In most areas, the best way to get a shot at a hog is to sit in a stand watching a feeder – normally a corn feeder. For most hunters, these are the same feeders they hope to attract deer with, and the most popular type are battery powered “spinners” that throw corn for a specified period of time at specified intervals. The good thing about this type of feeder is that it can be loaded with corn and left to do it’s thing. The drawback to automatic feeders is that batteries need to be replaced and all things mechanical can and do break down – especially back in the woods. An alternative to attract hogs is the “pig pipe”, normally a length of heavy PVC pipe in 4 – 6 inch diameter with a cap on one end and a sewer type “clean-out” on the other with a threaded screw-in cap that can be removed to add more corn. Holes are drilled along the pipe to let corn fall out as the pigs roll it around – which they learn to do very rapidly. Some call these devices “pig toys”, as the hogs seem to enjoy the challenge of rolling them around to “feed themselves” as much as they do actually eating the corn that comes out.
Pig pipes need no batteries, and have no moving parts. Capacity can be a problem, because a sounder of eager swine can empty a pipe overnight. Because of this, it is a good idea to put some small rocks or gravel in the pipe that will rattle around and make noise even after all the corn is gone. This will often hold the hogs attention for quite some time.
Some hunters use fairly elaborate techniques to make and secure their pipes. I normally have several in the field at any one time, and mine are pretty basic. I don’t use swivels, cable, chain, or tie-out stakes – just tie a piece of rope through holes in the pipe and tie it off to a tree. Experience will teach you how many and what size holes to drill, but the more experience you have with these devices, the smaller and fewer number of holes you’ll probably use. It should not be real easy for the corn to come out. Smaller holes keep the hogs busy, and help the corn last longer.
It is interesting to watch several hogs “work” a pipe. I’ve seen them toss it high in the air, and watched small pigs roll it around for a long time. Coons and other varmints will not be as big a problem as with an automatic feeder, but they will try the pipe. I have pictures of deer rolling pig pipes, and even squirrels trying to.
If even a long pipe of large diameter does not hold enough corn for your purposes, try a “roll barrel”. A plastic barrel or drum with some method to tie a rope or cable to and holes for corn to fall out in sizes up to 55 gallons will keep hogs busy for several days – or nights. I have lost two barrels when large hogs got worked up and broke the rope or cable and rolled it off in the woods somewhere – still haven’t found one of them – and squirrels will occasionally chew a hole in the barrel that must be patched with a piece of sheet metal or wire screen. Still, pig pipes and roll barrels will certainly increase the odds of hogs showing up in front of your stand – and staying long enough for you to get a good shot.
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