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Old August 20, 2018, 09:43 AM   #1
TrueBlue711
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New to hog hunting

So I recently moved to New Mexico and I know there is good hog hunting between this state and Texas. I never hunted hog before, but want to get into it. From the limited research I've done, it sounds like the best time is at night using a night vision optic. Is it any good during the day too? Or should I just start saving up for said optic? What are good entry level night vision optics? Any other tips-&-tricks would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old August 20, 2018, 07:21 PM   #2
rodwhaincamo
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In general hogs can be had from dusk til dawn, but they aren’t specifically nocturnal (often do though when there’s hunting pressure on them).

Don’t know what you know about them but you’ll need to check out their vital organs locations. A bit different than a deer.
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Old August 20, 2018, 07:54 PM   #3
Art Eatman
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For local area information, I'd ask at seed'n'feed stores and gun shops.
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Old August 20, 2018, 08:36 PM   #4
Doyle
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When talking about night vision, the words "entry level" imply starting at a much higher price point than with ordinary optics. Before investing in any night stuff, be sure to check your local laws.
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Old August 21, 2018, 05:58 AM   #5
Jack O'Conner
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Florida is practically over run with wild hogs. Spanish explorers introduced them more than 200 years ago and they're thriving. I have never shot a wild hog in the morning hours. Typically, my shots are taken between 5PM and dusk. I hunt with a Mossberg 464 in 30-30 fitted with a Simmons scope featuring 2-7X settings. This outfit is TOPS for me!

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Old August 21, 2018, 06:29 AM   #6
Doyle
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Jack, I could show you a nice morning hog spot on Duette.
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Old August 21, 2018, 07:35 AM   #7
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I have had very good luck with Sight Mark night scopes. I currently have two of them set up on different rifles. They are very simple to use, work on two AA batteries and hold their zero very well. You can find them under the 600.00 mark.
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Old August 21, 2018, 08:47 AM   #8
TrueBlue711
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I just checked both New Mexico and Texas and legal shooting hours for both states are the standard 1/2 hr before sunrise and 1/2 hr after sunset. I just see so many videos and discussions on hog hunting at night, it gave me the impression that's the only good time to go. I'm assuming a lot of these night hunts take place on paid trips on private land...
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Old August 21, 2018, 09:00 AM   #9
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I'm assuming a lot of these night hunts take place on paid trips on private land...
That is typically the case. There are some places that allow non-game animal hunting on public land at night but I'm thinking that is more of the exception than the rule.

As to only finding hogs at night, every hog I've killed has been in the daylight. However, that being said hogs do tend to be more active at night in some situations. Down here in the south, hot weather is one condition which will turn hogs nocturnal. They simply sleep during the heat of the day and feed at night.
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Old August 21, 2018, 10:06 AM   #10
rodwhaincamo
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Texas has no rules on hog hunting other than having a license. You can shoot them any time of day/night, use any choice of weapon (even a spear?), use bait, use lights, and with no bag limit. They aren’t considered a game animal.
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Old August 21, 2018, 10:51 AM   #11
Doyle
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Texas has no rules on hog hunting other than having a license.
But, are there "general" public land hunting use rules which preclude hunting at night?
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Old August 21, 2018, 12:06 PM   #12
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You won't get on public land to hunt without first getting a permit from TPWD. With out the permit, it is a no go.

And, I am not aware of any public land that allows hunting after sundown.

There are other restrictions, rules and regulations that apply as well.

