The wild hog, or wild boar, is one of the more interesting kinds of game you can hunt. A wild hog is like a massive pig, and in fact, the modern pig descended from the wild hog. But it is a distinct animal that can be exciting to hunt down if you are fully prepared.
There is no telling how big of a wild boar you may find in the wild. Wild hogs are descendants of once domesticated pigs. They aren’t directly related to smaller peccaries – namely Javelina.
There are quite a few things you’ll need to do in order to get fully prepared to hunt these big pigs. Wild hog hunting is very popular in Texas but can be done in other areas of the United States. Here’s how to be prepared before you head out for your next big boar hunting expedition.
1. Hog/Boar Weight & Sizes
A wild hog can grow quite large in size. Males can weigh as much as 200 pounds while females weigh up to 150 pounds. Wild boars can be up to five feet long and three feet high. This is a large animal that could be a challenge to hunt down, depending on how you have planned and packed.
A hog’s coat is also extremely thick and difficult to penetrate. Wild pig bristles are long and coarse. They are thicker around the main part of the body and thinner around the head and neck. The coat creates a strong barrier around the hog’s body, making it hard for many types of weapons to penetrate the body.
2. Weapons You Should Bring
Consider the weapons you’ll need for wild boar hunting. Most hunters use firearms since knives and other blades might not penetrate through the hog’s body. Also, it could be extremely dangerous to target a wild hog too close as that animal could injure you.
Let’s look at the top weapons for your next hog hunt:
A 12-gauge shotgun: A Shotgun will work best on larger adult hogs.
A Large Caliber Handgun: A .454 or .50 caliber handgun works best to finish a wounded hog.
A Good Hunting Knife: You can use a hunting knife when hunting wild hog, although you would use it to finish off the hog. The blade in question must be at least six inches long. It must also be at least a quarter of an inch thick. Don’t forget to use a good handle to get enough traction over the animal’s body. A hog’s coat and skin are thick, so you will need a powerful blade to get the most out of the hunt.
3. What Wild Boar Baits Work?
You can use bait to attract wild hogs, although the rules may vary depending on where you are, as you will see in the next section. But the use of bait can be helpful if you plan it right. Here are some tips on using bait to attract wild pigs:
Corn: Soak it in sugar, water or beer for a few days. Corn attracts hogs, but will keep other animals away, creating a spot where the hog will be all yours to go after without any other distractions.
Pecans and Nuts: Wild hogs will readily consume nuts quite often.
Also, leave your bait out for a while before you start hunting any hogs down. When you leave it out there for a few days, the hogs will associate that space as a safe area. This keeps their defenses down and gives you a golden opportunity to hunt them.
4. Local Laws: Wild Hog Hunting Legalese
Although wild hog is often an invasive species, that doesn’t mean you can legally hunt one down no matter where you go. As with deer hunting, you may require a hunting license to hunt for wild pigs.
Wild hog can damage native plants with ease. They disrupt many local food chains and so the wild pig population may need controlling. Even so, you should still adhere to the local laws with regards to hunting wild boar. The laws involved in hunting wild hog vary by state, but here are some things to keep in mind:
Disclaimer: We are not legal experts! If you have hunting questions about your state and local laws, contact an attorney. This is meant to be a guide, not a comprehensive list.
- There are limits to when you can hunt wild hog. Hunting seasons occur at certain times of the year on private and public lands, depending on where you go.
- Night hunting is okay in some places. It is legal to night hunt for wild pigs in Florida on private land spaces with the owner’s permission, but it is also illegal in Hawaii.
- There may be a limit on the size of hog you can hunt. Be sure to check weight and size restrictions where you plan to hunt.
- Some places allow baiting, while others place restrictions. Some states like Indiana allow you to use baits, but only on private land spaces
- You may need a hunting license. The terms for getting a license will vary based on where you go. It may cost less for residents to get a license than it does for non-residents.
- You can hunt feral hogs in some spots, but there may be some restrictions. Certain states ban feral hunting. Feral hunting is fully allowed in Michigan or Mississippi. In Kansas or Minnesota, you can’t hunt feral hogs at all.
- Some states limit the types of wild hogs you can hunt. You might be allowed to hunt an adult male hog, but not a female or younger hog.
Always adhere to any laws relating to wild hog hunting no matter where you plan on going. You may be subjected to penalties depending on where you hunt for hogs. Those penalties may vary, but they could be significant due to the risks you could impose if you hunt illegally.
5. Hunting Wild Hog: Bringing Your Dog With You
You can bring a hunting dog along with you for the adventure. You’ll want a stout breed like an American Bulldog, or a Rhodesian Ridgeback. But only bring your hunting dog if you have trained it to handle a hog hunting trip.
NEVER allow a dog to hunt with you that is not prepared to hunt down wild pigs. Wild pigs can be extremely aggressive, so if your dog isn’t trained to recall on command, it’s definitely best to leave them at home. When you are talking about an aggressive male pig that can be up to 200 pounds, you’ll want a dog like the Lacy Dog that’s specifically bred for hunting these wild pigs.
6. What to do When a Wild Hog Attacks
Although a good weapon can stop a wild hog in its tracks, watch out for when a hog might try to attack. Here’s what you can do if a hog chases after you:
- Instead of running, look for a tree or other high surface you can climb. It is often difficult for wild hogs to climb up trees.
- To evade a charge, step out of the hog’s direction. This is what a person would do when a bull charges them. After a while, the boar will be worn out and will stop charging.
- Don’t try to shoot at a wild pig when it charges at you. Such an attack could aggravate the boar even further. You could also hurt someone because the boar may run so fast, it is difficult to target it.
Remember that wild hog often attack because they assume you are a threat. Be extra careful and observant when you are around a wild boar. Also, make sure you have a plan if it tries to attack you.
7. Some Final Words on Wild Hog Hunting
Wild hog hunting is a thrilling experience. The wild pig is a large, appealing animal to hunt down. But when doing so, observe where the wild boar roams and know what to do if it charges you. Make sure you have the right binoculars to see from a distance, bring some powerful weapons, and make sure you bring your patience.
Know the rules for wild pig hunting in the area. Remember, they are in place for your legal and physical safety.