The feral hog population in the United States has continued to rise dramatically in recent decades. These invasive brutes are thought to have first been introduced in Florida by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. Since then, their numbers have grown and show no sign of decreasing.
Scientists estimate that there are roughly 6 million of these beasts roaming the United States—with most of their numbers heavily concentrated in the southern portion of America. Feral hogs have become notorious for destroying crops and transmitting disease, giving hunters more reason to add hog hunting trips to their calendars each year.
These game animals are not just big in numbers, either. Hunters have bagged giant boars weighing close to half a ton or more in some states. Whether you’re a seasoned boar-bagging veteran, or a looking to plan your first hog hunting trip, here are the 10 best states in the country for feral hogs.
Going west is probably not the first direction hunters think of when planning to go after wild hogs, but the state is quietly becoming a popular destination for boar hunting. The Golden State is well-known for its beautiful weather and nearly 900 miles of coastline on the Pacific Ocean, but it also offers ideal habitat for feral hogs in many parts of the state. California is not what many would consider one of the most hunter-friendly portions of the country, but wild hogs can be harvested year-round with no bag limit.
Most of California’s feral hog population sits on private land, hunters can book guided hog hunting trips in some of the most picturesque landscape in the United States. The state is home to brushy canyons, rolling hills, wide-open flatland, and wooded hills that offer prime habitat for wild boar.
While Missouri is well-known for prime whitetail deer and turkey hunting, it also offers decent opportunities for hunters to harvest feral hogs. The Show Me State’s southern portion are more suitable for hog habitats as it features many rivers and other waterways.
Pigs in Missouri do not reach the enormous sizes that are more common in the southern states, but the numbers are plentiful in some counties. Feral hogs are scarce in the upper Midwest region, which makes Missouri an ideal destination for outdoorsmen interested in planning a hog hunting trip without traveling more than a day’s drive.
The island state of Hawaii is famous for its stunning mountain volcanos, pristine beaches, and the traditional luau, which typically features a pig roasted over an open fire. A hog hunting trip in Hawaii’s tropical forests is undoubtedly worthy of any hunter’s bucket list.
Hunting on a tropical island offers many challenges to outdoorsmen who are accustomed to the backwoods of the southern United States. Hawaii maintains some of the strictest hunting and firearm laws in the country, and each island has a different set of season lengths and regulations. Finding a knowledgeable guide is key to experiencing a successful hog hunting trip in this island paradise.
A hog hunting trip to Oklahoma could pay off big for hunters looking to find prime land and large populations. Biologists estimate that the Sooner State has a population of more than 400,000 feral hogs. The fact that the state border Texas, considered by many to be king of hog hunting, makes Oklahoma a great place to find a guided hunt on land that isn’t overrun with other hunters.
The state’s regulations on hog hunting are very loose, with many counties allowing year-round harvest. Oklahoma’s southern and eastern sections offer the best feral hog habitat, and are home to some large boars.
6. South Carolina
South Carolina’s coastal region is home to plenty of feral hogs. Some parts of South Carolina have highly concentrated numbers of pigs, and hunters are encouraged to harvest the animals for the sake of nearby farmland.
The state has few laws restricting the hunting of feral hogs. Hunters are not required to obtain a license for hog hunting trips on private land. Many of South Carolina’s old plantations offer prime areas for hog hunting and opportunities for other game animals as well.
Feral hogs are plentiful in Alabama, and hunters need only to purchase a small game license. The irony in Alabama’s hog hunting regulations is that the state’s hogs are anything but small. Hunters will find plentiful numbers of hogs in the heart of Dixie.
While feral hogs are found in all of Alabama’s 67 counties, the bulk of the population is focused in the southern half of the state. If you’re planning a hog hunting trip to Alabama, don’t forget to use a large caliber firearm, as you might run into some of these beasts that weigh half almost half a ton.
Louisiana is one of the warmest and wettest states in the country, making it ideal habitat for hogs to grow in both number and size. The state allows hogs to be harvested year-round with no bag limit, and also allows night hunting. All of these points combined with the fact that Louisiana has more than 700,000 hogs makes it easy to justify having the Pelican State at number 4 on our list.
Rural south Georgia is home to warm, wet weather and plenty of farmland—the ideal location for hogs to get extremely large. The Peach State is home to the legendary Hogzilla, which was killed in 2004 and is alleged to have been over 1,000 pounds.
Georgia has virtually no restrictions on hog hunting, especially on private land. Book a guided trip in Georgia for plenty of adrenaline pumping action in the woods, day or night. The state has numerous different guided hunting opportunities, or hunters are allowed to pursue feral hogs on public land with relatively affordable permits.
For many hunters across the United States, Florida offers a completely different landscape and hunting environment than any other state. Miles of swamplands that are home to thick underbrush and massive gators may not seem inviting, but for hog hunters, the Sunshine State is about as good as it gets.
Hogs are thought to have been originally introduced into Florida by Spanish explorers. Scientists have yet to determine just how many of these beasts are roaming Florida’s swamplands, but rest assured, there are large numbers of feral hogs here. There are no limits to the number of pigs one can harvest on private lands in Florida, so booking a hog hunting trip with an experienced guide on private land is guaranteed to pack plenty of excitement.
It’s no secret in the outdoor world that Texas is king of hog hunting. Biologists estimate that the Lone Star State could be home to more than 2 million hogs. The population has exploded in recent years, and shows no signs of slowing any time soon. The problem of feral hog damage to crops has prompted some organizations to begin studying toxicants as a means to control population numbers.
In light of the amount of damage feral hogs have done to farming communities, the state of Texas allows hunters to harvest the animals with minimal restrictions. Hunters may harvest feral hogs year-round with no bag limits in place. Hogs may be hunted over bait, at night, and even shot from helicopter.
While public land hunts are scarce, there are plenty of experienced guides and ranches that offer outstanding hog hunting trip packages. The plentiful number of feral hogs and highly rated guides makes Texas a clear choice for number 1 on our list.
Each one of these locations has something different to offer, making it special to every hunter and guide. The important thing is to get out in the woods, have a little fun and find some hogs. We hope you enjoy the outdoors as much as we do, and hope that on your next hog hunting trip you not only enjoy harvesting some hogs, but also enjoy the memories that are made while getting outdoors. Here at The Outdoor Trip, we hope we can assist you in booking your next hog hunting trip to one of these ten locations. If it’s a trip across the country or a hunting trip in your backyard we can help find the perfect hog hunting guide or hog hunting outfitter to make your trip a memorable one.