COAXING HOGS OUT FOR A MORNING SHOT
BY CODY WEISER
It is a well-known fact that boar hunting delivers success at a much higher rate in the evening than it does in the morning time. Hogs naturally seem to move more freely in the hours just before dusk and have already retired to their hiding spots well before shooting light shows itself at dawn. Let’s face it…a morning shot would be much easier for many reasons. Tracking and cleaning during the day is probably the biggest benefit. I also don’t know too many folks who actually enjoy crawling through thick brush on their hands and knees in the dark searching for a wounded boar! There are a couple of tricks that have helped awaken the hogs from their daylight slumber and bring them into range for a before-lunch shot.
Probably the most successful way that I’ve seen at getting wild hogs to show themselves in mid-morning is to set a feeder to go off once a day in the morning. If set to feed a minimum to medium amount of corn, the hogs learn quickly to show up when they hear the feeder go off due to the corn not lasting throughout the day with birds, deer, and varmints feeding on it as well. After a short time the sounder will start arriving minutes before the feeder goes off and fight each other for the best position in line to get the corn once it is cast from the feeder.
Hogs are extremely intelligent and can be trained to a sound very quickly. A roll barrel or pig pipe makes a distinct sound when it is being rolled round-and-round by boars releasing the tasty corn it holds inside. This sound can be amplified if you attach a cow bell to the end of the roll barrel. The hogs will soon be trained to the sound and associate the noise with food and eating. We had a similar roll barrel set up on a tank dam a few years back. We could walk up to it any time of the day and give it a few rolls (causing it to make noise) and within three minutes have hogs shooting out of the brush line heading straight for the barrel. After a month or so of being trained to this noise, you will be able to utilize the roll barrel as both a feeder and a hog call. For this to work well, it is important to set up the roll barrel near bedding areas.
Another mid-morning shot opportunity is based on need and deals directly with temperature. For those of you who don’t mind getting out in the scorching summer heat, you have a great opportunity to see hogs all day long if you can gain an ambush position on a cool water hole. This is one of those situations where the hotter the temperature outside the better the hunting will be. I have a box blind set up near a tank that borders a thicket full of wild boar bedding areas. When the temperature passes 100 degrees, I put on the camo cut-off BDU’s and the sleeveless camo shirt and head to the woods. Be prepared to SWEAT…it’s gonna get hot, but it’s the same way for the hogs. Since they cannot sweat, they have to come to the water to cool their bodies. Some people believe that a hog sleeps throughout the day especially when it is extremely hot, but this is simply not true. A wild boar cannot make it that long without water. Shade is not enough. They must bathe and roll in the water to cool themselves and when the temperature breaks 100 degrees they will do it every couple of hours. If you can get to your blind and the wind remains in your favor, you can literally watch hogs travel back and forth to the water hole all day long.
Use a boar’s intelligence against him. When it comes down to it, he is driven by food and water and he knows exactly what it takes to get them. Use that knowledge to draw him out into the open and get him safely in your ice chest all before it’s time for you to have lunch!
Article first published in Wild Boar USA magazine March/April 2007 issue.