FERAL HOG HUNTING
In Texas, the hunting of feral hogs is encouraged. There are no bag limits or seasons, and all you need is the landowner’s permission (if on private land). If you’re on public land you will need a hunting license.
Wild pigs are smart animals and when conditioned to fear human predator activity, they can become nocturnal animals. Hogs rely on humans in a lot of ways, benefiting from their crops, water, and vegetation. But this close proximity to humans teaches them that the very humans they depend on to live, are also their greatest enemy and that it’s safer to forage at night.
We’ve seen cases where the hogs don’t fear humans and are active during the day, but these are rare. Feral hogs learn from their mistakes and teach the rest of the sounder (herd) on steps they need to stay safe from predators, which means operating at night.
When we set a trap for feral hogs, we typically use corn as bait. Corn is a favorite snack for wild pigs and it’s one of the best forms of bait you can use. While feral swine will root in the topsoil for bugs if they have to, they prefer to eat low-lying crops in agricultural fields.
Especially when it’s wintertime and crops aren’t growing, if you want to bait hogs for hunting purposes use corn or other crops in a spot you know they’ll look. Use the right kind of camo and stand downwind (so they won’t smell you), or better yet, set up a blind. When the sun goes down and it gets dark out, wait for the hogs to come for the bait and you should have plenty of opportunities to bag a few big ones.
There are lots of recipes out there for wild boar, but in our estimation, piglets taste the best. While domesticated swine have a pleasant and familiar taste, don’t expect feral swine to taste the same. This is because feral swine have a much different diet than farm-raised pigs. In the wild, hogs will eat whatever they can get their hands on; while domesticated pigs are fed a specific diet.
Before cooking a wild hog, inspect and smell the meat to determine if it has any diseases. Even after cooking, feral pigs can sometimes carry bacteria that can make a person very sick. This is why you must inspect your kill. A professional can provide special insight that can tell you if your hog is safe to eat, something you may not be able to ascertain on your own.
In order to have the best shot at bagging a hog or two, you’ll need to have the right camo (think woodlands, prairie, or wetlands depending on the enviroment) and you’ll need to have a thermal scope. Because hogs are most active at night, you need a way to aim your rifle in the dark.
Thermal scopes allow you to see body heat, and against the backdrop of the plains on a ranch or forest, you can clearly make out the shape of a hog. After that, all you gotta do is aim and fire. If you’re looking for a good thermal, we sell them at the guaranteed lowest price. Check out our product page to see all the ones we have on offer.
At Texas Wild Hog Control, we try our best to make sure that feral hogs are re-homed as humanely as possible. There are several wildlife areas within Texas that we can take them to, and it isn’t always necessary to kill the hogs in order to get them off your property.
The best time to hunt feral hogs is in the late evening or early morning hours. In winter the hogs spread farther and wider as they search for food, making them easier to spot than in the summer.
FERAL HOGS IN TEXAS
The feral hog problem in the United States is growing, and it has been a problem for some time. Wild pigs can be found in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Oklahoma. The worst states with Feral swine problems are Texas and Florida. Texas is home to over 2 million feral hogs, and that number grows every year due to its ideal climate and environment.
Feral hogs first came to the United States with the Spanish 300 years ago. They were originally brought over as a food source for early explorers, and the populations thrived. In the 1930s, Russian boars were introduced to game ranges in Texas for sport hunting. Many of these animals escaped and interbred with the wild European hogs that had been brought over, creating a new, exotic, species.
Hunting of Texas wild boar is encouraged, as populations have gotten out of control. All you need is landowner permission or a hunting license if you’re on public land.
There are approximately 1.5 – 2 million feral hogs in Texas.
An invasive species describes animals that are not native to a particular area, and whose presence is overall detrimental to the local environment. Wild hogs are invasive and thrive in Texas because of things like climate, resources, and lack of natural predators. Their population has exploded in the past decade, and they’re starting to consume natural resources on both public and private land.
In Houston especially, feral hogs are starting to cause damage to suburban homeowners. Suburbia is no place for wild pigs, but because they’ve consumed all of the resources in neighboring agricultural land they’re moving closer and closer to more populated areas. That is why states like Texas have dropped feral hog hunting license requirements for private lands, and only require a permit on public lands.
Feral hogs carry diseases and are dangerous to humans, children, and pets. Through their rooting behavior, they have been known to destroy entire fields of crops, tear up golf courses, and even have invaded suburbia foraging for food.
In short, feral pigs don’t belong in Texas, and if you spot hog damage it’s best to have them removed.
WILD SWINE BEHAVIOR
Wild pigs alter their behavior to stay away from predators, adopting nocturnal foraging patterns, and using their sense of smell to avoid dangerous places. If trapped or cornered, feral hogs can become extremely aggressive, having the strength and tusks to kill an adult human.
For this reason, unless you’re armed, you should not approach a sounder of wild pigs. Also, don’t approach trapped hogs unless you’re armed. They have been known to charge the walls of your trap with great force and may attempt to bite you (or your pets) if you get too close.
Feral hogs are dangerous to humans in a few critical ways. First, if attacked, feral hogs can cut through the critical arteries that are in your arms and legs. They can rip your veins with their tusks as you bleed to death.
If you kill one and eat it, you could make yourself very sick from E.coli bacteria or swine brucellosis. Not all wild hogs carry these diseases, but if you ingest meat from one of these animals (even after cooking) you could die from it.
If you raised domesticated pigs on a farm, you would know that male pigs are boars, female pigs are sows, and young pigs are known as piglets. For wild pigs (or feral hogs) the same names are used. So a “wild boar” is simply referring to a male feral pig that lives in the wild. People often use that term interchangeably when they really mean any kind of wild pig, whether it’s male, female, or young.
Wild swine sounders prefer to feast on crops and human-grown produce. If it’s not summertime, they have also been known to root through the topsoil looking for grubs and other insects. They’re also omnivores and have been known to eat everything from reptiles and amphibians to ground nesting bird eggs to even fawns.
No, feral hogs cannot see red or green lights.