Why hogs for kids?
Think back to your first hunt as a child. Mine was a squirrel hunt in the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania with my late father. Squirrels, rabbit, or doves, our first hunts will always live in our memories as the beginning of a lifelong love of the outdoors.
Those hunts made an important impact on our lives. Plentiful targets held our interest and hooked us into a lifetime hobby. Wild hogs are another great (but often overlooked) target for the young hunters in your life.
Young hunters love lots of action. High population numbers with a great chance of success is right up hog hunting’s alley. Hog populations have exploded in the south, and the Carolinas are full of targets. Trail cameras used correctly can show a young hunter the numbers of hogs in an area which makes it easy for these young hunters to wait on stand.
My son and grandson often ask to see the trail camera photos from a stand we are going to hunt. This action gets them excited for the hunt, and gives an approximate time when the targets will arrive. These facts are key for young hunters as they anticipate the arrival of the hogs I have coming into a stand.
Large population numbers also allow for mistakes that do not cost us as dearly as with other game animals. Often, hogs will smell us if the wind changes. And with young hunters, an occasional miss will occur.
The high population numbers of hogs in the Carolinas allows for a quick change to a different location where we can get onto more animals. Young hunters that make a mistake during a hunt for hogs can be convinced that more targets can be easily found. This allows them to be more comfortable than on quarry we great up hunting.
A mistake or miss on a turkey or whitetail can often lead to a disappointing season. But with hogs, it’s not long until you can get back on a group of hogs.
Many of us started hunting on small game. We later were thrown into big game hunting with not much practice. Hogs can range from 50-pound piglets to 300+ pounders. The large size of hogs allows young hunters to prepare for big game hunting, but with the luxury of high population numbers, long seasons, and liberal bag limits.
A missed opportunity on a large hog is not a disappointing situations, as more large hogs can be easily found and targeted. A smiling kid behind a large hog is a farily easy endeavor, and it prepares them for other large game. Waiting for the right shot angle prepares them for other game they will chase. Hogs can be great practice for many hunting lessons that took us years to experience.
I would much rather practice shot placement on a large hog or two than a big buck the first day that youth hunter is out for big game. Those hog hunts will pay off in later hunts.
The larger caliber used for hogs can also prepare that youth hunter for deer hunting. More targets in front of a young hunter in a shorter amount of time than we experienced can only lead to more success for our youth hunters.
The large size of hogs coupled with the availability of high numbers make hogs the perfect fit for training younger hunters and making them successful in the field.
Hunter numbers have been on the decline for years across the country, as youth have found other hobbies that interest them. In my opinion, the wild hog could hook a lot of youth on the sport of hunting, a sport we all love.
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