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From Deer Hunter to Hog Hunter: An Easy Transition (Page 2)

Taking down hogs is one of the fastest growing and most exciting hunt experiences available today. So how can you get involved? Brian McCombie has the answers.

Still hunting in areas with good numbers of hogs, walking logging trails and ranch roads can be an effective way to jump a few pigs. Early mornings and an hour before dark are best bets.

Where to Hunt?
Estimates put the total number of wild hogs in this country at 5 million animals—and literally growing by the day. The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) at the University of Georgia's School of Veterinary Medicine reports that 36 states currently have established populations of wild or feral hogs.

“The term ‘established’ means that these animals in those states are found in several populations, have been present for several years, and there is evidence of reproduction,” says Dr. Jack Mayer, one of the country’s top experts in feral hogs and a scientist at the Savannah River National Laboratory.

SCWDS maintains the National Feral Swine Mapping System, an Internet-based national map of reported sightings and verifications of wild hogs. Access the map here.

In many Southern and Southeastern states, wildlife management units can provide good public hog-hunting opportunities. Check the hunting regulations thoroughly before you go, though. Some of these wildlife units have special hog-only hunts, while others allow you to take a hog only when a specific hunting season is already on-going, like spring turkey or fall small game. Hog hunting at other times of the year, in such units, is illegal.

Your state game agency may have information on hogs, too.

And just ask around! Wild hogs are popping up in many parts of the nation, long before game agency and other wildlife officials are aware of these new populations.

Last year, for example, I discovered there were wild hogs in the high-desert and sage brush of Eastern Oregon, near Burns, even though that state’s game agency and the National Feral Swine Mapping System showed no hogs here. Yet, locals told me they have had a growing population of wild hogs in place for at least five years. The hogs were becoming increasingly destructive to ranchers and farmers, and I was welcome to hunt as many as I’d like.

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6 Responses to From Deer Hunter to Hog Hunter: An Easy Transition (Page 2)

Mike Holmes wrote:
June 23, 2014

I sort of agree on the 30 caliber plus 'rule' for hogs. I've killed mature hogs with everything from .22LR to .300 Win Mag, but the centerfire .22's main killing advantage on the game they were designed for is high velocity, and light bullets at high velocity WILL kill a hog, but are nowhere near as dependable as a hard cast bullet out of a .44 magnum or .45 Long Colt at a much lower speed. The .22's are fine for smaller hogs, and I like a .22 Hornet for 'shoats' or young pigs - which are great eating. Of course, in my area of thick brush and the way I hunt most of my shots at hogs will average 25 yards - a long shot is 75. 200 yards? Not gonna happen here. At night with lights, your effective 'range' will be even shorter.

Brian mcCombie wrote:
June 02, 2014

Hi, David Shoup. I just saw your post, and I did touch base with Ernie at Nite Hunter. Seems they were making some changes in the operation and your order was accidently set aside. Ernie tells me, though, that he did get the situation straight and over-nighted the light to you. Is that correct? You are right—if you give the product a thumbs up, you are implicitly giving that stamp of approval to the business, too. Yet, things do happen in life and business, and good guys like Ernie always try to make good. My dealings with Ernie and Nite Hunter--and dealings of friends I have recommended Nite Hunter products to--have always been 100[%] solid. I’m sorry you had the wait, and I hope the light is working well for you.

David Shoup wrote:
April 09, 2014

Brian, I took your implicit recommendation and ordered a NiteHunter NHV 300 lumen green light to attach to my rifle for hog hunting. I ordered it 3 weeks ago and paid immediately with Pay Pal. Three weeks later, no light has arrived. Multiple calls and emails to Ernie at NiteHunter have been ignored. When you mention a product in your articles, that is an endorsement of the product and, by implication, the company that makes and markets it. I am not happy. Reference to 'Hogs, ARs and a Green Light' by Brian McCombie published in American Hunter, June 2013.

Alex wrote:
February 28, 2014

Tried the 'Access the map here' link but there was no map. Any notion why?

Brian McCombie wrote:
September 25, 2013

Thanks, James Clark! Best of luck with the hogs.

James Clark wrote:
September 25, 2013

Great article! We're getting plenty of hogs here in up-state South Carolina, too many in fact. It's open season on them here. Haven't yet been able to connect on any though, but I've got great habitat and plenty of places to try to ambush them.