Let me tell ya, as an avid hunter and outdoorsy type, I absolutely live for the thrill of the hunt. There’s nothing that gets my heart a-pumpin’ like chasing after wild and wily hogs and boars from hunting blinds. I’m telling you, those cunning critters will put your skills to the test like none other, forcing you to tap into every last hunting sense and trick you’ve got tucked away in order to be successful.
Now I want to let you in on everything – and I mean everything – a beginner like yourself needs to know to get started on the addictive pastime of hog hunting from blinds. From A to Z, I’ll cover how to set up your sneaky blind, gear up with the essentials, scout out the perfect locations, and employ foolproof hunting strategies, plus dish out safety tips to keep you in one piece. My goal here is to fully equip you with the skills and insider knowledge so you can get out there and have safe, ethical, and thrilling hunts. So let’s not waste another minute – let’s dive right in!
Before we dive in, let’s first go over why you’d want to hunt wild pigs in the first place. Here are some of the top reasons:
- Thrill of the hunt – Stalking these elusive beasts gets your heart pumping like nothing else. Their keen senses mean you must be stealthy and patient. It’s an incredible adrenaline rush.
- Population control – Feral hogs cause billions in agricultural damage yearly. Hunting helps keep their numbers in check.
- Tasty meat – The pork from wild hogs is delicious. Plus you get the satisfaction of filling your freezer with meat from an animal you harvested yourself.
- Trophy boars – Bagging a big old boar with gnarly tusks is a prize trophy for any hunter. Their heads make unique mounts.
- Hunting tradition – Hog hunting has been a celebrated tradition for centuries. Carrying on the sport connects you to the hunters of the past.
Now that you know why hog hunting is such an exciting challenge, let’s look at what these animals are all about.
To hunt hogs successfully, you need to understand their habits, traits, and behaviors. Here’s a crash course on the wild pigs you’ll be after:
- Size – Adults range from 100-400 lbs. Large males can exceed 500 lbs.
- Coat – Colors vary from solid black to brown, gray, blonde, white, red, spotted, and striped.
- Tusks – Males have two sharp upper tusks that grow continuously. Lower tusks are smaller.
- Senses – Excellent sense of smell and good eyesight. Weak vision straight ahead.
- Social – Live in small family groups called sounders. Larger groups form when resources are plentiful.
- Nocturnal – Most active at night. Will forage during day. Become more nocturnal during hunting season.
- Nose – Have an incredible sense of smell. Can detect odors over a mile away.
- Wallows – Love to wallow in mud to keep cool and avoid insects. Great place to find sign.
- Aggressive – Males and sows with young will charge threats. Have sharp tusks.
- Omnivores – Eat plants, roots, insects, small animals, carrion. Cause extensive agricultural damage.
- Travel – Follow trails between food, water sources, and bedding areas. Cover large territories.
- Reproduce -Highly fertile. Sows can birth 2 litters per year of 4-12 piglets. Populations grow rapidly.
Now that you know your quarry, let’s move on to locating prime spots to set up your blind.
The key to a successful hunt starts with choosing the right location for your blind. With their super sniffers, you can’t just set up anywhere and expect pigs to stumble upon you. Proper scouting and blind placement are crucial.
When scouting, look for the following signs of hog activity:
- Tracks – Look for tracks around muddy or swampy areas. Their cloven hooves leave distinctive prints.
- Rooting – Hogs use their snouts to dig up and churn the earth looking for food. Freshly rooted areas show recent activity.
- Wallows – Look for depressions where hogs have made a mud hole for cooling off and avoiding insects. Wallows will be trampled with tracks around them.
- Game trails – Search for trails where vegetation is worn down. Hogs regularly travel the same routes between food and water sources. Set up near trails.
- Rubbing trees – Look for trees with mud and bristles rubbed off on them from hogs scratching themselves. Means hogs are in the area.
- Droppings – Hog scat is tubular with blunt ends. Can be greenish from vegetation or black from a protein-rich diet.
Once you’ve identified promising hog hotspots, it’s time to set up your blind.
Choosing Blind Sites
When selecting your blind location, consider the following:
- Downwind – Set up so wind blows your scent away from areas hogs frequent. Hogs will smell you otherwise.
- Concealment – Pick an area with dense brush, vegetation, or crops that will conceal the blind.
- Visibility – Ensure you have clear shooting lanes in the most likely hog approach directions. Avoid obstructed views.
- Hog sign – Look for fresh rooting, wallows, trails, etc that show recent hog activity. Set up near their preferred hangouts.
- Water source – Position your blind 100 yards downwind of water sources like ponds and creeks. Hogs need to drink regularly.
- Food source – Set up near food sources like oak forests, crop fields, or productive groundcovers that hogs are feeding on.
With some boots-on-the-ground scouting and an ideal site selected, you’re ready to set up your blind.
