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Hog hunts are always dynamic. Depending on where you’re at, wild hogs are considered pests and are subject to very few regulations. Even so, the best time to hunt a hog is at night. These animals have poor eyesight, making them easy prey once light becomes scarce.
If you’ve never been hog hunting at night, you might want to check out our guide on how to do this the right way. We’ve included key facts and bits of info that will help you become a better hunter
Understand the Risks
First thing first, know that hogs are dangerous critters. An adult boar has massive tusks that can rip you open before you realize what’s happening. Wild pigs are especially dangerous once you get into thick brush. You won’t be able to see them, but they will be able to see you.
Even though they have poor eyesight and are generally scared of human presence, you definitely need to apply caution when hunting hogs, even at night.
Determine the Legal Boundaries
If you’re from Texas, you’re probably wondering what’s this legal boundary we’re speaking of? Even though Texas has very few rules regarding hog hunting due to the severity of the issue these animals present, other states are different in this regard. Make sure that you’re complying with any state or federal laws when you go hunting hogs.
Bait or Stalk?
Once you have all the legalities figured out, it’s time to iron out more relevant details. There are two ways you can hunt hogs at night. One involves baiting the animals by setting food at a specific location, while the other has you finding their natural source of food and water, and then laying an ambush.
Both of these methods work, although setting bait makes the whole process a lot easier. Also, by setting bait, you’re dictating the conditions of the hunt. You can set up a perfect location and give yourself all the advantages you could want.
If you’re setting bait, make sure that you choose a clear area with an unobstructed line of sight from your blind. A field works great as it gives you plenty of room to work with, and it makes it hard for hogs to seek shelter.
Get the Right Equipment
The equipment used to hunt hogs at night will generally define how many animals you can harvest in a night. An AR-pattern rifle paired with an AR-15 night vision scope will make you more effective. Then again, a bolt gun or a shotgun fitted with a flashlight is exponentially cheaper.
It all comes down to your needs, wants, and what you can afford. A gas gun will allow you to take instant follow-up shots. Especially if it’s paired with a thermal or night vision scope. But don’t think that this is the only way to go.
Many hunters are perfectly capable of taking down numerous hogs with well-placed shots from a bolt gun at night. All you need is a decent piece of glass, some moonlight to assist you, and conventional lights.
Use The Right Type of Light
Flashlights are a necessary part of a hunting kit if you’re hunting at night without the use of night vision devices. However, you can’t use just any light. In fact, using standard flashlights that dispense yellow or white light will only make your job harder.
White light tends to spook animals from a long way away. Instead, you’ll want to use colored light such as either red or green light. These two options have been proven to keep the game and other wildlife unaware of your presence and generally undisturbed.
If you’re setting a bait, the best way to use lights is to have a bait-mounted light source that will illuminate your target area. You’ll also want to use a gun-mounted flashlight with a green or red filter as well. When combined, these two create the right kind of conditions necessary for establishing a positive ID of your targets. Two light sources also make it much easier to hit those vitals, especially once the hogs start running.
ARs, Suppressors, and Other Gucci Toys
If your budget is generous, and you’re the kind of person who appreciates the convenience of modern firearm design, you might want to consider a more complex rig than a bolt gun fitted with a flashlight.
Night vision goggles aren’t cheap, but they are cheaper now than ever. Gen 3 devices are available at fairly decent prices. If you’re a diehard hog hunter, getting a set of NVGs could prove to be a great investment.
But wait, that’s just the beginning. NVGs only give you the ability to see at night. They won’t make you a good shot in low-light conditions. This is where an AR platform comes in. An AR15, or AR10 if you’re into heavier bullets, fitted with an IR illuminator such as the military AN/PEQ15 or any of its civilian counterparts (such as Steiner’s DBAL series of illuminators), makes you almost unstoppable in low light conditions.
Such a rig allows you to point shoot at targets with great precision, without giving away your presence. To round things off, slapping a suppressor at the muzzle of your AR will reduce your sonic signature, thus making you even more efficient.
How much could such a rig cost you? The sky is the limit, quite literally. If you know ARs and night vision devices, you know that there’s always the next level.
Night Hunting is Fun
Hunting hogs at night is fun, but only as long as you’re doing it responsibly. As you can tell, this type of hunting doesn’t have to be expensive, although it sure can be. Figure out what kind of equipment you’re willing to invest in, find a good piece of land to hunt on, and get your hands dirty.
The only way to become a better hunter, no matter the time of day or equipment you use, is to actually get out there and do it. We hope that you’ve found this guide helpful and encouraging enough to get you interested to look for more information on this subject.