The sport of Pig Sticking


Pig Sticking, the sport of Indian princes and British Army officiers, has always intrigued me. Rasch has written a series of posts about the sport .

Pigsticking. It was a blood-sport of the Raj — blood sport at its bloodiest; a one-to-one contest, if that is the word, between the hunter and his quarry. The hunter was an able-bodied man riding a trained horse and carrying a nine-foot-long spear: he hunted a pig, terrified, squealing, running for life, and, rarely, turning around to make a blind charge at its pursuer.

The sahibs who ruled India took to pigsticking like ducks to water, and in no time at all, transformed it into a ‘sport’; meaning that they framed rules for competition. There were pigsticking ‘meets’ at which teams competed. Sows with piglets were not to be chased. There were ‘umpires’ to ensure that the rules were observed. Why, there was even a ‘Lords’ and ‘Wimbledon’ of pigsticking! The annual Kadir Cup Meet at Meerut.

The sport is too bloody for me, but I don’t begrudge anyone participating in it.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • B Woodman

    So long as they disposed of the meat by giving it to the poor & hungry.
    Otherwise it’s a total waste. Can’t stop ’em from doing it, just think it’s a total waste.

  • Marc

    Well there is a pig boom going on in the south and the west of the U.S. I want to hunt down a few but poking them with a long pointy stick is kinda crazy. The new generation that is spreading over the locations above are mixed with Russian Boars and are bigger and meaner. They can take on hunting dogs, my advice is to go for the rifle.

  • Clint1911

    A “Bloodsport” is a sport where the players have a good chance of death or grave injury. Bull fighting is a blood sport. If the guy with the cape screws up, he will be hurt and badly. Modern “bloodsports” can include race car driving as Dale Earnhardt showed back in 2001.

    Unfortunately, anti-hunters use the word “bloodsport” as a LOADED term to make a particular type of hunting look bad. So how is pig hunting with a spear more “bloody” that deer hunting with shotgun? I’m NOT saying that the host blogger or the quoted article are anti-hunting. But I think, some people will misinterpret this post to be critical of hunting.

    Because, to be against hunting (with or with a stick) is the same as being anti-AR in the deer woods.

    And about the whole “waste” issue, there are freezers in the USA that Still have deer meat in them from last fall’s hunts. That is a rule of hunting. You eat what you kill. And Deer hunting is a form of “Sport Hunting.” With pig hunting, a feast is held after a successful day’s hunt.

    So impugning hunting with off-topic remarks out wasting meat, well, let’s just say that people should not insult something, deliberately or not, without understanding it first.

    Further, the quoted article even talks about how this is a sport with Rules. And those rules limit the hunters!

  • subase

    Sounds pretty lame. At least bullfights are actually sort you know bull vs human fights. (the clowns have serious balls)

    I reckon they should have hand to hand fights with the boars/pigs and the guy only gets 3 short spears. And it would not only be a contest of endurance but also psychology because only the boars own weight would provide enough strength to give it that killing shot. Pigs are also really really smart, so it would make for a good show.

  • primo capo

    a little historical note….
    during the boer war, seems that the brits applied a variant of this game with boer kommandos captured… I don’t know if it’s the truth, or a legend…

  • subase

    At least the name is apt – Pig sticking is exactly what it is there is no hunting involved, its just the thrill of the chase and the thrill of drawing blood.

  • Clint1911

    An excerpt from
    Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries Volume Eight
    page 69 of 75

    “Modern hunting with ancient weapons is a pretty fascinating subject. We have the black−powder people, the archers, the cross−bowmen, the lancers, and the list goes on. Theodore Roosevelt once opined that the only proper way to kill a pig is with a spear, though he did not specify whether afoot or ahorse. There is an astonishing painting of the Emperor Max I hunting chamois with a lance. I find this challenge quite unbelievable, but apparently it was not unheard of in Medieval Europe.

    …If I ever become fully operational again, I might like to try the pig on horseback with a lance, but that is about as far as I feel like going. You more sporting guys can take the matter from there.

    And on page 75
    …Ronin Colman recently showed us a rare book by Sir Robert Baden−Powell, he of the baggy shorts and Smokey Bear hat who invented the Boy Scouts. It turns out that Sir Robert at one time was the preeminent pig sticker of the Punjab, and his book Pig Sticking tells us all about the game.

    Under no circumstances does one shoot a pig, a beast which a gentleman must take with cold steel. “Any member who shoots a pig will be expelled from the club.” Well, I have never claimed to be a gentleman, but I am duly chastised and I will henceforth not shoot pigs − except under very special circumstances.

    • Clint1911, very interesting. Thanks for the link.

  • DAN CARNEY

    WEST TEXAS IS COMPLETELY OVERRUN WITH WILD HOGS. THEY ARE DEVASTATING CROPS AND RANCH LANDS. WE KILL EVERY ONE WE CAN AND CANT BEGIN TO MAKE A DENT IN THEIR POPULATIONS.THEY ARE CARRIERS OF BRUCELOSIS AND TICKS WITH LYME DISEASE. THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE ANY HEADWAY IN CONTROLLING THEIR NUMBER IS WITH HELICOPTER SHOOTS AND EVEN THEN THEY ARE BACK IN JUST A FEW MONTHS.