4 Hog Hunting Tips for Rookies

There’s nothing quite like hunting deer. However, there’s a season for it, and not hunting for the rest of the year can leave a hunter’s heart feeling empty.

Transitioning into a hog hunter is not too difficult, and you don’t have to worry about seasons, either.

Plus, hogs are also big game – hunting some down will be just as fun!

However, you can’t just grab a rifle and leave. Just like you follow a specific protocol to hunt deer, you will need to learn the protocol for hunting pigs before you head out.

Let me make things easy for you. Here’s a list of some of the best hog hunting tips on the internet.

Hog Hunting Tips

What To Carry

Rifle (and Ammo)

One of the best things about becoming a hog hunter is that you can put your deer rifle to good use during the off-season.

Any .243 caliber weapon will do the trick – you don’t need to go and pick up a new rifle to hunt a pig.

It’s important to know where to aim. Hogs have stubby bodies, and their heart and lungs are closer to the legs. 

If you’re not sure if you can get it done in one shot, make sure you are able to shoot a follow-up shot.

Ideally, you want it done in one hit.

Don’t skimp out on ammo. Hogs are tough and get as heavier than 250lbs. You will need a cartridge that packs a punch. Premium rounds like Winchester’s Fail-Safe are what you should go for.

Vest

Yes, you will need to take a vest with you. Hogs have tusks, and they will attack you if you’re in range and if they’re aggravated enough.

Kevlar is a must, and covering yourself with two layers of 1,000-denier Cordura will ensure that you don’t get hurt.

Call

It’s important that you carry a boar call with you when you go hunting. If you’re in a dense area, it can help you figure out where the animal is.

You could also use it to get the hog in the right position before you take the shot.

Bow (Optional)

If you’re accurate with a bow, carry your best bow with you. You never know if you get the perfect opportunity to use it.

Flashlight

If you’re going to hunt at night, carrying a powerful flashlight is a must.

How to Track 

Since hogs are nocturnal animals, tracking them can get very challenging. These tips can help you get your hands on a hog faster:

Tracks

A pig’s prints are almost square, but they’re also shorter than a deer track, which is important to remember.

If the toe’s tip is blunt, it’s likely a hog print.

Wallow

Pigs hate the heat and also want relief from biting insects. They roll around wet, muddy areas, and defecate and urinate in them. You’ll be able to smell it.

If you know an area where there’s clay and not mud, check there first, since hogs prefer rolling in the clay over mud.

Mud Patches

A hog is nearby if you find a tree, a rail, or a telephone pole coated with fresh mud.

Rooting

Hogs eat worms, grubs, and acorn – whatever they find in the dirt. If you find a pit, a hog has likely been there. If the area is dried out, though, the pit is old, and the hog is long gone.

It’s important to note that hogs roam far when they feed – sticking around the pit for likely won’t do any good.

How To Hunt Hogs

Hogs travel in small groups and are active at first and last light. Furthermore, they prefer hiding than running – hogs are a lot more like deer than you’d first think.

However, unlike deer, pigs are comfortable ranging into agricultural fields. Keeping that in mind, here are two of the best hunting methods you could use to hunt hogs:

Stalking

It’s self-explanatory – you must stalk the hog you’ve spotted and wait for the right moment to go for the shot.

Hogs have weak vision and can’t see well. However, they have an excellent sense of hearing and can smell you from far away.

It’s important to keep your distance, and if you’re in a car, stay in it for as long as possible.

It’s also an excellent idea to check the water sources around the area – you’ll likely find a few hogs there at the crack of dawn.

With A Dog

If you’ve never hunt hog with a dog before, you’ll likely need to hire a guide. The experience can be fun!

However, it’s important to remember that there’s not a lot of legislation surrounding hog hunting. Some guides kill hogs with handheld knives and other fringe techniques – these are neither ethical nor humane.

Make sure you discuss methods before you book a guide.

Best Regions To Hunt Hogs

If you’re planning to go for a hunting trip, it’s worth considering the regions below:

Texas

Many know Texas as the hog capital of the world. Communities in the state even hold annual Wild Hog Festivals!

If you live around the state, you can consider hunting some hog there over the weekend.

Florida

If you live in Florida and want to hunt hogs, you’ll need to be very careful where you go hunting. Don’t go on private property, since pigs on it are considered domesticated livestock, and you’ll get in trouble.

Visiting wildlife management areas like Lower Econfina River WMA is the best way to hunt in the state.

California

If you’re a beginner, going to California and booking an outfitter is an excellent way to take your first steps to become a hunter.

There are also plenty of semi-guided hunts available, and the trips are affordable, which is excellent.

Mississippi

Pearl River WMA, north of Jackson, is one spot you could visit for an easy hunt. There’s no shortage of hogs in the area, and there are plenty of 300-pounders wandering the bush.

And that concludes my list of hog hunting tips.

You’re well on your way to become a hog hunting pro!

This is me, Steve Coffman. I'm the Chief Editor of IGFA. I'm retired military personnel who is now into shooting and hunting. As an outdoor expert, I have experience in dealing with all kinds of guns, from light to heavy firearms. Currently, I'm spending my time hunting, shooting and writing on my blog.