A Beginner’s Guide to Hog Hunting

February 21, 2022 4 min read

Hog hunting is gaining popularity nearly as fast as hog populations are growing in size. The two go hand in hand as hunters are called on to cull wild and feral hogs in many states. Many southern states, especially Texas, Florida and Louisiana, have hog populations that decimate crops and native wildlife. In Texas alone, the animals cause $400 million in damages yearly. The state’s response is to allow hog hunting year-round with just a general hunting license.

If you are planning a hog hunt, you have a lot of decisions to make. The ammunition must be hard-hitting, and the final shot must be precise. Tracking and stalking is a great challenge, but it can also be dangerous because wild hogs become aggressive when attacked. Hunting from elevated blinds is an excellent option that keeps hunters out of a hog’s path and conceals hunters’ scents and sounds.

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Hog Hunting Regulations

Every state has different hog hunting regulations to which you need to adhere. For instance, it is illegal in Texas to use a spotlight to assist in a night hunt without first notifying the local game warden. Texas also requires a general hunting license to hunt wild hogs. No matter the state you plan to hunt in, make sure to check its wildlife management department’s website for all the hunting rules and regulations in that state.

Taking the Shot

Whether you are shooting from a ground blind with a crossbow or taking aim with a rifle, you must hit the right spot on the hog to ensure a quick death. Not only is this ethical and part of many hunting rules and regulations, but  it is also safe for you. Hogs are sometimes aggressive. They are liable to attack hunters even after they are wounded, so delivering a kill shot, especially for grounded hunters, is a matter of personal safety.

a hunter with a rifle using a mirrored ground blind

Shot placement

Shot placement is essential for delivering a quick kill. A hog’s vital organs are located behind its shoulders, protected by thick skin and bones. You either need a quartering-away shot to gain bone-free access to the hog’s vitals, or you need to hit it with something with enough power to break through bone. 

If you have the firepower to get to the vital organs, you can aim for the brain, spinal cord, lungs or heart. To hit the brain, place your shot just behind the animal’s ears. The spinal cord is another few inches behind that and a couple of inches up the back. For a shot to hit the lungs and heart, you need to aim a few inches behind the shoulder or four to five inches above the elbow. Hitting a hog in these locations with a high penetration round or arrow will result in an incapacitating wound and quick death.  

Arrow/broadhead and ammunition

Heavier broadheads and arrows reduce range and increase arrow drop. However, they increase arrow penetration, which is critical for taking down a thick-skinned hog. There are hog-specific broadheads out there that are worth testing before the hunt. If your arrow penetration is not deep enough, you will have to take a quartering-away shot where the arrow enters the hog’s gut and travels into the vital organs from behind. The ammunition you use depends on your gun, the distance you expect to shoot from and if you need to take successive shots like in a night hunt where multiple hogs are the goal. Using large calibers and heavy bullets is a safe option because you’re sure to get through to the hog’s vitals.

a shadow hunter hunting blind

Hunting Styles

Hogs have poor eyesight but a keen sense of smell and acute hearing. This means hunters need to be silent and aware of their scents. It also gives hunters the chance to bait hogs with aromas or a feeder. Hogs are attracted to the smell of berries and molasses and come to a feeder full of corn or ripe fruit. If you decide to hunt hogs using bait, you should have an elevated blind placed downwind of the bait. Hogs are unlikely to come into range if they smell human scents. 

The Marksman 4x6 Hunting Blind is an elevated blind made to conceal human scents and sounds to avoid detection. This model fits one or two hunters, and the whole blind is built to fit snugly into the bed of a truck for transportation to optimal positions. 

Stay Comfortable with Tail Mate Seating

Hog hunting is a year-round affair in many areas, so protection from the weather is important. Beyond keeping your scent and sounds in, the Marksman 4x6 keeps poor weather out. It’s well insulated and keeps out all bugs and critters as well. 

an elevated hunting blind in the snow

Try Hog Hunting This Year

Hog hunting is an exciting year-round hunting opportunity in many states. Take advantage of the season with heavy-duty arrows/broadheads or high-caliber rifles. Follow all the rules and regulations and keep yourself safe from aggressive wild hogs with elevated blinds and feeders. At Shadow Hunter Blinds, we provide the best elevated and ground blinds to help make your hunt a successful one. Contact us for more information on our blinds and accessories.