Summertime Wild Hogs With A Bow

Georgia bowhunting is BOARING!

Tim Knight | May 28, 2024

The author with one of his biggest wild hogs ever, a Wilkinson County tank that weighed more than 300 pounds.

It was the Friday of a Memorial Day weekend when I struck out for the Wilkinson County river swamp. With my climbing stand on my back, I slipped into my hunting spot around 8 p.m. and quietly ascended the tree with my safety belt attached. I took my Voo-Doo deer lure out of my fanny pack and sprayed down good to use as a cover scent. Now it was a waiting game… would he show up, or would he be a no show as he had done several times before? I was feeling confident this evening because I had gotten his picture five days in a row an hour after dark. The deer started showing up right before dark, and I would purposely move and make noise to run them off because I didn’t want them to eat up all the corn before my intended target showed up.

At around 9 p.m., the last glimmer of sunlight had faded from sight. I sat there in total darkness and watched an awesome lightning bug show.

I first started getting pictures of this huge hog I was hunting around the first of May. All of the pictures were between 12 midnight and 3 a.m. I purposely didn’t put any hunting pressure on the feeder in hopes he would get braver and less nocturnal if left alone. He was coming to a feeder that I had put up for the deer after turkey season.

At around 10 p.m. that Friday evening, I heard an animal approaching in the total darkness. It was being super cautious, and I could tell by its gait that it was a hog. He took his time as he approached the feeder. Keep in mind that it’s pitch dark, and I was going totally on sound. I waited until I could hear the tell-tale kop…kop…kop… of him chewing the corn kernels. I purposely let him feed for a few minutes to let him settle in and hopefully not realize there was a predator 18 feet above him. I turned on my sight light and eased up out of my seat with my compound bow and attached my release. After I got to my feet, I reached down and turned on my green predator light that’s attached to my stabilizer, but I covered the lens of the light with my bow hand so I could gradually introduce the green light to my intended target. It has been my experience that if you shine the light full beam all at once it sometimes spooks a hog. As I split my fingers to slowly introduce the light to my target, the silhouette of a large hog came into focus. I thought to myself… Holy Cow he looks like a Rhino!

There was only one problem—he was facing me, and that’s a no-go for arrow placement. This is where patience is a must when bowhunting these big boars, and you must have the intestinal fortitude to wait for the correct angle, which is broadside, or my favorite shot, quartered away.

As he fed looking for and devouring every kernel of corn he could find, he was constantly changing positions without paying the green light any attention. After what seemed like forever, I could tell he was fixing to turn and give me a quartering-away shot at about 15 yards. I drew back my bow, and I settled the lighted pin behind the shoulder and went through my personal ritual… aim for the exit… aim… aim… aim… Squeeze!

I watched the flashing Ignitor lighted nock come on as the 165-grain all steel Bipolar broadhead buried up behind his shoulder.

• • •

I am often asked, why do you hunt hogs in the heat of the summer? There are many reasons… For one, you are doing the landowner a tremendous favor by removing a destructive creature from his or her property. You are also taking away competition for food for the deer and other wildlife, and you are taking out a major turkey nest predator. Not to mention, bowhunting hogs provides great practice with your bow getting ready for deer season, because you are dealing with the absolute hands-down best nose in the woods.

Also, you are not just standing in the yard shooting at a target, where you don’t have to worry about balance or shot angles when shooting a stagnant target that is always broadside, can’t see, can’t hear or smell you, or react by ducking or moving at the shot. And in a real hunting situation like summertime hog hunting, the animal dictates when to take your shot, whereas with targets you shoot at your convenience… Huge difference!

The author builds his own hog feeders out of 55-gallon drums.

I build my own feeders out of a 55-gallon steel drum and have included a photo to show you an example of one of mine. This particular feeder has been in the same spot for several years. You cannot put out any barrel made of plastic because the squirrels can and will chew holes in it. Strap your barrel to a tree and put it high enough so that you can stand in the back of an ATV to fill it. Don’t put your feeder on legs, because the hogs can and will knock it down! Always build an extruder basket around your spinner to keep squirrels and raccoons out. Use 2×4 blocks as spacers between the drum and the tree. This will give you room for an overhang for a lid to shed water. You can also use a square piece of 3/4-inch Advantech flooring as a lid—it’s heavy and won’t go anywhere. The lid for a drum is recessed and will hold an inch or more of water on the lid when it rains, and this is a no-no.

I set my hog feeders to go off once a day about an hour before dark. I set the timer for a 10-second feed, so with a full 55-gallon drum of corn it will last more than 90 days. By using a timed feeder, it gets very competitive among the hogs, and they soon learn if they don’t get there first they don’t get any. If you want, you can add peanut butter powder or grape or strawberry Jell-O powder to your corn as an added attractant.

The specs on my bowhunting setup for you archery gurus are: PSE Carbon Air with the Evolve Cam System set on 50 pounds at 30-inch draw length; Goldtip 400 arrows with Blazer vanes and a 165-grain all steel Bipolar up front and an Ignitor lighted nock; total arrow weight 462 grains. My bow speed is around 270 fps on a three-shot average.

One extra tip—I like to give my broadheads a light coating of oil with an artist brush to aid in penetration, prevent oxidation and prevent moisture during long sits in the quiver.

• • •

When the arrow struck the huge boar, he let out a loud grunt and squeal as he bolted away. The flashing nock was tracing his every step in the total darkness when all of a sudden I saw my lighted nock flipping in the air like a majorettes baton that had fire on each end. This was followed by a large and loud crash and then total silence until I heard him heave his last breath. I sat down in my climber going over in my mind the events that had just taken place, and I could see my nock flashing in the total darkness as it seemed to match the lightning bugs all around me. I gathered my gear and lowered my bow and climbed down. I took my time and assembled my climbing stand just to give the hog a little more time before taking up the track.

I went straight to the flashing nock and discovered the boar had snapped my arrow shaft off right below the cresting when he apparently had run full speed into a pine tree. The shot placement had been good, the broadhead entered right behind the shoulder center mass and had lodged at the bottom of the opposite shoulder. There was sign everywhere in a sprayed pattern. After a short track I could actually smell him much like a rutted-up buck, and after a few more yards my flashlight revealed the rewards of my efforts.

I knew he was big—but didn’t know he was that big! There are not many wild hogs that will make the 300-lb. club, but this tank was definitely a candidate to make it. Of all the hogs I have been fortunate enough to take over the years, he is definitely in my top-3.

So, if you want to get in some excellent off-season practice with your bow, I highly recommend hunting hogs. One other bonus is that the sows, shoats and guilts are excellent table fare. There are several ways to prepare hogs for fine table fare. Any hog (or boars less than 100 pounds) can be ground into burger with beef fat added and be used for homemade soup, chili, tacos or made into sausage. You can bake or smoke the shoulders and or the hams on 250 degrees for several hours in a covered pan with a cup of broth or water and then pull or chip up with your favorite sauce for fine BBQ. Or you can cook on 250 in a roasting pan with onions, potatoes and carrots much like a pot roast.

Follow some of my personal adventures on my Facebook page Bipolar broadheads, or my son’s page Genesis Archer. In closing, when someone asks if I hunt hogs in the summer, I say yes it’s the most “Boaring” thing I do!

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