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I'm old - 72. I've never been on a pig hunt. I'm leaving for Georgia Thursday for about 11 days and am planning to do a DIY pig hunt on public or private land by a big swamp in the Albany Ga, area. Right now my tactics are spot and stalk or find a spot with good pig sign and park myself on the ground or in a stand and wait. My weapon of choice is a longbow. Any other tactics I should try for my first pig?
A hog has 3 things on its mind- eating, sleeping & sex. Hone in on these 3 activities. They are wandering, opportunist animals unless baited.
Study the vital zone carefully.
My first trip I found out just how much they use their nose. Where they are laying is for a reason. I way under estimated them. Binoculars and still hunting should work for you. They will run right through the water with out second thoughts of a `gator. Thermacell country and treat clothes for ticks. And if you see one the others are hidden!!! And they really blend in. Best of luck!
If I were you, I would first find sign (look near the water). Once I found sign, I would put out some sweet/sour fermented corn and sit in a tree stand. Check the wind for stand placement.
I wondered if you could call pigs and I found out yes you can. I'll be shopping for a pig call when get down South.
I assume when using a tree stand I don't have to get very high so I planned on a Lone Wolf hang on with just two climbing sticks.
Best thing you can hope for is an overcast day in the 50s, and maybe rain the night before. They will up rooting the ground and leaves and will be easy to put a stalk on. My buddy shot two sows last weekend as we simply covered ground, found them and killed them. The temps were what I described above, perfect.
If it's hot, they'll be in thick, wet, cool places and most likely bedded. Good luck and kill 100!
The times I've spot & stalked them in TX (free ranging) we could hear them before we saw them. Granted we knew they were in a general area, and the wind was low, but they are noisy and especially if a sow is in heat. Some good advice from the others, I'd also look for "rubs"...they like to circle tree's or telephone poles and will often leave a "ring of mud/dirt" around them.
Deer are rheostatically controlled in they have some curiosity and a process to go from rest to flight.
Pigs have a switch. They go from docile to widespread panic in a heartbeat .......their short wheelbases makes a guy take his/her FIRST available shot
I've shot a few from tree stands. In the area I hunt, if they haven't been disturbed much, I have found some to be predictable if they are using a particular area. I setup on trails that are heavily used along swampy areas mostly. They use the edges and ridges. Pretty much as everyone above said they are fairly easy to stalk. For the most part they make a lot of noise and if the ground is quiet and they are busy you can sneak up on em. Especially if they're rooting. Their eyesight is terrible so as long as you are downwind you'd be good. More than once I've stalked them on open beaches and just freeze when they look up. Even had them spot me and start walking toward me out of curiosity. But once they figure out your a human they hustle. If you're hunting public in Georgia I'm pretty sure its illegal to bait same as here in Louisiana so check the regs which I'm sure you already have. Its a kick in the butt chasing hogs. Good luck!
Do I need to be as concerned with my ground scent with pigs as I am with whitetails?
Will I find a use for trail cameras if I bring some along?
Buffalo1 I just realized my spirit animal is the hog
Hogs have a good nose. You'll see them freeze when they catch a scent. That's when they know somethings up, a good time to shoot.:) But as long as you're downwind you'd be good.
Wouldn't hurt to set a camera or two if you think they're using a trail. Not often but I have had them be predictable on trails so at least you'd know what time they were passing.
If you're stalking with wind in your face, I wouldn't be too worried about your scent. Stand hunting, where your scent will drift, yes.
This pig here from last week, we did the gutless method on and packed it out with us. Something to try if you're way back in like we were.
"Buffalo1 I just realized my spirit animal is the hog" LOL!
I have had luck with still hunting in the wind. Take your time, glass a lot, and walk into the wind.
Pigs tend to roam around quite a bit. Don't spend a lot of time slow hunting an area where the pigs are not. I like to quickly move through an area looking for fresh and old sign. When I get into fresh sign I slow down and become a lot more deliberate in my movements. Use your ears a lot. Pigs are quite vocal when traveling and when feeding. You will often hear pigs long before seeing them.
