Craig Pearson is an avid hunter, outdoorsman, and adventurist. His main passions are hog hunting in Texas and writing about his many adventures. He currently blogs for nightvision4less.com, a supplier of high quality night vision equipment.
As seen on American Hoggers on A&E, hogs can be hunted as a full-time job, or a can be hunted for sport. Jerry Campbell has been hunting feral hogs for years and is a legend in the hog hunting industry. He and his family have been working to get the feral hog population in Texas under some semblance of control. They are mostly portrayed hunting their quarry during the daytime, but hunting hog at night time can be just as good, if not better.
Night vision scopes and goggles are pretty much essential to successfully hunting hogs at night. Hogs spook easily and having a flood light illuminating your kill area is an option, but isn’t the ideal. Texas does allow the use of night vision equipment in hunting hogs, but not every state does. Check with your local game warden or on your state’s fish and game website to make sure that you can take your night vision equipment on your next hog hunt.
Night Vision Scopes
Equipping yourself with a decent night vision scope would be the ideal scenario for hunting feral hogs at night. You will have a much lower chance of spooking the hog, and can be a cheaper and less time consuming option than the ol’ floodlight method. It’s important to check and see if night vision equipment is legal to use in your area. In Texas it is legal, but it is best to check before you hunt. It’s possible to pick up a Generation 1+ night vision scope for under $500, which is actually about as much, if not less than a decent daytime scope. If you’re planning on hunting hog regularly, then picking up a night vision scope would definitely be a wise investment.
If you don’t have a night vision scope at the moment, then a good red spectrum floodlight is a fine choice. Red light works the best and doesn’t interfere with your natural night vision. The best success you can have if you’re using a floodlight is to stash the lights high up and about half way between you and your hog kill zone. Ramp up the brightness if at all possible since hogs can tend to get spooked if they notice a sudden bright light shining on them. Once the area is properly illuminated, then it’s time to line up your shot and bag some hogs.
If you’re hunting with partners, it’s best to coordinate your first shots to go off simultaneously. Establish a hand signal or a countdown that will let you and your hunting partners to take their first shots at the same time without spooking the hogs. This is a bit easier if you’re using night vision scopes or night vision goggles since you don’t have the added risk factor of spooking the hogs with the floodlights.
Stopping a feral hog in motion can be a tricky proposition for even the most experienced hunters. Even Mr. Campbell from American Hoggers has a hard time every now and then. In order to ensure your safety and the humane killing of a feral hog, you must be packing the right firearm with the best possible load. There aren’t many restrictions on the types of firearms or the caliber one can use during a night hog hunt. Again, it’s best to check your local fish and game website before you set out. The general rule of thumb is that you should use a medium-caliber rifle that you would normally use on deer. Guns commonly used for hog hunting are:
- 7.62X51 NATO/.308 Win
All of these rounds should either be FMJ or boat tail for maximum penetration. A .308 boat tail with a high-grain load is an ideal choice for engaging the hog at medium and long range. This round has great stopping power for just about any size hog you throw at it, and the extra speed of the boat tailed round can give it the penetration to make even a shoulder shot a kill shot.
For handguns, anything that packs a big punch. I prefer a 10mm auto or a .44 mag revolver. I like to use flat-nosed or pointed FMJ loads instead of hollow points for better penetration. The 10mm isn’t a hugely popular load, but is more than sufficient when it comes to taking down a hog. I prefer to take the guesswork out of engaging a wounded hog at close range.
Having the right equipment is essential to any hunt. Whether it’s for food or for sport the right equipment will make your next hog hunt a successful one.
Image courtesy Craig Pearson