Does Bear Spray Work On Wild Hogs?

Fact checked by Steven Lines, lifelong Hunter and OutdoorsmanOpens in a new tab..

If you live in an area with wild hogs, you may know that they can be highly aggressive towards humans. While there are many different ways to protect yourself, carrying a firearm (handgun or rifle) may not always be possible. But what about alternate measures, such as bear spray? Does bear spray work on wild hogs?

While designed for primary use with bears, Bear spray works equally well on other animals such as wild hogs. As long as the spray is concentrated on the face and nose of an aggressive pig, bear spray is highly effective at deterring an attack. For this reason, it may be a good idea to carry a can of bear spray anywhere that may have large numbers of wild hogs. 

Even though the bear spray is designed for aggressive bears, it has found use against other animals, such as mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, and even wild hogs. But how does bear spray work on a hog, and just how effective is it? Let’s answer these questions and more as we dive into wild hogs, their habits, and if you should worry about them attacking! 

Does Bear Spray Work On Wild Hogs?

Are Wild Hogs Dangerous?

Wild hogs (Sus scrofa, feral hogs, feral swine, wild boar) are the same as domestic pigs but are classified as an invasive species. Although attacks are rare, the recent growth of wild hog populations across the country has led to more reported cases in the outdoors. Just like many other wild animals, feral hogs can be dangerous for several reasons.

First, wild hogs are very physically strong and have incredibly sharp tusks and teeth to attack. These pigs are very short-tempered and can often attack even when seemingly unprovoked. Wild hogs are also known to carry many different types of diseases that can be harmful to humans. Because of their incredible strength, large teeth, and ability to carry diseases, wild hogs can be very dangerous to humans. 

How Do Wild Hogs Attack?

Wild hogs try to use their large size to their advantage when attacking something and generally do a head-on charge to knock their opponent to the ground. Once on the ground, they will use their highly sharp tusks to cut and further injure and incapacitate. After an attack, a wild hog may back off for a while before attacking again if they feel there is still a threat. 

Why Do Wild Hogs Attack Humans?

Wild hogs are usually nocturnal and do their best to avoid human interaction. They are timid and prefer to stay far from humans, but this is not always possible due to their food sources and expanding human territory. Wild hogs will generally only become dangerous to humans and want to attack when they are:

  • Feeling cornered or threatened.
  • Defending themselves from other animals or hunters.
  • Protecting their young from potential threats. This is one of the primary causes for attacks.

If you are hiking or hunting and happen to run across wild hogs, you will most likely not be in danger from an attack unless they are feeling threatened or have young. Still, it is best to be prepared when out in the wild and bring something like bear spray to protect yourself best! 

How Does Bear Spray Work?

Bear spray is designed to be a non-lethal method of deterring a bear attack. It does this by deploying a giant hot pepper cloud that temporarily irritates a bear’s eyes, lungs, and nose long enough to convince it to run away. You aim the bear spray at the animal you feel threatened by and spray it towards them to get it on their face. 

When this substance hits a bear’s face, the animal will have its eyes closed, its lungs constricting, and its nose produces mucus to expel the hot pepper liquid. This causes the animal to start crying, coughing, and wheezing. As you can imagine, this works just as well on other animals such as mountain lions, dogs, coyotes, moose, and of course, wild hogs. 

To properly use a canister of bear spray, make sure it is your final and last resort. It is only meant to be used against aggressive or attacking animals, so do everything you can to avoid an attack. This includes backing away slowly, making a lot of noise, and keeping a safe distance from any wild animals that you run across. 

What is in Bear Spray?

So what is precisely in a can of bear spray? As we already mentioned, the basis for the bear spray is hot peppers. Most bear sprays will use what is called oleoresin of capsicum, which is a wax-like extract of extremely hot peppers. You can find the same substance used in hot salsa and spicy foods that companies like Tabasco make. 

This spicy substance ranks on the Scoville heat scale at 3.2 million. For a comparison, habanero peppers are around 100,000, so this stuff is extremely hot! Because of this, bear spray only contains 2% or less of this substance. You will also have a propellant that is used to spray the liquid to your target. Almost all brands use what is called R134A, which is the same gas that is used in asthma inhalers. 

When released, the chemicals boil as they leave the can, which creates a cloud. Since the bear spray is pressurized, it can leave the nozzle of the can at around 75 miles per hour and reach distances of over 25 feet. The propellant is why bear spray cans have an expiration date, as they lose pressure over time. This is why it is a good idea to replace older cans of bear spray to ensure your protection is working properly should you ever need it! 

Will Bear Spray Work on Wild Hogs?

As we mentioned, bear spray is extremely effective on other animals besides bears. Because it attacks an animal’s mucosal membranes; nose, mouth, eyes, and lungs, a wild hog is not immune to the hot peppers and their effects. Some evidence shows it may be even more effective on a wild hog than other animals.

Wild hogs have an incredible sense of smell and are one of the most powerful noses in the animal world. This means that a direct spray in their face will most likely hit their large noses and cause a big reaction due to how sensitive their sense of smell is. If you want a way to protect yourself from potential threats from wild hogs without having to carry a firearm, a simple can of bear spray can work extremely well on these animals and can be a safe and inexpensive way of preventing an attack. 

Final Thoughts

Personal Security Products Guard Alaska Maximum Strength Bear Spray by Mace Brand – Accurate 25’ Powerful Pepper Spray, – Great for Self-Defense When Hiking, Camping, and Other Outdoor Activities, green, 260 gram (153) Opens in a new tab.
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738 Reviews
Personal Security Products Guard Alaska Maximum Strength Bear Spray by Mace Brand – Accurate 25’ Powerful Pepper Spray, – Great for Self-Defense When Hiking, Camping, and Other Outdoor Activities, green, 260 gram (153) Opens in a new tab.
  • ACCURATE PROTECTION – Accurate & effective, the Mace Guard Alaska Bear Spray has an advanced delivery system with a powerful formula to protect you from bears and outdoor threats. The power fogger spray pattern provides long-range protection up to 20 ft.
  • EFFECTS – The OC Bear Safe Formula is a natural ingredient derived from hot peppers that is EPA regulated. Upon contact, the bear’s eyes, nose and lungs will engorge resulting in temporary sight loss, restriction of breathing, and burning sensation.
  • STAY PROTECTED OUTDOORS: Always stay protected while experiencing the great outdoors. This Mace Brand Bear Spray empties in 9 seconds making it an essential accessory for hiking, climbing, camping, biking and other outdoor activities in bear country.

Last update on 2021-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Wild hogs are amazing animals but are known to be quite aggressive and attack anyone nearby. Carrying a can of bear spray can be a great way to protect yourself and prevent a serious attack if you feel threatened. So does beer spray work on wild hogs? It does, and it might be a good idea to pick some up before your next outdoor adventure! 

Does Bear Spray Work On Wild Hogs?

Steven Lines is a hunter and outdoorsman from Safford, Arizona, USA. Since a child, he has been hunting and fishing and has over 20 years of experience in the outdoors. Steven works as a hunting guide in Arizona during his spare time and runs a Youtube channelOpens in a new tab. dedicated to sharing his outdoor adventures with others.


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Hi, I'm Sam! I used to work as a caregiver, and now I'm in medical school. My blog is about helping people get healthier through fun activities like archery, hunting, and powerlifting. If you like one of my articles, please share it with your friends and family so they can be healthy too!

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