Hogs have become a widely popular game for the hunting community over the past few decades. With the population of feral hogs rising, it’s almost a crime to not go out and hunt them. An overpopulation of these feral hogs will surely cause an imbalance in the ecosystem just like what happened with the python overpopulation. Thus, it’s practically a service to nature to take part in the hog hunting game. This article hopes to highlight some of the most important hog hunting tips to help you get started.
What You Can Expect in Hog Hunting
Hunting feral hogs can be dangerous. These animals are known to be aggressive especially when cornered or attacked. Thus, no hunter should be lax when dealing with these animals. Take extra precaution while pursuing feral hogs to avoid unnecessary injury to yourself.
Hog Hunting Tips for Beginners
1. Know how to track
Just like any other animal, feral hogs can be tracked, but they have a few different methods of “leaving” their tracks. One example is looking for uprooted soil. Since hogs use their snout to find food in the soil, you should see disturbed dirt on the ground if a hog is nearby.
Feral hogs are also known to dig soil near water sources. They use the mud to cool their bodies because they have no sweat gland to release heat through. Thus, if you see disturbed soil near ponds or creeks that smell like urine and/or feces, it probably means that a feral hog used it as their personal mud bath.
Obviously, you also have to look for the distinct tracks of a hog. As you can see from the picture, it looks like a deer track, but it is slightly rounder and larger so you can easily distinguish it.
2. Stalk your prey
If you are already a novice hunter, then you probably know how to stay low and stalk your prey. You should apply the same hunting method to feral hogs since they have a good sense of hearing and smell but poor eyesight. Apart from that, they are also quite intelligent so do not underestimate them.
Hunting a feral hog would be more successful if you stay at a good distance away so you don’t alert them of your presence. Hogs are known to be very cautious. It may also be necessary to follow them since hogs are known to wander quite often. When you feel you can take a good shot, swiftly but carefully shoot your prey.
3. Become a nocturnal hunter
Some hogs have become nocturnal as an adaptive reaction to hunters hunting them during daytime. Thus, it may be best to hunt hogs during the night time so you have a better chance of killing one (or more).
However, it’s best if you hunt at night in an area that you know completely to avoid getting lost. Moreover, you should also employ the help of visibility and illumination gear to help you see during the night time.
4. Know where to shoot
So, you’ve got your feral hog sighted, stalked, and focused inside your crosshairs. Where do you shoot now?
If you’re a beginner at hunting hogs, then it is absolutely vital that you know their anatomy. Hogs have thick skin that can protect them from bullets or arrows. If you hit at a non-vital organ of the feral hog, there is a chance of it attacking you or running away.
Knowing the anatomy of a feral hog can help you make an accurate shot. For a fatal shot, aim for the hog’s heart or lungs. Obviously, you have to know where it is. A hog’s heart is located slightly above its elbow (about four to five inches) while the lungs are a few inches behind the shoulder.
On the other hand, if you want to shoot the brain for a quick and fatal kill, aim behind the ear.
Ensuring a fatal shot is both a humane way to hunt animals as well as a quick and accurate kill for you.
5. Use effective ammunition
As stated above, hogs have thick skin and heavy bones which can protect them from weak bullets and bows. If you want to take down a feral hog instantly, choose ammunition that can penetrate deep into the muscle and bone. Bullets from Barnes, Hornady, Nosler, or Swift can be great options.
6. Hunt at the most populated areas
If you want to have more success in hog hunting, you can try hunting them at the places where they are most populous. There are three states with currently the highest number of feral hogs in their area, including Texas, Florida, and Louisiana.
The population of feral hogs in these areas are rapidly rising. Thus, the state is bound to have less strict hunting regulations regarding hog hunting. If you want to increase your chances of taking home lots of bacon, then you can try hunting in these areas.
7. Use calls or scents
Another hunting method you can employ is the use of calls and scents. There are commercially available call devices that can imitate the call of a female to attract male hogs, as well as distress call of piglets to attract sows.
On the other hand, scents are also available at many hunting stores. Hogs can be attracted to the smell of berries and molasses as well as other food they like. You can make your own baiting scent, but you can also buy commercially available ones that have varying effectiveness.
There are available urine/rutting-musk sprays specifically for feral hogs. If you can get some, it can be effective to drawn in males.
On the subject of scents, a good hunter should know to remove traces of his scent. As this article stated before, hogs have a keen sense of smell. They will most likely avoid (or worse; attack you) if they trace a human smell.
To remove human smell, you should make sure that you are free from human scents such those coming from deodorant, colognes, perfumes, detergent, and others. It is also advised to wash your hunting clothes thoroughly with hot water and baking soda. Do not use any chemicals or detergents as this would make you smell “human.”
8. Be very, very quiet
Aside from having a good sense of smell, hogs also have a good sense of hearing. They can easily hear you if you cough, sneeze, or flick the safety off your rifle. Thus, it’s best to avoid human sounds like these so you will not draw away your hogs.
9. Try using a feeder
Using a feeder is another good method of hunting, especially in areas where hogs have become wary of human presence. Hogs will approach the feeder for food, but some will stay by the sidelines and usually they are males who are looking for sows in heat.
When using a feeder, the strategic location of a blind will greatly affect your chances of success. It is recommended to place your blind at a good distance away from a feeder but close enough so you can actually get an accurate shot at your target.
Moreover, you should be downwind and far enough so that hogs won’t hear soft noises coming from you or your gun. It should also be made sure that you don’t leave human scent near your feeder, or hogs won’t be coming to feed at all. There are commercially available products that can supplement your feeder including LED lights that illuminate once a hog is near, as well as a remote so you can control your feeder from afar without leaving human scent in the area.
10. Bait those hogs
A good baiting technique is to dig a hole in the ground, as narrow and as deep as you can, before placing the bait in. Good baits are ripe fruits or corn, but hogs will basically eat anything.
Feral hogs would then spend time digging in the ground to reach your bait. And since the food is hard to reach, hogs would be forced to linger in that area and possibly attract more hogs to come by.
When using bait as a hunting technique, you should make sure that you have set up your spot, blind or stand accordingly.
Here we have the Best 10 Tips For a Successful Hog Hunting Experience. If you’ve never hunted hogs before, this article hopefully provided you with the essential basics that you need to know. On that note, tell us what you think in the comments below. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let us know.
Don’t forget to share this with your hunter friends, too. Maybe you can round up your buddies and take them on a hog hunting trip. Thanks for reading!