How to Scare Off a Wild Boar

Coming face to face with wildlife is often a mesmerizing experience, but it’s important you remember that not all wildlife is harmless. As a survivalist, you have to always be prepared when going into the wild as you never know when you may encounter a dangerous animal such as a boar.

The most effective way to scare off a wild boar is by using loud sounds to drive the animal away. Boars have poor eyesight, which makes them especially sensitive to sound. Gunshots, airhorns, and even yelling are all effective ways to scare off a wild boar. 

Although scaring off a wild boar sounds relatively easy in principle, the realities of coming face to face with a scared and dangerous animal are far different. Using sound to scare off a boar should only be used in emergencies, staying a safe distance from wildlife should make scaring off the animal unnecessary. 

What to Do If Confronted by a Wild Boar?

Seeing wildlife can be an exciting experience and is often the main reason people enjoy hiking, however, all animals should only be observed at distance to preserve the ecosystem and keep you safe. If a wild boar encounter is inevitable, understanding the animal will give you your best shot of coming away without injuries. 

Wild boars, like most wild animals, are generally more afraid of humans than humans are of them. This means that remaining calm and doing your best not to spook or provoke the boar will be the best approach during an encounter. In most cases, calmly backing away from the boar will cause the animal to become uninterested and leave you alone entirely. 

In some cases, such as on a narrow trail, a boar may end up far closer than you intended it to. Should this be the case, try making as much sound as possible to try and scare the boar away from you; yelling, firing gunshots, or using any loud devices you may have will all be good deterrents that will make the boar think twice. 

Should You Run From a Wild Boar?

You may be familiar with the advice commonly given for mountain lion and bear encounters; which suggests moving slowly and to avoid running away from the animal. This is generally the case with wild boars as well, since boars can move at incredible speeds they are almost impossible for humans to outrun. 

Although running from a wild boar that is charging at you may be your only option to a certain extent, the boar will almost certainly catch up to you, even with a head start. Instead of running, try to find something else to give you some separation between yourself and the hog. If possible, climbing a tree will be the most ideal case, but scaling boulders can also work well in certain environments. 

In some cases running away from a boar may be an option, but it is still rarely the best. If you encounter a wild boar at a distance and have the option to turn around and run away from the boar to get as far away from it as possible, this isn’t the worst option, but calmly walking away is still preferred. 

What to Do If a Wild Boar is Chasing You? 

Boars won’t attack humans unless provoked in most cases, however, they are notoriously short-tempered so those hiking in areas where wild boars are found should prepare for the worst. When it comes to wild boars, preparing for the worst means knowing what to do if a wild hog decides to charge and attack you. 

When a boar starts charging at you, most people’s instinct is going to be to turn and run as fast as they can. Although getting distance between you and the boar is a good idea, a boar is far quicker than even the fastest humans. The best thing to do is to climb a tree if one is available as the animal’s body shape will make it impossible for it to climb even the smallest of obstacles. 

Climbing a tree is often the best deterrent to a charging hog, however, if climbing is not an option consider the other possible methods below. 

  • Fight – Although it may sound obvious, using any weapons or heavy objects to hit the animal can be an effective deterrent. 
  • Bring a dog – Most wild boars will avoid areas with potential predators, so bringing a dog with you on hikes in boar country can help to avoid an encounter altogether. 
  • Use bright lights – Extremely bright lights can also deter boars by taking advantage of their poor sight. 

Boar attacks are relatively uncommon, but knowing what to do in a worst-case scenario can be the difference between a great story and a trip to the hospital. 

Will Lights Deter Wild Hogs?

Many people suggest that strong lights can deter wild hogs that are attacking or looking like they might charge you. Although this can be an effective method for deterring hogs it is far from the best method to avoid getting attacked by a wild boar. 

Although wild boars are generally afraid of bright lights, using a bright light to deter an animal can often have the inverse effect. As mentioned most wild boar will leave you alone, so long as it does not perceive you as a threat. However, shining a bright light at a boar may cause this to happen and cause the now scared and agitated boar to charge directly at the source of the light. 

Staying clear of a wild boar and avoiding a face-to-face encounter altogether is always the best deterrent to wild boar attacks. Bright lights can be effective in some situations but should only be used as a last result to avoid injury or a direct encounter with the hog. 

What Time of Day Are Wild Hogs Most Active?

Since the best way to deter a wild hog and prevent an attack is to avoid the animal altogether, then knowing what time of day you are most likely to encounter a boar is extremely important. 

Similar to bears and mountain lions, there is a much higher risk of an encounter when hiking in the early morning and around dusk. Although boars are not usually nocturnal, they can become nocturnal due to environmental factors. Hogs generally want to avoid the heat of the day and will rest during the hottest part of the day but this can change with the cooler winter months when food becomes scarce. In this case, boars may be present throughout the day. 

Consider contacting your local wildlife office for more information on the habits of wild boars in any area you may be hiking or camping in. 

Although the chances for a hog encounter are lower during the middle of the day, individuals should still be wary. There are dozens of factors that will determine when hogs will be most active such as food scarcity, temperature, and the time of year. 

Wild boars are extremely dangerous animals when provoked. However, understanding basic safety rules will greatly decrease the chances of an aggressive encounter with a wild boar. Just remember to avoid the animal first, climb if you can, and fight if you have to.