Hog Hunting 101: Keys to a Successful Hunt
Hunting involves a lot of prep work that must be done before you take the field: getting the right equipment, finding the right place, knowing what to look for, calculating all your costs, and so on. Hog hunting is no different, so we’re going to go over some of the most important things you’ll need to know before you take off on your first hunt.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
First Things First: How to Track Down Wild Hogs
In order to hunt hogs, you’ve first got to find the hogs. Three common ways of tracking down hogs are by looking for tracks, wallowing holes, and rooted soil.
Hog tracks look similar to deer tracks, but once you see enough of them, they become easy to tell apart. The simplest distinction to remember is that hog tracks are wider and rounder than deer tracks.
To cool off, hogs like to wallow in the mud. Look for areas near creeks or ponds that have been churned up to create a makeshift mud bath.
Dry soil that has been disturbed and churned up is also a sign of hogs. They often root around with their snouts to churn up the soil while looking for food.
Hog Hunting Methods
Like most hunting, there’s a variety of ways you can go about hunting hogs. We’ll cover three of the most common ways and the pros and cons of each.
Spot and Stalk
If you prefer a more “hands-on” method of hunting, spot and stalk might be the right option for you. Be sure to explore the terrain well, looking for hogs at a distance and find ones that look like good shooters. Once you find the hogs you’re after, it’s time to start stalking. Hogs can’t see very well but their senses of smell and hearing are excellent. Try to use the wind to your advantage and avoid making too much noise.
The downside to this method is that it’s a lot more work than stand hunting, where you wait for the hogs to come to you. You’ll spend a good bit of time looking through binoculars and riding around in/on a vehicle in search of your game.
Dogs have been used for hunting for hundreds of years, and hog hunting is a great example. Where it differs from other forms of dog hunting, though, is in the specific use of the dogs. For hog hunting, certain breeds of dogs – like curs – are used to track the scent of a hog. Once they get a hog bayed, another breed – like bulldogs – is used to catch the hogs and hold them while the hunter harvests them.
Dog hunting isn’t for everyone. You will almost certainly have to use an outfitter for the dogs unless you’ve put in the effort to train your own dogs. Then, there’s the style of the hunt. It’s a much more up-close-and-personal style than others, and it isn’t for the faint of heart – especially if you’re dealing with knives or spears.
This is a popular method if you’re the kind of person who prefers to sit in nature and enjoy its beauty while you wait for the game animals to come to you. If you’re a deer hunter, this would be a natural choice that would feel very familiar. It’s also a good option for those with mobility challenges.
Of course, the downside to this method is that you’re limited to one location. If pigs don’t come by your stand, then you obviously don’t have an opportunity to harvest them.
Private vs. Public Lands
Since hogs are found in so many states and have become such a nuisance to landowners, you might assume that hogs are just overflowing on public land and that this would be a no-brainer option. Well, yes and no.
Public land might be the easiest option for you, but like all hunting on public land, you’re at the mercy of the hogs’ whims and the whims of other hunters around you.
Private land, on the other hand, can be much more lucrative – both for you and the landowner. If you’ve got a connection with a landowner, you might find that they’re just happy that you’re willing to come out and do some damage control for them. Of course, this isn’t always the case; don’t assume someone will be willing to let people just come up out of the blue and hunt their land.
This is where outfitters come into play. They’ve done all of the prep work: scouting out the best spots, accumulating specialty equipment (more on that later), and taking care of the work that comes after the harvest. You’ll have a higher success rate with an outfitter, but you’ll also pay a higher price (again, more on that later).
Recommended Hog Hunting Equipment
Different types of game require different types of gear. You’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right equipment with you in the field to maximize your chances of success.
Appropriate Hog Hunting Rifle
When it comes to the kind of rifle you use for hog hunting, there’s really no wrong answer. Bolt-action, semi-automatic, lever-action, long barrel, scout style, wood stock, synthetic, and so on. The most appropriate hog hunting rifle is the one with which you feel most comfortable and confident so that when the time comes, you can make your shot count.
Suppressors of a number of different advantages to hog hunters. For one, they allow you to hunt relatively close to places of residence without causing a commotion – especially at night. They also help undetected by the hogs. Hogs are smart and may scatter if they hear what sounds like a gunshot.
