You can’t take it anymore. The doldrums of winter are beginning to relinquish and pounding a foam target just isn’t doing it. Turkey seasons in your neck of the woods are still several weeks out, and you’re longing to put your new gear to the test. My advice: Book a hog hunt. Hog hunts are inexpensive, fun and give you the chance, if you pick the right outfitter, to sit ground blinds, treestands and try your hand at spot-and-stalk. The key is picking the right outfitter.
Sadly, many hog outfitters run hunters through their camp like cattle. Sure, these outfitters are typically priced right, but if you want a good hog experience and would actually like to have the chance to fire a few arrows at thick-skinned swine, be sure to ask these five questions before you go.
1. How many hunters do you run through your camp every week?
Good Answer: The number of hunters we run through our camp each week various based on hunter success. Over the years we’ve placed a lot of attention on finding the exact hunter-per-week ratio that doesn’t put too much pressure on the pigs, and allows those on the ranch excellent opportunity.
2. Do you rotate hunters around the ranch allowing certain stands and areas time without hunting pressure?
Good Answer: Absolutley. We never over hunt an area. Pigs, like any creature, respond negatively to pressure. We circulate hunters around the ranch to ensure areas are not getting pounded day after day.
3. What are your hunting methods? Can hunters sit ground blinds, treestands, and spot-and-stalk if they wish?
Good Answer: We want hunters to be successful. If the pigs are coming into ground blind and treestand setups, then we put hunters in those places. If spot-and-stalk is necessary, or if a hunter just wants to do it, we accommodate them.
4. What are your methods for keeping track of the hog population on your ranch?
Good Answer: We fly the ranch once a year. In additon, we keep an accurate harvest log. We also talk to our hunters about the number of hogs they are seeing as well.
5. Do you have any references who have hunted with you recently who I can contact?
Good Answer: Yes. Let me give you a few names and numbers you can call.
Sure, there are more questions to ask, but I’ve found these five will quickly let you know what type of operation you’re throwing your hard-earned greenbacks toward. So don’t wait. Start doing your research and book a spring/summer hog hunt.
Tip: The Lone Star State is rich with wild oinkers. Recently, I went on a swine hunt to the Dos Plumas Ranch located in Trent, Texas. Over a 48-hour period, my three buddies and I knocked down four pigs and had a heck of a time.