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How to Hunt Wild Boar: Beginner’s Essentials

Did you know there are almost seven million feral hogs in the U.S.? They can be found in over 35 states. You can hunt wild pigs from an elevated stand, waiting to pick them off as they come into a feeder. Or you can go for a tough hunt, moving through rough land to take a long shot.

If you’re new to hunting and excited to start, the best way is to connect with a skilled wild boar hunter. Or you can book a hunt with a guide who knows a lot about hunting hogs. They will teach you a lot.

hunters stalking through dense woodland with a rifle

Keep these beginner’s essentials in your mind, and you’ll do well chasing these big animals. Feral hog hunting, combines being good in the woods, shooting well, and smart planning. It’s a fun and exciting challenge for those who respect the sport.

Why Hunt Wild Boar?

Feral hogs are a big problem in North America. They harm crops and nature a lot. Though hunting them doesn’t stop their numbers from growing too fast, it’s still a fun way to deal with them. Especially in places where they are all over the place. There, hunting for wild boar meat is more exciting than just watching them cause damage.

Why hunt wild boar

Many wild hogs come from farms or the wild. They taste almost the same as pork you buy from the store. They are smart and can avoid ways to control their population. This makes hunting them a challenge.

  1. Hunting feral hogs is legally permitted year-round on private lands across many states, during both day and night.
  2. Effective methods include stalking, baiting with corn from timed feeders, and employing dogs trained for this purpose.
  3. Mature boars tend to be solitary, while sows, shoats, and youngsters travel in larger family groups called sounders.
StateEstimated Feral Hog PopulationNotes
Texas2.6 millionLargest statewide population, roughly 3 million total
FloridaPresent in all 67 countiesSecond most popular animal hunted after white-tailed deer
Louisiana500,000Rapidly growing feral hog numbers

People enjoy hunting wild boar for its meat. But, hunting alone can’t keep their numbers low. They breed so much that 70% of them must be killed every year to prevent more. It’s better to focus on removing groups of them all at once. This is more effective than just hunting them occasionally.

Understanding Wild Boar

The wild boar is tough and can live almost anywhere in the U.S. About seven million of them wander into 35 states. They like places with lots of cover near the water. But they also visit open fields, especially at night.

Habitat and Behavior

Big male wild boars usually live alone. On the other hand, female boars, young pigs, and some young males stay together. These groups can be small or as big as 30. Knowing about how they live helps hunters to catch them.

Hunter with archery looking wild boar in natural setting

Biology and Senses

Wild boars are big, with males over 400 pounds and females over 300. They don’t see well, but they hear and smell really good. Hunters need to stay quiet and use things to hide their smells.

These animals eat almost everything. They can also have many piglets throughout the year. So, it’s important to keep their numbers in check.

Boar SizeRecommended Pig Hunting Gear
Under 150 lbsHigh-powered air rifles, crossbows, or smaller caliber rifles (.22)
150-250 lbsLarger caliber rifles (.30-30, .308, .30-06) or heavy-duty archery equipment
Over 250 lbsLarge-bore rifles (.338, .375 H&H, .458 Win Mag) or powerful crossbows

Even though bears, coyotes, and bobcats hunt young wild pigs, adults are safe. They can live more than 20 years. Keeping their numbers down is important.

Preparing for the Hunt

Getting ready is key for a great and safe hunting wild boars for beginners trip. Finding good spots and learning wild boar tracking methods come first.

Locate and Scout Promising Areas

Looking for hogs on both private and public lands takes careful scouting. Search for fresh signs like unique tracks, fresh rooting, and muddy wallows. Also, scout for trails and check near acorn-dropping oak trees for torn-up ground.

Legal Considerations

In about twenty states, you can hunt wild pigs, sometimes all year with no limits. Places like Florida don’t require a hunting license for wild pigs. Yet, some state agencies are against or ban hog hunting in efforts to remove this invasive species.

Gear and Equipment

For guns, use most deer rifles or a lever-action, especially in thick areas. If using a bow, a strong broadhead is best. For those who prefer a crossbow, one that shoots two bolts does well.

Other important pieces include an ozone unit for hiding your scent, good binoculars or a thermal scope for seeing in the dark, and a GPS camera for spotting hog movement. Always follow boar hunting safety guidelines and make sure you have the right gear for a successful hunt.

