EDITOR'S NOTE: Sam Klement of Dothan, Alabama, has hunted hogs for over 20 years. He primarily hunts in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, states that have no closed season on hogs and no limit on how many you can take. Feral hogs are a nuisance to farmers and landowners when the hogs destroy crops, roads and timberlands. Klement has been a part of Hunter's Specialties' pro staff for the last six years and has created the Turkey Topper and the gun rest.
When you go hog hunting, you have to make a decision to either take a meat hog or a boar hog. However, if you hunt in a place that will let you take more than one hog in a day, you can often take one of each. Remember the bigger the hog, the worse the meat, and conversely, the smaller the hog, the better-tasting the meat.
If you’re hunting a trophy hog, you will be looking for a hog that weighs 250 pounds or more. The biggest hog I have ever taken weighed 350 pounds, but I have been with friends who have taken 500 to 700-pound hogs. The thing to remember about a big boar hog is that he hasn’t gotten big by being stupid. A big tusher is much like a buck that’s 4-years old and scores 175 Boone & Crockett points. He’s very elusive and hard to hunt.
You’ll usually only see one or two big boar hogs moving with a herd of sows and young pigs. The boar hogs generally will stay behind the herd, and they will be cautious when they come in to feed. The boar hogs are also extremely dangerous to hunt. If they charge, they can and will cut you with their razor-sharp teeth.
If you’re going to take a big boar hog with a bow, you have to aim that quartering-away shot well back on the hog. The arrow will hit almost in front of his hindquarters and travel the full length of the hog, coming out of his chest or staying in his heart and lung area. To the average bowhunter, a well-placed shot on a big boar hog will look like you have shot too far back. I aim at the fifth or sixth rib back from the front shoulder and try and drive my arrow through the hog to the opposite shoulder. I’ve seen boar hogs before that had gristled platelets that were 3- to 4-inches thick. You’re generally not going to drive an arrow through that thick gristle.
Once again, when you’re hunting a trophy hog, make sure you’ve got your True Talker Grunt Call with you. The True Talker will stop a big hog if he’s running, it will calm him down if he comes in nervous, and many times you can blow the True Talker and bring him in, if he’s out of bow range.
If I had one more tip to give you for successful hog hunting, it would be to always stay clean and scent-free. I believe a hog's nose is much more sensitive than a deer's nose, and a hog can smell you much farther away than a deer can. For this reason, I wash my clothes in scent-free soap, I store my hog hunting clothes in a scent-safe bag, and I use Hunter's Specialties' Scent-Away soaps and odor killers. I really like the Earth Scent Spray to constantly spray down with when I’m hunting. Remember that the hogs love to root, so smelling fresh-earth scent is a natural smell to them.
Another critical tool that I use when hunting hogs is a wind indicator. I can see where my scent is going while I’m hunting. If the wind changes while I’m stalking, I change the direction of my stalk. If the wind is changing while I’m in a tree stand, I’ll come out of that stand and hunt from another stand site.
Hogs are so sensitive to odor that I can never hunt hogs from the same stand or stalk them the same way on two consecutive days. I’ll wait two or three days before I’ll go back to a stand site that I’ve hunted before.
Just because deer season is over in your home state, don't assume you have to quit hunting. Check out the seasons and bag limits in many southern states. You will find that regardless of the season or time of year in many states you can have endless hog hunting. That’s why I really enjoy hunting and taking hogs in the South.