Hunting has one general rule, abide by the law, act curteous and polite to others so as to give hunting a good rep, and remember that the only predictable thing about hunting any quarry is that, well there is no predictability to hunting any quarry.....and on that note....this is my first post and i thought that it might be a good conversation starter..... sooooo.....well i've found a way to "keep sharp" for deer and have some fun while doing it, plus put some tasty meat back as well. I'm not the type that likes to admit his faults but lets face it, sometimes those hunts that we plan for all year don't go quite the way we planned and we end up going out to buy the meat that we just knew we were bound to put in the freezer during those fall and winter months. Well this happens for lots of reasons, everything from lack of time to hunt, all the way to not being properly prepared or practiced.
Growing up outdoors in eastern kansas and western missouri I've always felt that I knew everything under the sun to "sling lead" at or "shoot a stick" at.......and then I was thrown a curve ball. My local stomping grounds suddenly developed a popultation of wild pigs. Now how these hogs have came to be here has caused some arguement, but thats another story for another thread, what is important is what they've done to the habitat. Anyone with a pig population can testify to this and anyone that doesn't....well just think back to anytime that you've ever gotten stuck and remember how the mud and ruts looked....now add all of those times together and your starting to paint a picture of what a small herd of hogs can do in a few hours expanse. The population started out small but destructive and has only grown since. With the average sow being able to produce 1 sometimes 2 litters a year ranging anywhere from 6-12 piglets there doesn't seem to be an end to the number of pigs out there. This is a major issue in the area that hasn't been fully recognized due to the pigs secluded and nocturnal nature....by farmers and most local hunters yes, but by everyone else....no.
I could go on and on about the destruction and mayhem caused by these pigs for hours but anyone that hasn't already lost interest in this thread soon would, what I'm getting at by all of this is that these pigs are the perfect tool for honing my hunting skills, having a little off season fun, and since they are an invasive, non-native speicies, they are not recognized by the M.D.C. as a game animal and can be hunted in any numbers, at anytime of year. The only stipulation to this is that you must abide by the methods of taking an animal for whatever season is currently active and have a valid filled or unfilled tag for that animal. Since I spend as much time afield as possible this is no problem for me, and since these pigs are destroying the habitat that my favorite pastime takes place in I feel a personal obligation to put as much of this free bacon in my freezer as I can.
Hunting these free range animals can be challenging like most other hunts. While they don't have very good eyesight they have a keen since of smell and a hearing capability to envy almost any one if not all of us. So in order to take a pig I try to take away the advantages that they have over me. First I try to be as stealthy as I can by moving as slowly and as quitely as I can, I use the surrounding cover to conceal myself, and last but not least, I try to eliminate as much of my scent as possible and play the wind to get in close without being detected. Same basic principals as spot and stalk deer hunting right? There is just one major twist.......you don't normally have to worry about a deer charging!!!!!!!!
Well I'm going to claim that hunting them has (hopefully) helped me practice for the upcoming challenges that lay ahead this fall/winter.
Okay finally...I'll wrap this all up with a question. Does anyone have advice on how I could hunt these pigs more productively. Like I said I'm just a small town missouri boy that was never exposed to pig hunting until they barged in, and the only methods I have to apply to hunting them are the ones I've picked up in the whitetail woods. Any suggestions or tips?