Especially during and right after deer season, when there is lots of activity and hunter presence in the woods, hogs tend to go nocturnal. Actually, they will do this any time or place where they are pressured hard. Of course, killing hogs in daylight is usually a hit or miss deal, anyway, and it is much easier to arrange to get a shot at a porker after dark.
Trophy boars are best sought in late night/early morning hours. They don’t get that big and old by being stupid.
Sounders with young will be “led” by one or more older sows, as a rule – and they keep the youngsters close and hidden by darkness.
Night Vision is all the rage for hog hunting, and can work very well – BUT not all of us are prepared to invest that much money in killing hogs. Where night vision – or thermal, for that matter, really “shines” (pun intended) is when doing a “spot and stalk” type hunt. Night vision scopes don’t work well to scan an area, another viewer will be needed for that. Other light options work as well, maybe better, for the hunter who usually sits in a stand watching a feeder. Probably the best hog hunting light is some variation of those sold by Kevin Ryer, who owns the “Texas Boars” website (Texasboars.com). He mostly sells red lights, which have been proven to be almost invisible to hogs, but also sells white and amber lights. The “Feeder Lights” operate on 12v power, and can be mounted on a camera tripod for portability. With a light of this type which is on and illuminating a large area, you won’t miss many hogs that come through (if you can stay awake!).
For those just starting to hunt at night, a solar landscape floodlight will work as an “automatic” feeder light that is on every night.
Sometimes a weapon-mounted light is very helpful – if not necessary. We have one of the Texas Boars “Scope-Lights” on my wife’s Ruger .44 magnum carbine, and have killed several hogs with it. I even shot one with my .30-06 one night while she “spotted” it with the light on her rifle – and no other light at all. The only drawbacks to the TB Scope-Light is the need for a fairly large battery mounted somewhere on the rifle, and a remote on/off switch.
Although this rail-mount light on my pistol has a white beam, and will primarily be used for following up a shot hog at night, if a red or green “kill” light were substituted, it would be suitable for close range hog hunting. It runs off one CR123 battery, which saves weight and trouble.
Night time hog hunting can be exciting as well as productive, but I admit to being happy when the cameras show daytime activity! Game cameras are a necessity for successful hog hunting – day or night, as they will let you know not only IF hogs are in an area and specific spots, but WHEN they are most likely to be found.