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Pig Hunting Tips: How to Call in Wild Hogs

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March 29, 2012
Pig Hunting Tips: How to Call in Wild Hogs - 3

From 600 yards away, I could see the spotted feral pigs moving purposefully and predictably toward a creek bottom choked with thick kochia. For most animals, this 5-acre flat of clothes-grabbing brier is a dead zone too thick to negotiate, and the invasive rangeland weed provides scant nutritive value. For the countless feral pigs on this northwest Texas ranch, the kochia flat is home, sweet home.

Inside the weed patch is a labyrinth of tunnels and nests that the pigs use for bedding and brooding young. Once they’re in, there’s not much chance of getting them out—unless you think like they do.

Wild pigs are notoriously territorial and aggressive when threatened. Their tendency for fight over flight when directly threatened is legendary. You can use that trait against them and put more hogs on the ground by calling to them rather than chasing them.

Predator Tactics
A neglected truth in hog country is that you can call feral swine just as you might call coyotes or bobcats. And in most cases, pigs respond more predictably.

The best tactic for calling pigs is to scout an area from a distance and confirm that they are close. Rank cover is of no consequence, as they can be lured out. As a rule, if pigs are on the move, it’s hard to call them off their purpose. However, if they are actively feeding or bedded, they are suckers looking for a fight—and extremely vulnerable to calling.
From a downwind position, call to them in short, 30-second bursts, wait a minute, then call again. Typically, pigs will respond instantly and come running out of thick cover. If they’re within earshot, pigs will pour out of cover and come within scant yards of your stand.

Distressed Piglet Squeals
Commercially produced mouth-blown calls have some limitations. Most are little more than repackaged whitetail buck grunt calls. While grunting may work at calming hogs when they are feeding, they aren’t too productive for calling feral pigs to a stand. Instead, wild swine respond best to distress calls made by other pigs.

By far the best sound is of baby pigs in distress. The incessant squealing works both sows and boars into a frenzy. Timing, however, is key. When females have young in tow, they are especially vulnerable to the sound. Across most of pigland, that means late winter into the middle of spring.

An electronic caller loaded with piglet distress sounds will do everything you can do with a mouth call, plus it will keep running while you’re working your gun to control the hog population.

Comments (3)

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from Montanagyrene wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Bet the squeal call would work REALLY well, and here's why I think soMANY years ago, I helped an older couple who raised domestic hogs feed their animals when he fell and hurt his back...Once, we were separating a litter from the sow, and one of the piglets was going to follow Mama into the pen. I SHOULD have known better, but I thought 'I can grab the little guy, and the farmer can close the door on Mama'-NOT a GOOD idea!! The piglet let out a squeal, and Mama, a LARGE bacon hog breed, seemed to LEVITATE and swap ends, she came back at me so fast!! After I got some room between us, she backed off, and I looked around to find the farmer & his wife laughing SO HARD that they could BARELY remain standing...Learned my lesson on that one, for sure!!!!

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from The Captain wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

I have used a deer grunt call with success, but the use of a squealer call does make sense. I will have to try it out the next time I am in pig country.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

An acquaitance of mine has an electronic predator set up. I may have to borrow it and take it to TX next time. This sounds interesting.

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from The Captain wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

I have used a deer grunt call with success, but the use of a squealer call does make sense. I will have to try it out the next time I am in pig country.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

An acquaitance of mine has an electronic predator set up. I may have to borrow it and take it to TX next time. This sounds interesting.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Montanagyrene wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Bet the squeal call would work REALLY well, and here's why I think soMANY years ago, I helped an older couple who raised domestic hogs feed their animals when he fell and hurt his back...Once, we were separating a litter from the sow, and one of the piglets was going to follow Mama into the pen. I SHOULD have known better, but I thought 'I can grab the little guy, and the farmer can close the door on Mama'-NOT a GOOD idea!! The piglet let out a squeal, and Mama, a LARGE bacon hog breed, seemed to LEVITATE and swap ends, she came back at me so fast!! After I got some room between us, she backed off, and I looked around to find the farmer & his wife laughing SO HARD that they could BARELY remain standing...Learned my lesson on that one, for sure!!!!

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