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Hog Hunting 101

A Beginners Guide to Hog Hunting

Deer & Hog Tracks

Notice the difference between the more rounded hog track on the far left picture as compared to the deer track next to it. A deer’s track is going to come to much more of a point than the hog’s. Wild Hogs also tend to step into their own tracks much more than a deer does.


Rooting is a great indication that hogs are in your general area, but remember, rooting only tells you where the hogs have been, not where they are. Fresh rooting with a darker appearance, will give you a better time line as to how long ago the hogs were there. As seen by the picture below, hogs can make short work of an entire section of woods. Although this picture depicts an extreme case of rooting, it is a good display of the extent of damage wild hogs can inflict on a particular area.

Hog Hair

Barbwire fences are a great way to be able to tell where the hogs may be crossing a particular road or section of fence. As seen in the picture below, it's quite hard for a hog to cross under a fence without leaving some hair behind.

Hog Wallows

Here is a great example of hog wallows. Upon close inspection, there are times that you can even see the impression of the hogs wrinkled belly skin in the mud. You can also tell whether or not a wallow is active based on how muddy the water is. Cloudy, muddy water is a good indication of an active wallow. Clear water in a wallow may indicate that you have stumbled upon an older wallow. A great ambush location is a well traveled clearing between the wallows and heavy cover, where the hogs will expose them self long enough for a clear shot. It is not uncommon for them to travel between these spots several times a day. Notice the run leading into the cover and the rubbing pole just outside.

Hog Rubbing Poles and Cut Marks

Rubbing poles are an excellent source of information. Not only do they tell you where the hogs are crossing in and out of and a given direction, but they can also be a great indication of how tall a wild hog is and a little bit about what kind of tusks he might have. The higher up the tree the cut marks are on the rubbing pole, the taller the boar that created them. Here are some great pics to show you what these might look like if you come across them. Notice the shorter rub on the bigger tree compared to the taller rub on the smaller tree. The cut marks below are a great indicator that you have a trophy in your area.

Hog Droppings

If you come across a large amount of droppings in one area, you can be pretty confident that you are very close to a major feeding area. Look around and get a good idea of what they are eating and where the best place may be to setup. Below is a picture of some old droppings. Notice the grey appearance. Newer droppings will be much darker and have an unmistakble odor that can be smelled by a hunter from a good distance.

Trail Cams

Trail cameras are a great way to pattern your hogs, especially at a feeder. If you have setup a feeder near water and cover, you may notice that the hogs never leave for more than a few hours at a time. You have pretty much given them all they want in life and have increased your chances of success!

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