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Hog hunting larger acreages
I've been looking to go on a wild hog hunt somewhere like Oklahoma, Texas, or ?? I realize it's getting late to schedule something for this March, but what to heck...
I'm looking for a challenging hunt with a reasonable chance at least an opportunity at a hog. The problem I'm running into is that there are 100's if not 1000's of web sites. Also, many of the ranches don't list how many acres they hunt on. I've found some with huge tracts of land, but then they have small chunks with high fence for hogs. I don't mind the high fence, just want something bigger than 500 or so acres. I'd like to spot and stalk. Bow, rifle, doesn't matter to me. I've searched on here, AT, and other places. I've emailed some as well. Haven't had much luck in finding what I want. Any thoughts/suggestions are appreciated!
Check out No Mercy (sponsor) they have a couple large fenced area but also have a very large ranch with free-range and very good set ups.
Todd, I can offer you a little insight that may help with your search. First of all, you need to know that hogs are a nomadic species which may travel many miles in one day to avoid eating in the same area they defecate. They are need not only food and water sources, but prefer to stay in areas of thick vegetation and with as little human pressure as possible. With a scenting ability purports to be over seven times that of a whitetail, they're pretty good at avoiding human contact. Fortunately they have one weakness, being their appetite. If you can find a consistent food source, you're more likely to find hogs there. In a free ranging situation that typically means an artificial feed sources (e.g. feeders). Additionally, hogs are nocturnal by nature so tend to run only at night if pressured.
We used to outfit free ranging hog hunts in Texas, but the problem we ran into was that when we booked hunts a few weeks to months I advance, sometimes the hogs were there when the hunters showed up, and sometimes there wasn't even a hunt that there had ever been a hog on that land! When most folks pay for a hunt, they expect to at least see an animal, even if they don't get a shot at one. That made it tough when folks came down and didn't even see a hog track. You'd be surprised how many people equate the success of a hunt with the procurement of meat. We read many reports from folks whom have hunted with us that state that their hunt was unsuccessful because they didn't recover the animal they shot. It's just human nature to expect a product in exchange for money spent.
The reason a lot of places fenced in smaller areas, was so when hunters arrived they would at least have an area for folks to go kill a hog. Not all fenced hunts are the same though. There are wide open pastures where you can go kill a hog that was raised by humans, or heavily timbered areas full of underbrush,ravines. And wild hogs with everything in between. It's just a matter of doing your homework to determine what type of operation you're looking at. Just because a place advertises vast expanses of land does not equate to good hog hunting. There are hundreds of thousands of acres in western Oklahoma and Texas where you better bring a hog with you if you want to see one! Take the time to read outfitter reviews and talk to people whom have hunted other places to find out just what kind of hunt they offer. I personally prefer to speak to a person to know that I'm not talking to somebody who was hired to promote a place either.
Lastly, if you're looking to book a hunt this March, be forewarned that any place that isn't already booked up for March 2016...there's a reason. The winter/spring months tend to book up almost a year in advance in this business. The hunting isn't any better this time of year, it's just when most folks up north are looking for something to hunt. If you can find an opening (that isn't the result of a cancellation), then I'd consider that to be a red flag warning!
I may not have exactly answered your question but I hope I was able to offer a little bit of insight anyways.
-Cheryl Napper, Shiloh Ranch Hunting Camp
Thanks Fuzzy and Cheryl! Definitely the information I need to make a good decision.
Cheryl is 100% right about the nomadic nature of hogs. Hogs are where you find them. I'm pretty convinced that they don't even know where they will be tomorrow.
Cheryl is absolutely right, and, honestly, the only reason I didn't list Shilo, was because of your stated area requirement. I'm not sure what there total fenced area is (it feels huge) but I suspect it falls a bit under 500 acres.
Folks who've never tried hunting feral hogs free-range can't really grasp how tough it is.
If you're not baiting, or very, very lucky, you're not killing much.
There are quite a few places in Florida that offer hog hunts that are over the 5000 acre range. Heck in March you might even get lucky and get a turkey cancellation and get to hunt them to if you are willing to fork over the $$$
Lots of great points made by Cheryl.
Lots of good responses, Thanks! I've only heard how difficult they can be to hunt. I guess it's like everything else, there's a learning curve. Keep the suggestions coming...
So I just now read my own post and am humiliated by the grammatical and spelling errors. I'm posting from a rogue Ipad that insists on "correcting" my spelling. Ugh!
