Bow Hunting Wild Hogs in the Off-Season
While turkey hunting or bass fishing satisfies our off-season itch, the fact remains that there is a substantial gap in hunting during the spring/summer months for most bow hunters. Hunters either stick with off-season practice or turn to other hobbies like fishing, yet if asked, would admit that nothing can quite fill the emotional fissure left from the end of deer season. Every bow hunter feels this, and it’s not often that opportunities present themselves to interrupt the boring off-season and jump straight into another type of bow hunting. While it does not exactly live up to the expectation and thrill of deer hunting, bow hunting hogs in the off-season can keep the withdrawals at bay!
Prime hunting pro-staff members from the GrowingDeer.TV team sought out this prospect. A team trip to Texas was just what the doctor ordered. The team loaded up their new Prime Centergys, hunting gear, and enough cooler space for a couple hogs and hit the Texas hog country with high hopes!
Bow Hunting Wild Hogs and Javelina
Wild hog management and hunting is a serious issue concerning the United States. As of 2013 according to Mississippi State University Extension, wild pigs have now been reported in 45 states and are estimated to cause around $1.5 billion in damage every year to agriculture and the environment in the United States. And the problem is spreading… the continued expansion of wild hog populations is often a result of illegal translocation. Basically, a big part of this problem is wild pig trafficking by humans as hunters seek to add another species to their state’s hunting season. This is an overwhelming problem that takes a nationwide effort to stop. Solving the issue starts with education on wild hogs and the problems around them, but eventually progresses to actual management. While trapping is the most effective method, hunting is another more involved and sought after management tool. This is where the opportunity arises…
Open season! While the popular cartoon movie “Open Season” in 2006 featuring a talking bear and one antlered buck went a bit overboard portraying hunting as a “free for all” on wild game, they “hit the nail on the head” so to speak in regards to wild hogs. Trapping, helicopters, vehicles, and especially bow hunting are all used in states like Texas, where the hogs have literally thrived. This creates the opportunity for a year-round bow hunting trip. Most landowners are happy to see hogs go, in fact, many are either outfitting hog hunts or simply inviting connections for endless hog hunting to help manage the population.
Things to Keep In Mind Before and During the Trip
As you can see the GrowingDeer team members encountered some rough hunting conditions. In Texas, most everything has stickers, thorns, and barbs. Even a 7-yard track and recovery job is too far. Keep this in mind when deciding on which clothing and boots you might wear on your trip. If you venture to the south whether it be Alabama, Mississippi, or Georgia, you need to tailor your gear to the environment and hunting conditions. Often times the demand on your gear in these states will be significantly different than what you are used to.
Also, think about the game you are hunting. When bow hunting deer, your rig, and thought process is adapted for one opportunity. You have ranged landmarks in your shooting lanes, you have your best arrow nocked, and are most likely focused on taking one individual buck. Bow hunting wild hogs changes everything from your setup to even your thought process.
As you can see, whether in the blind or on a stalk, GrowingDeer team members had several opportunities not just one climatic moment like deer hunting often presents. Groups of hogs and javelina that easily outnumber the number of arrows in a quiver will be encountered. This means that every arrow in your quiver needs to be loaded with a broadhead and not just a junk “squirrel or coyote arrow” like most Midwest hunters have when deer hunting. You also need to think about broadhead penetration and durability. Having a tough cut on contact broadhead that can survive multiple shots through pigs and repeated abuse plowing through dirt and rocks is needed. It also helps to make the track job shorter. A lot of arrows and tough broadheads like the Montec will allow you to hunt multiple days and kill multiple pigs without having to resupply.
Bow hunting wild pigs in states like Texas can be a perfect opportunity this off-season to suppress you itch to bow hunt. Call around, make some contacts in southern states that need hog control, and get a couple hunters together for an off-season bow hunting trip. Besides the thrill of the hunt and flinging a couple arrows, a hog or javelina would be a welcomed addition to a potentially dwindling meat supply!