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BRIAN JOHNSON ON OUTDOORS — Wild hogs: good hunting, but dangerous

Tropical storm Imelda brought with it huge amounts of rain and widespread flooding. Much of this flooding took place not only in our local communities but also in the places that we like to hunt deer and hogs.

Make no mistake about it, this type of flooding affects the local game movement. Wild animals are survivors and most will move to higher ground. However, when there is no higher ground to be found, many animals will simply not make it. Most animals that travel long distances to escape danger will typically return to their home ranges after the water goes down. With hogs, which are always on the move, they may return quickly or they may be gone for a while. Be certain of this….  they will eventually be back or new herds will take their place.

Hogs are prolific and can be found all across our state. Even extreme flooding won’t keep them out for long. If you want to hunt some of these post flood hogs, here are a few tips:

  1. Keep feed available. I personally noticed that all of the flooding may have depleted some of the hogs’ favorite food choices. Acorns rotted and washed away and some of the grasses died due to flooding. Hogs love to eat and they seem to get hangry. What I mean by this is if they show up to your feeding spot and no feed is available, they may or may not visit the next day. Keep the food available and you will keep hogs in the area.
  2. Pour it on the ground. If you are hunting local and you have the time to put corn or feed out with hand, you will have more success on hogs. Pigs are among the smartest animals alive and big boars don’t get big by being stupid. They are very wary and they know that feeders aren’t natural. They will still come in but it is likely that they will scent check the area first. If the big boar gets down wind, he will smell you and be gone in a flash. Corn spread on the ground, without a feeder in sight, seems more natural and will result in hogs being less cautious which will give you, the hunter, the upper hand. Feeders are ok but hand corn rules!
  3. Go nocturnal. If you have trail cameras, pay close attention to the time that hogs are showing up.
    As hogs get pressured, they go nocturnal. If you want to kill nocturnal hogs, you will have no choice but to go nocturnal as well. You can use anything from a red light on your bow or gun to a motion activated light in the field, or if you don’t mind spending the money, try a night vision or thermal imaging scope.

Regardless of which option you choose, if hogs are moving at night, that is when you have to hunt them and you can’t shoot what you can’t see. Find a light source to help you get the job done after the sun goes down. If you don’t hunt them, you want kill them. Hogs are not only fun to hunt, but they are great for the table as well.

Every time you shoot a hog, you do the state of Texas a favor. They are rapidly destroying our land and they compete with indigenous game. All of these make hogs a great animal to hunt, and should motivate you to bring home some bacon.

Brian Johnson, originally of Winnie, is pastor of First Baptist Church of Winnie, owner of DuckDogTrainer.com and outdoors writer for The News.