Wild hogs are considered one of the most destructive invasive species in the U.S. and arguably a unique wildlife challenge in the 21st century. Their rapid breeding, hardiness, and aggressive nature make them a significant threat to native crops and wildlife. As the population of feral hogs soars at an alarming rate, several states have eased their hog hunting regulations to help curb the looming ecological crisis, including a year-round open season on private and public land.
If you’re looking to get in on the hog hunting action, you need to hone a few skills for effectiveness and safety. Hunting is pretty simple, but you need to have a few skills down solid. Read on for some essential hog hunting tips for the new hunter.
Hog Hunting Tips
Tracking Wild Hogs
The population of wild hogs may be skyrocketing, but finding the destructive beasts is not as easy as you’d think. They are good at hiding, they have an acute sense of smell, and they’re lighting fast—not to mention their aggressive tendencies when threatened. Here are some tips for tracking feral swine.
- Spotting the Tracks: Hog prints resemble deer tracks, but they’re rounder and broader. It’s nearly square with a blunt toe.
- Find Wallows: Wild hogs have a habit of rolling around in the mud to keep away insects and to cool off. You can find these ‘wallows’ nears ponds and then follow the tracks leading away.
- Rooting: Keep an eye for uprooted soil as feral hogs rip the ground looking for grubs and tender roots.
- Rubs: Fresh mud on logs, trees, fence rails, etc., signifies a hog’s presence. The hogs come out of the wallows and rub against a stationary object to remove dried mud, hair, and parasites.
Making the Kill
Once you have tracked the hogs and now have them within firing range, there are some things to consider before taking the final shot.
- Positioning is Crucial: Wild hogs can smell an intruder/predator several miles away. Avoid detection by always staying in a downwind position lest they scamper off faster than you can aim. Some hunters choose to invest in a scent killer.
- Know Where to Shoot the Hog: Aim for the region right above the front shoulder for a quick and easy kill. This area is where a wild hog’s vitals (heart and lungs) are located.
- Getting Them Out in the Open: Feral hogs tend to hide in thick cover, making it hard to get a clean shot. You can quickly get them out into the open by using calls. These calls include predator calls to trigger their aggressive tendencies or recorded sounds of piglets in distress to draw out highly protective sows.
- Best Time to Hunt Wild Hogs: Generally, the best time to hunt wild hogs is when they’re out and about. And since they feed at night, this is when you should typically gear up for the hunt. Alternatively, you can opt to strike early in the morning as they drink water before heading into their hiding shelters—or late in the evening as they set out to eat.
Where Can You Hunt Wild Hogs?
The best places for hunting wild hogs come down to two factors; the existing state regulations on hog hunting and the population/distribution of the feral swine. For hunters who have little experience, it’s advisable to find a location with organized hunting groups so you can learn the ropes safely. Some popular hog hunting states with liberal hog hunting laws and a high feral swine population include Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia.
Gum Log Plantation
Are you looking to put some of these hog hunting tips into action? Schedule a visit to Gum Log Plantation in Abbeville, GA, for a one-of-a-kind experience. Contact us at 229-318-9015 for any queries or to book an excursion. The thrill of the hunt awaits.