We might be a little bit biased, but the BANISH 30 or the BANISH 30 Gold are two excellent options for suppressors to use on your hog hunting rifle. Of course, you might find that you prefer some other suppressor. If you do, that’s perfectly fine. We’re still happy to help you navigate the suppressor purchase of your choice and then ship it right to your door upon ATF approval.GET STARTED
Hogs are stout and sturdy creatures. No matter what caliber you choose, make sure you pick a bullet that is optimized for penetration through their thick skin, muscles, and bones and can reach their organs for a quick and humane harvest.
Thermal or Night Vision Equipment
Hogs tend to be quite active at night, and it has become increasingly popular to hunt them after dark. They see better at night than we do, so to level the playing field, you’ll want to employ thermal imaging or night vision equipment for best results.
When hunting with an outfitter, most of them have this kind of equipment that you can either rent from them or is included in the cost of the hunt.
If you’re going the more DIY route, you can either buy your own or go through a company like Ultimate Night Vision, which offers 3-day rentals that they ship nationwide.
Hogs are protective and aggressive, and you can use that to your advantage. Predator calls and female calls are both good options for getting the big boys to come out of hiding. Conversely, sows are very protective of their piglets, so a call that mimics piglets in distress can draw mama out of her thicket.
Hunting Wild Hogs with a Suppressor
Hunting with a suppressor is almost always a good idea. Not only does it protect the hearing of you and those around you, but it also lets you stay fully alert to all of the sounds around you. This is especially important with hogs, as they can be aggressive. If an angry hog catches you off guard, it could have painful results. Being able to hear one approaching because you’re not encumbered by earplugs or muffs is a big benefit of hunting hogs with a suppressor. You don’t want one sneaking up on you; it should be the other way around!
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Here are some of the most common questions people have about hog hunting.
How Much Does it Cost to Go Hog Hunting?
As was mentioned above, if you find yourself in a good situation with a private landowner or have a good spot picked out on public land, you can hog hunt for very little to no money for the hunt itself.
If you choose to go with an outfitter, the general rule of thumb is that you can expect to pay $500 per day.
Where is the Best Hog Hunting?
Believe it or not, most of the country has hog populations, so that’s a good start! Even so, some places are better than others. For starters, avoid the northeast.
The southeast in general is a good place for hog hunting, but you can also find them in great numbers in places you might expect. Case in point: hogs are on track to surpass deer as the most hunted animal in California.
If you were going to narrow it down to the top three states to hunt, though, it would have to be Texas, Florida, and Louisiana. Texas has more than two million wild hogs; Florida comes in second, and Louisiana has an estimated 500,000 of them.
What Caliber Rifle is Best for Hog Hunting?
There are a lot of options out there, and to say that there is one, singular best caliber for hog hunting is an impossible statement. That said, there are some calibers that are more popular than others. For example, .308 Winchester, .458 Socom, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, and .45-70 Government are all solid options for whatever kind of rifle you choose.
What States Allow Hog Hunting?
Approximately ⅔ of the states allow hog hunting. In states that do not allow it, it is usually because there is little to no hog population to hunt – like, Alaska, for example. To stay as up-to-date as possible, it is recommended that you check with the game regulations in your preferred state to ensure that you are in full compliance with the law.
When is Hog Hunting Season?
One of the most appealing aspects of hog hunting is the length of season and the bag limit. In many states that allow hog hunting, you can do it all year long and there’s no cap on the number that you can legally harvest.
Even in states with no set season, hog hunting is often more popular in the spring. This is because the weather is cooler and the hogs will be more active throughout the day. Plus, there are few other hunting seasons that take place in the spring.
Go Hog Wild
With so many states, hunt styles, calibers, and timeframes to choose from, you could spend the rest of your life going on different kinds of hog hunts and never do the same thing in the same place twice!
In our opinion, the only constant to all of your hunts (other than safety), should be a suppressor. We’re here to make your buying process as easy and cost-effective as possible. We offer free gun trusts, free shipping, free thread protectors with barrel threading, and an e-Z Pay Plan.
With more than 15 years of experience in the industry, we’re the nation’s largest silencer dealer. We’re also the only one licensed in all 42 suppressor-legal states that can sell, process, and ship your new suppressor directly to your door. Our experts are ready to help you by phone or email, Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 5pm, and Saturday from 12pm – 3pm (CT).BUY NOW!