A proper hunting blind is absolutely critical for concealing your presence from hogs’ keen senses. Follow these tips when setting up your hog blind:
- Sturdy – Build a stable frame out of 2x4s or metal posts secured in the ground. It must withstand weather and animal encounters.
- Realistic – Use natural materials from the area like branches, grasses, corn stalks to blend the blind into the surroundings.
- Brush it in – Pile brush against the sides and roof to break up the outline. Use leafy branches for concealment.
- Camo netting – Wrap the blind in camo netting and burlap strips that mimic vegetation patterns. Solid walls are too unnatural.
- Flooring – Put down a plywood or tarp floor to keep you dry and comfortable for long sits.
- Vegetation – Use existing vegetation to supplement your constructed blind materials. Set up amongst dense brush and trees.
- Downwind – Always have the opening facing downwind so your scent blows away from hog trails or feeding areas.
- Interior layout – Position your seat towards likely hog approach paths. Have your gear organized and ready.
- Shooting lanes – Trim just enough vegetation to create 2-3 clear shooting lanes where you expect hogs to come from. Don’t overdo it.
- Fake it – Make it look like the blind has been there a while. Scuff it up and scatter leaves, dirt, and branches on and around it.
With your convincing blind built in the perfect location, you’re ready to gear up.
To make the most of your hunts, you need to have the right equipment with you in the blind. Here are the essentials every hog hunter should have on hand:
The most important tool for dispatching hogs quickly and humanely is having the right firearm and ammo. Typical choices include:
- Shotguns – 12 or 20 gauge loaded with buckshot or slugs. Provides stopping power at short range.
- Rifles – Lever action .30-30 or semi-auto .223 or .308 work well. Good for longer shots.
- Handguns – Large caliber pistols like .44 magnum allow follow up shots if charging.
- Ammo – Use controlled expanding, lead free bullets designed for hogs. Vital organ shots are key.
- Backup – Bring a sidearm as backup and for finishing wounded hogs. Don’t take chances.
Equipment & Gear
Some other essential equipment to have on hand:
- Binoculars – Spot hogs approaching from a distance.
- Rangefinder – Ensure shots are within your and your firearm’s effective range.
- Knives – Need several fixed blade knives for field dressing and processing.
- Day pack – Carry extra ammo, first aid, survival gear, and more.
- Two-way radios – Communicate with hunting partners without spooking game.
- Flashlights & headlamps – See in lowlight when entering/exiting blind before dawn or after dusk.
- GPS – Don’t get lost navigating to your blind in the dark.
- Cell phone – For emergencies or coordinating with fellow hunters. Just silence it!
Hunting Clothes & Gear
The right clothes and personal gear will keep you comfortable and concealed:
- Camo clothes – Match your camo to the environment. Brush, woodland, grassland patterns work well.
- Scent control – Use scent-eliminating soaps, sprays, and detergents so the hogs can’t smell you.
- Boots – Waterproof boots with ankle support help you walk quietly. Rubber soles are scent-free.
- Thermal layers – Stay warm without bulky clothes. Merino wool or synthetic base layers work great.
- Face mask – Covers exposed skin and helps control your exhaled breath.
- Gloves – Unscented camo gloves keep you warm and help grip your weapon.
- Packable rain gear – Be prepared with lightweight waterproof outer layers. Getting soaked is miserable.
With all the right gear packed in your daypack, you are ready to head out bright and early to your blind. But first let’s go over effective hunting strategies you’ll employ once on stand.
Patience and stealth are the name of the game when hunting hogs. Follow these proven tips and tactics to maximize your chances:
- Enter early – Get into position well before daylight without spooking game. Spray down with scent eliminator.
- Stay quiet – No talking, electronic noises. Silence phones. Even minor noises can scare hogs.
- Remain still – Minimal body movements. Don’t fidget in your seat or turn your head excessively.
- Watch the wind – Use a wind indicator. If wind shifts, hogs may smell you and avoid the area. Abort hunt if this happens.
- Glass continuously – Constantly scan ahead with binoculars. Spot hogs the moment they emerge. Be ready.
Bringing Them In
- Calls – Use distress calls, piglet squeals, or mating calls to peak curiosity and bring in boars. But don’t overdo it.
- Scents – Apply hog scents near your blind to attract them. Use sparingly so it seems natural.
- Bait – Corn, rice bran, and soured grains spread near your stand help funnel hogs within range. But it’s illegal in some states, so check regulations.
- Rattle antlers – Piquing a boar’s territorial instincts by rattling deer antlers can sometimes draw them in looking to spar.
- Partners – Having a partner positioned 100 yards away can help drive game your way through coordinated calling, noise making, or small herd manipulation.
Taking the Shot
- Clear shot – Never take risky shots through heavy cover. Wait for a clear broadside or quartering away shot.