Preparing for boar hunt- checking equipment and ammunitio

RifleCaliberSuitable for Hogs
Remington 783.308 WinchesterYes
Ruger American.30-06 SpringfieldYes
Browning BLR.45-70 GovtYes
Savage Arms Axis XP.300 Win MagYes

Employing Sows vs. Dogs

Dogs are used in different ways for wild boar tracking techniques. Some are trained to find and corner hogs by their smell and with loud barks. Others, like pit bulls, are catch dogs. They hold the hog still for the hunter.

Or, hunters might use sounds that imitate a female hog calling. This is done to draw male boars closer during mating season.

Hunters with lots of experience might prefer sneaking up on their prey. They could hide and watch feeding areas, waiting for the right shot. Or, they might walk quietly through places where wild hogs sleep. They can also set out certain foods like soured corn to attract the pigs.

Hunting MethodDescriptionEffectiveness
Bay DogsCurs or hounds scent and bark to bay up hogsHighly effective for locating and cornering wild pigs
Catch DogsPit bulls grab and hold hogs for the hunterAllows for close-range dispatch with knife or spear
Sow CallsMimic breeding sows to lure in boarsEffective during breeding season
Spot-and-StalkStalk from vantage points overlooking feeding areasSuitable for open terrains with clear sight lines
Still-HuntingQuietly stalk through suspected bedding areasChallenging but rewarding in thick cover
BaitingLures like soured corn attract wild pigsEffective when combined with stand hunting

Wild Boar Population Control

Recreational hunting is fun, but it doesn’t stop wild pigs from multiplying. Trapping whole groups of these pigs is the best way to manage their numbers. Hunters should help these efforts if they can.

But, in some places, wild hogs can’t be gotten rid of completely. So, hunting them to keep numbers down is OK. In the U.S., there are about seven million feral hogs. They live in at least 35 states and harm the environment a lot.

Hunting MethodDescriptionEffectiveness
Recreational HuntingSporting activity for leisureLimited impact on population control
Targeted TrappingRemoval of entire sounder groupsHighly effective for population management
Conservation EffortsCoordinated efforts by authoritiesCrucial for controlling invasive species

In hog-heavy states, hunting them is open year-round and may not need a license. You can hunt hogs on private land day or night. Also, guided hog hunts can be cheaper than other guided hunts.

  • Boars under 150 pounds and all sows are the best for eating.
  • More hogs are on private land, which usually has more resources for them.

Safety and Environmental Quality Guidelines

Starting a beginner’s wild boar hunting strategy means putting safety first. These animals are wild and fierce. Hunters need to be smart and avoid too much risk. Make sure to have the right licenses. Use a strong gun for quick and mercy-killing shots.

It’s also important to avoid spreading diseases. Be ethical by using all parts of what you kill. This shows you care about nature and the animals. The thrill of the hunt is better when done wisely and with care.

In the U.S., some states let you hunt wild boar all year. They are not picky about how many you catch. But, watch the wind. Pigs smell really well to stay safe. Being quiet and smart about the wind helps you sneak up on them.

  1. Stay safe by being alert and not taking too many risks.
  2. Make sure you have the right permits and a gun that’s good for a quick, clean shot.
  3. Avoid diseases from the blood or dead animals.
  4. Use what you can from the animal and don’t waste it.
  5. Show you care about the land by hunting wisely and with care.
DecadeAverage Annual HarvestHunter Numbers
1970-1979Data MissingData Missing

By following these rules, wild boar hunting can be fun and good for the environment. It helps keep the wildlife in balance. Plus, it gives you a special experience.


I love hunting, especially chasing feral hogs in many states like Texas and Florida. This hunt mixes skill in the woods, aiming, and planning. It’s key to know where hogs go and get the right boar hunting gear. And, it’s great to have someone experienced or a feral hog hunting guide at your side to catch more.

Hunting wild boars is an adventure. But, hunting them just for fun won’t solve the problem of overpopulation. These hogs are smart and hard to catch. Yet, it’s a good way to enjoy the outdoors, get quality pork, and help farmers keep their lands safe. Always think about safety, how it affects the environment, and doing the right thing. If you’re ready to learn and be patient, boar hunting can be an amazing experience.

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