The Wild Hog – Get to know your quarry
Silent, intelligent, crafty and oh so delicious!
All too often people think that hogs are dumb and are easy to kill. Nothing could be further from the truth. Feral Hogs are extremely intelligent and are a challenge to pursue and ultimately kill.
Hogs have excellent hearing and very sensitive noses. Their eyesight is not very good but they are photosensitive. This means that shining lights or changing illumination qualities of their environs will illicit a response. Most times, negatively.
Scent block, wind direction, cover and stealth are paramount variables in the pursuit of the wild hog. If you expect to just walk into an area, see hogs and get a shot, well, hang up you your gun/bow and wait for deer season.
Hogs have a wide range in terms of their habitat. They typically live in an area of approx. 25 miles! They can run fast….up to 35mph. They can swim very well too. Just because you see them in one area, doesn’t mean they’ll stay there and in many cases, they can be completely gone within a day. Hunting them in the summer can add some predicatibility since they are very temperature sensitive. Water sources and heavy cover are required during the hot summer months so that should provide at least a good starting point as to where to look. In the winter, they tend to be more diurnal (active in the daytime) and in summer, they are almost exclusively nocturnal.
Preparation is key to hunting hogs. You better know the terrain and habitat and have done some scouting to know they are in the area or at least have the potential to be in the area. Best bet is to get with a credible outfitter who manages hog populations and who have established feeders and wallows to increase chances for a kill. If you are new to hunting hogs, best to get with a guide who has a high-fence. It won’t make it easier to pursue and kill them but your chances of seeing them and getting an opportunity at a shot will be much greater.
For more detailed information on hog behavior and biology, I highly recommend reading this article. The more you know about hogs and how they behave, the better chances you have at bringing home the bacon!