Care to test your bravery? Or are you looking to take home the bacon? Humans have hunted for wild boar for both sustenance and sport since time immemorial. Hog hunting is becoming more popular with hunters nowadays.
The thought of the wholesale hunting pigs will inevitably evoke emotions of outrage from the animal-activist type. It is estimated that wild pigs cause $1.5 billion annually in damages to agriculture in the United States.
Obtain a license
Before you set your crosshairs on any sizeable squealer, check with your local government to see what laws are in place for the hunting of boars. In many states, a license isn’t required at all for hunting pigs, as they are viewed as pests rather than a game. Hogs are generally allowed to be hunted year-round. According to the law in Texas:
Depredating feral hogs, if a landowner (resident or non-resident) or landowner’s agent or lessee is taking feral hogs causing depredation on the landowner’s land. (Source)
In some cases, however, it might be smart to obtain a hunting license anyways. If you plan to trap the hogs, rather than shoot them, your snares could inadvertently affect other forms of wildlife for which a license would be required to kill. Better to be prepared.
If you are hunting on public land, however, you will need to purchase a general license, which is usually much cheaper for a resident than a non-resident of your state.
You will also need a license if you plan to hunt your hog for food or as a trophy. Refer to this link to investigate hunting laws according to your state.
An appropriate boar-hunting gun
Feasibly, any rifle that is used to shoot hunting game could be used to kill a feral hog, but there are many models of firearms that are designed specifically for a pig in mind.
The average wild pig can weigh up to 180 lbs, with the male pigs grow to be significantly larger at up to 220 lbs. There have been special cases, however, of pigs grow to be more than 500 lbs, as well as hunter’s tales of taking down quasi-mythical pigs weighing in at more than a ton.
When aiming at a group of boars, you will naturally want to select the largest of the pack.
For optimum hog-hunting firearm, we recommend (as well as the general consensus of the Internet) the Browning BAR ShorTrac Hog Stalker. It has been dubbed “the ultimate pig rifle.” It is accurate, packs a hard punch, and incredibly sturdy.
The rifle has not only been useful in the pig-hunting occupation, but also in the American military encounters ranging from World War I all the way to Vietnam.
According to Browning.com, it is a reinvention of BAR that features the key characteristics of a sporting rifle. The Hog Stalker also possesses a 10-shot magazine, which is perfectly idyllic for those who are already familiar with modular sniper rifles with greater carrying size.
The cost of the rifle is about $1,500.
Clothing & Hunting Backpack
Camouflage that corresponds to the time of year and your surroundings is ideal. Preferably your clothing should be deeper shades and darker.
Also, be prepared for the weather — in the cold season, wear long underwear, gloves, and tall, insulating boots. In the warm seasons, wear durable pants and shirt that can withstand snaring and tearing from outlying branches and rock. It is also advisable to carry raingear, as moisture will quickly lead to hypothermia if not managed properly.
According to some laws of various states, a certain amount of reflective orange will be required, such as Texas, if you are hunting in daylight hours, to prevent the friendly fire from unwary hunters also on the premises.
But it is not uncommon at all for hunters to take to the night. Hogs are not necessarily nocturnal but are lazier and less active than when they are during the day. Naturally, this makes them much easier targets.
As a result, you will also need a hunting backpack to pack all your hog hunting gears. Ensure that you get yourself a big enough hunting backpack to store all that you need.
Hunters have also chosen to employ hunting dogs when tracking down feral boars. Hunting dogs have been utilized since early in human history to aid in the hunt. There are two types of hunting dogs, each of which serve two purposes:
Bay dogs do not outright attack a hunted boar. Instead, they literally keep the boar “at bay,” stalling the pig and confusing it by surrounding it in an intimidating circle and barking.
Foxhounds, walker hounds, Leopard Cur, Blue Lacy, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback are all recommended breeds for this style of hog hunting.
Catch dogs, as their name indicates, will carry through and catch the pig. They will latch their jaw onto the boar’s neck or ear and keep it held until the hunter arrives and finishes the boar off themselves. A knife or a single shot with the rifle will often suffice for a killing blow. The best breeds for catching pigs include mastiffs, boxers and pit bulls.
Practice safety when Hog Hunting
A charging wild boar can be a truly terrifying ordeal. An enraged pig, if it isn’t taken down in a single accurate shot, can ram its tusks into your gut. It could butt you against a tree, or even hurl you into the air. One missed shot could prove to be a deadly error. Even a glancing wound might not stop a boar once it’s begun a rampage.
Robert Baratheon, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms in A Song of Ice and Fire, was mortally wounded by a boar during the royal hunt, which consequently led to the downfall of the entire kingdom into bloody civil war and the rest of the events of the book.
The consequences might not be as severe as an entire empire collapsing. But do you really want friends and family remember you as the guy who was killed off by a pig?
Station yourself from a hunting stand, a vehicle, or another safe shelter where you are not in the open. This way the boar cannot easily access you. Otherwise, you will turn from the hunter to the hunted.