What i like to do sometimes on large acreage hunts have the hog be secondary animal as a bonus
Cheryl knows more about hogs and hog hunting than the other 99.9%, IMO. Just got home from another great hunt at Shiloh. 6 for 6 on shot opportunities within our group. Shiloh is a big ranch that makes you feel like a free ranch hunt, the only difference is.......you actually see hogs and get shot opportunities. Try another path........or listen to me and book a hunt with Matt & Cheryl. You will not regret it.
Cheryl pretty much nailed it. I've hunted pigs on some large ranches in south Texas and it'd pretty hit and miss unless they have been regularly baited. I love night hunting in south Texas. A bonus on many south Texas ranches is that you can spot and stalk javelinas.
We hunt hogs out here in CA, without fences or bait quite successfully. Just got to know their habits. We use optics and spot and stalk just like any other western game.
I saw quite a few when I hunted with Fair Chase, Ltd. (Rob Kiebler). The ranch is 15,000 acres. I hunted over bait and from what I saw in the short time I was there, I believe that a spot and stalk would be doable, especially in late afternoons.
I also agree with what Cheryl says with hogs being nomadic and very cautious, etc. They are a formidable animal to hunt.
Finding a 2016 March hunt opening is next to impossible with a reputable outfitter, unless they have a late cancellation. However, most reputable outfitters have a waiting list for openings due to cancellations.
We were at no mercy Jan 2016 and did a spot and stalk hunt with bow. We never hunted a bait. They have a large amount of acreage to hunt. Lots of hogs and no shortage of opportunities.
I'll take a look at No Mercy. Fair Chase with Rob Kiebler contact please?
Fair Chase, Ltd Cinco Ranch, Eagle Pass, TX Rob Kiebler 972-523-5621
I would say some good times to reach Rob are: 7-9 AM, Noon-3PM & after dark.
Thanks Buffalo1 and Halibutman...
SdHNTR, I am sure you do. Unfortunately, those of us who don't live in or near Ca, Ok, Tn, Tx, SC, etc. don't have the home field advantage.
How successful would I be if I drive out there and started kicking around on public land, or a big ranch looking for pigs?
"No mercy" and "Shiloh Ranch" are sponsors of Bowsite. No need to look anywhere else!!!
Halibutman: You can send me a pm if you want to be a Bowsite Sponsor! To date I have received no requests from you. Thanks!
Thanks for all of the great answers. I may have to put off until next year and get on the ball much sooner. Just out of curiosity, how late into the spring would still be good hunting? I know the hogs hair is nicer in the winter into spring. I probably don't want to battle hot weather, bugs, etc...
I think they pretty much look the same all the time as far as the cape/hide goes. Thermacells have pretty much eliminated the bug problems for sitting in a blind. If there is a walk in cooler on site, it really doesn't matter how hot it gets for hunting. If anything, it makes the sits shorter and the hogs more predictable when it warms up.
My curiosity had gotten the best of me. Why are you concerned about the hair and hide on a hog?
The beauty of hogs is that they can be hunted year 'round. Since we are hunting a fenced property, the success rate is the same for us no matter when you hunt, although we may have to adapt our methods based on the conditions. Temperature, mast crops and water availability all play a factor but we simply adjust our hunting methods based on the conditions. As far as the hair on a hog, that's more a result of the hogs genetics than the time of year. They don't grow a thick undercoat in the wintertime like bear and other animals. Rather, hogs of European influence have linger hair with a wooly undercoat whereas those with more of a domestic influence have shorter and sparser coats.
Now the heat and bugs, that's another story. It does warm up down here in the summer but the good thing about that is that the ticks and chiggers aren't nearly as bad as they are in the spring. The biggest inconvenience (besides the comfort level) on hunting warm weather is that you need to get your animal in the cooler or processed sooner.
Maybe try Bexar County Bowhunts? When we went there 4-5 years ago they had about 1100 acres high fenced and had a decent number of hogs. We were able to spot and stalk and it was tough to get close to the hogs. They also had an 80 acre pen they called hog heaven that you could also hunt if you wanted to guarantee seeing hogs.
Buffalo1, I've just heard that people prefer the longer hair hide in the winter. I really don't know a thing about hog hunting other than I want to hunt them. Most of what I know is hearsay... Thanks all the comments.
I ran out of time yesterday to attach these pics to demonstrate the different phenotypes of hogs, so here are a few/ These first two hogs were both killed on the same day, September 28th.
Also killed September 28th.
Here's one that was killed January 14th exhibiting a pretty sparse coat.
And here's one killed June 8th that's pretty wooly.
They're all wet because we clean them off for the pictures, but you can still get a pretty good idea of how thick and long the hair is.
Nice hogs Tradman and H... Can see the differences in each. I'd really like to take a crack at them.