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The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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Thursday, 06 June 2013 14:22

Feral Hog Hunting at Night

We at Shotem and Caughtem noticed that with the rising temperatures that many would be wild boar hunters will have to switch tactics to appropriately hunt these animals by going nocturnal.  We can say that hunting at night is a whole different ball game.  Many deer hunters get only a glimpse of the rush of being in the great outdoors at night as they make their way to their stands in the pitch black.  Night is when the Wild Things come out.  A hunters senses find a whole new acuity.   Hunting at night can be both an exhilarating rush and an unnerving sense that there is more going on than one realizes.  Leaves russel as  different predators and prey move around, weird noises as animals communicate, all while you try and not give away your position.  Some hunters will find refuge in a stand, some will have some since of comfort as the retreat to their blinds and others will brave the elements by hunkering down by a tree near a creek, river or wallering spot.  

There are a whole host of products available to the would be night hunter.  Different night vision options, lights for feeders and rifles and even specialty scopes.  With the rising wild boar populations more and more options are becoming available to the average hunter.  As technology becomes smaller and more capable we feel this industry will continue to add newer technology to help advance a hunters capabilities.  Here are some of the equipment we have had the opportunity to use and our thoughts.  

When hunting feral hogs at night the least expensive option to aid in your hunt is a light mounted to your rifle.  We tried the whole light in our hand thing and it is not only awkward but ineffective.  Not one of us shining a light by hand next to our rifle were happy with the results it provided.  We found that the color of light also made a huge impact on our success.  Though many say that either green or red lights are effective, we found that red light is the only way to go.  This too comes with its challenges as red light intensity can be stifled due to it's color which effects the range capabilities.  We were impressed by the lights offered by a company called Elusive Wildlife.  Their lights come with all the necessary adaptations to mount to a rail or scope and offer great intensity for low light sensitive scopes at 150-200 yards.  They also make a red circular feeder light that has motion detection should you have the benefit of hunting a baited area.  Tip:  When using lights mounted to scopes or rifles it is best to illuminate your light high in the sky and then dropping down to sight in your animal.

Should you have a lot more cash at your disposal the night vision options are endless and pretty darn cool.  We were using an old cheaper version of an infrared monocular and they can be quite a useful tool.  Even better are some of the night vision and infrared scopes available that not only allow you to see your animal but also take your shot.  Their only down fall is the energy needs.  Tip: Many of these devices need multiple power sources to allow you to stay in your position for long periods.  On one of our nights hunts we had to change the batteries out twice so bring extras.  This technology is ever advancing so there are some useful used options that might get you a good view of your surroundings allowing you to switch to cheaper alternatives prior to taking your shot.

If you have some tips or tricks to hunting at night or what to share your experience leave your comments below or share your photos in the Shotem Gallery and tell your story.

 

Published in On Location

We at Shotem and Caughtem reported on the possible bill a couple of months ago.  Now it is official.  Oklahoma landowners can now take to the skies to hunt feral wild pigs and coyotes.  Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comment section below or post photos of your hunt to the Shotem gallery. 

Oklahoma landowners would be able to take to the skies to hunt feral hogs and other “depredating animals” under a bill signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Fallin signed the bill Wednesday that’s intended to help landowners control growing populations of wild hogs that have become a problem in many rural parts of the state. The wild animals are known to tear up cropland, destroy fences and spread diseases.

State law already allows the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture to authorize people with a big-game commercial hunting area license to hunt wild hogs and other depredating animals— like coyotes — from aircraft. The bill signed by Fallin expands the law to include landowners and those hired by landowners.

 
Published in News/Events

Just yesterday we at Shotem and Caughtem talked about the Wild Hog hunting pros and cons.  To back up our point Oklahoma passed a new law that will be both benefitial to helping curb the population of wild boar in the state and potentially hurt it all in one bill.  Though we would like to take only the positive aspects of what this bill could help do for local land owners, we fear it could also spur a whole new hunting outfitting industry.  Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comment section below or show us your photos in the Shotem gallery and tell us your story.  FYI it would be a really cool experience and we consider ourselves lucky that we know some people that would jump on us taking the opportunity to rid them of these veracious animals.  It takes Shotem and Caughtem to a whole new height than just from a tree stand.  