X 2 Ollie and Temby, cover ground quickly looking for rooting first then fresh rooting keep wind in face for crosswind. If wind is at your back you are toast. I shot this one weekend before last in Georgia. Woods were dry as toast so shot was 47 yards.
If you ever get an email from me, right below my name is a quote, “What is time to a hog” To me, that quote beautifully described life in retirement. I have tried my best to live up to the quote !!
I appreciate all the advice. I'm packing for the trip and having second thoughts on the two sticks and the Lone Wolf hang on. My mind told me two sticks up I wouldn't get beat up by a pig. It's relatively light but nothing I want to lug around. How much a concern is it to bet beat up by a pig. I've seen pictures and heard stories so I know it happens.
Obviously getting charged and/or tagged happens. My experience has been unless they are cornered, for the most part they just haul ass the other way. I did have three of them run straight at me last year and all three just ran around me within 10' when I jumped up and yelled at em.
Spot and stalk is what I do all the time I haven’t ever had a hog to charge. I hear stories from people all the time but I don’t put a lot of credence on it since I typically stalk hundreds of pigs every year and it hasn’t happened!
They are a blast to stalk - personally I’d leave the stand at home! I’ve killed a bunch out of stands but usually deer hunting and it’s opportunistic. What I always did was walk into the wind along the creek or river and look for sign. Once I found good, FRESH sign I’d go into creep mode and just really take my time looking and listening. I almost always hear them bedore seeing them as once they are on their feet they make a lot of racket. Once I spot them I get the wind right and damn near run to them - they make a lot of racket and won’t associate your noise with anything other than another hog. Reason to get In on them quick is if the wind shifts and one smells you it is over. I’ve killed multiple hogs out of the same herd many times - have plenty of arrows.
As far as them getting you I’ve had a few scares with big boars on about 4 occasions. All but one had already been shot and were pissed. The other was with a big boar that I shot and the one I shot pounded him thinking he was the source of his troubles! It was something to watch at 16 yards! That hog was plenty pissed after and it was pretty hairy but he didn’t get me but did scare me pretty good.
Good luck and have fun - they are a blast!
My last post on the Bowsite for a bit. Heading down to Georgia for a pig hunt and my youngest daughter's wedding. Looking forward to both. I had enough room to pack my Lone Wolf and sticks but I'm leaving them behind and will try and stick with being mobile. If I want to park it, I can do that on the ground.
After I arrive in Albany I will pick up a hog call, visit Big Jim's Bow Company, stop at library for plat sheets w/land owners and check out my hunting area, break out gear and get ready to hunt the Chickasawhatchee Swamp. Hope the snow up here is gone when I get back.
I heard people talk up Ft. Steward on this site. My daughter is getting married in Savannah which is 41 miles from Ft. Steward. But that didn't work out. To hunt Ft. Steward your required to possess a state hunting safety certificate. Not required for me in Wis. But I have two mentees that need to attend so I will attend so one day I can pig hunt Ft. Steward. Their game warden at Ft. Steward was very helpful.
For a hog call I would like to get a cheap one with batteries. I think that would sound better than me blowing on a grunt tube.
Rocky, that's a lot of stalking. And a 47 yard kill shot tells me your a good shot. I'm more like 7 yds - 20 yds.
Time to get on the road. Thanks again for all the advice.
Most pig "charges" are nothing more than a frightened and confused pig running the wrong direction.
I agree Ollie. TV has average people scared to death of wild hogs. I've killed a bunch of hogs with bows and a few with guns. Some were from stands, some were from the ground. The only time I had a pig "charge" me was blood trailing a one lung hit boar. He bluffed charged me twice before I was able to get a finish arrow in him.
The other time was when I shot a boar in his bed and the hogs flushed like quail. The boar died quick and a BIG sow come running in to investigate. She was aggressive, but was merely looking for danger. She took an arrow to the lungs too.
Hell, two feathers if ft BENNING’s pig season wasn’t closed for turkey season I would invite you up to hunt a couple of days.
Luckily pigs are pretty easy to get close on.
This weekend is opening weekend for turkey season. Just checked Chickasawhatchee WMA is a quota hunt only for the first couple of weekends. Which means you will have to draw to hunt turkeys/pigs on the WMA. You will most likely have to find some private land in that area. Just saw this post.
