Hog hunting involves the practice of hunting feral pigs, peccaries and wild boars. A mature hog is usually large and powerful.
It often has sharp tusks that it uses in defending itself when attacked. Feral hogs were introduced in America in 1500 by Spanish explorers. They have caused significant environmental damage, and they are also a nuisance to farmers.
Most states allow unlimited hog hunting. It is a fun activity that provides delicious wild meat and which controls hog population.
This article gives you hog hunting tips for beginners.
Hog Hunting Tips for Beginners in Texas
Follow these steps when hunting hogs in Texas.
1. Preparing Yourself
- Learn the state's regulations: Since feral hogs are a species which competes for food with livestock and wildlife, most American states with a high hog population have lenient hog hunting regulations. You should understand the rules in Texas. The state allows hunting throughout the year during day and night time. A hunter is often not required to have a license before going on an expedition. However, in states such as Oklahoma, hogs are only hunted during the day and at certain seasons of the year.
- Select a hunting spot: Most property owners allow people to hunt hogs either for free or at a fee. You can research on newspaper classifieds and various websites to find a nearby hog hunting venue. Pigs are in abundance throughout Texas hence making it easy for you to have a quick catch.
- Choose a suitable firearm: When selecting a hog hunting firearm, you should check its accuracy. Hogs are hardy animals that can flee if not hit at a vital organ such as the heart or lungs. You should also choose a gun which fires large rounds since the hogs are tough. The minimum caliber for a hunting firearm should be .270 Winchester. A .30 caliber rifle such as the .300 Winchester Magnums would be a better choice.
- You could also use a Browning automatic rifle which has a unique Hog Stalker model specially designed for hog hunters. Some firearms manufacturers produce unique hunting weapons such as the Weatherby Reaper and the Savage Hunter for hogs. Alternatively, you can choose a silencer as it conceals you from pigs after making a shot. It also dampens the gun's muzzle flash during night hunting.
- Survey the land: After locating a hunting spot, it's recommended that you scout it in advance to get the ideal places to set up a tree stand or to stalk feral hogs. Search for signs indicating that the pigs have been digging the site recently. Rooted land appears as if it is plowed. Hogs are fond of wallowing in mud and ponds making them suitable hunting areas. Place motion-triggered game cameras within the property to discover where pigs gather most.
2. Hunting Hogs
- Hunt from a tree stand: During bad weather, it is advisable to hunt from a ground blind or a tree stand. It could be a small shed that is raised from the ground surface and in which you stalk hogs. While waiting, be quiet to avoid alerting the animals. If the stand is not positioned correctly, you might have to stalk for a day before spotting a hog. You can use the game cameras to track pigs which are approaching in your direction. Place bait near the stand or blind to attract hogs.
- Stalk the hogs: Most hunters find it exciting when stalking or still-hunting as it keeps them alert and it enables them to cover a more extensive territory. Still-hunting entails moving slowly through a cover as you search for a hog while as stalking is creeping on an animal that you have located. This approach enables you to have several potential locations instead of just using one where the stand is built.
- When scouting for hogs, you will most probably hear them before you spot them. Move slowly as you make regular shortstops to listen to their sound keenly. Feral hogs are short-sighted, and they usually get preoccupied as they feed. It provides you an ample opportunity to take them down.
- Use hunting dogs: In Texas, one is allowed to flush out and a track hog with dogs. The dogs' excitement energizes a hunter. For a successful hunt, you will need to use at least two dogs. You need to have a "bay dog" to find a hog and alert you when he spots it. There will also be a "catch dog" that joins the bay dogs after a hog has been cornered and to grab it until you kill the boar firmly.
- A bay dog can be any trained dog that has a sharp sense of smell whereas a catch dog should be large and powerful such as an American bulldog or a pit bull. Ensure that all dogs wear cut vests to protect them from the hog. You should also learn how to administer first aid to dogs and carry some medication to patch up injured dogs.
- Call the feral hogs: You can buy mouth-blown or electronic hog calls which attract pigs. Electronic hog calls are specially programmed with the sound of piglets that are in distress. They are efficient in attracting wild hogs.
- Shoot the hog: Once you spot a pig, aim and shoot it. Be keen to shot its vital organs to prevent it from running away. Aim at the neck, the ear or between its jaw and the shoulder. Alternatively, you could also shoot behind its shoulder to hit the heart or lungs. Avoid hitting its shoulder as it is covered by a tough scar tissue that is developed after engaging in numerous fights.
- Dress the carcass: After killing a hog, you should remove some organs. Wear clean latex gloves when dressing it as it could be infected with swine brucellosis. Roll it over backward and spread the hind legs. Cut the belly's center to the tail's base as you cut through belly muscles while you avoid puncturing its intestines or stomach. Roll it on its side and remove the guts and its abdomen.
- Make an incision around the diaphragm, severe its windpipe and esophagus after which you should pull out its lungs and heart. Drain excess blood to avoid clots. Store the meat in a freezer to prevent it from rotting.
Wild Hog Hunting Rifles
You can use any of the following rifles when hunting hogs:
You can get hog hunting tips for beginners from several online articles and journals. There are also various methods that can be used when hunting.
You can easily access hunting rifles from multiple weapon stores. Care should be taken in a hunting expedition as a wounded hog could be aggressive when approached.