Why is hog hunting a dream to every passionate hunter? Well, there’re many reasons why. But the major reason is that hog hunting is arguably the most achievable among all types of hunting. As being a professional boar hunter, I often hear people wishing, “one day, I’ll certainly hunt hogs. It’s a blast!”
Hunting is one of those few outdoor activities that are absolutely thrilling. As hog is a non-native species, they are aggressive. And in this respect, it beats deer, rabbit, duck or other small hunting games.
Now why it’s getting popular day by day, particularly in America? It’s because feral hogs are quick breeding. According to its current breeding rate, annually, 70% hog population must be eradicated. Otherwise, their population will grow further.
According to a current study, there are nearly 5 million wild hogs in 39 states. They are a threat to the native crop and wildlife. That’s why many landowners want hunters to kill hogs as many as possible to protect their properties. Besides, hog meat is good to taste and a great source of protein. Additionally, it’s an alternative to venison which is currently in decline.
Sounds great, no? You may also start hog hunting, right? Ten years ago when I first wished to start, I had to join a forum. But things are different now. To learn about hog hunting guide for beginners, you no longer have to join forums and submit yourself. You’ll find hundreds over articles on the internet explaining hog hunting tips.
Based on my several year's experiences, I summed them up like a hog hunting guide for beginners. Explore it before you go through the same bitter experience as I did.
The first step is to choose a weapon. You must be very careful as 2/3 of the success depends on choosing the best-suited one for you. You can go for one of the following.
- Slug Guns
- Hand Guns
- Muzzleloaders etc.
But rifle gives confidence to young hunters and has a 100% success possibility. That’s why I recommend youngsters to go for the 1st kill with a rifle.
There is a wide range of choice. But Bolt Actions and ARs are at the top of my preference.AK styles guns are also good as they can shoot at 100 yards accompanied with hunting ammunition.
Remington 700 Mountain rifle is the one I use for hog hunting. Besides, AR rifles by Armalite, Ruger, Combat, Rock River Arms and DPMS are on my favorite list. Semi-autos offer shots follow-up rapidly though they are heavier than Bolt-Actions.
Now the calibers. The best hog hunting calibers are given below.
And for smaller hogs, the following calibers will work well.
- .30-30 Winchester
- .35 Remington
- 300 BLK
Now it’s time to make yourself skilled in shooting. Start practicing at a 50 yards distance target first. When you get used to it, then make it 100 yards. 100-yard practicing is enough. But if you want, you can practice for further distances.
State Conservation Department provides the license and certificate allowing you hunting. In most of the states, it’s known as hunter’s safety course. You’ll find the regulations and requirements in your State Conservation Department website. Or you can directly contact the nearby conservation office.
You have to register for a 4-hour course and also have to appear in a written exam. Attend the classes, or you can study for the exam online. If you passed the exam, only then you’ll be certified.
Again, you can also participate the apprentice programs if your state allows them. Thus, you can buy the permits and hunt alongside a certified hunter. Before you take the safety course, we’ll be able to hunt like this for a short period.
Hogs' anatomy is challenging for a straight and deep penetration. That's why bullets should be strong enough. “X” type bullets or partition bullets like those from Nosler are the best. The new polymer “power vane” bullets are also working well.
Before going for hunting you must collect a good hunting backpack with sufficient space. Remember hunting backpack should be convenient, user-friendly and durable.
Tree stand/ground blinds
If you’re hunting with a bow, then you’ll need a tree stand. It's a platform that elevates the position of a hunter to provide him a better vantage point. You can choose a tripod instead. It’s freestanding.
They depend on the weather mainly. If it's summer, choose blaze orange vest and hat. If you take a dog for hunting, also make it wear hunter orange vest.
For the winter season, jackets, hoodies, insulated pant, and hat would be perfect. Hunting boot is a must.
