Prime porker time: If you’ve never hunted feral hogs, perhaps you should take a trip this winter
In terms of sheer enjoyment, very few hunts can beat a feral hog adventure. For starters, every pig is a trophy. That means that any hog that approaches your feeder or gives you a chance to stalk is as good as the next one. This does wonders for the enjoyment factor.
The second is that aside from tough old boars, most make excellent table fare. And even then, the old boys of the pig world can be palatable if prepared and cared for correctly. Lastly, the stigmas attached to hunting other game in certain ways disappear when hunting hogs. For example, a lot of folks carry a serious amount of disdain for baited deer or bear hunts. Hogs? Not so much.
Sitting over a pile of corn waiting on a sounder of pigs is a blast, and I’ve never once felt guilty about it. That being said, I’ll take a spot-and-stalk pig hunt any day over an ambush session. Pigs are an absolute riot to try to sneak up on. They are built low to the ground, can’t see terribly well, and are often visible. That makes getting to within 100 yards or so pretty easy. They do, however, possess excellent hearing capabilities, an extremely tough-to-beat nose, and are often grouped up. Getting into gun range can be pretty easy given the right terrain, but slipping into archery range is a true challenge.
If you’ve never hunted hogs, but have a desire to, I recommend looking into a hunt. Most hog hunts, while definitely not free, will cost considerably less than other big-game hunts. They also usually yield plenty of shot opportunities, success, and pork chops.
Most folks look to Texas as the go-to state, and for good reason. No one has more pigs than the Lone Star State, but just about any southern state from the Midwest on east will offer quality hunting. California is also a sleeper state, with plenty of hogs and some of the best spotting and stalking anywhere (baiting is illegal in the Golden State).
Before you go, take some time to learn about hog anatomy and brush up on your shooting skills no matter which weapon you choose to hunt with. Hogs are as tough as big whitetails, and if you hit one wrong you’re in for a long and potentially dangerous tracking session. Hit them right though, and they’ll go down easily.