Two Solutions of Hog Hunting

It’s been my practical experience that feral hogs are both of those creatures of habit and remarkably cell. As a result, as hunters, we can easily acquire benefit of this knowledge in two approaches. To start with, feral hogs are typically both Diurnal (dawn and dusk) and Nocturnal (nighttime) feeders they usually are likely to like to bed down all through the day when the climate is heat but, they’re going to feed throughout the day in the event the weather conditions is cold. Therefore, utilizing this information in their practices, we can easily decide to hunt them both from tree stands and ground blinds or, we could elect to use a process known as Location & Stalk.

So, initially let’s talk about searching from a tree stand or ground blind since this is the most popular process. Now, the to start with thing to know about finding a good spot to place your stand or blind is that feral hogs prefer to mattress in THICK cover and I do mean THICK! In fact, the most harrowing pig looking knowledge I have ever had occurred in such cover. You see, my buddy and I were searching on the private island located off of the coast of Georgia (where I run my guided bow searching trips) our first year there and the honest truth of the matter was that we knew about as much about pig searching as we did about the island. Consequently, Tim was a few yards ahead of me as we were wading through a Palmetto thicket from Hell that was chest high and so dense, we had to hold our bows over our heads and, when I looked down, I literally could not see my boots! As a result, feeling a little frustrated, I stopped and called to Tim and informed him that we were NEVER going to find pigs in such thick cover and that I felt like we needed to look elsewhere. So, after discussing the matter for a few moments, I took one step forward and suddenly, two of the biggest pigs I have ever seen jumped up on either side of me not even two feet away and proceeded to barrel though those palmettos straight toward Tim so fast that I could not have shot one even if I had a handgun instead of a bow! Since then, I have had several other similar experiences hunting them in thick cover and at one time, I even had a pig stalk me instead of the other way around! Therefore, when looking for a place to set up a tree stand or floor blind, you initially need to locate heavy bedding cover and then locate the trails that lead into and out of it. Then, locate any food sources adjacent to or nearby to those entrances and exits and set up near the one that appears to generally be most heavily used. Now, normally, I would suggest that you locate and hunt near both equally hard and soft mast crops such White Oak acorns and Muscadines instead near the bedding areas but, feral hogs have such a varied diet (see my other article on “Feral Hog Food Sources”) they usually are so hyper-mobile that they’ll not reliably return to the same food source working day after day as long as there is plenty of food for them to forage elsewhere. Another strategy is to follow those trails into the heavy cover (you sometimes have to crawl on your hands and knees) until you encounter shallow depressions (pig beds) dug into the floor or, what we call a “Striking Post” which is a tree that a large boar will use his tusks on to gouge out a large depression in the side of the tree and then rub his body against it to mark his territory and then you set up your tree stand in that area.

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The other technique for searching feral hogs (and my personal favorite) is to employ a method referred to as Location & Stalk. With this method, you wait until the pigs have left their beds and entered the open woods in search of food (early in the morning, late in the evening, and through the night for the duration of the warm months and around 10 O’clock to 6 O’clock in the course of the winter months). Then, being familiar with the terrain, you walk very slowly with an erratic pattern to your footsteps and then, you stop, watch, and listen for a few minutes about every ten to twenty yards. In addition, always be certain that you have some sort of cover between you and the area you are scouting so that if you do see a pig or group of pigs, you will not be exposed in the open and consequently, unable to move. As a result, I try to move from tree to tree when I am searching. Plus, it is a good idea to carry a compact pair of binoculars with you such as the Steiner Predator Pro 8 x 25mm or 10 x 25mm since they enable you to scan at long ranges and are specially designed to cause game animals to stand out against the background foliage. Then, once I actually location a hog or group of hogs, I immediately fall into stealth mode. By this, I mean that my mind is suddenly focused on nothing but the pigs, the amount of and type of cover between me and them, and the direction of the wind. Then, to start with, I watch them for a while to determine if they are feeding in a relatively stationary position or are they moving and if so, in which direction. Then, helicopter hog hunts based upon that information, I start planning my stalk. Now obviously, due to a pig’s phenomenal sense of smell, you initially need to approach from downwind. Second, you need to keep some sort of cover between you and the pigs at all times and where the cover is low, you need to crouch or even crawl on your hands and knees. But, where there are trees, you can walk upright as long as you walk SLOW and make your footsteps erratic. Then, once you are within range, draw your bow or aim your rifle or handgun and let ’em have it!