Who doesn’t like a good hunt?
There’s nothing like the thrill of a hunt. You track the herd through the woods and across fields, and after what seems like hours you come across your target. You aim. You fire, and in the end, the kill is yours. Depending on your hunting experience, you may only be familiar with certain animals.
Hunting wild pigs are more challenging than hunting deer. Feral swine have a better sense of smell than deer, and while their eyesight isn’t that acute, they can track you from further away. To succeed, you need the right information to avoid common pitfalls that trip up newbie swine hunters.
FERAL SWINE HUNTING TIPS
Tip #1: Know Your Tracks
If you’ve been primarily a deer hunter, you probably know how what a deer track looks like. They’re teardrop shape and have a narrow slit in the middle that separates the sides of the hoof. Feral pigs also have hooves, but they’re substantially broader and appear almost hamburger-shaped when compared to deer tracks.
Tip #2: Learn to Spot Pig Damage
If you’re tracking a sounder (herd) of wild boar, sows, and piglets you should know they’ll leave a trail of damage as they move across an open plain. The damage looks very similar to the photos featured here. You’re also more likely to find pigs if you’re near a field that grows crops or a deer hunting bait site. If the pigs get a chance, they’d rather burn fewer calories munching on crops rather than rooting for bugs in the soil. If it’s winter, and nothing’s growing, you’re much more likely to see the damage that’s featured here.
Tip #3: Only Hunt at Dusk or Night
Hogs are a cautious species, and due to their perception of increased human hunting activity, Texas hogs only forage at night. That’s why you need to change your hunting patterns, get a thermal rifle scope, and look for hogs when they’re most active.
You should also keep in mind that hogs can get aggressive when challenged. They not only possess strength but also sharpened tusks that can kill an adult human so you should be extra careful while hunting. It’s best to get within 100 yards of the sounder, and when engaging the hogs, start with the largest ones first.
Tip #4: Stay Downwind
While it’s true that pigs have terrible eyesight, their sense of smell is truly the thing that separates them from other forms of wildlife. Feral swine have a profound sense of smell, and if they pick up your scent, they’ll avoid you and you’ll never see a single hog.
The best strategy is to follow the tracks but also know the speed and direction of the prevailing winds, and make sure the hogs stay in front of you. You may have to shift position a few times to stay away from their nose, but this one tip can make you a successful hog hunter.