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Stalking Hogs


Ridge w 2 pigs

          Without a doubt one of the most thrilling methods of hunting feral hogs is still hunting and stalking. Slipping through the forest in search of a sounder of feeding or resting hogs is a great way to spend a late winter, spring, summer or fall day. Regardless of the time of year, slipping within close range of feral hogs is exciting.

When it comes to this method of hunting there are really two distinct methods to use for success. One is still hunting. This is a method of slipping through the woods quietly in areas where hogs concentrate and trying to get into range without being detected. Knowing the terrain, working the wind and using your ears are all critical to success. The other method is a spot and stalk method. This method involves seeing the hogs in advance and making a calculated stalk on them to get into range. Both are fun, exciting and very effective. Let’s look at these tactics individually.

Still Hunting:

This method involves moving through the woods slowly while looking carefully for game. The methods involved are simple but at times intense. Knowledge of the property helps because of using the terrain to your advantage. By following the terrain you can put yourself in the most likely places to find hogs. As the temperature heats up, following creeks, swamps and low lying areas will put you in the most likely places to find the hogs. Excellent still hunting is not in covering a lot of ground rather it is in looking and listening well and  moving slowly.

Hogs are very noisy when feeding and moving. Often they can be heard at fairly long distances to locate where they are. Likewise, picking up on movement will help when still hunting. As Barry Wensel said, “still hunting is looking more and moving less.” It’s not about coving a certain amount of terrain, its covering the terrain well.

There is a lot of satisfaction in harvesting hogs from the ground, unsuspecting. Slipping into range of hogs that are resting or feeding is quite the reward for a well-executed hunt.

Spot and Stalk

This method is just as it sounds. Locating a hog or group of hogs at a distance and making a stalk to get into range. At first glance this may seem more like an open terrain tactic, and yes it works well in more open terrain. However, Most of the successful spot and stalk hunts I have been on, start out as a still hunt, but I locate hogs with my binoculars several hundred yards away through the woods and a stalk is planned and executed. Other efforts are in agriculture fields when hogs are feeding in the planted crops. Locate the hogs, put the wind in your face and slip into range.

Both of these methods work well because while hogs have an extreme sense of smell, their eyesight is horrible. And when feeding, they are focused on eating not on survival. Working the wind is crucial. A bad shift of the breeze can end a hunt very quickly. But when everything goes well, it is quite exciting to harvest feral hogs using a still hunt or spot and stalk method.