Have you ever wondered about the life of ancient people? At the time when they lived in caves, ate what they can hunt, survived if they can win over the wild beasts and cruel nature?
How terrifyingly dangerous and uncertain life was that?
Dreadful, right? But, at the same time - thrilling.
I myself sometimes fantasize over that life of long gone past – it seems exhilarating!
Life is different now.
Now it’s dull. It’s safe, comfortable, certain, but dull. There’s nothing you really can do, which is allowed, to have a taste of that ancient adventurous life.
Can you think of anything remotely as exciting as the life of 10,000 BC?
No?.... What about Hunting?
Hunting can give you an opportunity to get a glimpse of that thrilling life. And, among all sorts of hunting, hunting at night is undoubtedly the most exciting one.
Unfortunately, hunting at night isn’t legal in most states in the USA, there’re few states however allow only wild hog hunting at night. Hunting feral hogs in the daylight is fun enough which increases manifold when you do it at night.
Just imagine yourself in a dark forest - poised on a tree blind, waiting for your prey, with all the mysterious sounds of night surrounding you.... I am already getting goosebumps!
If you are, then continue this article. We’ll tell you all the necessary things you should know to hunt hogs at night.
But, first, let’s look at the places where you can hunt at night without breaking any rules.
Best location for hunting hogs at night
As feral hogs populate rapidly, their numbers become a serious public nuisance in some states. And, in those states, feral hogs aren’t protected by a wildlife conservation authority. Hunters are rather welcomed to shoot the numbers down as much as they can. Cheers!
But still, hunting at night isn’t allowed everywhere for different reasons, mostly, for protecting other animals from illegal hunters. So, you should know where it’s legal. The best idea is consulting a state’s wildlife conservation authority – either by going through their website thoroughly or directly over the phone.
You can find the address of your state’s wildlife preservation authority’s sites here.
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Night time hog is allowed only in private land all over the year.
Now, as we already knew where we can hunt at night, we can choose the best times for hunting hogs at night.
Best time for hunting hogs at night
I bet you already know that feral hogs are nocturnal animals. They don’t like hot weather I guess. So usually, they eat at night and during the twilight hour. But, during cool and wet weather they also eat during the daytime. That’s why during summertime when feral hog become completely nocturnal is the best time for nighttime hunting. Also, you normally can’t hunt other animals throughout the summer. Which makes hunting hogs the best viable option for you at that time.
Some popular methods of hunting hogs at night
Hunting methods vary from hunter to hunter. Depending on the places, weather, and/or time, every hunter chooses and adopts his own method/s.
Knowing different vital issues about hogs and the environment of your area, you can choose or develop your own effective strategy. However, it may or may not be very effective in other regions.
Now, let’s look at the crucial factors for developing an effecting hunting method:
Choice of weapon
Different types of weapons can be used for hunting hogs i.e. rifles, shotgun, bow, crossbow, muzzleloader. Even pistols are also used for hog hunting. However, for smooth and efficient killing my recommendation is to use rifles. Any AR platform rifle is suitable for hog hunting.
AR rifles are semi-automatic, allow you to shot more rounds faster. Therefore, you’ll able to hunt more at a time if you get the chance, for instance - find a group of feral hogs.
Bolt-action rifles are also great, especially if you’re shooting from a longer distance. They will provide you precise shot.
Read this article to know more about suitable weapons for hunting hogs.
Another important thing, you must do, is to scout your hunting ground thoroughly. And, you should do it during the day. While surveying, you should try to spot the usual walkway of your prey, select your stand and make a visual plan for your nighttime hunting scenario. If you’re planning to use baits, then you should also select a nice spot for that so that you’ll have a clear sight from your stand.
On the other hand, if you want to ambush the hogs then selecting your stands would be very critical. Familiarizing with the surroundings will help you to make a proper plan and consequently a proper plan will increase your chances to a great extent.
It’s an obvious thing, hiding is crucial for any types of hunting. And, this fact isn’t any different for hunting at night. For successful hunting, you should take cover properly so that your prey couldn’t sense your presence.
And, it includes all the senses – visions, smells and hearings. So, you should wear dark cloths and reduce extra movements, shouldn’t make any unnecessary sounds, and wear a good anti scent spray.
Using hog bait is the most effective and common way of hunting feral hogs. Tremendously popular as well. You can use an automated or gravity feeder for baiting. The automated feeder goes off exactly when you set the timer. You can also set the frequency of spraying foods in those feeders. Pretty convenient, huh?
What will you use for loading feeders shouldn’t be a problem. Hogs aren’t picky about foods. They eat everything when they are hungry. Almost anything can be used for baiting. But, to increase the luring impact you may have to put some extra efforts.
Most effective and easy-to-found elements for baiting are:
People can’t see in the dark. Bummer!
A major challenge you’ll face during hunting at night. You mightn’t need any extra lights if the sky is clear with a bright moon. And, obviously, if you have keen eyes. Using a powerful night vision scope with a large objective lance will allow you to see more clearly in this case.
However, if there isn’t sufficient moonlight, artificial lighting or some other more advanced method is a must.
Hunters normally use low-cost feeder lights fixed near to the feeder to illuminate the whole area. But, bright light scares the hogs away from gathering around the feeder. So, many hunters use red or green light. And, if the hogs aren’t much experienced with those lights and if there’re scarcity of natural foods then these light don’t bother them much. They will come to you. Most of the feeder light systems are 6 or 12 VDC. Alternatively you can use brake light or special LED light.
A smarter and more effective option, if you can afford it. Night vision binocular or night vision monocular will remove the requirement of any artificial light. So, hogs won’t mind gathering around your bait. Easy targets! Night vision will increase your range and accuracy. For laying an ambush, night vision is the best option.
Using Thermal Weapon Sight
If you can manage to spend a few thousand bucks then buy a thermal weapon sight. It’ll make your hunting a lot easier. It’s even more effective than night vision. You’ll be able to shoot from a longer distance and with more accuracy. Also, it eliminates the chances of scaring away the hogs.
There’s one problem besides the expense, some states don’t allow hunting with thermal sight.
This is another commonly used method of hunting hogs at night. For doing that you need to identify a pathway regularly used by the hogs on their way to water or food source. Then, lay an ambush besides that path.
Post hunting measures
After shooting a hog, you shouldn’t wait for the next morning. Try to track down the animal as soon as possible.
During hot and humid weather a dead animal would start decomposing fast. So, there’s no scope for keeping them unprocessed for a long time. The best idea is to cool down the corps with ice when you find it. You may need to prearrange ices for that. And, after cooling the corpse, take necessary steps to process it quickly for fresh meat.Read this article to know the basics of hog hunting.