HOG HUNTING: THE NIGHT TIME IS THE RIGHT TIME!

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.

Big boars are often secretive animals, much more likely to be encountered under the cover of nightfall.

Big boars are often secretive animals, much more likely to be encountered under the cover of nightfall.

Trophy boars are best sought in late night/early morning hours. They don’t get that big and old by being stupid.

Larger sounders with young er shoats also prefer feeding at night if they are disturbed or pressured during daylight hours.

Larger sounders with younger shoats also prefer feeding at night if they are disturbed or pressured during daylight hours.

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.

This light was designed specifically for night-time hog hunting, using 3 individually adjustable red LED lights.

This light was designed specifically for night-time hog hunting, using 3 individually adjustable red LED lights.

Night vision equipment can be a viable aid to hog hunting, but good equipment is expensive.

Night vision equipment can be a viable aid to hog hunting, but good equipment is expensive.

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!).

President Obama has urged me to promote solar lighting for hog hunting (wind power didn't work - blew out the match), and it IS an alternative. I killed several hogs by the light of this ordinary solar lawn floodlight. Hogs will become accustomed to white light if it is on all the time, and even this dim light provides enough illumination to shoot by when using a good scope.

President Obama has urged me to promote solar lighting for hog hunting (wind power didn’t work – blew out the match), and it IS an alternative. I killed several hogs by the light of this ordinary solar lawn floodlight. Hogs will become accustomed to white light if it is on all the time, and even this dim light provides enough illumination to shoot by when using a good scope.

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.

This scope light throws a bright red beam, and helps night shooting tremendously with a "normal" day time scope.

This scope light throws a bright red beam, and helps night shooting tremendously with a “normal” day time scope.

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.

This is a high-intensity rail mount light with a white beam, that will be used primarily when approaching "dead" hogs at night.

This is a high-intensity rail mount light with a white beam, that will be used primarily when approaching “dead” hogs at night.

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.

While night hog hunting is exciting, I am happy when they settle down and make themselves available in daylight hours.

While night hog hunting is exciting, I am happy when they settle down and make themselves available in daylight hours.

About MikeH

Texas hunter and fisherman for 50 years, published outdoor writer since 1979, licensed charter boat operator from 1982 to 2013. Past Member, Board of Directors, National Association of Charterboat Operators, current member Environmental Advisory Committee to the DOE and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Married to Dorothy since 2000, one son, Michael who is recently married and living in Nederland, Texas. My wife and I live in Oyster Creek, Texas, near Freeport, and have a hunting property outside of Brazoria, Texas.
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