NC Hog Hunting in 2019

techo919

Button Buck
Hey all! I have hunted deer, bird, and coyote for many years now. However, one hunt I have always wanted to do but still have yet to do is to hunt feral swine, wild boars, feral hogs, wild pigs or what ever you want to call them :D The idea of helping an over population issue, plus harvesting delicious meat, along with greater flexibility on hunts (bag limits, seasons, etc), is all very appealing. Problem is, I have absolutely no idea where to start! Hopefully you guys can help me here. At the least, I'd like to get some pointers to some current, solid resources/guides. In the best case scenario, I could get a mentor or maybe even a hunting buddy for this. I live in Raleigh so the closer to that the better, but I would of course be willing to travel if needed.

I remember researching it over 4 years ago and at the time, I found GIS maps that graphed various hog population densities across North Carolina. That data of course is no longer current - but perhaps, still might have some relevance?

What do you all suggest on getting started? Is it realistic to hunt them on public game lands or do you need to find a private lease? For firearms I have both a 30-30 and 12 gauge as well as a crossbow -- I'm assuming all would be suitable to bring for a hog hunt?

Thanks in advance to any/all contributors =)
 

GSOHunter

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
If you are hunting them on gamelands there has to be some sort of open season for another animal. The gun you use also has to go along with that other season. If it's Turkey season don't walk around with a rifle. Of course read the regs....
 

Ambush

Twelve Pointer
Hey all! I have hunted deer, bird, and coyote for many years now. However, one hunt I have always wanted to do but still have yet to do is to hunt feral swine, wild boars, feral hogs, wild pigs or what ever you want to call them :D The idea of helping an over population issue, plus harvesting delicious meat, along with greater flexibility on hunts (bag limits, seasons, etc), is all very appealing. Problem is, I have absolutely no idea where to start! Hopefully you guys can help me here. At the least, I'd like to get some pointers to some current, solid resources/guides. In the best case scenario, I could get a mentor or maybe even a hunting buddy for this. I live in Raleigh so the closer to that the better, but I would of course be willing to travel if needed.

I remember researching it over 4 years ago and at the time, I found GIS maps that graphed various hog population densities across North Carolina. That data of course is no longer current - but perhaps, still might have some relevance?

What do you all suggest on getting started? Is it realistic to hunt them on public game lands or do you need to find a private lease? For firearms I have both a 30-30 and 12 gauge as well as a crossbow -- I'm assuming all would be suitable to bring for a hog hunt?

Thanks in advance to any/all contributors =)
I’m like you and have never hog hunted. That said, they are spreading. This year we had our first group spotted in the Enfield area. I’m sure they will be state wide in a decade. GL
 

Wildlifer

Twelve Pointer
IMHO hog hunting in NC is more of a "happen chance" situation currently. What I mean is that they are usually killed by chance when targeting other critters. In general they are too spread out and unpredictable to reliably target them. Even the places that are said to have a lot are hit or miss when targeting them.
I would head to the low country of SC during turkey season with a shotgun on some of the WMA and focus on the swamps for a better chance. In the spring they key in on sandy high ground looking for turtle eggs that have just been laid.
 

300BlkoutLivesMatter

Four Pointer
I hunt them with my 300 blackout, it has the same ballistics as a 30-30 so that should be fine. Automatic feeder with a solar powered green feeder light has been our ticket to success. Finding them on gamelands is going to be quite the challenge as they can be mostly nocturnal once they know they're being hunted.

Best bet is to start making friends with farmers out in the eastern part of the state. We lucked into them, had a farmer that let us use his land to access a swamp to duck hunt. Came out of it one morning and saw all kinds of hog rooting signs. He wants em gone and was more than glad to let us have at em. It's been open season on them since we found them. Word spread quick and all the neighboring farmers are enlisting help too, these pigs won't make it to planting season.
 

Moose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
They have them in Johnston County there is a few places you can pay to hunt them. One of them had a booth at last years DDC. Howell woods (owned by the community college) sells or raffles off hunts for em. I don't think anybody that has em wants them to take hold so they wipe em out where ever they show up.
 

techo919

Button Buck
Thanks all for the great info...keep it comin! I'd prefer not to pay to hunt, though it sounds like game lands really aren't a great option (unless night hunting happens to be permitted out there). As 300BlkoutLivesMatter mentioned, maybe I need to find a way to meet some farmers out east that could use the help.

I tried digging further for those GIS maps and the only one I found that was working was from 2014:
https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=4b157863c26f4a95bfc0134850417a7c

Johnston county definitely worth keepin an eye out!

These also might have some potential:
https://www.arcgis.com/home/search.html?t=content&q=tags:swine&start=1&sortOrder=true&sortField=relevance
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Couple things, the state map is badly outdated, and if you studied what was published four years ago they have spread tremendously in many areas
 

fowlplay'n

Twelve Pointer
Contact Howell Woods with Johnston Community’s College. If you have enough free time in your schedule you can volunteer out there for 40 hours and you get a free hog hunt in exchange. They have more hogs down there in the low grounds than anywhere else I’ve seen around here. There are two guide services down there as well if you decide a paid hunt is the way to go.
 

