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Wild hog hunting in the USA has become so important not only because it gives bowhunters a thrill to hunt this specific species but also because the animal became invasive in many State and their population needs to be controlled. This species spread fast and cause millions of damage for landowners. Once you get the hogs in your area, they can destroy crops and ravage habitats of other species, unbalancing the fauna and flora.
Some people love to hunt them for the sport and their meat and some people just want to get rid of them because they cause to much damage to their land. No matter which category that you are in, the Best Way to Hunt Wild Hogs must interest many people. For instance, after whitetail deer, the wild hogs in North America are the second most popular game to hunt.
The sus Scrofa has 23 subspecies worldwide that adapted itself to different habitats. Few subspecies brought to this continent, have spread all over the south of the US and became a threat to other species and landowners.
Bowhunting wild hogs are described by many as addictive as whitetail bowhunting. Wild hog hunting with a bow is growing in popularity for its thrill. Hogs hunting requires different tactics than other game and push the hunters to use all his skills to have success in harvesting them.
There are many parallels to do in-between the whitetails and the hogs. They are both tough to locate, to pattern and harvest with a bow. The abundance, however, in some State for the hog is soaring compared to the whitetail. For that reason, in some States seasons are liberals and sometimes year-round. To know more about your own State regulations you can consult your state government website in the section of Departments of Natural Ressources, Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks).
Best time to hunt hog is, like whitetails, at dawn or dusk (late evening) where they are most active. Being a really adaptative species, knowing to recognize their habitat is crucial to track them efficiently. They like to congregate where there is plenty of food and water. Water has many functions for hogs. Wild boars use shallow, wet areas, called wallows, to roll around in the mud for cooling purposes (because they can't sweat) and to provide relief from bugs. They attract them easily due to the fact that they shared the same type of habitat.
Tip: As you will probably hunt with low light condition around you, equip yourself with hog hunting lights that will give you a fair advantage to increase your chances to hunt them. If you intend to hunt at night time, be sure that your State regulations allow it. If night hunting is what you are looking for, you might be interested in the best night vision scope for hog hunting.
Like most animals, the hogs develop routines to get their food or to come back to their beddings creating obvious trails. However, as they prefer to travel through dense thickets because of their short status, you might have troubles to find them. That being said, if you find a tunnel or a heavily used trail, the next step is to analyze the tracks to determine which species are using it. Hog hoof prints are more rounded compared to the more triangled deer hoof print.
Tip: Trails tend to intersect or converge near creeks, fences or physical barriers creating natural perfect spots to hunt them. Wallows are also great natural hunting spots.
Another way to find hogs is by analyzing their scat. However, only more experienced hunters would be able to tell. The fact that it is an omnivores animal means that it eats pretty much everything making harder to specifically tell that it is boars. That being said, if you combined scats and rooting together, you might have found them. Hogs eat pretty much everything but it must be on the soil or under it. They often search for food in the ground by digging up the soil with their snouts. Rootings are obvious as they look like the complete destruction of the area.
Remember that feral boars are an aggressive species. Be careful when tracking the animal, particularly if they feel challenged or if their piglets are in danger they will act more aggressively toward you.
All in all, scouting for hogs is the best way to know where to find them. But, because they have been classified as destructive, non-native species, hog hunting became so popular in some States that they created hog hunting trip into ranches. To control their population some States lax their regulation to allow more hunters to take down more of them.
For instance, feral hog hunting in Texas is offered in ranches. In a delimited environment to increase your chances of hunting them. Hog hunting in ranches as becoming a great alternative to practice or have your first experience in hog hunting. Most hog trips are reasonably priced, available year-around and are a ton of fun. For an example, Shiloh Ranch Hunting Camp is a wild hog hunting ranch in Oklahoma. They have one of the best reviews over hunters experience. Their guests kill between five and six hundred feral hogs each year at their ranch. They have great knowledge about this species and offer an all included experience in a natural environment for hunting.
Some States allow night hunting and here is a list of them:
(*See regulations of your State as it might be changed when this article was written)
Some States allow hog hunting on private-land year round while some States don’t regulate hog hunting at all on private or public land. Free Texas hog hunting is possible sometimes when the State allows it because the population is growing too rapidly.
The Largest population of feral hogs is in Texas, Florida as the second largest and Louisana comes in third.
Bowhunting asks specific pieces of equipment. For instance, since shot placement is the most important thing to think of after choosing your weapon, you will have to think about your sight-optics and your arrow and its broadhead. Stabilizing your accuracy and making sure that your arrows will generate clean kills is crucial for hog hunting.
Quite popular among hog hunters, rifle hunting has a wide selection of guns to take them down. However, some names like Winchester rifles come most often to hunter's ears. They are the most used for wild boars hunting.
The velocity generated by rifles and guns are not a concern while hunting. Accuracy will be then the only concern you have while hog hunting. Investing in an excellent scope will increase your hunting experience.
Growing in popularity, spear hunting boars give the most thrilling experience for hunters but also bring the most hunting difficulties. Aiming with a spear is hard and only experienced hunters should use this method.
