Hunting Bond Swamp Hogs
This swampy NWR in Twiggs and Bibb counties is slap-full of hogs. Last month the area was full of hunters, and they scored big.
If you were one of the lucky hunters who attended the February 14-16, 2002 hog-only quota hunt at Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, there’s a good chance you went home with some pork. Out of 56 hunters, 25 hogs were checked in for a hunter-success rate of 44.6 percent.
Bond Swamp, located along the Ocmulgee River in Twiggs and Bibb counties, is 5,500 acres in size. The area is heavy with hog traffic and has been attracting hog hunters since these hunts began three years ago.
The largest hog taken during the mid-February hunt was a 288-lb. boar killed by James Robinson, of Griffin. Sound like a monster doesn’t it? The hog weighed 288 pounds field dressed!
Ken Fuller, of Morrow, knocked down the second biggest hog, a 210-lb. field-dressed boar. It seems these big hogs weren’t a fluke. “We had a 175-pounder, a 166 and 156,” said area manager Ronnie Shell.
Bond Swamp, which is managed by Piedmont NWR, hosted another hog-only hunt January 24-26. However, the success was not near as high. Out of 58 hunters, 11 hogs made their way to the check station for a success rate of 19.0 percent.
“The river flooded a week before the February hunt, and I think it had the hogs pushed up on higher ground,” said Ronnie. “I think that’s why the success was higher.”
Bond Swamp, which permits only 100 hunters on the area during their one deer-quota hunt each year, allows 150 hunters on the area during each of the hog hunts. There were 809 applicants for the hog hunts earlier this year, so chances of getting drawn are fair when you consider the 300 available slots.
Bond Swamp will be hosting two more of these quota hog-only hunts for 2003. The pair of hunts are scheduled for January 23-25 and February 13-15. Quota will remain at 150 per hunt.
If you’re interested in busting a public-land hog at Bond Swamp, contact Piedmont NWR at (478) 986-5441 in August. They’ll send you an application in the mail, and you’ll need to fill it out and have it back in their office. For more information on hunting at Bond Swamp, click here.