- Steady position – Use a solid rest like shooting sticks or rails in the blind when possible. Don’t chance a shot offhand.
- Pick your target – Identify boars, mature sows, or injured individuals. Avoid shooting young pigs if possible. Headshots are best if legal.
- Follow up – Be ready to take quick follow up shots if your first shot doesn’t fully stop them. Don’t let wounded hogs escape.
- Stay ready – After taking your shot, remain ready in case more pigs appear. Scan and reload immediately.
Tracking & Recovering
- Mark the spot – Note blood sign and landmarks where you last saw the hog if it fled out of view after being hit.
- Wait before tracking – Give at least 30-60 minutes for the hog to bed down and bleed out before trailing.
- Follow blood – Look for specks and splashes of blood leading away from the shot location. Use grids if you lose the trail.
- No blood – Grid search the likely direction of travel if you lose blood trail. A hit hog won’t go too far.
- Call for help – Have a tracking dog on standby to help recover your hog if needed. Don’t push a marginal blood trail after dark.
Now that you know how to bring home the bacon using smart hunting strategies, let’s go over some important safety and ethical considerations.
Hunting Hogs Safely and Ethically
Hunting hogs comes with some inherent risks given their aggressive nature. It’s crucial we conduct ourselves safely and ethically to promote the future of our sport. Here are some key things to keep in mind:
- Unpredictable – Always expect the unexpected from hogs. They can turn and charge quickly.
- Accompaniment – Hunting alone is risky. Having a partner helps in case of injury or confrontation.
- Stand placement – Ensure your stand offers good visibility and multiple escape routes in case hogs charge. Don’t get cornered.
- Defense – Carry a stout knife on your belt or have a sturdy climbing aid ready to fend off aggressive hogs if charged in your stand.
- No ground hunting – Stalking hogs on foot is highly dangerous and should be avoided.
- Diseases – Use gloves and eye protection when field dressing. Avoid blood contact. Cook meat thoroughly.
Ethical Hunting Practices
- Respect landowners – Always secure permission before hunting private lands. Follow their rules and express gratitude.
- Leave no trace – Pack out all trash. Don’t damage property or leave permanent blinds and structures.
- Obey regulations – Follow all state game laws and regulations related to hog hunting.
- Clean kill – Strive for quick, humane kills through proper shot placement and adequate firearms.
- Respect quarry – Hunt ethically and use the entire animal you harvest. Don’t be wasteful.
Following these safety and ethics tips will keep you in one piece while also portraying hunters in a positive light as responsible stewards of the land and wildlife.
Field Dressing & Processing Wild Hog Meat
A hunt isn’t complete until you properly take care of the meat and get it table ready. Here are some tips for field dressing and processing your wild hog:
- Safety first – Use latex gloves, eye protection, and take precautions to avoid blood contact. Have a disposal plan for offal.
- Hang it – Hang the hog by its hind legs or place on a clean tarp to begin dressing it out.
- Cut belly – Make a shallow slit up the belly from breast to anus, being careful not to cut intestines.
- Remove intestines – Cut around anus and reproductive organs. Pull downward to remove all intestines and organs. Watch for parasites!
- ** Drain blood** – Cut along the spine and throat to allow remaining blood to drain out.
- Wash cavity – Use clean water to rinse out any remaining blood, hair or debris. Pat dry.
- Skinning – Starting at the hind legs, use your knife in broad strokes to skin the entire hog. Keep tension to avoid leaving meat on the skin.
- Quartering – Break down into primal cuts by separating the front shoulders, hams, and back loins for easier packing.
Processing the Meat
- Meat prep – Place quarters in game bags, rinse, and keep cool until you can process. Don’t hold meat over 40° F.
- Trimming – Trim away any hair, dirt, bone fragments, bloodshot areas, and glandular tissue.
- Cutting – Slice into roasts, steaks, chops, ribs, sausage meat, stew meat, and ground as desired.
- Meat care – Keep trimmed cuts chilled in refrigerator. Freeze as soon as possible in sealed bags or wrap and paper to prevent freezer burn.
- Aging – Dry age roasts and ribs up to two weeks refrigerated to enhance tenderness and flavor.
- Sausage – Season and grind trimmings into breakfast links, summer sausage, brats, etc. Mix in pork fat if too lean.
Follow those steps and you’ll have a freezer full of delicious free-range pork to enjoy for months to come!
Captain Hunter is a seasoned hunting mentor with over 20 years of experience in the field. His passion began as a young man on trips with his father and grandfather in the Colorado mountains. Today, he shares his unmatched skills in survival, tracking, and marksmanship through his website CaptainHunter.com. When he's not volunteering with youth hunting programs, you can find Captain Hunter providing expert hunting tips, gear reviews, and answers to your most pressing questions. His decades of experience make him the trusted guide to help any outdoorsman master the sport.