Offered in different size with a really sharp blade at the top end of the spear. As you stand above your target, you will throw your spear directly at your target. The weight of the spear and sharpness of the blade is then the most important things to consider when you are looking for a spear.
Tree Stand or Ground Blinds:
Knowing some facts about the wild hogs will bring you to understand how tree stands and ground blinds are the best and easiest way to hunt wild boars. The most important fact about them is their bad vision meaning that Tree Stands are the number one pick to have hunting success. Second, ground blinds are a perfect camouflage but you have to consider wind direction to increase your hunting success. The hog might have a bad vision but they will smell you if the wind blows in their direction.
Furthermore, boars can't see what is above them making the tree stand an even better pick if you are into hog hunting. You become mostly invisible to them letting plenty of time to aim and shoot. Most tree stands are static so tree stand placement is capital to see hogs otherwise you might wait all day before seeing one.
For safety issues, standing up in a tree will save you the hassle or boars charging you after impact or because they when to protect themselves or their piglets.
Combined with feeders, tree stand and ground blinds are a deadly method to use against wild hogs.
Hunt with Feeders:
Bait and wait! Using a feeder is more or less using against the hog its compulsive behavior of eating and his well-developed sense of smell. Some say that they can smell some odors from up to 5-7 miles away. This means by loading up feeders with their natural food sources is an efficient way to lure them.
If you can make hogs start associating your feeder with their meals, you will have them bait and ready to be shot.
Tip: acorns, corn, fruit/nuts, and oak mast are the most popular bait to use in hog feeders.
Stalking the hogs:
Test your skills of hunter and your reflexes to stay accurate as you move slowly looking for an animal to shoot. Many hunters find stalking a more exciting way to hunt hogs. It keeps you more active. You can cover more ground and cover multiple high-potential locations in a day compared to stand or blinds.
The key is to keep moving slowly so you will hear them before seeing them. It will be easier for you if you sneak up on them when they are feeding. The excitement is increasing up as you get closer or surrounded by hogs. As an aggressive animal, you might have to react quickly to defend yourself. Wear the proper equipment to avoid bad situations.
Night Hunting Hogs:
I have mentioned many times that wild boars are a very adaptative species. The more it became popular to hunt hogs, the more they adapt their behaviors to hunters. In other words, to counter-attack dawn and dusk period of hunting, wild hogs started to act more during night time to feed themselves. This brings hunters to a completely new game, to a night hunting game. Not all States allow such method of hunting so please see your state regulations before spending any money on night hunting pieces of equipment.
That being said, specific equipment is necessary but the game is almost more interesting that way. Your main piece of equipment after your weapon, of course, will be your hunting lights and your night vision hunting scope. If you combined all that with an enlightened feeder, your chances to take down many hogs are really high to almost 100% sure.
Red or Green? That is the question. Honestly, it doesn't matter though the green light seems to generate a clearer view for better identification. You can equip yourself with a headlamp, night vision goggle or you might mount a lamp on your scope. All the options are efficient as they free your hands to manipulate your weapon.
Night vision scopes for hog hunting are clearly a more expansive piece of equipment to get but how practical and efficient if you are targeting to hunt at night. Most of them can be attached to your existing scope making it more interesting. On the other end, thermal imaging gives you a clearer view of your target without the hassle of night conditions. Thermal scopes are much more expansive but they are simply the best piece of equipment you can equip yourself with for any night hunting experience, Period!
All this low-intensity light equipment is more than necessary to ensure that you don’t spook the animal or worse, that you become the victim of its aggressive behaviors.
Hog hunting with dogs:
Probably not the most appropriate way to hunt hogs with a bow or a crossbow but it is one of the methods used to hunt hogs. Hunting with dogs creates a fuzz, an energy building momentum as you get some of the energy coming from dogs excitement.
To hung with dogs, it is recommended to have at least two of them. One to find or alert you that there is some in the area and one to catch it for you to shoot it when you get close.
I would recommend you to put some cut vest on your dogs to protect their necks and vital organs from the hog. It might be dangerous for your dogs so be aware of the possible consequences.
Use Calls for Hog Hunting:
Using calls is more or less using their own instinct against them. The fact that wild boars are notoriously aggressive animals, using predator calls will be an effective way to lure them out into the open. Always remember that they are aggressive and might charge you if you use predator calls.
To get sows out of the woods, you can draw them into the open if you can make them believe that their offspring are in danger. Here again, you are using their own instinct against them, as they are a really protective species.
As you saw above, some homework has to be done before getting the real deal. Gathering information about the laws that regulate your State and their habitat, choosing your firearm that will give you the trill that you are seeking for while hunting them and choosing your hunting method are the three first step to deal with before going any further. Preparation is the keystone of hunting success.
Next article, how to hunt wild hogs, will approach in further depth how to scout the land and the most important thing in hog hunting after choosing your firearm; shot placement and harvesting hogs!
Thank you for reading us and do not hesitate one moment to leave any comments or questions below. It is always a pleasure to answer.
Have a nice Hunt!