Look them up at the TPWD website.
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Old August 21, 2018, 06:16 PM   #13
rodwhaincamo
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But, are there "general" public land hunting use rules which preclude hunting at night?
That I can’t say for sure, though I doubt it, but there’s not much public land to hunt on. Most hunting in Texas is done on private land.
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Old August 22, 2018, 06:10 AM   #14
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Raccoons are the only critters in New Mexico for night hunting and it is limited. If there is a feral hog population in New Mexico it is small and localized, I've been looking.
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Old August 24, 2018, 10:33 AM   #15
TrueBlue711
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Thanks for the info so far. I'm assuming the camo pattern isn't really a big issue (i.e. any of my hunting outfits that match the area will suffice)?
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Old August 24, 2018, 12:37 PM   #16
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Blue, hogs have very poor eyesight (very near sighted). They can distinguish movement pretty well but you could wear pretty much anything and get away with it if you stay still. It is their noses you have to worry about. I remember one time 2 of us were walking into a hunt area just as it was getting daylight. We spotted a big boar about 250 yds out in the pasture to our right. While we were squatting down debating whether or not to make noise and shoot him then or stay quiet and hope for deer, a very slight breeze changed direction and put us upwind of him. Within seconds, he lifted his nose up towards us and trotted back into the woods. That very slight breeze took our scent 250 yds and it was enough to spook him away.
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Old August 25, 2018, 09:39 AM   #17
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Florida is practically over run with wild hogs. Spanish explorers introduced them more than 200 years ago and they're thriving.
It was more than 200 years ago. DeSoto introduced them in Florida 479 years ago in 1539.

Quote:
Texas has no rules on hog hunting other than having a license.
Not exactly true. There are numerous laws. For example, you don't need a license to hunt depredating hogs on your own property so long as you are not harvesting any part of the animal, just killing it. Landowner can do this as well as the agent for the landowner. Countless basic hunting laws apply to hunting hogs. You can't shoot hogs across property lines without written permission. You can't shoot them from a roadway or road hunt them. As noted, after hours public land hunting not legal (in most or all areas?).

Quote:
If there is a feral hog population in New Mexico it is small and localized, I've been looking.
I don't know about being localized. They are documented in approximately half of the state as of 2016. https://www.currentargus.com/story/n...eas/906526001/

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Blue, hogs have very poor eyesight (very near sighted).
This is something of a myth. Hogs have eyesight that isn't too far off from humans in the zone where their vision overlaps (~50 degrees of frontal field of view). Beyond that, they have reasonably good peripheral vision like other similar animals, which accounts for more of their vision, but is undoubtedly better than a human's peripheral vision. They are red-green colorblind like many other animals, but see farther into the UV spectrum than do humans. They also see at night better than humans.

If you are familiar with hog calling, Glenn Guess is a big name in that area. Glenn really turned me on to the notion that hogs see well. He raises hogs and experiments with them, harvest sounds from them, etc.

I have watched hogs run 20-30 mph through the woods at NIGHT after being shot at and NOT run into trees. Try that with a human. The hogs are not smelling the trees to avoid them. There is no indication that they use echolocation either.

I am convinced people believe this popular myth because of hog behavior. They feel that if they can approach hogs, that hogs must be blind, otherwise they would run away, right?. However, physical blindness is not the issue.

Part of the issue is their low FOV, low eyes and head position relative to higher grass.

Part of the issue is behavioral, hogs having little to fear in terms of predators anymore...other than humans and they have to learn that.

Another part of the issue is what is called inattentional blindness. Just because something is in the field of view of the animal does not mean it will be noticed so long as the animal's attention is on something specific. It has been studied in humans and there has been some related testing in animals.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scien...ness-17339778/ The point here is that if you have a hog focused on seeing kernels of corn on the ground, rooting tubers, etc., it is more apt to miss you walking up on it than if it is just walking through a field.

It is important to keep in mind that their peripheral vision is not nearly as good as their binocular vision, but that their binocular vision is very good. If you can approach a hog from the back side, its ability to see you will be greatly diminished. Approaching the hog laterally is less ideal, but that this the location from which most hunters like to shoot. Probably the least idea direction to approach from is the front.

Quote:
They can distinguish movement pretty well but you could wear pretty much anything and get away with it if you stay still.
I could say that about deer and bobcats, both of which I have had walk within feet of me. Here again, I think people confuse capability with behavior. Just because the animal does not react to you does not necessarily mean that it does not see you or know you are there. It means that it does not perceive you as a threat. In the animal world, most stationary things are not a threat.