If you go spot and stalk and watch the wind as others have said they have a great nose.
"Most pig "charges" are nothing more than a frightened and confused pig running the wrong direction." Agreed
I agree with the "most pig charges" comments, but I know two guys who have been hurt by big boars, one pretty badly, and another that was knocked off his feet by one. It does happen, and it won't mean a thing until happens to you. I can't remember how many I've killed and only had one charge me. My first shot from a Glock 10mm went too high in his neck and just pissed him off. The second shot caught him between the ears and he slid to wighin three feet of me.
I had a standoff with another two years ago while walking to my stand in the early morning. I could only see a big black shape but I knew what it was. I pulled my pistol out and commenced to slowly walk toward him. I knew he didn't smell me, (probably why he stood there that long), and I cut the distance in half before he eased off into the woods. Needless to say, I slicked right on by that spot pretty quickly ! My first thought when I saw him was, I need a better light and a bigger pistol !
I hunt GA hogs every year. Forget the hog call, you are more likely to spook one that way than to call one in. I have had some luck using my voice to call/grunt in a boar when I came upon several boars fighting over a hot sow, but that's not common. Best bet is to cover ground, stop and listen a lot, then hang around on the downwind side of any fresh sign you find. Take pics and remember to tell us what happened when you get home.
Buffalo1 the late great Jerry Clower, rest his dear soul. He's my inspiration.
Pulled in to Albany Ga, this morning. Took about 24 hours for 1100 miles and included 2 rest area naps. My first stop in Albany was Big Jim's Bow Company. Bought some gear and found out they pig hunt at night. Also found out about WMA's. My second stop was the library to look at the county Plat Book. The girls behind the desk never heard of a Plat Book. Stopped by a realtor's office and he confirmed what the library girls said. No Plat Book for Dougherty county. I have to go to the court house for that information. Maybe Monday. We have Plat Books in Wisconsin. It shows who the land owner is for a plot of land. Got on the library computer and found out hunting a WMA or national forest is NOT going to work out just like swampmoss said. Swampmoss, I agree I will get some maps of the area and start driving roads and start knocking on doors. On private land hog hunting is like 24/7 365. On public land not so.
Rocky I shot my first ever turkey off Ft, Benning. I was stationed at the Marine Corps Logistics Base here in Albany. I think I would run into the same problem at Ft. Benning I did at Ft, Stewart., i.e., no wis. state hunter safety completed.
Jeff, I'm taking your advice about the hog call.
Finally made it to my daughter's place and unpacked. Everyone at work so I had the place to myself with cats and dogs. Got my laptop up and running. Time to look at maps.
I lucked out! The first landowner I spoke with gave me permission to hunt and has pigs. 600 Acres and he drove me around showing boundaries and piggy spots. He looked a little disappointed when he asked me what kind of rifle I was using,
Big boar stinkin up my block !
Big boar stinkin up my block !
Two Feathers, I know why he looked at you funny ! :-). To some hog hunting is a pastime, to us hog haters, hog hunting is an obligation !
Now I'm street legal. License cost $38 + $2.50 transaction fee. $40.50 - Short Term (4 days) non resident Georgia hunting license.
Twofeathers, At first glance that would be the case on Ft Benning. You would be grandfathered and a safety video would satisfy the requirement.
I just worked a week some Marines and retirees on things that help you go bang in the night.
Two, good luck! Some of us in colder areas are watching and following your adventure. After you stalk and hopefully arrow a pig or 2, don’t be afraid to borrow a rifle and shoot a couple of roasting size ones. They are delicious and you’ll make the landowner a friend for life.
Watch where you sit and step, everything down there will sting or bite you!
Day 1 of a four day hunt. Got out to the property about 1300 and left at 2015. No pigs seen. Put out 2 cameras with bait and ambush site and another ambush site with no camera or bait. Saw plenty of pig sign but no fresh pig sign. No fresh pig crap. Without that I have nothing. Tried to jump a canal/ditch and failed. Must be the old coming out. At least I didn't get wet.
