The first hogs in the United States were supposed to have been brought here by Spanish explorers in the 1500s.
Their prolific breeding has led to explosive growth in the hog population and an expansion of the hog’s geographic range.
The actual distribution and quantity of feral hogs are difficult to determine, but biologists believe that there are about 6 million wild pigs in 39 states.
Hunting for wild boars is a popular pastime, but what is the biggest wild boar ever killed?
In the US in June 2004, Chris Griffin shot and killed Hogzilla, a male mix of wild pigs and farmed pigs, on Ken Holyoak’s fish farm and hunting reserve near Alapaha, Georgia.
It was said to be 12 feet (3.7 m) long and weighed over 450kg (1000lbs). At first, many people thought it was a scam.
Since then, wild boars have been caught by several people, but no official assessments have been made of their size.
Table of Contents
- What happened after Hogzilla was killed?
- How do you hunt wild boars?
- How do you catch wild boars without bait or dogs?
- Is it beneficial to have a large population of wild pigs?
- Can you hunt wild hogs anywhere since there are so many?
- Where are the most boars found?
- What makes Texas the best place to hunt wild boars?
- Are wild boars becoming more common in Texas?
- Is Florida a popular state for hunting wild boar?
- The number of wild hogs is increasing in the US
- Why are wild boars considered among the worst invasive species?
- Where did the Eurasian boar first arrive in North America?
- How is Canada helping to curb the migration of wild pigs from there to the US?
- How many different kinds of wild boars exist?
- Is hunting wild boars dangerous?
Forensic scientists from the National Geographic Channel excavated the animal’s remains in early 2005 and investigated them for a documentary.
To disprove earlier claims, these experts determined that Hogzilla was between 6.9 and 8.6 feet long, weighing 800 pounds or 360 kilograms at the time of its death in March 2005.
Hogzilla was found to be a cross between a wild boar and a domestic pig according to DNA tests (Hampshire breed).
The Hogzilla was a particularly huge animal when likened to most domestic and wild pigs.
Hogzilla’s tusks were a whopping 71 cm.
It is possible to hunt boar in a variety of ways, depending on your tastes and the environment.
Hunting with bait is the first method. Because hogs are always on the prowl for anything to eat, this strategy can be quite beneficial in many situations.
You may entice a wild boar by laying down some bait and waiting.
Boar hunting with dogs is another common technique. The pigs are found and chased down by the hunting dogs.
Depending on the situation, the dogs can either hold the animal down till a hunter arrives and kills it, or they can trap the animal and lock it down till the hunter arrives.
Hunters with dogs are not permitted in all places, but where it is, it is extremely popular.
The majority of hunters will chase wild boars if canines or bait aren’t being used. Both of these approaches entail scouting the area for pigs as they move from one location to another.
To avoid being noticed, you must move discreetly through the areas where you believe they may be hiding to be seen before they are seen.
Using a lofty vantage point as well as optics to scan the nearby region for wild boars, spot, and stalk hunting is another option.
This is terrible news for farming and zoologists, but good news for hunters who want to go wild boar hunting.
Big game hunting can be done year-round as you await the beginning of turkey or archery deer season.
Preseason pig hunting can also be good for giving beginners a taste of the real thing before the main game season begins.
No matter where you live, you can probably find good hog hunting because they are so widely dispersed.
When it comes to hog hunting, however, not every state is created equal. Warmer southern states and areas with a lot of rain tend to be the best options.
When compiling this list of the best states for hog hunting, we took into account a variety of factors, including the estimated number of hogs in each state, the number of hog hunting opportunities (including both public land hunts and outfitted hunts), and the degree to which each state’s hunting regulations and limitations were permissive.
Let’s take a look!
The 10 states with the most boars are Texas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Hawaii, and California.
In some states, you may need a guide to hunt for wild boars, whereas in others, such as Texas, you’re welcome to come and take the hogs yourself.
Hunting hogs is legal at any time of day or night, regardless of where you reside. Even if you’re a seasoned traveler, however, there may still be a few hiccups along the way.
Hog hunting in Texas is one of the greatest in the United States, according to this ranking.
The Lone Star State records the highest hog population, with an estimated 1.5 million hogs.
