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Wild hog numbers have exploded here in the United States, and they are here to stay. Among all of the states that they now call home, Texas has become the unofficial “hog hunting capital” due to its estimated 2 million wild hogs that are roaming the state. From sport hunting to the necessity for farmers and landowners to protect their land, hunting hogs in Texas provides ample opportunity for anyone willing to give it a try.
If you want to try Texas hog hunting for yourself, then this guide is for you. We’ll cover everything you’ll need to get started to hunt these wild pigs in the great state of Texas, from the gear you’ll need to locate the right place to hunt. With that being said, let’s dive in!
Compared to whitetail deer, wild hogs are not necessarily hard to hunt. But there are a few things that you should be aware of before you go. The first of which is that hogs behave much differently than deer. Unlike deer that will run away at the first sign of danger, wild hogs have been known to stand their ground and even charge if they feel threatened.
Because hogs are much more aggressive and unpredictable, hunters should exercise more caution when hunting them. Another example of their differing behavior is that they are known for their strong rooting instincts and will dig through the ground in search of food. This makes it very easy to identify where the hogs are feeding and how active they are in the area.
As a hunter, you can use their sloppy behaviors to more easily track and find them. Hogs are also much louder than deer, and you can often hear them long before you ever spot them. This is useful in itself since hogs can adapt to live just about anywhere, including swamps, forests, or flat grasslands.
Another key difference between hog hunting and deer hunting is the time of day when they are most active. Hogs are primarily nocturnal animals and are most active at night or during early morning and late evening hours. This means that hunters who prefer to hunt during the day may need to adjust their hunting strategies to increase their chances of success.
With an idea of how to hunt hogs, now you need to arm yourself with the proper gear. If you’re an avid deer hunter, you probably already have most of it. For example, your dedicated deer rifle should be more than enough to take down a hog, so long it is a higher powered caliber such as a 30-06, 308, or 300 Win Mag. Your bow can also get the job done. If it can kill a mature buck, it can take down a pig.
But choosing the right weapon is only half the battle. Hogs are tough animals, and ammunition choice is more important now than ever. Choose a high-quality bullet that will be able to punch through the tough hide and bones of a wild hog in order to achieve a quick, clean kill.
Apart from your weapon, your other basic hunting gear will come into play here as well. Break out your camouflage, optics, and hunting pack because you will need to for a day of hog hunting. And don’t forget the odds and ends, such as a headlamp, sharp knife, game bags, first aid kit, and plenty of water as Texas can get pretty warm!
One of the hardest parts about hunting hogs in Texas is actually finding a place to hunt them. While they occur throughout almost every part of the state, most of Texas is private land that you must get access to and permission to hunt. Sometimes this is as easy as asking a landowner for permission to hunt their property, but many times it can take a little effort to find someone willing to let you hunt.
If you have a little bit of spare cash, it is much easier to find areas to hunt as you can pay a trespass fee. There are also some areas of public land that you can hunt as well if you find yourself close to them. Whichever method you decide to use, hogs will typically gravitate towards the same general areas regardless if it is private or public.
If there are agricultural fields nearby, start your search there. Hogs are notorious for always being hungry and will raid fields in search of a quick and easy meal at any chance they can get. Another promising area to look at is along river bottoms and creek beds. Wild hogs will seek out these areas where they can find shelter and more food.
The great thing about hogs is that you can hunt them just about however you want. Love to sit in treestands? You can do the same for wild hogs. Prefer to spot and stalk? This can provide an action-packed hunt when chasing pigs. Whatever your style, you can use it effectively with wild hogs.
A few other methods that you may not be aware of in Texas are using bait or dogs in order to hunt hogs. Bait is super effective at bringing in pigs close to you for a shot, while specially trained dogs can track down and hold hogs for you during a hunt.
When selecting a hunting technique, it's important to consider the terrain, weather conditions, and the behavior of the hogs in the area. By using the right technique and equipment, hunters can increase their chances of a successful hog hunt in Texas.
While wild hogs can be found in many areas across the country, there are few better places to hunt them than in the great state of Texas. Regardless of where you go or how you intend to hunt them while you’re there, one thing is for certain: you are in for an amazing experience and should have no problem finding wild hogs while you are there!
Also, in case you're interested, we have a great blog about Deer Hunting With A .223!