Bowhunting Wild Hogs For Fun And Freezer Meat
Most will tell you to be happy if you don’t have hogs. But if you’ve got ’em, might as well hunt them.
I looked at my watch, and it said 3:30. It was a Saturday afternoon, and it was time to load up the 4-wheeler, archery gear, video camera and Lone Wolf climber and head to the swamp.
I was hunting on some property provided by Trophy Quest Adventures and Millwood Lodge. I would be filming for them and Genesis Archer, my son’s webisode.
The hunt was going to take place on a feeder that was set to go off at 5 p.m., and it takes a little time to get set up. It was a cool afternoon well after deer season had closed.
Once I had climbed up using my safety belt, I got settled in with bow and camera ready, waiting on the feeder to go off. I would have about an hour and a half of daylight to work with, but I also had my green light that attaches to my camera just in case the hogs came in after dark.
I broadcast some Voo-Doo deer lure as a cover scent 360 degrees around my tree by pouring it in the cap provided and slinging it out from the tree. You never want to walk around and put-out scent, as this will jeopardize the perimeter of your stand. Slinging it 360 degrees from the tree works well for me. Hogs have the best nose in the woods, and if they cut your track, they will spook and leave.
The feeder went off on time, and then it’s just a waiting game now. Make no mistake, even with a feeder there’s no guarantee when it comes to hunting, especially bowhunting. But we’ve all heard from biologists how it’s about impossible to even put a dent in wild hog populations by hunting them, and there’s no doubt that a feeder greatly ups your odds. That’s especially true this time of year, when the acorns are long gone and the spring green-up hasn’t started to refresh the woods with plenty to eat.
About 30 minutes before dark, the red birds and squirrels that were feeding on the corn spooked and scattered. That told me something might be coming, and sure enough I heard hogs grunting and shuffling in the leaves.
I cut my camera turned on and hit record, and then I grabbed my bow and stood up. I panned the camera all the way back to capture the hogs as quick as I could, and then I slowly zoomed to them at the feeder instead of trying to follow them by turning the camera. This works great when you need to keep movement to a minimum while self-filming.
Hogs do not stay still while at a feeder. They constantly move as they search for every kernel of corn and try to beat the competition to it.
I drew my bow and got my arrow tipped with a 165-grain all steel Bipolar broadhead back and waited for a good angle to shoot. It can be frustrating to try and shoot targets that constantly move, all while making sure you have them in the video screen. Although there were all sizes of hogs at the feeder, today I was wanting a good eating-size pig, and I had one in sight. She finally got still enough to where I could settle my pin on her, and I squeezed off the shot…
Hog Baiting Methodology
There are many ways to successfully bait and lure hogs for a better chance at a shot with archery gear. I prefer to use a timed feeder that I build myself. They are easy to build, and using my method you will have less than $75 in a 55-gallon drum feeder.
You can usually find used metal drums for sale for around $15. I usually just put an ISO (in search of) message out on social media or the GON Classifieds, and I’ll get more than enough response. Just make sure you clean the drums well before using, and seal the lid top and bottom with flex seal.
You’re going to need a timed spinner to add to your drum. There are plenty of good ones on the marker. I typically use a feed spinner that Moultrie sells for around $28.
Also, you must build a cage around the feed spinner to keep squirrels and raccoons from being able to spin the feeder plate with their paws—because they will. The 1×2 wire can be purchased at Tractor Supply.
Once filled and set for an 8-second feed time once a day, a drum that holds 300 pounds will spin feed for more than 100 days.
Feeding once a day about 1 1/2 hours before dark makes it very competitive for the hogs, and they soon learn that if they don’t get there first, they don’t get any feed.
You must use a metal drum body for a feeder like this. You can’t put anything plastic in the woods or swamp because squirrels and raccoons can and will chew through them.
You also can’t put your feeder on legs because the hogs will scratch their sides and backs on the legs, and they soon learn that when they shake the feeder corn will fall out. Big boar hogs can and will soon learn the harder they bump or ram the legs the more they get to eat, and they will knock the legs out from under your feeder and then destroy it.
I prefer to strap the barrel to a tree, and I do that with three heavy-duty ratchet straps. Make sure to put 2×4 spacer blocks at the top third and lower third of the drum, so you can work the lid on the barrel.
Hang the barrel high enough that the bottom of the cage is at least 5 feet off the ground. One last little trick you can do is add peanut butter powder or flavored Jello powder to your drum of corn and stir it in as you fill it with corn. By adding this powder, the feeder will throw it with the corn and add scent that hogs can’t resist.
Another effective method is the sour-corn-in-a-hole method to bait and lure hogs. It is very simple. Take a set of post-hole diggers and dig a 5- to 6-foot hole close to existing hog sign. Then sour a 5-gallon bucket of corn, and pour into the hole you dug.
Give it a couple of days and check it by slipping up on it from downwind right at daylight and dusk or put a camera on it to tell you when the hogs are coming to it.
They will dig the hole out to get to the corn, but they can only open their mouth enough to eat a little and then must start digging again to reach more corn. This consumes their time, and with their head in the hole are easy to stalk up on. Just make sure you don’t put your post hole where you don’t want a crater to be made—if hogs are in the area, they’re going to dig a mighty fine hole.
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I want to share a little something that’s helped my hunting. I celebrated my 59th birthday not long ago, and like most archers my age, my pin on my bow had become blurry. I did not want glasses or contacts, so I contacted Dr. Richard Eisner at his Lasik center in Macon and asked if I could bring my bow to his office for the free consultation to see if he could help me. He said sure bring it, so I did. I only needed my left-dominant eye corrected, and after looking through a few choices, he went and got a contact and put it in my left eye. We walked outside behind his office, and I held my bow up, and wow, my pin was clear and my target was clear up to 40 yards.
I said, “Doc, if you can get me to this point, that would be awesome,” and he stated the contact represents 90% of where the surgery could get me. I had the procedure done, which took less than 15 minutes, and I could not be happier with the results. If you are like I was and struggling to see your pins, it will be more than worth your time to go to a free consultation. And ask the doctor if you can take your bow or rifle scope with you…
• • •
I watched the Ignitor lighted nock zip right through the young hog. She only made it a short distance and I watched her crash. Now the work begins.
I am often asked how I process my hogs. First, I always keep disposable gloves in my pack to clean wild hogs. I will lay them on their side and split the hide down the middle of the back from the ears to the tail. Then I will skin down that side and take off the neck meat, shoulder, take out the backstrap and bone out the ham on that side. Then I will turn the hog over and repeat the process, this way you never enter the body cavity of the hog. I will put this meat in gallon Ziploc bags to transport home and then put on ice for about three days. Then I process. If you have a processor close by, there is nothing better than cubed pork to fry. I like to have the rest ground and have beef fat added to the ground pork. This makes an awesome burger that can also be used in chili, spaghetti, tacos or anywhere else you would use ground meat. The top of the front shoulder—the Boston butt—can be cooked by rubbing with Lipton onion mushroom soup mix add a full cup of water and placing it in a covered roasting pan and cooking on 250 degrees for six to seven hours. It is ready when you can easily pull the clavicle bone out of the meat.
Hog hunting is something fun to do when all other seasons are closed and you get cabin fever. And like many others, that little pig went ‘wi wi wi’ all the way to my home!
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