All About Hog Hunting:
Generally, hog hunting is the practice of hunting wild hog, but it can also extend to feral pigs and peccaries. A full-sized hog, which is powerful and large (with sharp tusks it uses for defense), can be a very difficult and dangerous animal to hunt. This is the reason why this activity is often believed to be a test of bravery.
The wild hog is the ancestral species of the domestic pig and is native across most of Central Europe, the Mediterranean Region and Asia, as far as South Indonesia. These days, it is hunted for both its meat and for mitigating the damage it may cause to forests and crops. A charging hog is considered exceptionally dangerous, due to its dense bones and thick hide, which make anything less than a kill shot a potentially deadly mistake for a hunter. In fact, some hunters even reported being butted up into trees by this animal, even one that had already taken a glancing shot.
In Ancient Greece, the wild hog represented death because its hunting season begins every last week of September (near end of the year) and was also seen as a representation of darkness battling against light because of its dark coloration and nocturnal habits. Hog hunting often appears in Ancient Greek literature and mythology, where the first recorded mention of this activity occurred in Europe in 700 BC in Homer’s rendition of the hunt for the Calydonian boar. In Odyssey, Odysseus was injured on the leg from hunting a hog as a boy, of which scar led Eurycleia to recognizing him on his return to Ithaca. In the Legend of Prince Adonis, the titular character went on a boar hunt, only to be killed by his prey. Also, the 3rd labor of Heracles involved the live capture of the Erymanthian Boar.
During the Renaissance Period, a dramatic decrease of agricultural forests was seen, thus diminishing the hog population. This animal was increasingly hunted as predators of crops by the rich, who used firearms to kill hogs more quickly and efficiently, instead of spears, arrows and daggers. The reduction in hog numbers then resulted in hunting reserves.
In the modern world, adult hogs have very few predators and are thriving once introduced in an area. Hog hunts have become very popular in countries, such as Germany, Italy, Russia, Poland, Argentina, Indonesia and even the US, where there are
herds being established across the country. In some states, hunters are required to secure hunting tags, but there is no limit on the number of hogs that might be taken, unlike for other games, such as bear and deer, which are limited.
Hunting dogs have been trained and used to hunt hogs since ancient times and are loosely divided into 2 categories—the bay dogs and catch dogs.
For the bay dogs, they attack and harry the hog, barking loudly to keep the prey cornered in one place—a behavior known as “baying” or keeping the hog at bay. Their barking alerts hunters to the bay, allowing them to catch up and kill the hog. Typically, bay dogs are Cur dogs, such as the Rhodesian Ridgeback, Leopard Cur, Blackmouth Cur, Catahoula, Blue Lacy, Walker Hound, Plott Hound, Foxhound and the Berner Niederlaufhund.
For the catch dogs, they grip the hog with their jaws, and once they have it, they will hold it down by the head until the arrival of the hunter, who then kills the prey with a knife or spear, unless his objective is live capture and relocation. Typically, catch dogs are “bull” breeds, such as the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, Boxer, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Cane Corso, Bullmastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux, Dogo Argentino, Great Dane, English Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff and smaller Mastiff crosses.
It is not rare for hog hunters to use bay and catch dogs together, as the former find the game and the latter seize and hold it down.
Another hog-hunting method is pigsticking, which is done by individual spearman or a group on horseback or on foot using a specialized spear, which is sometimes fitted with a cross guard to stop an enraged hog to pierce its body further down the shaft, risking an attack on its killer before dying.
Trapping hogs is also a well-used technique for controlling and hunting feral hogs. There are several types and designs of trap, which include the “Figure 6” or “heart” trap that is usually constructed with hog panel and T-posts and the box trap that is usually a metal box frame with hog panel sides, top and bottom, along with a trap door that activates once the hog is inside the box, feeding. There is also the snare that usually catches hogs by either the neck or foot, holding it in place until the hunter arrives.
Gear and Equipment
Like other types of game hunting, the right supplies are needed to complete a hog hunt. Considering the modern-day way of hunting, here are the necessary hog- hunting gear and equipment:
D o g E q uip m e n t – You have to make sure your best friend gets back safe from hunting, so you have to provide him with the best “hog dog” equipment.
G ame Camera – This is essential for locating prime wild hog habitat in the field and works when you are relaxing back at the camp.
Optics – Next to your weapon, you need a good pair of binoculars for hunting wild hog.
Hunting Camouflage – When looking for this gear, it is better to find one with the Scent-Lok technology, which hides your scent when stalking wild hogs.
Boots – Your hunting gear would not be complete without a pair of good-quality hunting boots.
Knives or Pig Stickers – Every good hog hunter should have a trusty hunting knife on his side to be efficient at his work.
Stands and Blinds – These devices let you set up at the best spot where wild hogs are seen.
Hunting Packs – You will need good-quality hunting packs to haul all the gear you need while in the field.
Hydration System – For day a trip of hog scouting and hunting, you should have an updated hydration pack. If you do not have this with you, then you will not know what you are missing on the trail.
Scents , Baits and Calls – Knowing that hogs have strong noses, you can use baits and scents for greater success in the stand.
Survival Gear – You should carry a survival gear on your next hog hunt just in case you need it.
Hog Processing Equipment – You should definitely have all the things needed after your hog is down.