A bill that would allow landowners to hire bush pilots to fly marksmen who would shoot feral hogs won unanimous approval Wednesday from a legislative committee, despite one lawmaker raising questions about safety.  Feral hogs continue to be a growing problem in southern Oklahoma as they root through crops and grasslands. They reproduce quickly and are a health risk because they carry diseases humans can catch, and they're not easily frightened. Some feral hogs recently came up to his house and rooted through the front lawn, he said.

Despite his concerns, Lockhart ended up voting for SB 919, which passed 15-0. It now goes to the House Calendar Committee, which will determine if it gets a hearing in the House.

Lawmakers in 2009 passed legislation that lets landowners who operate big game commercial hunting areas to hire a sharpshooter to kill feral hogs from a helicopter.

SB 919 removes the requirement that someone has to have a big game commercial hunting area license to use aircraft and gets rid of language that the aircraft be used only above land listed in the commercial hunting area license

 
Published in News/Events

We at Shotem and Caughtem have had many opportunities to witness first hand the destructive capabilities of wild pigs.  We have hunted them in Texas and Oklahoma at different locations and can say that ones first impression of domesticated pigs does not correlate to what you find in the wild.  When we were growing up you thought of pigs as big, pink, fat, slow, dumb animals that wallered around in their own filth.  Once they get out of their domesticated element they do a complete 180 except for the filth part.  They are fit, camo, lean, mean, aggressive and smart animals that waller every where they want.  They tear up fields, dessimate crops and breed like rabbits.  They are capable of surviving any climate range and have been found in varying numbers all over the United States.  

The sport of wild boar hunting has been both a blessing and a curse.  It has been a blessing in the fact that like most hunting it helps to keep populations low.  However, many have found that they can make money from having boar on hunting leases and have transported them to different areas to increase their profits.  What they fail to remember is that the sport is called hunting not shooting and due to the breeding capabilities their populations do not take long to get out of hand.  About a year ago we were made aware that some people decided to start transporting wild pigs onto their property and set them loose to increase the popularity of their hunts.  We warned and pleaded that things would get out of hand quickly and they would become more of a problem than a profit.  Just this last weekend we were made aware that sightings of wild boar have increased from never for the last 20 years to now frequently by our property which is over 20 miles away.  In one year their population has exploded.  What do you expect their only predator left is man.  

Here is a little history to get you up to speed on the habits and signs of wild boar.  Wild pigs (also known as wild hogs, wild boar, or feral swine) are an are not native to the Americas. The first wild pigs in the United States originated solely from domestic stock brought to North America by early European explorers and settlers. Many years later, Eurasian wild boar were introduced into parts of the United States for hunting purposes. In areas where domestic pigs and Eurasian wild boar were found together in the wild, interbreeding occurred. Today, many hybrid populations exist throughout the wild pig’s range.

Pigs were first introduced in the 1500’s to what is now the southeastern U.S. by Spanish Explorer, Hernando DeSoto. In the centuries following European exploration and colonization of the eastern U.S., free-range livestock management practices and escapes from enclosures resulted in the establishment of wild pig populations and promoted their spread.  
Introduction of the Eurasion Wild Boar

In the early 1900’s, Eurasian or Russian wild boar were introduced into portions of the United States.  Additional introductions and escapes of Eurasian wild boar from privately owned, “game-proof” fenced hunting preserves have continued through the present.

  • Wild pigs have been reported in at least 45 states
  • Populations now exist as far north as Michigan, North Dakota, and Oregon
  • Range expansion over the last 20 years is mostly a result of illegal translocation of pigs by humans
Distribution of Wild Pigs in 1988

Distribution of Feral Pigs in the United States in 1988 (Courtesy of Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, University of Georgia).

 

Distribution of Wild Pigs in 2009

Distribution of Feral Pigs in the United States in 2009 (Courtesy of Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, University of Georgia).
 
The Human Factor 
 
The popularity of wild pigs as a game species has played a major role in the expansion of their range throughout the United States. The sudden presence of wild pigs in new areas is most often a result ofescapes of stocked animals from privately owned, “game-proof” fenced hunting preserves illegal translocation: the practice of capturing wild pigs, transporting them to new locations, and releasing them into the wild
 
 
Let us know your thoughts on the subject of Wild Boar Hunting and as always post your photos of your outdoor adventures to the galleries and tell us your story.