hog variety.
  • Most hunters go to the Republic of Congo for the fine selection of unusual duikers that you can hunt there. However you can also hunt a red river hog for a hunt fee of about US$1900 per day and a trophy fee of US$1200.
  • You can do a 14 day hunt in Liberia for Giant Forest Hog and red river hog for US$16100. The trophy fee on the GFH is US$2500 and the red river hog is US$800.
Giant Forest Hog Hunting

Forest Hog Hunting Methods

  • Most often the Giant Forest Hog and red river hog are taken as the opportunity arises when hunting other forest game.
  • Walking and stalking in the area they are known to frequent, often in the vicinity of a salt lick or forest opening. These hogs have poor eyesight but an incredibly good sense of smell, so be very aware of the wind direction when closing in on them.
  • They are noisy animals, both in vocalisation and movement, so you are likely to hear them before seeing them.
  • Alternatively you can still hunt them from a machan overlooking a forest glade or salt lick.
  • Red river hogs respond to calling.

A Good Forest Hog Trophy

  • Long and thick upper tusks.
  • Check that both tusks are present and that one is not broken.
  • A large bodied GFH or red river hog is indicative of an old animal.

Forest Hog Hunting Shot Placement

  • As forest hog shot placement is similar to other plains game species, go to Shot Placement On Plains Game.
  • Minimum calibre .375 H&H for Giant Forest Hog.

Forest Hog Vital Statistics

Forest Hog Boar Vital Statistics
  Giant Forest Hog Red River Hog
Shoulder Height 38-43"

Forest Hog Habitat and Requirements

  • The giant forest hog travels between forest and open savanna areas twice daily along wellworn paths.
  • They prefer the high humidity of the rain forest with a plentiful supply of green vegetation to graze, wallows, salt licks and dense cover.
  • Red river hogs prefer thickets, forests, savannas and swamps.
  • Both like moist areas with soft ground and permanent water.

Forest Hog Social Structure

  • Both forest hogs live in large herds (sounders) of up to twenty animals.
  • The basic sounder consists of a mother and her offspring with a mature boar in close attendance.

Forest Hog Gestation Period

  • After a gestation period of 5 months, 1 to 5 piglets are usually born.

Giant Forest Hog Gender Identification

  • Males are significantly bigger than females in body and tusk.
  • Both sexes are black with long, sparse, wiry hair covering the body. Down the middle of the back there is a long mane which is raised when they are excited or in danger.
  • Under the eyes of mature boars are two large, naked swellings and swollen preorbital glands .
  • They have a very large flat rounded nose disc.
  • Both sexes have upper tusks that flare outwards and upwards over the snout.
  • These teeth are constantly rubbing against the shorter lower canines, filing then to razor sharpness.

Red River Hog Gender Identification

  • Males have a long snout with lengthwise ridges and warts, which are often hidden by the bushy facial hair.
  • The upper tusks are relatively small and almost invisible, while the lower ones are long and razor sharp.
  • The boar is larger than the sow. Also, the male has recognizable humps/lumps on both sides of the snout

Forest Hog Gallery

Click images to enlarge
Giant Forest Hog Sounder
Giant Forest Hog Boar
Red River Hog Boar

Forest Hog Trophy Permits (2015)

Giant Forest Hog & Red River Hog

Forest Hog Trophy Taxidermy

  • If you don't have room for a full mount, both forest hogs make great shoulder, skull mounts or wall tusk displays.
  • Raw pig trophy products must be crated separately from other trophies for import into the US.
Click image to enlarge
Red River Hog Full Mount
Taxidermy photo courtesy of Life-Form Taxidermy

So Who Is Behind The Name?

The Giant Forest Hog Hylochoerus meinertzhageni is named after the controversial character, Richard Meinertzhagen (1878 - 1967) who was a soldier, hunter, writer, ornithologist and spy. In 1904 while he was attached to the British East African Rifles, Meinertzhagen was given a damaged skin of a GFH by local villagers. He later took possession of a GFH skull and partial skin. He sent all these items to the Natural History Museum in London where it was declared to be a new species and named after him. He did not appear to shoot a Giant Forest Hog himself as frequently reported.

Forest Hog Hunting Recommended Reading

How Not To Hunt Pigs & Other Cautionary Tales Of Gun & Rod

How Not To Hunt Pigs & Other Cautionary Tales Of Gun & Rod by Bruce Truter (1997) are stories from the pen of a true outdoorsman. They vary from the amusing through to the serious concerns about wildlife and wilderness issues.

The Complete Book Of Wild Boar Hunting: Tips And Tactics That Will Work Anywhere

The Complete Book Of Wild Boar Hunting: Tips And Tactics That Will Work Anywhere by Todd Triplett (2004) covers hunting wild boar across North America and around the world. He hunts javelina in the southwest US and the warthog in Africa. Includes preparing wild boar for the table and the taxidermist, plus a host of tips for a successful hunt.

Hunting Other African Animals

Big Five Hunting

Waterside Hunting

Other Plains Game Hunting

Spiral Horned Antelope Hunting

Large Antelope Hunting

Medium Antelope Hunting

Small Antelope Hunting

African Pig Hunting

Other Cat Hunting

Animals Of Opportunity

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