Billy

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I know you said you rather not pay, and I understand that. But if you're just getting started, you might find a guided hunt cheaper than buying everything you need for a do it yourself hunt. If interested, you can try Toole Lowgrounds, just outside of Smithfield in Johnston County. 919-880-0387 or search for Toole Lowgrounds if you use Facebook. They're right across the Neuse River from Howell Woods (that Moose mentioned). My son-in-law shot a nice boar there Friday. I've never hunted with them, but I know one of the owners, and they'll take care of you.
I've hunted land that borders the Howell Woods property for 30 years (long before it was known as Howell Woods). The place is wrapped up with hogs, but they're wild and much harder to hunt than deer.
 

DuckyDave

Four Pointer
Best bet is find a farmer with a problem or go to SC or go on a paid hunt. I targeted hogs on Gamelands about 4 years ago. Killed one the second year but it took a lot of work. For various reasons that opportunity no longer exists. I have killed some nice bucks on public land but that hog was a much bigger challenge --and thrill. If you ask around in Eastern NC you will be surprised where hogs have been sighted by non- hunters and where they have been "bonus kills"" by deer hunters. Patterning one to kill is a whole 'nother problem. I am unsure if the range of feral hogs is expanding rapidly vs. slowly in NC--the State has an aggressive trapping program underway . Also I understand some "hog doggers " have special permission toward eradicating feral hogs year round on some public lands (and I have seen them in action--impressive kills). As a last resort you could travel to Texas, etc where hunts are around $100/day (night, really). Our son is on a deer lease near Uvalde TX, overrun with hogs, few deer left. Lease nearby the guy caught 26 hogs in one pen trap....we don't want that in NC.
 

Weekender

Twelve Pointer
The biggest problem with folks wanting to start hog hunting is they want to do it after deer season. Your best chance is to do it concurently when hard mast is on the ground. Much easier to pattern them in the fall. Hog density maps in any state are accurate in that it shows a past range with the type of habitat they prefer.

I would not go to SC WMA during spring gobbler season. You'd be surprised how crowded those WMA's get for spring gobbler season. I'd wait until next winter and take an SC trip for small game season. Do a classic still hunt, wind in your face, and work slowly around cutovers, listening for hog noise, watching more than you move. Forget a tree stand. Hunt them like squirrels or the fun way to deer hunt.

They're smart as dogs but if they don't smell you or see your movement, you can kill them very close. I was with a buddy in the FMNF and we slipped within ten yards of a sleeping sow in a palm stand laden with swamp chestnut oaks. She was fat and even with a game cart, she was quite a load.
 

turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
The biggest problem with folks wanting to start hog hunting is they want to do it after deer season. Your best chance is to do it concurently when hard mast is on the ground. Much easier to pattern them in the fall. Hog density maps in any state are accurate in that it shows a past range with the type of habitat they prefer.

I would not go to SC WMA during spring gobbler season. You'd be surprised how crowded those WMA's get for spring gobbler season. I'd wait until next winter and take an SC trip for small game season. Do a classic still hunt, wind in your face, and work slowly around cutovers, listening for hog noise, watching more than you move. Forget a tree stand. Hunt them like squirrels or the fun way to deer hunt.

They're smart as dogs but if they don't smell you or see your movement, you can kill them very close. I was with a buddy in the FMNF and we slipped within ten yards of a sleeping sow in a palm stand laden with swamp chestnut oaks. She was fat and even with a game cart, she was quite a load.
Not to mention only have deal with huge turkey hunting pressure but license is high for big game if going just for pig all need is small game license
 
I've tried to find them on the Yadkin River before but they move so much you can't pattern them. I tried to get permission from land owners in JoCo but they probably just laugh and throw my letters in the trash.
I'm happy to help trap or hunt but no one wants them gone that bad.
 

catfishrus

Twelve Pointer
Here is what worked for me....put out 2000 lbs of shelled corn and watched the pigs eat it over a couple month period on trail camera. I watched them eat 200 lbs scattered all over the ground in 19 minutes on a trail camera. Then I got my timing right one day about a mile from the corn pile and caught up with a whole herd of them...got 4 at one time with a Remington 1100. BTW..I heard them many days hunting the corn pile..they just wouldn't come in. I take that back...I caught up with them once at the corn pile. I had 19 coming in on camera...seen 6-7 one morning and planted one....only one shot fired and they was gone. After that day...it took them a month to come back but only at night. Don't you think for one minute a pig cant run either.

I just got back from visiting a friend in Ga. I asked him how many pigs he seen down there....he replied none yet. There was pig sign all over his place and it was mostly open fileds
 

JONOV

Ten Pointer
Is it true that shooting them doesn't really serve to do much for the population? I seem to remember that just scatters them and makes them expand; you have to trap the whole sounder in those big traps to make a dent.
 
Is it true that shooting them doesn't really serve to do much for the population? I seem to remember that just scatters them and makes them expand; you have to trap the whole sounder in those big traps to make a dent.
Hunting pigs does nothing to reduce their population. Trapping has been the only way to truly reduce them. MeatEater has a great podcast on it called "The Judas Boar". Highly recommend it to see what Missouri is doing to keep them from spreading.

