Take the hog-hunting challenge
Whether we call them nuisance animals or outlaw quadrupeds, the laws addressing the take of those less-than-desirable species are more liberal than ever before. That’s a good thing made necessary by the ever-increasing number of feral hogs. Before we get down in the weeds on how to eliminate unwanted feral hogs, let’s take a look at the current regulations.
Holders of a hunting license may take hogs, coyotes, nutria, beaver and armadillos year round during legal daylight shooting hours. On private property, the landowner or any licensed hunter he authorizes may take the four-legged outlaws during nighttime hours the last day of February through the last day of August. Written landowner permission and contact information, along with a basic hunting license are all that’s needed. The only other stipulation is notification of the LDWF Enforcement Division (1-800-442-2511) and the sheriff of the parish in which the property is located 24 hours prior to night hunting. Contact LDWF Enforcement Division regarding information on night hunting for outlaw quadrupeds during the months of September through February.
Hogs may also be trapped with cage or corral traps and a basic hunting license. The traps must have an opening in the top measuring not less than 22 x 22 inches, or 25 inches in diameter. A trapping license is required for the use of snares for hogs, and please don’t use snares in areas where bears are found.
Hog trapping basics
I have no experience with night shooting hogs but do know it is effective in some situations. I have done some trapping using both cage and corral traps. Taking hogs with traps works, but it takes some know-how, time and patience. We are limited on space here, so I won’t detail how to trap. But here are the quick-start instructions: Use corn for bait. Soak it in a bucket of water until it sours to enhance the lure and attraction. (You’ll love the smell.)
Place the trap in an area frequented by hogs. Bait it and leave it open until hogs are feeding on the corn regularly and have lost any suspicion about going in and out of the enclosure. At that point set the door to close on the cage trap or close off the corral so it has one way in and no way out. Check traps daily because it’s the humane thing to do, and to remove captured hogs and get the trap ready to take more. Don’t expect to catch very many big, old wise hogs. They are smart and most won’t enter a trap, but younger pigs and shoats will.
Test your hunting skills on hogs
In January I decided to do some hog hunting by stalking and stand hunting. A herd of a dozen or so hogs were rooting on the power line right of way and were visible from the main road through our hunting lease. They were frequently seen mid-morning. After a morning deer hunt, I drove up to the power line and glassed for the hogs. Sure enough there they were. Leaving the truck with rifle in hand, I walked the half mile or so toward the herd, staying in the woods and out of sight. The wind was good and I got within comfortable range, which means close for me. From behind a large oak I took a peek. The hogs had moved into the woods as they fed, but within a few minutes returned to the power line. When a chubby young sow in the 80-pound range stepped out, I took the shot and some prime pork hit the ground.
A few days later, hogs hit one of my food plots and rooted extensively. I scattered some corn in the plot and when the hogs began regular visits to feast, I placed a trail camera. Photos indicated the hogs were showing up at mid-day and in the afternoon. Going to the stand a little after lunch with a good book along for company, I sat through the afternoon. Around 3:30 members of the group began trickling in and enjoying the corn.
Among the hogs in the photos was a large sow, in great condition. About 20 minutes after the first arrivals, the big sow approached cautiously from the woods. After looking things over and testing the wind, she went for the corn. The Kimber .30-06 was true as always, and the hunt was over. The hog weighed 170 pounds and even more prime pork was in the freezer.
Feral hogs have keen senses and offer as much hunting challenge as deer. So after the venison is in the freezer, don’t let your hunting season end. Get out there and take the hog hunting challenge. Try some trapping as well and help control feral hog numbers. You’ll have fun while doing some good.