As one of the fastest-growing sports in the country, hog hunting gives you the chance to test your skills and take home a cooler full of pork. Hog hunting is not only enjoyable, it’s actually encouraged by state and local governments who want to reduce wild hog populations.
Why Hog Hunting?
It’s worth talking about why we love hunting hogs in the first place. First off, they are found in nearly every state across the country, so no matter where you live, there is likely a hog hunt within driving range. This is true in the Midwest, Southeast, and Pacific regions. Although they are not as common in the New England region, they can be found in states like New Hampshire and Vermont.
Although the exact numbers are debated, there is a major concern about the impact these hogs have on local areas. They cannot only damage local property and environments, hogs reproduce at an alarming rate.
They are considered by many conservation organizations to be a destructive and invasive species, so most states make hog hunting as available as possible. Wisconsin, Texas, and many other states have year-round seasons that allow for hog hunting by any means, including rifles, bows, handguns, and shotguns. It’s likely that your state requires only a small-game license to legally harvest wild hogs.
Choosing the Right Firearms and Ammunition
If you are a deer hunter, you’re already equipped for wild hogs. Most rifles, shotguns, and bows that you would use to take a whitetail can take down wild hogs as well. Despite their smaller size, however, hogs are notoriously tough, so two or three (or more) shots is often required to stop a fully-grown pig.
For rifles, you will want something fast and powerful. A high-velocity round like the .223 Remington is a popular choice. Common deer cartridges, including the .30-06, .308 Winchester, and .30-30, are all effective for wild hog hunting. Because of a hog’s tough nature, you’ll likely want an auto loading rifle that can fire multiple round in succession.
Handguns can also be uses, including typical self-defense and law enforcement rounds like the .40 S&W, the .45 Auto, the 9mm Luger, or the .357 Magnum.
When selecting rifle and handgun ammo, choose an expanding bullet that will deliver consistent penetration. A jacketed hollow point bullet is a smart choice for wild hog hunting.
Hog hunters also use a pump-action shotgun. This gives you an excellent chance to fire unused deer slugs and buckshot left over from deer season.
Hunting the Hogs
So how do you go about finding the hogs? Most hunters will either use calls to draw in the territorial and aggressive hogs, or use dogs to track and corner the animals. Many hunters will utilize their deer stands to hunt hogs in the spring. Most calls mimic distressed piglets, and these can be either mouth calls or electronic calls.
Hogs are surprisingly cunning and stealthy, and they love to stay hidden. If you’re stalking hogs on the ground, especially without dogs, remember to take your time. Move slowly and check the tall grasses and bushes. Hogs stay low to the ground, so they can hide in places where a deer’s neck would stick out like a flagpole.
Eating Wild Hogs
If anyone tells you that you can’t eat wild hogs, they are flat out wrong. However, they are right about one thing: hogs are notorious carriers for disease and parasites. But this does not mean they are completely inedible.
It simply means you need to be extra cautious when cleaning and cooking wild hog meat. The CDC says you can eat wild hogs, but they recommend you wear gloves when cleaning a wild hog and cook the meat as thoroughly as possible when preparing a meal. (Which applies to any wild game and fish, so wild hog is not unique in this regard.)
The Perfect Apparel for Wild Hogs
Wild hogs have bad eyesight, but their senses of smell and hearing are fantastic. This means you need scent-resistant and noise-resistant apparel from NOMAD. Browse our complete selection of hunting apparel and you’ll be ready for 12 months of hog hunting.