Before we get started, each state and country is going to have its own laws on hunting with dogs. Before going hunting, make sure you have a clear understanding of the laws before you do anything. This video was filmed in Texas during the summer of 2008. During that time it was legal (and still is when this article was posted) to hunt hogs with dogs in Texas. If you have any questions about hunting hogs in Texas, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife page on Feral Hogs.
Hogs are not natural to the USA. There is a type of swine that is natural to the USA, its called a Havalina – also known as a Peccary. Havalina are natural to the USA and range from Texas all the way through Central and parts of South America. One of the big differences between a Havalina and a hog, is that a Havalina can not be domesticated and are likely to harm people. And Havalina are much smaller then Pig – Hogs.
The first documented introduction of hogs into the USA was by Hernando De Soto in 1539 during one of his trips to Florida. Its guessed that some of those hogs might have escaped their pins and started breeding. This means that hogs have been spreading across the southern part of the USA for the past 470 years.
Besides Hernando De Soto, English settlers also brought hogs to North America. Its documented that in 1623, the Pilgrims on the Mayflower brought pigs, goats and chickens with them.
Anytime an alien species is released into countries or environments, they usually cause extensive environmental change. The hogs omnivorous diet, aggressive behavior, and their feeding method of rooting in the ground all combine to severely alter ecosystems that they have invaded.
The Invasive Species Specialist Group lists feral pigs on the list of the world’s 100 worst invasive species.
It is because of the hogs environmental damage, that most states have a year round, night or day open hunting season on feral pigs. This means that in most areas, hogs can be hunted by any legal means.
Be sure to check your local laws before hunting anything.
It can be easy to get hog tracks and deer tracks confused. Hog tracks are rounded on both ends. While deer tracks are pointed on one end.
Dogs are a favorite with hog hunters, mainly because feral pigs have such a wide range. While looking for food, wild hogs can roam for miles. So instead of hunting for hogs where there are none, hogs hunters use dogs. The dogs are transported in boxes for their own safety. Its either have them in a box, or they will jump out of the truck while your driving down the road. When that happens the dog will usually break its leg, back, neck or crack its skull. Sometimes the injuries are bad enough that the dog has to be put to sleep. so boxes are used to protect the dog. The box also helps protect the dogs in case the truck is in a wreck.
Dogs are natural predators. They are just below humans in the food chain. So using dogs to hunt hogs is natural to them. They are just doing what comes natural to them.
The dogs are trained to “bay” to hog, or “corner it up”. This is where the hog is chanced into a creek bottom or into corner where the hog assumes a defensive position. The hunter then uses a firearm, spear, bow and arrow or knife to kill the hog. Must people hunt hogs for its meat. So the animal is turned into sausage or something else.
Hunting hogs with dogs, can be an exciting challenge. You just better be ready to run for long distances. Sometimes the dogs will get out of the truck, lock onto a hog and run for a 1/4 mile or more. So that the dogs do not get lost, some hunters put a radio tracking collar on the dogs. There have been reports of dogs chasing hogs for 5, 6 or even 7 miles. This is when you get in the truck and drive the roads looking for the dogs or get on the 4-wheeler.
Hogs move mostly at night, early morning at at dusk. Between those three, I have seen the most hogs just as the sun starts to go down. Because hogs move at night, a lot of hog hunters go hunting at that time. Hunting hogs at night can be exciting, to say the least.