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Hog Hunting at Night – Pro Tips & Techniques For First-Time Shooters

How to Hunt Hogs at Night

Many people consider feral hogs as a menace as they can carry disease-causing pathogens and are potentially destructive. Among all varmints targeted for nocturnal hunting, they’re the ones with fewer restrictions. Since hunting season is just around the corner, read these important things to remember about hog hunting at night.

things to remember

1. Know the Best Places to Hunt

Feral hogs are nocturnal creatures. Therefore, they are most active and tractable during the night. Before setting out for your night hunting adventure, identify the best places to hunt. 

Read about the hunting regulations of your state and prepare all the needed tools and weapons beforehand. 

The states that allow hog hunting at nighttime and permit artificial lights include Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Georgia.  

Dangers often lurk in darkness; hence it’s safer to hunt in an open field. Hogs tend to root up in open fields frequently. Also, consider if you’re hunting in public or private land.

2. Know the Best Time to Hunt

There’s nothing more frustrating than going into the field and waiting so patiently for hogs to show up but ended up not seeing one. One way to make hunting at night successful is to know the best time to hunt. 

Hogs can be hunted all year round, but the best time of year to hunt them is after the deer season. They can be hunted in most weather conditions. You can see them looking for food even when there’s a cold front, light rain, or drizzle. 

Data from reliable sources show that during summertime, feral hogs are out and about during twilight and at nighttime.

best time

During winter and wet seasons, they are often found scavenging and roving around in day time.

Meanwhile, during fall and spring, they tend to be diurnal. They are most active in the early morning and late afternoon and less at midday.

3. Use the Right Weapon

Weapon

You can use various weapons for hog hunting, including shotguns, crossbows, rifles, muzzleloaders, and even handguns or pistols. 

However, we recommend using AR platform rifles as they are much more efficient and effective if you hunt hogs at night. They are semi-automatic and can shoot rounds faster, which translates into more kills in a shorter span of time. 

If you’re hunting longer distances, bolt-action rifles are a great option as they are precise and can deliver potent shots. These are effective in taking down huge wild boars. 

Practicing target shooting with a hog is great with handguns like rimfire pistols. If you want an extended hunting season and making every ammo count, muzzleloaders are a great pick.

4. Scout Your Hunting Ground

Wild hogs thrive in various ecoregions such as mountains, humid swamps, plains, and dry uplands. 

When you’re hog hunting at night, look for any sign of a wild hog in your target area. Familiarize the area during the day and plan out your course while making sure that you are safe. 

You may also use trail cameras to record the time, day, and number of pigs roaming around a target area. 

The daily activity patterns of wild hogs can be tricky to predict. Scout in areas near bodies of water and dense covers as they are frequented by hogs. 

Another way is to look for wallows, footprints, fresh mud, and damaged trees and poles, mostly cedars and pines. Grainfields, acorns, alfalfa, corn, and clover are favorite areas of hogs too.

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5. Use Baits

use baits

One of the most effective ways to hunt feral hogs is using bait. Hogs aren’t picky eaters; therefore, you can use anything edible to bait them. You may use some food sources like sweet potatoes, overripe fruits, oak mast, nuts, food grains, acorns, and shelled corn. 

Feeders and bait shouldn’t have to cost you some bucks. You can use leftover foods at home because hogs aren’t picky eaters. They have a very keen sense of smell, so you also use some artificial scents, sweet aromas like vanilla or beer. They like sweets very much, so you can mix the corn with sugar and use it as bait. 

You can use automated feeders. You can set the feeder at certain times. You can buy a feeder in a supermarket or build your own feeders from simple materials. You may also put a ground blind near a body of water. 

Always make sure to have read the law, some states prohibit and penalize the use of toxicants and harmful chemicals as bait for hogs.

6. Go With Proper Lighting

Hunting in the dark necessitates the use of light for better visibility and increased shot opportunity. While you can rely on the moon’s light, it just wouldn’t suffice even in an open field. 

It’s difficult to see hogs at night because hogs have dark colors. It can also be dangerous as many of them can turn belligerent when threatened. 

One important thing to consider is to choose low-intensity light or discreet light. Avoid using a bright light as this will scare the hogs away and may trigger their aggressive drives. Hunters should opt for a red light, green light, or LED light instead.

If you’re using hog feeders, it’s better to attach lights underside them for increased precision shooting and to illuminate the hunting area. However, there are wild pigs that are spooked by a feeder light. 

Besides feeder lights, you can also use night vision and thermal imaging devices for wild hog hunting. Night vision is easy to use, effective, multipurpose, and helps you remain stealth. However, they can be expensive and may spook the hogs.

7. Take Cover & Ambush

Aside from using light, feeder, and bait, taking cover and making the perfect timing for ambush are keys to successful hog hunting. It might not seem obvious, but hogs are quite intelligent, vigilant, and adaptive. A hunter needs to outsmart them to take them down. 

Wear dark clothes in the hunting area. It’s a good way to remain inconspicuous. Plan your method thoroughly, reduce any extra movement, slow down your locomotion, wear anti-scent spray, and don’t make any unnecessary noise. 

Keep a distance from feral hogs and be careful when the hog is near you as it might notice you and run away or attack you aggressively. If you’re in an open field, you can take aim and shoot your prey while you’re hiding inside your truck.

ambush

What To Do After Shooting

After shooting down wild hogs, hunters should track down the animals immediately and not wait for the following day. A dead animal decomposes fast during summer or hot seasons, and it’s hard to process it. You may need to use a truck to transport extra carcasses to a place where you can dispose of them. 

Here are tips we suggest a hunter may do with the hog:

  • Field dress the pigs.
  • Cut them into quarters, skin, and debone them. Put the meat in the cooler. 
  • Remove the back straps. Put ice in the cooler. Keep the meat iced down for 48 hours. 
  • When you get home, put the meat in the freezer. Cook some portions however you want and eat them.

FAQs

Wild hog hunting at night can be easier with lights, picking the right location, using good tricks or tactics, and following simple tips. Feeding hogs and using prey feeders and night vision optics increase the chances of successfully hunting as many hogs as you would like.

Wild hog hunting regulations vary in different states. A hunter should read the rules of a state. Know the recommended methods or tasks, lights, and night vision devices or optics that are allowed. Hog hunting isn’t allowed in public land. Secure written permission if you’re hunting in private land.

Seasoned hunters say that hunting a wild hog can be dangerous because a hog can sometimes be unpredictable and extremely aggressive. For these reasons, it’s better to do hog hunting at night with a companion. Bring lights, some first aid materials, walkie talkie, or cell phone in case of emergency.

Learning the Methods for Night Hog Hunting

Hunting feral hogs is not just an effective method to curb the growing hog population in a state but also a great pastime for any hunter.[1,2]

Night hunting is not an easy ordeal without thorough preparations and strategizing. While hog hunters can be ingenious in using more than one traditional method for hunting hogs at night, there are more effective ways to try. 

It’s essential to identify the place where you will hunt wild hogs. Get familiar with the landscape so you would have an idea where to put the feeders and bait. Consider the weather and the best time of day to hunt. Look for any signs and trails of hogs. 

Furthermore, have your weapons and tools ready, including a light, feeder, night vision devices. For greater chances of successful hunting at night, read more tips, ways, and news about hunting hogs at night.

References:

  1. https://encompass.eku.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://scholar.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1010&context=kjus
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/24875077

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