All You Need to Know About Hog Hunting
By Nicholas Chen
, last updated December 16, 2011
Hunting hogs is not child’s play. In order to be successful at luring the animal, hunters must be well prepared otherwise a seemingly enjoyable trip to the woods with a rifle or bow might turn into a fatal escapade. The marker of a good hunter is that he is prepared for all odds while embarking on a hunting adventure. There is no room for over ambition as the predator might become the hunter if careful planning is not done prior to a hunt.
Hog hunting requires a carefully chosen assortment of technical items; a feeder for laying corn at the chosen spot at regular intervals, a remote to control the feeder device, a shot-spot R for marking the exit path of the animal, some sort of glow paint for marking peep sights, a blood tracking flashlight for night time hunting, an illumitacks kit for marking blood trails to locate the target, a hog light that is placed on top of the feeder for visibility after dark etc. These products can be easily purchased by ordering online.
After taking a hit at the animal the shot-spot R is used to mark the last spot where the animal was seen. This allows the hunter to reach that specific location and locate the already shot animal. The blood tracking light enables the hunter to trace the path the hog might take after the hit. Blood can be tracked by lanterns or a good high powered flash light. Illumitacks assist in marking the trail taken by the hunter, while tracking the hog. This leaves room to retract in case the path chosen earlier is a dead end. These auxiliary items are especially useful for night time hunting.
Hogs’ sharp sense of smell allows them to detect human presence in their surroundings. Thus an important tip for the hunter is to make sure that the wind is always blowing in his face otherwise a different wind direction will cause the hog to detect his scent. A considerable distance, preferably of at least 75 yards should be maintained to prevent odor detection by the hog.
Setting up the right feeder so that it throws feed at regular intervals requires a lot of patience. The feeder must be set up for a couple of days so that the animals get accustomed to receiving food at a specific spot, at a specific time of the day.
Rifles and bows can both be used for hunting hogs given that they allow quick reflex as soon as the animal is seen. Lights are available for both rifles and bows for night hunting. The kill zone is where the shot needs to be made and it varies from animal to animal. For hogs the kill zone is slightly lower and forward as compared to a deer. If the hunter misses the kill zone, the hog will be hit but might disappear from sight making it difficult for the hunter to track his path. Hogs release a nasty odor which can be detected from a distance.
Hunters might be interested in different species of hogs which range from feral hogs, domesticated hogs to European wild hogs. With slight differences in their skin cover and hair coat they are similar in strength and characteristics. It’s popularly known that hogs have poor vision but a good sense of smell and hearing. They can be distracted by slight noise so hunters should be careful about placement of their gear while hunting. It’s also very important to have knowledge about the hog being hunted. It enables the hunter to prepare the right kind of feed for the prey. Hogs mostly eat plant and animal matter, which includes all sorts of roots, acorns, fruits, insects, snails and worms. Hogs can be found in areas with dense vegetation and preferably a water source like a river or creek nearby. However there are some species of hogs found in dry areas prone to drought conditions.
Another crucial part of the hunting dynamics is determining where hog habitats can be found. Hog wallows which are muddy water puddles, sometimes containing an impression of the hog’s belly are great finds. Another ideal spot is where hog rubbing poles are. During crossing, hogs leave behind marks and cuts on wooden poles or tree trunks which act as markers of a hog trail. This is called rooting which is an obvious sign of hog crossing. Depending on how fresh it is the hunter can gauge the time of the animals presence in a particular area. Moreover, hog hair found stuck in barbed wires or fencing is another indication of hog presence, as well as droppings. These are very resourceful indicators of areas inhabited by hogs; however identifying such a spot is just the first step of the hunter’s jaunt.