Many areas of the country have been invaded by a destructive, fast breeding and difficult to control enemy – feral hogs! Farmers, ranchers and even those who simply enjoy a well-kept lawn find the arrival of feral hogs to be more than a nuisance, they can literally destroy a crop or landscape overnight. The good news is they are fun to hunt and many states have established liberal bag limits, hunting seasons and even hunting methods to assist landowners in ridding themselves of this pest. But before you can hit the trail and bag your first hog you need a little knowledge, so let me share some tested tips that will get you off on the right foot.
Hunting hogs is not unlike hunting many other species of wild game and requires some specialized equipment. First, you will need a quality firearm that packs a heavy enough punch to drop a big animal, some hogs can tip the scales at over 200 lbs. Most hunters choose a high-powered rifle or revolver, though some do use shotguns. Regardless of what firearm you select it should be multi-shot as follow ups are often needed. This should be paired with high velocity ammo also designed for big game. Of course you will also need a quality camo that matches your surroundings and I recommend a hog call as pigs are notoriously territorial.
It is not hard to find hogs, they tend to leave an easily detected trail of their travels. First, look for signs of rooting , areas they have dug up looking for food. This the most visible sign and the best for determining recent hog activity. Second, you can search for wallows, places where the hogs have rolled or laid in mud to cool off. Third, try to find the tracks. This is especially useful if you have found a root area or wallow but have not seen any hogs nearby.
The easiest way to target hogs is to set up near a root area, wallow or trail and wait. If the hogs are still in the area they end to return to these same site repeatedly over several day. If after a little while you don’t see hogs nearby, or you see them in the distance but not moving your direction, go to your call. Position yourself downwind, hog have limited eye sight but excellent sense of smell, and start calling. Use caution as irritated hogs tend to be aggressive and may charge what they think is a threat, so have an escape route or use an elevated position.
If your state allows it hunting at night can greatly increase your chances. Although hogs are not naturally nocturnal many populations have adapted to pressure from other hunters or even normal human contact and limit their day time activity.
Once you have downed a hog approach with caution, ready to take a second shot is necessary.
Good luck, Good Hunting!