If you’re looking to hunt, there are many popular game animals in the country, but the federal hog is one of the more infamous of the larger game animals many hunters set their sights on.
Hunting hogs can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but before you go hunting pigs, it’s helpful to be aware of local and state laws because while most states consider feral pigs a nuisance, you may still need a license to take a hog.
What is Hog Hunting?
Well, hogs are found in over half of the states nationwide and are an extreme nuisance as the population can carry transmittable diseases to humans, livestock, and wildlife. (1)
Many people consider feral hogs to be pests as they destroy public land, clean water sources, and natural habitats year-round. In fact, they can also negatively affect many wildlife populations within an ecosystem.
If you want to eat the pigs you kill, and the law allows it, you’ll need to field dress them properly. However, you may also want to have the meat inspected, as older boars can be less desirable when it comes to taste.
Boar vs Wild Pig vs Hog – What’s the Difference?
So, the difference between boars and hogs and pigs doesn’t vary much beyond the fact that they all describe the common wild animal tearing up property in many southern states. In some cases, you can even use these terms interchangeably.
Essentially, pigs are the domesticated version of the species Sus Scrofa. A boar refers to the male pig, while a hog can refer to a male or female pig that’s larger and older. Unless the law states it, most states don’t restrict hunting within the population.
How to Hunt Boar
It’s common to hunt the pig population on public land by stalking them, waiting in a stand, or using dogs to flush them out. Some states will have restrictions on species and which methods you can use, so be sure to read up on the fine print. (2)
Most hunters use deer calibers such as .243 to hunt feral hogs. With those tusks coming at you fast, you don’t want to chance it with a gun that can’t cut it.
But the most famous type of pig hunting is aerial gunning. This method features a hunter strapped into a helicopter and often costs the most in terms of guided hunts.
When hunters aim for the hog, the best angle is when it’s quartered away, like deer. This will give you a kill shot you can use to aim between the shoulder blades for the main arteries.
The best shots are made where you can aim at one side of the pig for the other shoulder. If you aim low, chances are you’ll either hit the pig’s heart or hit high and cut through the lungs.
Hog Hunting and Thermal Scopes
In the past decade, thermals have exploded as the go to optic while hunting hogs, particularly at night. For this reason, we have a full article on the top thermal scopes for hog hunting where we cover everything you need to know prior to making this crucial decision.
Why Thermal Scopes Are Used
Because hogs have a heightened sense of smell and hearing, it’s often best to use thermal scopes when hunting hogs as this allows you to get a pig in your sights without coming so close in range that you spook them.
Unlike night vision, thermal scopes can also help a hunter differentiate between specific bodies within a hog grouping, which is great for follow-up shots if you want to decimate a pack.
Plus, these scopes will help you differentiate between animals you may hear approaching – it’s never a good idea to shoot at your target without knowing what it is, especially at night when our eyes can’t discriminate between fine details.
When Is the Best Time to Hunt Hogs
Hogs are most often active during dusk and dawn, no matter the season. In many cases, hogs are feeding and rooting during the spring.
Because of this, many hog hunters rely on game cameras to track hog populations as they’re feeding. These cameras will track where boars like to frequent and where successful stands can be set up.
Where Can You Hunt Wild Hogs?
You can legally hunt wild hogs in most states, but ensure you check the laws on the specifics for how, when, and where you can hunt them. Failure to do so results in similar consequences of violating other hunting laws, such as fines, jail time, and loss of hunting license.
Which States to Hunt Hogs
Turns out most states allow unlimited hog hunting with a rifle. This includes California, where there’s no daily bag or possession limit.
When it comes to controlling this animal in Oklahoma, private landowners can take hogs via any method as long as those feral hogs are on their property. Hunters can also take hogs year-round on private land as long as they have landowner permission.
And for most southern states, you can legally hunt hog populations. States such as Florida do not require a hunting license for wild pigs, and in most cases, you’re not limited to how many pigs you can take.
As for states such as North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas, hog hunting is offered too.
Frequently Asked Questions
What state is best for hog hunting?
Texas is the best state for hog hunting. You’ll have a better chance of finding guided hog hunts here than in any other state.
Is hog hunting legal in Texas?
Yes, hog hunting is legal in Texas. State law technically considers them to be exotic livestock. However, you will need a license for hunting hogs if you’re planning on hunting for food or trophy purposes. The same is true if you want to trap or snare hogs as well.
What would it cost to go on a hog hunt in Georgia?
The cost to go on a hog hunt in Georgia depends greatly on you. Hiring a guide to hunt hogs in Georgia would cost you around $500 per day per person. The same is true for night hunts as well.
What is the meaning of boar hunt?
Boar hunting means when you set out on a hunt with the primary purpose of hunting a boar.
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Nuisance wildlife in Texas: Wild pigs, retrieved from https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/nuisance/feral_hogs/”
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Wild Hog | FWC, retrieved from https://myfwc.com/hunting/wild-hog/
I have been writing firearms and outdoor material for over 50 years to date. I have hunted across the world, including Russia, and a great deal of time professional hunting in Australia. I currently live in the American West and hunt all across the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Big Horn Mountains. I have specialized much of my work as a load developer in shotguns and rifles. I have run a small company that builds suppressor barrels of my design and load tests for writing purposes and consulting. My commercial names include Ballistics Research & Development / Metro Gun Systems TM.
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