Quote:
It is their noses you have to worry about.
They do have an excellent sense of smell. When you read the claims online, they can sense a person from 7 miles away and can smell a truffle 25 feet underground. I have never seen one shred of evidence that these claims have ever been tested, but they are made none the less. This iconic sense of smell seems to be what leads people to try all sorts of magic potions to draw in hogs (soured corn, kool-aid, jello, fermented beer corn, etc. etc. etc.). Claimed success from these concoctions seem to be more interpretive than reality.

Being "winded" is the most common claim for getting busted by hogs (and probably for deer) and it has some merit. However, without being able to interview the hog, it is hard to know what caused the hog to leave the area. There are many things in a hog's environment that may spook it other than humans. Numerous times I have hunted with folks, gotten busted, only to have them exclaim that "we must have been winded." Maybe we were, or maybe it was because my partner kept banging his shooting sticks against his rifle when he made his approach, kept talking too loudly, or we moved too fast, etc. Hunters often don't like to admit that their field craft is less than ideal. Better to blame something they can't control and can't comprehend as well as the prey.

I have been down wind (and up hill on a ridge top, looking down) of hogs numerous times at night (which is when I hunt) and seen them spook and knew it was not because they winded me and not because anybody else was with 800 yards of the hogs. Sometimes hogs will simply spook for reasons we cannot know and that is just the reality of hunting. Happens with deer as well.

I have been upwind of hogs and gotten to within 75-100 yards of them and had them not react to me. Does that mean that they don't have a very good sense of smell? Maybe I use that special clothing, spray, bathwash, laundry soap, ozone machine, and run my breath through a rebreather so no air from my lungs makes it to the atmosphere? Nope and Nope. It just means that they didn't act on the stimulus.

Hogs also have very good hearing, but often will not react to audible clues to their near-immediate demise. Other times, they will bolt when the safety is snicked off on the rifle (which I assume is a learned sound).

Whether or not hogs react negatively to visual, olfactory, or audible stimuli will often depend on their comfort levels with the area where they are and this can be very situational. I find it MUCH easy to stalk up on a sounder in an open field at night with a couple dozen noses, pairs of eyes, and pairs of ears than I find it is to stalk up on a lone boar usually. A sounder of 24 has much better capabilities than a single individual, but they apparently feel safe in their group and they are not as security conscious. They have a lot of sound going on around them as it is and so noise is less of a factor than it would be with a lone boar. It isn't because boars are better sentinels or have better senses. Boars in sounders are just as easy to approach as the rest of the sounder.

Do play the wind when you hunt. Noise discipline is also important. Camo isn't necessary, but the less you stand out visually, the better. That isn't to say that you can't approach hogs downwind of you, making noise, wearing a bright shirt and moving too quickly. I have walked into a clearing where there were hogs at a feeder and was carrying an idling weedeater and made it 25 yards or so before they took off. You can do it, but your chances are not nearly as good as when you control for those factors.
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Old August 25, 2018, 01:30 PM   #18
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But, are there "general" public land hunting use rules which preclude hunting at night?
I can't say for sure about Texas, but in most places those rules only apply to "game animals". Non game animals don't have the same rules or laws. Basically none in most places. But I'd check 1st.
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Old August 25, 2018, 05:10 PM   #19
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I can't say for sure about Texas, but in most places those rules only apply to "game animals". Non game animals don't have the same rules or laws. Basically none in most places. But I'd check 1st.
NONE? Check again. There are still plenty of rules/laws that will apply. Even in your state, Georgia, there are plenty of laws that apply to hunting hogs. https://georgiawildlife.com/non-nati...e-species-info

In Texas, we have a bunch - noted already
In New Mexico, there are a bunch - noted already
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Old August 26, 2018, 12:32 PM   #20
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Other times, they will bolt when the safety is snicked off on the rifle (which I assume is a learned sound).
About 17 years ago i ambushed a big boar that was drinking from a small pool around the same time every day. Got camouflaged and waited until the hog started drinking. Slipped the safety off my muzzleloader with a loud CLICK. In about 10 feet the hog was in warp drive going straight away. Launched a 370 grain .50 conical bullet that made a perfect Texas heart shot. That was my first big boar, about 275-300 pounds.

Maybe its an unnatural sound. It's happened to me several times since.
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