BRIAN JOHNSON ON OUTDOORS: Don’t run out of pork this summer; hunt hogs

Published 4:29 pm Monday, June 18, 2018

When the freezer starts to get low on sausage and pork roasts, it is time to go hunting.

Since wild hogs can be hunted year round in Texas, there is no excuse for running out of pork.  Even though the hot temperature can make it hard to get motivated, summer time hunting can be very rewarding.  Here are a few tips that will help to insure your success in even the most brutal temperatures:

1. Bring a cooler full of ice
If you happen to kill a hog in the hot weather, you need to clean him and ice him pretty quickly. This is important to make sure that the meat won’t spoil. I recommend having 40 pounds of ice on hand for the job. As soon as you clean the hog, quarter him up and cover him in ice.

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2. Hunt near a creek
Hogs must have water to cool off.  They often use creek banks as their piggy highways.  The closer you are to water, the more likely it is that you will be in an area with hogs. If you can find an active hog wallow, that would be even better.

3. Hunt over bait  
As the summertime continues, things begin to dry up and hogs have a harder time finding food.  Hogs love to eat.  If you can hunt a baited area or a corn feeder, it is likely that hogs will be stopping by. The key is to make sure to keep the bait active or keep the feeder running.  If a hog comes to the area and finds that there is nothing to eat, it won’t be long until he changes his routine.

4. Be prepared for the heat 
If you aren’t used to hunting hogs in the Texas heat, then this will likely be the most miserable hunt you have ever been on. I hate to be Debbie downer, but you are going to sweat profusely.  Be sure to wear lightweight scent wicking material and bring plenty of water or sports drinks to stay hydrated.  A few sports drinks are great, but water is the key.  You might even consider a portable fan that isn’t too loud.

5. Bring a Thermacell
This small device will keep the mosquitos at bay. If you don’t have mosquitoes, then no worries.  If you do, this device is a lifesaver as it creates a mosquito force field around you while you hunt.

6. Watch the wind 
No matter how much scent spray or scent precaution you use, if a trophy boar comes downwind from you in 90-plus degree heat, he is going to smell you.  You sweat and you stink!  Once he smells you, it is game over. He will run until he is far away.

7. Remember the rifle
Those who know me are aware that I am a bowhunter.  While I still love to use archery equipment in the summer, I often bring along the smoke pole.  When the temps rise, containing my scent makes it difficult to get archery close to big hogs.  Sometimes I simply get 100 or more yards down wind and rely on the crosshairs to help me bring home the bacon.

8.  Use a trail camera 
By setting a camera over your bait, you will know exactly when the pigs are coming.  Try to show up at least an hour before the time the pictures are being taken.  This is a great advantage and will help you have confidence while you are hunting.

I can guarantee that following these tips will help increase your hunting success. However, the first step is getting off the couch and out of the air conditioner.  Once you make a few summertime hunts, you might decide that the heat is not that bad after all.

Once you are eating pork roasts and wild hog sausage, you can thank me for the advice.  May God bless you and may your hunts be successful.

Brian Johnson, originally of Port Neches, is pastor of the Outdoorsman’s Church in Winnie, owner of and outdoors writer for The News.


About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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