Quick Tips: How to Spot and Stalk a Hog

Quick Tips: How to Spot and Stalk a Hog

Keep the breeze in your face if you desire any chance of successfully stalking wild hogs.

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set.

I did not realize how far I’d wandered from the truck. All of God’s animals were creeping around that cool May morning, and I couldn’t help but investigate what was around the next bend. The bend I was looking for finally came as I spotted a black dot lumbering across the horizon. I sprinted toward the trail where he’d crossed, fairly certain the hog had kept on trotting. I stopped within 50 yards and glassed the boar rooting in a ditch. A carefully placed shot with my .30-30 Winchester 94 put him down. He weighed 175 pounds with 3-inch cutters. He ate mighty fine, too, but I’d covered nearly 4 miles by the time I returned to my Dodge.

Not all of my hog hunts have been as rigorous, but one truth binds them — keep the breeze in your face if you desire any chance of successfully stalking wild hogs. A whitetail is downright forgiving when it comes to reading the wind in comparison to hogs. The where-to, how-to and when-to is completely meaningless if you fudge this simple precept. You can, and I have, slipped barefoot within 20 yards of feeding hogs, so long as the wind is correct.

So, let’s get to that. Say you’ve spotted a sounder of hogs meandering along the edge of a field. Perhaps a trophy boar rooting up an oak hammock. While their noses are powerful, their eyesight and hearing leave a lot to be desired. This does not mean they’re flying blind, though. Chart a course to get within a reasonable shot of whatever your firearm or archery gear is capable. Identify a line of trees and/or vegetation behind which to advance.

Move decidedly. Hogs are highly mobile and do not hang out long. On the other hand, if you catch one eyeballs deep in a rooting, tossing dirt over its head, take your time. You could just about trip and fall in plain view and it won’t notice.


To find them, focus on where and what they’re eating. This depends on the time of year. During autumn, hogs will concentrate on mast foods such as acorns, the same as other game animals. Snooping along agriculture operations from cut corn and soybean fields to cow pastures provides excellent action. With winter, hogs ramp up their rooting activity, feeding on various roots, grubs and other subterranean treats. Search for fresh rooting in the ground, evidence where the pigs have been feeding.


As spring arrives, hogs will shift their attention to new-growth grasses and vegetation. Creek bottoms and marshes with emergent vegetation are prime locations. Summer can be difficult on hog hunters since they will move during the cooler temperatures of the evening. Still, they are found out and about at first daylight and last light. Hogs also love the period after a summer storm rolls through, resulting in a temporary break in the heat.


As for gear, wear comfortable waterproof footwear and dress for the season. Don’t forget your binoculars at home, either. A quality set of optics is essential for stalking hogs. They tend to squirt around a bit in tall grasses and surrounding bushes when feeding. It’s easy to lose sight of them when creeping close.

Binoculars are invaluable for planning your stalk too. When talking guns or bows, your standard deer caliber works just fine. I’d suggest a bit heavier bullet or broadhead for thick-skinned boars. For me, stalking hogs is near-synonymous with toting a lever action such as the Marlin Guide Gun or the aforementioned Winchester 94. Handguns are about perfect for this kind of work. Above all, though, keep that wind favorable.

Recommended for You

We're told to pay attention to the lunar phases. What do bass pros think? Bass

MLF Pros: What's With the Moon?

G&F Online Staff

We're told to pay attention to the lunar phases. What do bass pros think?

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide. Gear

Get Ready for Summer with Cordova Coolers

May 23, 2019

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance's Lucas Steward shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead what all of the fuss is about in the brand new Ghost trolling motor being brought to market by the Tulsa, Okla.-based fishing equipment manufacturer.

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths. Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton - September 16, 2015

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

 Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the day; Catfish

Catfish Night & Day: How to Catch 'Em Both Ways

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the...

See More Stories

More Hogs

It's highly unlikely Martin Varner was the first person to hunt wild or feral hogs in Texas. After Hogs

Swine Story: A History of Feral Hogs in the U.S.

Brian McCombie - April 23, 2013

It's highly unlikely Martin Varner was the first person to hunt wild or feral hogs in Texas....

One early morning on the way to a turkey hunt, I saw a group of young wild hogs running across our Hogs

Tips for Cooking the Perfect Hog

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 06, 2015

One early morning on the way to a turkey hunt, I saw a group of young wild hogs running across...

Hog hunting is rapidly growing throughout the U.S., and for good reason. Hogs

5 Best Hog Hunting States in 2015

Game & Fish Online Staff - May 19, 2015

Hog hunting is rapidly growing throughout the U.S., and for good reason.

See More Hogs

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×