Here's the Link:

 

Weekender

Twelve Pointer
Is it true that shooting them doesn't really serve to do much for the population?
That is why most landowners don't even return letters or phone calls.

Those with experience with non-trad methods of hunting do really good work, though. See Mailman on the scoutdoornews forum, for example. He'll kill more hogs in a month than I have in the last ten years. The landowners who give him access have basically hired a swine plague. LOL.
 

bryguy

Old Mossy Horns
Good luck getting a farmer to let you 'help them out' for free...........most want to charge a fee or lease their land to an outfitter that claims that they want to help the farmer control the population. After a few years of an outfitter 'controlling' the population around us, my farmer bought a boar buster trap and he has put a serious dent in the feral pig problem around us.
Honestly, IF the NCWRC were serious about eradicating pigs, they would outlaw outfitted or guided hunts for them. If they have not economic value then they will be eliminated. No outfitter is going to 'eradicate' the feral hog population when they can make $250 or more a day running guided hunts. Hell alot of folks in my area blame the outfitter that is in another town down 95 from our area for the influx of the things.
Berryman's article above is a great one and pretty well sums up the problem.
 

DuckyDave

Four Pointer
Good luck getting a farmer to let you 'help them out' for free...........most want to charge a fee or lease their land to an outfitter that claims that they want to help the farmer control the population. After a few years of an outfitter 'controlling' the population around us, my farmer bought a boar buster trap and he has put a serious dent in the feral pig problem around us.
Honestly, IF the NCWRC were serious about eradicating pigs, they would outlaw outfitted or guided hunts for them. If they have not economic value then they will be eliminated. No outfitter is going to 'eradicate' the feral hog population when they can make $250 or more a day running guided hunts. Hell alot of folks in my area blame the outfitter that is in another town down 95 from our area for the influx of the things.
Berryman's article above is a great one and pretty well sums up the problem.
Bryguy is absolutely correct about $$ incentive for landowners to keep feral hogs. That is one of the reasons Texas and other states have a huge problem. My understanding is PA, parts of Kentucky and possibly other states don't allow feral hog hunting. Gun hunting or dog hunting or most trapping techniques kills only a few hogs in a Sounder while it educated the remaining hogs. See JagerPro videos for cool ideas to eliminate entire Sounders and then the (usually roaming separately) adult board. I attended a NC WRC seminar on hog trapping a couple years back and discovered thus far they don't use JagerPro techniques although they are making some positive impact.

BTW if you are squirrel/hog hunting where only a rimfire is legal, 22mag will get the job done (albeit marginally) if bullet is placed an inch or 2 behind the ear. That one I shot (at 25 yards) only ran less than 50 yards before dropping stone dead. Other guys claim 22mag will kill hogs less than 100 lbs or so ("good eatin' size") with double lung or heart shots. I have no personal experience with that (yet!)
 

DuckyDave

Four Pointer
Bryguy is absolutely correct about $$ incentive for landowners to keep feral hogs. That is one of the reasons Texas and other states have a huge problem. My understanding is PA, parts of Kentucky and possibly other states don't allow feral hog hunting. Gun hunting or dog hunting or most trapping techniques kills only a few hogs in a Sounder while it educated the remaining hogs. See JagerPro videos for cool ideas to eliminate entire Sounders and then the (usually roaming separately) adult board. I attended a NC WRC seminar on hog trapping a couple years back and discovered thus far they don't use JagerPro techniques although they are making some positive impact.

BTW if you are squirrel/hog hunting where only a rimfire is legal, 22mag will get the job done (albeit marginally) if bullet is placed an inch or 2 behind the ear. That one I shot (at 25 yards) only ran less than 50 yards before dropping stone dead. Other guys claim 22mag will kill hogs less than 100 lbs or so ("good eatin' size") with double lung or heart shots. I have no personal experience with that (yet!)
Boar not board. Darn autocorrect...
 

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
See Mailman on the scoutdoornews forum

yeap,,,hunting them 24 hrs a day is the hot ticket,,,,,night ops for sure,,,,them things will pattern you, so you have to vary the routine,,,'

or get a couple of good dogs,,,

trapping works,,,till you miss the sow,,then she will keep them away from a trap,,,have to keep varying the trap methods

we've been working on them down at Wahee for a Long while,,,guns year round, dogs when deer./turkey aren't in,,,and traps,,,,still got hogs
 

josh

Twelve Pointer
I don’t have much experience with them but it seems like for whatever reason the NC folks stay on top of them. I hope that continues and there never is an over abundance.

I do recommend hunting them in SC, I killed a couple pretty easy down there, darn things are everywhere. Maybe do a deer or turkey hunt on WMA and a hog will be a bonus . Good luck
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
They aren't staying on top of them at all. A very few years ago there were just a negligible amount of them in the area where I live. You would occasionally see sign of them then they were gone for months. Now they are thick.
 

josh

Twelve Pointer
That’s not good, I always take the secrecy of hunting spots as they are scarce. Unfortunately it seems like they are almost impossible to eradicate though
 
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