Bait, stalk, rotate to kill more wild hogs
The population of wild hogs in the Carolinas is both good and bad. Those of us who hunt them see the good. The landowners overrun by hogs see the bad. Luckily for both parties, it’s possible to hunt these animals 365 days a year in the Carolinas.
But staying on hogs day after day, 365 days a year takes planning. Finding hogs in the Carolinas is relatively easy. Staying on them as they change food sources can be challenging. And when those hogs get pressured by other hunters, it can seem almost impossible to constantly have success.
I’ve hunted wild hogs a long time, and have learned a few things that help me kill them year-round. I’ve been successful in staying on them all year for the past three years in South Carolina. I’ve taken hogs every week of every month of the year. I’ve found three keys to hunting them successfully all year throughout numerous properties.
The three keys are baiting, stalking, and rotation.
Baiting seems easy enough — pour bait out in an area, put up a camera, and wait. Unfortunately, it’s just not that easy. Harvesting hogs off of a lone bait station or several feeders in scattered locations will educate your hogs. They’ll soon avoid that feeder in the middle of a food plot.
I use a feeding method that will keep you on hogs during most of the year. It allows hunters to put a dent in hog numbers on their feeders. It’s called “stacking baits,” and the following video describes it well:
Basically, I stack two feeder techniques on a single stand. I use a large capacity feeder, usually in an opening, in conjunction with a hanging feeder or sour corn hole set that is placed in a thicker area within view of the same stand.
This setup offers two options to the hogs that come to the area. And hunters will see these hogs rotating between the two feeding options, even if only a small distance separates the two. This is especially true after a hog is harvested.
I also set up another feeding option within 100 yards that faces another direction for different winds. This “stacking of baits” keeps the hogs rotating between each as you take hogs off a particular feeder.
Hogs will spend more time on your areas, especially if you incorporate at least one sour corn hole set of up to three separate feeding holes. These two-foot deep holes dug with a post hole digger make the hogs work for the dinner. So the hogs stay in your area longer as they dig up their meal.
Concentrating your feeders in one area keeps the hogs active for longer periods of time, allowing for more harvests.
Every hog hunter should add some properties where stalking hogs is possible. Stalking breaks up the monotony of sitting in stands for long periods of time. Properties like cattle farms and other agricultural areas are great stalking opportunities. Large cattle farms with a good rotation of grazing fields are the best.
Hogs in these areas will seek out the greenest fields and hit them before the landowner rotates the cattle in. During the winter months, hogs will feed in the areas where farmers dump round bales for their cattle. They often compete with livestock for available food.
Agricultural fields are a no brainer for hog hunters looking to stalk in on some feeding hogs.
In these areas, good scanners come in handy. Take up a position that allows you a clear and long views. Wait on the hogs to arrive on some of the largest bait piles in the area. Hogs will come from miles around to these areas time after time. Keep wind direction in mind when stalking. If you can land a property or two that offers stalking options, this will soon become your favorite way to hunt hogs.
The more properties you have access to, the better. And once you begin to piece together multiple properties, you need to rotate your hunts to alleviate pressure on your groups of hogs. I bait three properties with the stacking method (minimum two feeders per property) and rotate on these feeders as my trail cameras dictate. Keep in mind some properties cannot be baited during certain times, such as turkey season.
I also rotate my stalking properties. Here, I rely on landowner’s information to tell me when to hit an area. The landowner usually is the first to see fresh rooting or other damage, and will keep you informed of recent activity.
Landowners will also keep you informed of planting and harvesting times. This information is critical for staying on top of areas that will be hit by your groups of hogs.
Try these three tips to keep you on swine for the entire length of the year. We have liberal regulations on hunting hogs, and I think more hunters should take advantage of that.
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