I hear hogs move most during the night and early morning. Hunting at night here is legal. I'll give that a try and early morning if they found my bait. I will talk to some of the locals and hope they can help with getting an arrow in a pig.
The field I put the corn and cameras is a huge peanut field with lots of peanuts still on the ground from last years harvest. I was told pigs like peanut plants and corn plants but not cotton plants.
There is a lot of storm damage from the early March storm that hit Alabama and SW Georgia. Lots of trees down especially were the ground was/is soft, lots of trees. A big mess. I sweated up walking around and I was only wearing a T-shirt. Right now it's raining here by my daughter. Where I hunt is about 30 miles away. Hope it's raining there also.
Day 2. Saw 10 pigs today. All shapes and sizes. They were dead hanging in a meat locker waiting to be processed. I was wondering if the processor had any left over pig he wanted to get rid of but no, he has a waiting list of customers who want wild pig. He did mention that the state went up in helicopters and shot them from the air in an effort to control population numbers. Talking to the processor was an education in itself.
No pigs on my cameras. Did have some armadillos on camera. The rain last night helped locating fresh sign. I spoke with the first locals I saw and they pointed me to Fred's across the road. Fred gave me permission to hunt behind him and behind the church. No live pigs seen. Saw 1 deer and heard a commotion and a pig squeal.
Same routine tomorrow, check cameras, hunt behind the church and talk to locals.
A good resource is the GON.Forum under Feral Hogs: Spot and Stalk and also under Bowhunting/Traditional Archery. You may be able to get some help or advice on hunting pigs in the area you are hunting.
Steal some fryer grease from a restaurant. Usually out back by the dumpster. Best bait going.
Day 3. No pigs seen or heard. Camera 1 = a doe and yearling @ 2200. Camera 2 = 2 hen turkeys @1000. No pigs on cameras. I'm beginning to appreciate the value of an outfitter.
Day 4. Pig hunt over. No pigs seen, no pigs on camera. Leaving with experience and some ideas for the next time.
Tom, since you shoot a trad bow, and if you plan to return to GA, give Traditional Bowhunters of GA a look. I joined them over a decade ago as a NR and attended several of their member hunts on public land. Became friends with several members and that led to other hunt opportunities. They have a nice newsletter with good Intel on WMAs and just being able to hunt with experienced trad bowhunters might be what you need next time.
Tom if you plan to hunt Georgia again plan on hunting a couple of days with me. I am about 90 miles from Georgia. Where I hunt you cannot hunt during turkey season or I would have invited you this time.
Arrived back to Wisconsin this am from my trip south. Not all the snow has melted here at home. 3,650 miles total. Got to shop at Big Jim's Bow Company in Albany, got to visit with my oldest daughter, got to go on a 4 day DIY pig hunt. Got to drive across the state and walk my youngest daughter down the aisle in Savannah. Left Savannah and headed to Leesburg, FL and visit wife #1 and back up to Albany, rest and back to Wisconsin.
Thanks for all the advice. I slept good after doing a lot of walking looking for pigs. My day with a pig will come. Rocky, I was thinking next time I would look for pigs closer to my daughters place in Leesburg GA. But, I can see the benefits of going with an experienced pig hunter. I may run down to Ga over the Christmas holidays or there after. I'll have my bow and I will be looking for pigs.
Jeff, I'm a member of Wisconsin Traditional Archers. Traditional Bowhunters of GA is worth a look at. It would be kind of cool to come down as a member for one of their hunts.
I have some time to spend educating myself on hunting pigs. More like finding pigs. Not as easy as I had envisioned. Lots of different tactics. Spot and stalk, sit and cover an established bait site, different baits, hunt during the day, hunt at night, hunt with lights, run them with dogs. For me it starts with finding them and that wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Semper Fi - Tom
Tom, the TBG is having a hog/spring turkey hunt open to any member the last weekend of April on a great WMA. They have similar hunts all over the state throughout the year, and they are very NR friendly. Something to consider if you plan to return in spring 2020; they do this every year but not always at the same WMA. There will be a whole camp full of experienced hog hunters who are very good at finding, stalking and shooting hogs at close range with trad bows.
Tom.....2 thumbs up for your valiant effort! Good luck to you on the next one!