Are you looking to extend your hunting season? Hunters are headed south long after deer season in search of wild hogs. Here is how to make your hog hunting trip successful.
Many hunters are having a blast chasing wild hogs long after deer season. With the wild hog population across the south exploding, hunters have an excellent opportunity to bag trophy hogs and put pork in the freezer. Before you load the truck, there are a few things you should consider to make the trip successful.
I have been guiding hog hunts in North Texas for years, and some of the gear that hunters show up with can be downright comical. From “clip-on scopes” to shotguns with birdshot, I am never shocked at what hunters show up with. First things first, make sure you know how you are going to hunt before you buy anything.
Here are five common ways to hunt hogs:
- Driving across ranch land in a truck or UTV. This is very popular and is done a lot in Texas.
- From a blind over corn feeders. This too is very popular, especially in colder weather.
- With dogs. There are several methods guides use when hunting with dogs, make sure you know what you are getting in to. You may need to get in shape before chasing dogs and hogs.
- From a helicopter. This, by far, is the most fun, but also the most expensive.
- At night using thermal or night vision equipment. This is also fun, and hunters often put several hogs down on a single set. If you are charged by the hog, make sure you are counting how many you put down.
Everyone has read that hogs are running wild across the south and are attacking unsuspecting Yankee’s at will. Granted states like Texas have a hog population of over 2 million, but they are not the easiest thing to find on public land. You will have more fun and see more hogs if you book a hunt with a reputable outfitter. Make sure you are clear which method or methods your quest will include. The method you use to hunt hogs will determine the gear you need to bring.
Wild Hog Hunting from a Truck or UTV
Hunters who choose to bounce around in a truck or UTV looking for wild hogs, should make sure they can shoot from shooting sticks. Keep in mind you may be taking the initial shot and multiple follow-up shots. I prefer to practice with my own shooting sticks and bring them along. If you’re in a UTV, you will want to dress for the weather. More than likely hunters are in a UTV with some sort of rack in the back, generally open to the elements. In the south, it can be chilly in January or smoking hot in June, so dress accordingly.
Wild Hog Hunting from a Blind
If you’re in a blind, mind your scent and bring a ThermaCell for the bugs. Hogs have a great sense of smell, and if the wind is wrong and a hog gets a whiff of you, he is gone. Bring your favorite odor eliminator spray or Scentcrusher products. Keep in mind that when you drop the window of the blind in the warmer months, the mosquitoes are coming in. Fire up your ThermaCell prior to opening the blind. It works great and does not produce an odor
Hog Hunting with dogs
Hunting with dogs is challenging and fun. Make sure you have your snake boots on and know who will be sticking the hog with a knife or spear. Many hunters like hunting hogs with dogs and the thrill of the chase that comes along with that. Snake boots or wraps are good ideas regardless of the method you hunt. Some guides will ask if you want to do the pig sticking, so you should be prepared to do that or let them know ahead of time if you prefer they do it.
Texas Helicopter Hog Hunting
Helicopter hunting usually provides most of everything but sunglasses. A good pair with a head strap will come in handy. Also, you should know if the price includes ammo or if that is extra. Many helicopters are equipped with full auto weapons and ammo cost adds up.
Night Hunting for Wild Hogs
Wild Hog Hunting at night is fun, but bring a good headlamp. Even if you’re hunting from a blind, a headlamp can make the walk to and from safer. If you are using the outfitters night vision rig, make sure you know if he is supplying the ammo or you. It’s usually not a big deal, but you should know beforehand.
What to know before you go
Regardless of what method you decide, call the guide (here’s a tip, find one that uses Yentna Online Booking services, these guides make payment simple and secure) and ask what to bring. Every outfitter is different. Some supply everything and others, just the essentials. The most frequent question I get asked is what caliber I should use? Any good deer rifle from a 243 and up will work. My favorite is an AR10 in 7.62 or 308. It will blow through the thick, “taler” or armor that larger hogs have to protect vitals. Anything less, I recommend a head shot.
Whatever gun you bring, make sure you are accurate and know how to use it. Hogs don’t bleed a lot after they are shot. Often blood trails don’t start for about 50 yards from impact. I tell my hunters to shoot and keep shooting. I cannot count the times a hog is shot with an AR15 and goes down, only to get up and run off. If you were not afforded a headshot, don’t hesitate to shoot again. I recommend hog ammo like Hog Hammer or Full Boar; this ammo never fails to perform on hogs.
Wild hog hunting is a blast and extends the hunting season. It’s also a great way to introduce young hunters to big game hunting. Take note of these recommendations, and you too can extend your hunting season and have a great time doing it. If all goes right, you can add a little pork to your freezer too.