So who does not love pork, right? For us hunters there is a huge opportunity to score large amounts of pork, and I am not talking about getting it from a grocery store or butcher shop. Wild hog hunting is fun, exciting, and actually helps maintain a better population. It also can put hundreds of pounds of chops, bacon, and ham in your freezer.
Wild Hog Hunting
Hunting hogs is not something with which I grew up. Like most hunters, I was taught to hunt fowl, deer, squirrels, and rabbits. However, the recent spike in hog populations brought this type of hunting to my attention. Wild hogs are multiplying at an incredible rate, and the animals are destroying farmland all over the country. This gives hunters an incredible opportunity.
Population and Effects
One of the greatest issues with wild hogs is that they reproduce at a very high rate. The more hogs are born each year, the more food they need to survive. In parts of the country like Texas, hogs are so overpopulated and starved for food that you can often see their ribs from a distance. High populations also cause the spread of disease at a higher rate.
As most of us know, hogs will eat just about anything. They will devastate crops and also root their noses in the ground, causing further damage. Most farmers want nothing more than to have the pests eradicated from the face of the earth. This gives hunters much more leeway than they get with other big game animals.
One of the best parts about hog hunting is the lack of regulations. Many states only require a hunting license to go after hogs. In most states, you can hunt 24 hours a day and take as many hogs as you like. Any weapons or traps are allowed in most cases. You can even use dogs or baiting to track or attract the animals. On one hog hunting trip, I can potentially fill my deep freezer with pork. Do take the time to check the regulations in your area. Some states discourage hunting because they feel it spooks hogs that they would otherwise be able to trap.
It should be noted that hogs are dangerous and aggressive animals. They typically move in groups and can swarm if a person is injured or falls to the ground. Many have razor sharp teeth with strong jaws. Hogs are also territorial and will charge if they feel threatened. You will need to bring a weapon that can take down a hog with one shot. If a hog is injured, it may try to attack you. You may be safer hunting out of a tree. At a minimum, you should have a tree nearby so you can climb as a last resort.
The hog hunting community is somewhat split on when to hunt. Some hunters like springtime because there is less chance of disease in the animal. Others prefer summer because hogs are more predictable. Wild hogs cannot sweat, so they have to wallow in mud to cool down during hot months. That means that they will visit water once or twice a day to cool down. You can look for hog wallows in the summer and bet on hogs being close by.
For baiting you can use corn to attract hogs. You are best to dig a pit and alternate layers of dirt and corn. Then spread some around the area to bring the hogs in. They will start rooting around the pit area and stay there long enough for you to take a shot. Nighttime is often when they will make this move, so that may be the best time to hunt. Dogs will often corner and pin down a hog for you to make the kill, but many dogs are injured this way.
Understand that hogs are very intelligent animals. If they get spooked and feel they are in danger, the entire group will move to a different area and never come back. Be sure not to let that happen.
If you are careful and find the right spot, wild hog hunting can benefit local farmers and yourself. I suggest you do a little research and give it a try.
Will you try wild hog hunting? Let us know in the comment section below.