The availability of specialized firearms, ammunition, gear and even websites and magazines all point to the fact that hog hunting is becoming big business. With rambling hordes of porkers now found in 35 states and with an estimated 2 million in the South alone, the destruction these heavy critters are wreaking across their range is extensive. Hogs uproot crop fields and yards and destroy habitat that must be shared with a broad range of other species including wild turkeys and deer. Worse, there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight to their spread. Experts believe it is simply a matter of time until hogs are found in every state in the lower 48.
But hunting hogs isn’t simply an exercise in nuisance species management; it’s also darn fun. With virtually no bag limits, year-round hunting and day and night shooting allowed in many areas, hog hunting truly offers 24/7 action—no matter a hunter’s schedule. For traveling hunters, hog hunts are also among the most affordable and the fact that hogs are so tasty, certainly doesn’t hurt either. So where can you find some of the best hog hunting action around? Here are five spots worthy of your precious time and money. If your home state isn't included in this list, go to NRAOutdoors to find plentiful opportunities with reputable outfitters near you.
Florida also boasts ample public land opportunities for hogs with some of the best swine-filled wildlife management areas (WMA) being the Blackwater Hutton Unit, Apalachicola Bradwell Unit, portions of the large Joe Budd, Big Bend Snipe Island and Tide Swamp units, and Triple N Ranch across the northern half of the state. Tosohatchee is counted among the top northern public destinations for hunters interested in chasing hogs with dogs. Southern Florida public hot spots include Green Swamp, which boasts the largest hog harvest each year, Babcock/Webb, J.W. Corbett, Okaloacoochee Slough and Allapattah Flats. Check with the Florida Wildlife Commission’s for information on hog hunting in the state, as well as the availability of Limited Entry/Quota Hunts, which reduce the number of hunters allowed on a public property for a species and make for a better hunting experience.
There are a number of outfitters who offer hog hunts at affordable day rates or for extended packages. Some to consider include Great Southern Outdoors, a full-service lodge and hunt outfit that offers hog hunts near Union Springs. Two-day hunts run around $500 and the lodge even offers a special couples hunt with live music and dancing in September. Riverbend Hunting Lodge in Myrtlewood offers hunting along the Tombigbee River from resort-like accommodations, though hunters can choose to RV it there as well for a more independent hunt arrangement. Additional options include Pushmataha Plantation in Lisman, Indian Creek Lodge outside of Greenville and Sawtooth Plantation in southeast Alabama, which offers hunts for wild boars with dogs.
Pearl River WMA, a 35,032-acre property interlaced with hardwoods, bayou and marsh, is one of the best public pig destinations in the state. A variety of nut-producing trees such as oaks, hickories and beech provide ample food, while the flat, thickly brushed terrain provides cover for sounders of swine. Where outfitters are concerned, services abound, though many of them angle for the client seeking out a truly giant trophy boar, which translates into a prevalence of preserve-style hunts inside closures. The emphasis here certainly is on trophy caliber hunts, which can be experienced sitting in a stand, hunting over bait, spot-and-stalk or with dogs. Cutter Creek Outfitters and Shallow Lake Hunting Preserve are two of these, with the latter charging only $25 if no hog is taken during the hunt. For a free-range hunt experience, check out Land of Lakes Plantation south of Alexandria.
SHWAT’s Jonathan Owen prefers Wild River Ranch near Victoria Texas, which is owned by serious hog hunter Chris Lucci, a heart doctor and a co-developer of the 6.8 SPC II round for AR-style rifles. Lucci’s outfit centers on high-tech night vision hunts using suppressed rifles. Owen’s other favorite destination is the Spike Box Ranch, which does not have a website, but can be reached by calling 940-867-7735. The Spike Box is a large ranch with a full staff and compliment of services and in all his travels across Texas, he’s seen the most hogs on the Spike Box by far. Another great Texas option is the Nail Ranch outside of Albany, which is loaded with loafing hogs for great feeder and spot-and-stalk action. For more pig worthy destinations in Texas—and other states for that matter—it’s always worth a visit to a hunt booking agency such as Outdoor Adventures Worldwide, which can match your budget and expectations to the best lodge or outfitter for you.