Hunting camouflage and baits/scents
Wild hogs have a strong nose. Therefore, use these scent-lok technologies so that hogs can’t smell you.
Optical and navigation gears
Binocular, map, aerial photos or GPS, rangefinder, game camera, etc.
it’s popular for night hog hunting. It has a success story in hog harvesting. Green, red and even white also works. Most of the feeder light systems are 6 or 12 VDC. Alternatively you can use brake light or special LED light.
If you go for hunting in the twilight, mound the followings with your rifle.
- Illuminated reticle.
- Red/green LED hunting light
- 8x or better, prominent crosshairs
- An objective lens of at least 40mm
- Hydration system
- Survival gear
- Hunting pack
- Hunting knife
- Hog processing equipment
Step 1: Logs finding
This refers to choosing a location where plenty of them are present. It won’t be difficult to find hogs if you can think like a hog. That is you have to act as omnivorous as they are. Don’t expect to find them only near the places like corn feeder. They aren’t this much choosy. They eat almost anything they find.
The easiest thing would be finding a trail. Game cameras can work well in this respect.
Another way is tracking. Look closely to the ground for the following signs (1st three).
- Rooting: while finding food and through vegetation, hogs use the snouts. Uprooted soil is a good recognizable sign.
- Tracks: hog tracks are wider and rounder than deer tracks.
- Wallowing: it’s another noteworthy sign. Look muddy areas like places nearby creek and pond for the sign of ‘wallow.'
- Calls: using predator calls is another effective way to find them. Feral respond to this quickly. Or you can also play recorded sounds of a piglet that is in distress. A sow will respond immediately.
Step 2: Setting up stand
Once you’re sure about the presence of hogs, now it’s time to set up the gears. If you go with a bow, then set up the stand or tripod to have a better sight. And in the case of rifle hunt, set up the ground blind for ensuring a steady, ethical shot. If you go for night hunting, set up the feeder light or any other you take with you. Remember, it must be red or green as hogs can’t see these colors.
Step 3: Setting up your bait-strategies
The simplest method is to dig a hole at two feet depth, fill it up with corn and then wait. It will be the best if you put a game camera on the site. Game feeders will help you further. Look for other hog hunting tips.
Step 4: When to hunt
Observing your game camera, you can easily get an idea when hunting would be beneficial. Moreover, keep yourself updated with cool fronts, temperature, weather and barometric pressure changes. It’s one of the useful hog hunting tips.
Step 5: Shooting
The shot must be ethical whether you prefer firearm or archery. Though hog eyesight is not sharp, they can hear and smell with their best. So you must have an accurate shooting or aiming point so that you can kill it in one shot.
4-5 inches behind the shoulder is an ideal aiming point.
For gun hunting, a quartering shot is the best placement. Bullet hits in front of the middle shoulder, 1/3 down from the back. It’s lethal as the heart, lung, great vessels and spine all are in a line in the bullet’s path.
Killing a hog with just one headshot is possible. But it’s difficult. I’ve seen many taking headshots with cheap .223 rounds. Hogs didn’t get killed. Rather they’re wounded, their jaws blew off and were lost. It’s pathetic. So I recommend you avoid headshots.
Hog hunting tips for safety
- Dress appropriately and avoid wearing white or tan.
- Carry first aid kits.
- Keep a safe distance from your target.
- Identify it clearly before shooting.
- Always stay in the downwind direction.
- Avoid making unnecessary noise.
- Avoid unnecessary movements.
- Learn about the regulations of your state before going for hunting.
- Keep aware all the time especially when hogs approach near you.
Have gone through the whole article? Now you must know that feral hog hunting has some different strategies to follow. As a first timer, you may think you could easily overrun with a hog. But remember, they are smart enough in surviving. But it’s neither daunting. You only have to identify the differences with other types of hunting.
As a hog hunting guide for beginners, I hope my article has done the job. Also, remember the hog hunting tips I mentioned.
All the best with your first ever bacon!