It’s up to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as well as the Department of Agriculture to encourage you to hunt feral hogs in Texas.
You may hunt as many as you want! You can also do it at any time of the year.
Residents and non-residents are equally welcome to go hog hunting in the area 365 days a year, every day of the week.
You won’t find another typical big game species that allows you to hunt at different times of the year.
As a result of the rapid growth in the number of feral hogs in Texas (an average of 20% each year), some believe the state is ultimately losing the battle against these invasive species.
Farming communities are devastated, but hog hunting is encouraged by a state that allows year-round hog hunting with no bag limits and few restrictions.
At night, they can be hunted with suppressed weapons or from a helicopter, and they can also be hunted over bait.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many public hog-hunting areas in Texas. Compared to other states, there is a major dearth of fauna management areas and conservation areas in which to pursue swine.
There are, however, numerous low-cost guided hog hunts available around the state.
The Sunshine State may not be the best place to go deer hunting, but it is one of the best places to go hog hunting in the United States.
The state of Florida boasts one of the greatest populations of wild pigs in the United States, according to historians, who believe that hogs were initially introduced to North America by Spanish explorers in the 1500s.
Biologists believe that Florida is home to about 500,000 hogs, yet this number is difficult to verify.
Hunting pigs on both residential and non-residential land is abundant in the state, and rules are quite lenient, particularly on private properties where hunters do not need a hunting permit.
It is true that hogs are found throughout all of Florida’s counties, but they are concentrated in locations with a lot of water.
Because of heavy rains that create rapid elevation changes, hog populations tend to become more concentrated in areas of high terrain, and hunters there can have a field day.
The number of wild hogs is increasing in the US
The most harmful invasive species in the United States is the feral pig. They are capable of wreaking havoc on the environment, destroying crops, and decimating wildlife like birds and amphibians.
Military jets have been destroyed on the runways. In addition, wild boars recently killed a woman in Texas who was getting ready to go to work early in the morning.
Invasive animals usually harm a single crop or are introduced into streams and harm fish, according to Dale Nolte, the USDA’s feral swine program Manager.
Wild pigs, on the other hand, are harmful in all areas and have a wide range of effects. Researchers in Canada have discovered that wild pigs have the “biggest worldwide range of any non-domesticated terrestrial mammal on the planet.”
For millennia, they’ve wandered the North American continent. When it comes to increasing their territory in recent decades, pigs have been helped along by humans.
“It’s not natural dispersion,” Dr. Nolte stated. To increase hunting possibilities, “we have every reason to assume they are being transferred in the back of pickup trucks.”
About half the country’s six million feral pigs reside in Texas, which is a bastion for the species in the United States.
From 17 to 38 states in just three decades, the hog population has grown tremendously.
As cattle or for hunting, Eurasian boar were first brought to Canada in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively. Pigs who escaped or were freed mated with domestic pigs.
Their descendants have spread across the prairies of Canada, making them a frequent sight.
Pigs were regarded as unable to live in cold climes by many specialists. When it’s cold outside, they dig tunnels in the snow and cover themselves with a few feet of snow to keep out the cold.
It’s common for boars to have thick coats of hair. They are now trying to build a new foothold in the United States by threatening to invade the border states.
That Canada isn’t doing anything about it worries Maggie Nutter, one among 80 distressed farmers and ranchers who recently convened near Sweet Grasp, Montana, to discuss the possible swine invasion.
The border is being monitored by both state and federal agencies. As a last resort, wildlife officials prepare an air assault using night-vision goggles and infrared imaging scopes to hunt the pigs if they continue to advance.
They’re using traditional methods like hunting dogs as well as rifles to kill the pigs.
Up to 16 distinct subspecies have been identified as of 1990, and they are grouped into four regional groups based on the lacrimal bone length as well as the skull height.
Matriarchal societies of connected females and their offspring are the norms for the species.
As the lineage behind many domestic pig varieties and a prized hunting animal for millennia, the wild boar has a lengthy history of human interaction.
Recently, wild boars have been breeding with feral pigs, leading to the development of dangerous boar–pig hybrids in the Americas as well as Australia.
Large, powerful, and typically armed with sharp tusks, the full-sized pig is a formidable opponent.
Hunting wild boar has traditionally been considered a bravery test.