Wild hogs are quickly becoming one of the most popular game animals in the United States. Occupying more than half the states in America, feral hogs are doing increasing amounts of damaged when left unchecked. For this reason, many states have lifted almost every restriction on hog hunting in an effort to help curb their destruction.
In some states, wild hogs are starting to be the most heavily pursued animal, coming in a close-second to whitetail deer in many parts of the United States. Many hog hunting guides are reporting an increase in clients with little to no hunting experience. What attracts most of these newcomers to hog hunting is the lack of legal limitations, as well as the many different methods one can employ when hunting.
Hogs are unlike most other animals in North America. For Cole Hataway, wild boar hunting is a way of life. Cole owns State Line Hunting Ranch, based in Vivian, Louisiana, and is one of the most knowledgeable guides in the southeast with a full understanding of wild pigs and an array of many different hog hunting tips to share with his guests.Cole offers us five key hog hunting tips that any hunter can use to gain an edge on these animals for their first boar season. While there are likely dozens more we could include in this list, Cole’s five hog hunting tips are of value to anyone hunting wild boar.
Decide on Your Hunting Method
For starters on wild boar hunting tips, Cole says to hammer out the specific method of hunting you want to use for hogs. Many states allow a wide variety of hunting methods and some can be more effective than others depending on the time of year or other factors.
“There are so many different ways that you can hunt hogs, so it’s important to figure out exactly how you plan to hunt,” says Cole. “Once you’ve decided that, you can plan your trip accordingly based on exactly what you’ll need.”
The best way to decide on what method you’ll use is to determine what is legal in the area you’re hunting. In states like Texas, hunters can harvest hogs day or night, from just about anywhere—including a helicopter. This is one of the hog hunting tips that may seem insignificant, but planning your trip is just as important as the hunt itself.
There’s No Substitute for Time in the Woods
Cole says that, among the hog hunting tips he could provide, there is no better learning experience one can get than trial and error in the woods, experiencing things for themselves.
“You really have to go out and find out for yourself where the hogs are staying, what they are eating and where they will be going at certain times,” says Cole. “A hog will take water every single day—that’s probably one of the most important things to consider when you’re trying to pattern a hog.”
Cole always tells anyone asking for hog hunting tips to focus on three aspects, what hogs are eating, where are they located, and where their water source is. Knowing those three bits of information will pay off in a big way as opposed to any hog hunting tips and tricks you may read or hear from anywhere else.
Never Underestimate a Hog’s Intelligence
“There is nothing in the woods that’s smarter than a hog,” says Cole. “I really mean that because hogs are extremely intelligent animals—much smarter than a deer and they also have a better nose. Of any hog hunting tips I could give someone, this should be one of the top ones.”
Some hunters may think that hogs are dense creatures that spend their time mulling around with their heads on the ground in search of food and unaware of their surroundings. Giving boars credit for being highly intelligent animals is one of the best hog hunting tips you can give, says Cole.
“Their eyesight is not the best, but they have a nose that is five times better than a whitetail,” says Cole. “One thing that always gives them away is that they leave a lot of evidence that they’ve been in an area. You won’t have to look very hard to realize where hogs have been because they will absolutely tear the ground to pieces when they are rooting.”
Be Conscious of Your Odor
As mentioned above in our list of hog hunting tips, being aware of a hog’s keen sense of smell is key in making sure you have the upper hand when you’re in the woods. Cole says that no list of hog hunting tips is complete without specifically mentioning wild boars’ sense of smell.
“In my experience, a hog can smell you long before it will ever see you,” says Cole. “If that happens, you can kiss your chances of getting a shot on a wild pig goodbye.”
Cole notes that it is always best to be aware of the wind direction when stalking hogs and try to take measures to limit your own odor as much as possible when in the field. Many hunters may not think that smell factors into being a top priority among the best hog hunting tips, but Cole says it’s one of the main things he considers on each hunt.
Hogs are One of the Most Baitable Game Animals
Cole says that, unlike most other big game animals in North America, feral hogs can be attracted to a particular area by using bait, or various types of food. According to research from Texas A&M University, feral hogs will remain near an area that offers regular food source, even if that food is not a naturally occurring meal. Of the hog hunting tips listed on this and any other list, Cole says it’s smart to pay attention to making sure to be attentive to the appetite of wild pigs.
“There are a lot of states that don’t allow you to bait hogs, but some do. If you take advantage of that, you can really attract hogs to a specific piece of property with bait,” says Cole. “That’s one of those hog hunting tips that may sound pretty basic, but it’s extremely effective in helping you make sure you get a shot opportunity.”
To find out more about how you can get in on the action with Cole, visit the State Line Hunting Ranch listing here on The Outdoor Trip. Cole says his outfitter service is family-owned and operated as he handles everything related to hunting while his wife, Carla, makes sure guests are well fed and comfortable. Cole’s boys even help out in skinning and dressing hogs for customers after the hunts.
“We love what we do and I think we have one of the best hog hunting guide services in the country here,” says Cole. “If you like the hog hunting tips in this list, give us a call or book a trip and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.”