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The wild boar is one of the most exciting types of game to hunt. Its delicious meat makes it a delight to eat, and its intelligence and natural defenses make it a challenge to track.
Why is Hunting Boar So Challenging?
If you plan to hunt wild boar, you need to prepare and develop a good understanding of both the animal’s behavior and the local hunting laws.
Wild boars are one of the most dangerous game animals, with razor-sharp tusks and aggressive nature. These beasts can weigh an average of 300 lbs. Some of the largest specimens ever recorded were over 600 lbs.; they can cause significant damage if they attack. However, they are also extremely smart animals, changing their behavior to outwit and outmaneuver hunters.
Understanding Wild Boar Behavior
The first thing the hunter does is consider the size of the prey, its behavior, and its habitat. There’s no telling how big a wild boar might be, with males reaching up to between 440 and 660 lbs. and females averaging around half that range. They can measure up to six feet long and three feet high, making even the smallest boars quite large.
Wild boars have learned from the activity of hunters, which occurs predominantly during the day, to become primarily nocturnal. However, they can also emerge during the day in areas with dense vegetative cover, which they perceive to be safe.
Their preferred habitat is wooded forests, shrublands, and swamplands, where they eat most of the things they come across, such as berries, nuts, and other smaller animals. The females are social animals that live in groups (called sounders), while the males are solitary roamers, except during mating season.
These eight wild boar hunting tips help prospective hunters to be fully prepared for the expedition.
Consider the Wild Boar’s Physical Defenses
When planning a wild boar hunting expedition, take the physical attributes of the beast into account. Wild boars also have an extremely thick coat that is difficult to penetrate with long and uneven bristles along the top of their bodies. The coat and bristles are effectively the animal’s main defense, making it hard for weapons to penetrate its body. Finally, their tusks are used to attack when they become aggressive, either when frightened or when a sow feels compelled to defend her offspring.
Understanding boar anatomy can help you aim with greater precision and hit vital organs. Boars are often the most dangerous when wounded, turning on hunters and attacking, so it is critical to make a kill shot.
Research Local Wild Boar Hunting Laws
Despite the pervasive nature of wild boar populations, it is essential to research local wild boar hunting laws. These differ from state to state, and a hunting license specifically for hunting wild boar may be necessary. Not doing so may result in significant penalties.
Wild boar hunting laws may differ between states in terms of:
- Weight and size restrictions
- Limits on the type of wild boar that can be hunted - females or younger boars may be protected
- Potential baiting restrictions depending on whether the hunt is on private or public land
- Terms for obtaining a hunting license
- Feral hunting; some states ban it entirely
Location and time are everything: hunting seasons occur at different times of the year depending on parameters like where you are, whether the hunt is on private or public land, and even what time of day it is.
Pack the Right-Sized Weapons
Wild boars are extremely dangerous when wounded, so picking the right weapons is crucial in wild boar hunting tips. Firearms are the weapon of choice, given the thickness of the animal’s protective coat and the need for distance during the hunt.
The size of the firearms and bullets is vital in considering what will penetrate the boar’s thick skin. Larger firearms such as a 12-gauge shotgun or a large caliber rifle, such as a 308 Winchester or 8.3 Creedmoor, are advisable.
A large-caliber handgun or a large hunting knife is helpful to finish off a wounded boar. Binoculars are helpful to observe the animal from afar. Choose digital binoculars that offer night vision features, an anti-reflection multi-coated optical system, and a wide field of view (at least 600 ft).
Attire and Scent Control is Important
Hunting attire and scent control are crucial when preparing for a boar hunt. A wild boar’s eyesight can detect a human being over 100 yards away. Boars perceive the color blue, so wearing camo and blaze orange vests can improve your concealment.
Boars also have an acute sense of smell, so be careful not to leave a human scent on the traps or blinds, as the odor serves as a warning for the boar. You should also wash your hunting clothes in fragrance-free detergent, seal them in a Ziploc bag, and change them out in the field to avoid contaminating your hunting gear with perspiration.
Using the right bait is necessary to attract wild boars. They are readily drawn to nuts and pecans and are also attracted to water- or beer-soaked corn, which benefits warding off other animals. Leave the bait out for a few days in the designated area before the hunt begins. The bait attracts the boar to the location and makes it lower its defenses.
Plan Defenses in Advance
Wild boars attack when they sense a threat. Ensure you are alert and plan what to do if the boar is triggered.
It’s essential to think through in advance how you’ll handle a wild boar attack.
Do not run; a wild boar can reach 30 mph and easily outpace you. Instead, climb a tree or elevated surface.
Most importantly, do not attempt to shoot at the wild boar when it is charging, as it will be aggravated - especially if it is hit without being killed.
Use Hunting Dogs
When dogs are brought along on the hunt, they must be dogs bred for hunting, like Lacy Dogs or American Bulldogs. Boar hunting dogs fall into two categories: bay dogs, which are used to harry and taunt the boar, and catch dogs that grip the boar with their jaws, typically by the ear to pin it down.
Learn how to train your dogs to be more effective in hunting, read this article.
Traps are an excellent hunting method for beginners. They ensure you don’t need to get close to the boar, lowering the risk of injury. There are several different varieties, such as heart traps, box traps, or snares. Once the boar is caught in a trap, it is held in place by the neck or the foot until you are ready to dispatch the animal.
Enjoy the Thrill of the Chase When Hunting Boar
There’s a reason wild boar hunting has been practiced for centuries: wild boar meat has a uniquely strong, nutty flavor that doesn’t resemble other meats, and it has numerous health benefits, such as being a rich source of protein and Vitamin B6 and being low in sodium.
In addition to adding plenty of meat to your freezer, hunting boar is a thrilling endeavor due to the risk involved with stalking these aggressive animals. But with the right strategies and high-quality hunting gear, you can outwit your prey and take home an incredible big game trophy.