Hog Hunting: Yes, It’s a Thing, and Yes, They’re Tasty!
Hog-hunting opportunities have never been more abundant. Feral hogs, another name for wild pigs, are also known as razorbacks in Arkansas. They descended from escaped domesticated breeds, which quickly revert to the wild whenever they escape. Feral hogs have become common across much of the country’s Southern and Central states, especially Texas. Because feral pigs are a nuisance species that destroys croplands and wildlife habitat, many states offer inexpensive licenses and long seasons to help reduce their numbers.
Feral pigs destroy property by rooting for food, which means breaking up the ground like roto-tillers as they search for roots and vegetation. They also create destructive wallows in low-lying areas by rolling and covering themselves in mud to stay cool and shield themselves from bugs.
Both of those behaviors cause significant problems for landowners by destroying native vegetation and preventing it from regrowing while also increasing soil erosion. That’s why many landowners and wildlife agencies welcome hog hunters, whether they’re locals or nonresidents. Year-round hog-hunting seasons encourage stir-crazy deer hunters to escape Northern winters and soak up the Southern sun while chasing wild pigs.
Feral hogs aren’t the only pig-like animal hunters can pursue. Javelina, or peccary, are a smaller, but native animal that range from 44 to 88 pounds. They offer exciting hunting opportunities from parts of southern Texas through southern New Mexico and Arizona.
Because wild hogs are so abundant, hunters use several tactics to pursue them. These methods include spot-and-stalk hunting; still-hunting, which means slowly moving through likely areas; and hunting over bait sites from a treestand or ground blind. Whether you’re a beginning bowhunter or seasoned expert, hog hunting is a great way to try new tactics because shooting opportunities are more common than when hunting deer or turkeys. For example, if you’ve never stalked game animals by using terrain features and wind direction to your advantage, wild hogs will test your skills with their many sensitive noses and alert eyes.
But if you succeed, you’ll eat well. Few meals surpass freshly killed wild pig cooked over a grill. Feral pigs average about 130 pounds, and provide plenty of tasty meat to take home for dinner.
In other words, what’s not to like? Whether you’re seeking new hunting experiences, exploring a new state or region, or simply trying to stuff your freezer full of organic pork, make plans to hunt wild pigs this year. You’ll enjoy many meals of bacon and pork roasts while protecting native habitats from a destructive species.